Japan Travel by NAVITIME - Japan Travel Guides, Transit Search and Itinerary Planner

Travel / Tourism Spots in Wakayama Area

  • Kumano Hongu Taisha shrine
    rating-image
    4.5
    441 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Honguchouhongu
    This Shinto shrine is one of the Three Head Kumano Shrines which serve as the headquarters of all Kumano shrines nationwide. Known as the first stop on the penance-filled Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage, since ancient times this shrine has been visited by countless worshipers of the Kumano faith, which seeks to achieve self-enlightenment through penance. The main building was erected in the Asuka period and was relocated to its current location after being damaged in the Great Flood of 1889. After climbing 158 stone steps through a cedar forest, the shrine’s four hinoki bark-thatched buildings will appear, which enshrine Ketsumiko no okami and the shrine’s three other chief gods.

    This main shrine in Kumano-kodo was designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan. An original structure was destroyed in the flood in 1889 and transferred to the current location. The...

  • Mt. Koya
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan
    Mt. Koya is sacred ground in Japanese Buddhism that was first utilized by the famed monk Kukai in the Heian period. The entirety of Mt. Koya is regarded as a single temple—the Kongobu-ji Temple—and the mountain is dotted with temples in 117 locations. A veritable mountain-top mecca 900 meters above sea level, over 30 percent of the population of people living on the mountain are priests. Of particular note is the Danjogaran, a temple first built when Kukai opened his main dojo for his esoteric Shingon teachings. The temple grounds contain 19 buildings, including the Konpon Daito tower and gorgeous main sanctuary.
  • Nachi Waterfall (Hiro Jinja Shrine)
    rating-image
    4.0
    114 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Higashimurogunnachikatsurachou Nachisan
    This betsugu (associated shrine) of Kumano Nachi Taisha honors the deity of the Nachi-no-Taki waterfall. Boasting Japan’s largest uninterrupted drop of 133 meters, the waterfall is 13 meters wide and has a plunge basin with a depth of 10 meters. It is lit up a night during New Year’s Eve and is one of Japan’s top three waterfalls. Close to the waterfall is a viewing area where visitors can drink water from the plunge basin which is said to be water for longevity.

    This whole area is just a fantasy land for the eyes. Such beauty everywhere and then there is this beautiful shrine next to the waterfall. Don't miss walking over here if you are in the area, totally...

  • Wakayama Castle
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama prefecture Wakayama city 1-3
    This famous castle belonged to the Kishu Tokugawa family, one of the “Tokugawa Gosanke” families. It has been beloved by many as a symbol of Wakayama for ages. The Okaguchi Gate, which was made a Nationally Designated Important Cultural Property, as well as the stone wall constructed with Kishu-specialty blue stone (chlorite-schist) in the Nozura-zumi style, still maintain their original structures. From the castle tower constructed by citizens in 1958 after the war, you can see the Kinokawa River, the Wakayama cityscape, and more. Many visitors come during the cherry blossom and fall foliage seasons as well. Inside the castle tower, many items associated with the Tokugawa family are on display.
  • Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine
    rating-image
    4.5
    524 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Higashimurogunnachikatsurachou Nachisan 1
    One of the Three Head Kumano Shrines which serve as the headquarters of all Kumano shrines nationwide. Unlike the other two, however, the origin of this shrine lies in a primeval faith which sees the Nachi Falls deep in the mountains as sacred. At the affiliated Hiro-jinja Shrine, the falls themselves are worshipped, and since ancient times this shrine has been visited by numerous faithful and other visitors asking for a long life. Visitors can drink the water at the falls’ basin from a platform directly in front of the falls; the water is said to give longevity. The shrine’s grounds contain six vermillion lacquered buildings such as the main nave, hall of worship, and treasure house, as well as numerous other points of note such as the Stone of the Yatagarasu (a mythical three-legged crow), and a massive 850-year-old tree planted by the noble Taira no Shigemori.

    What an unopportunity! It's under renovation so the front of shrine was covered with canvas and scaffolding but There is a small path to let I see part of this grand shrine. Nearby Seigantoji temple...

  • Kumano Hayatama Taisha Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Shingushi Shingu 1
    One of the Three Head Kumano Shrines which serve as the headquarters of all Kumano shrines nationwide, rare and unusual festivals are held here, such as the Torch Festival, which involves men dressed in white garb carrying lit torches and racing down the shrine’s steep stone steps. A central location in the Kumano faith, which seeks to achieve self-enlightenment through penance conducted along the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage, the shrine is dedicated to the god Kumano Hayatama. The shrine also worships Ketsumiko no okami and Fusumi no okami, and houses and displays some 1,200 ancient treasures, including designated National Treasures. A great nagi tree over 1,000 years old spreads its branches over the grounds, and the shrine’s charms for providing luck with love and marriage are made with nagi seeds.
  • Okunoin Temple
    rating-image
    5.0
    1082 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan
    "One of the Two Great Holy Sites of Mt. Koyasan, this land is where Kukai (Kobo Daishi) died while meditating. There is also a mausoleum where Kukai is said to still be meditating today. On the two-kilometer approach path that connects to the mausoleum features cedar trees which are 700 years old, as well as over 200,000 gravestones and memorial monuments of royalty to commoners. The toro lantern tower in front of the mausoleum is a must-see. At the front on the inside, the Kishin lanterns devoted by Kishin shonin and the Shirakawa lanterns devoted by the Emperor Shirakawa have remained burning for over 1000 years as an ""unquenched flame."" The area ahead of the Gobyo bridge closest to the mausoleum is holy land, so taking photographs is prohibited."

    I spent several hours wandering around Okunoin cemetery and the nearby temple with a Buddhist monk on a private tour. It was absolutely worthwhile since I gained understanding of the history and...

  • Seiganto-ji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Higashimurogunnachikatsurachou Nachisan 8
    A Tendai sect Buddhist temple which is the first station on the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage. Once a great Shugendo Shinto-Buddhist temple dedicated to Nachi Falls, it was divided into the Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine and Seiganto-ji Temple with the official order separating Buddhism and Shintoism in the country. The temple has long been a holy place in the Kumano faith, which seeks self-enlightenment through the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage. The temple’s main object of worship, a figure of Cintamanicakra, is said to have been found at the basin of Nachi Falls and enshrined here by Ragyo, a priest who came to Japan from India during the reign of Emperor Nintoku (313-399). The vermillion three-tier pagoda behind the main temple nave harmonizes with the falls and creates a beautiful (and popular) photo spot.
  • Kongoho-ji Gokoku-in (Kimiidera Temple)
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Wakayamashi Kimidera 1201
    This temple in Kimiidera Temple, Wakayama, was originally founded in 770 AD by Ikou shounin, a travelling priest from China. The two-story pagoda, bell tower, and tower gate on the grounds have been designated Important Cultural Properties of Japan. There are also 500 cherry trees planted on the grounds that are known for being early bloomers. One of the cherry blossom trees planted before the main hall of the temple is used as one of the specimen trees to determine the cherry blossom season.
  • Sandanbeki
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunshirahamachou
    Extending out for about two kilometers, Sandanbeki features 50-meter tall large rock walls comprised of columnar joints and is a Place of Scenic Beauty for its precipitous cliffs. On top of the cliffs is a viewing platform which allows visitors to gaze out at the scenery of the magnificent Pacific Ocean. Also close to the viewing platform is a cave that, according to legend, is where Kumano pirates (and later Kumano navy members) hid their boats during the Genji and Heike battle. Inside the cave is Japan’s largest bronze statue of the goddess Benzaiten, and it is possible to ride an elevator down into the cave from the top of the cliffs.
  • Hashikuiiwa Rocks
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Prefecture Higashimuro-gun Kushimoto-cho Hashikui
    The Hashikuiiwa Rocks are about 40 rocks of various sizes in a row towering over the seashore from Kushimoto heading towards Oshima. The name comes from the fact that the row of rocks stretching for about 850 meters looks as though bridge piles have been left on the shore. At low tide visitors can walk to Bentenjima Islet which is nearly in the middle of the row. In addition to this sightseeing spot being selected as one of Japan’s 100 best places to watch the sunrise, as it is popular to watch the sun rise over the Hashikuiiwa Rocks, it has also been designated as a National Place of Scenic Beauty and a Natural Monument.
  • Niutsuhime Shrine
    rating-image
    4.5
    47 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkatsuragichou Kamiamano 230
    You’ll find this shrine along Prefectural Route 4 in Kamiamano, Katsuragi Town. Niutsuhime’s child is enshrined here, and it is said that Takanomiko, enshrined in the second hall, transformed into a hunter and led Kobo Daishi to Mt. Koya, who then borrowed Niutsuhime’s holy land to erect a shrine atop the mountain and teach the secrets of Shingon esoteric Buddhism. It is customary to worship here before ascending Mt. Koya.

    世界遺産の丹生都比売神社の紅葉を観に行ってきました。こちらの太鼓橋は風情があります。 午前10時に参拝したので、人も少なくてよかったです。

  • Oishi-kogen Highland
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Kaisougunkiminochou Nakada
    This highland area is spread between the towns of Aritagawa and Kimino. Surrounding the primary Oishigamine peak, elevation 870 meters, are pampas grasses inviting many visitors in early spring and during the autumn pampas grass season. The grasses are photogenic especially in the autumn dusk glow where they appear like shining gold. From the pinnacle, one can see the Izumi Mountain Range to the North, and Mt. Gomadan and other crests of inner Koya to the east. At night, one can even capture the star filled sky with the town lights in the backdrop. Because Koya can be reached by car, this is a spot that even a novice photographer feels like a professional.
  • Torodo (Lantern Hall)
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan 550
    "One of the Two Great Holy Sites of Mt. Koyasan, it was originally built as a hall of worship as a chapel of the mausoleum, and is located in front of the Gobyo (mausoleum) at ""Okuno-in"" where Kukai (Kobo Daishi) died while meditating. Inside, over 20,000 toro lanterns offered by worshipers hang bundled closely together. At the front on the inside, the Kishin lanterns devoted by Kishin shonin and the Shirakawa lanterns devoted by the Emperor Shirakawa have remained burning for over 1000 years as an ""unquenched flame."" In particular, the prayer lamp said to have been devoted by a girl called Oteru who sold her own hair for the Bodhi of her parents is also called ""the lantern of a poor girl."""
  • Kongobuji Temple
    rating-image
    4.5
    435 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan 132
    "The main temple of the Koyasan Shingon sect, this temple is the core of Mt. Koyasan, holy land of the Shingon Esoteric Buddhism founded by Kukai (Kobo Daishi). This place is functioned as temple office for the whole of Mt. Koyasan. The best features include the lacquer paintings of the Kano school and the Unkoku school in the main hall which has a characteristic cypress-thatched roof, and the ""Banryutei"" which is one of the largest stone gardens in the country. In this stone garden, the cloud sea is represented by white pebbles, while two dragons, male and female, are depicted protecting the inner shrine."

    A walk through this temple complex was very relaxing and was accompanied by young Buddhist priests chanting/praying at various buildings. The architecture is quite amazing with structures that have...

  • Danjo Garan Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan 152
    Together with the Okunoin, one of the two most sacred sites on holy Mt. Koya. It is also the first site where the famed monk Kukai began building in order to erect his main dojo for his esoteric Shingon teachings. The temple is comprised of 19 buildings, including the Konpon Daito tower, the symbol of the temple; the main temple hall, and Goeido hall. The main temple hall, located in the center of the grounds, is the central temple nave of Mt. Koya and almost all of the most important ceremonies on the mountain are conducted here. The temple’s principle object of worship is a figure of Bhaisajyaguru; this statue is a hidden image and is not displayed to the general public.
  • Negoro-ji Temple Daito Great Tower
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Iwadeshi Negoro 2286 head temple Negoro-ji in
    Located on the grounds of the Negoro-ji Temple, a Shingi Shingon Buddhist temple established by Mt. Koya priest Kakuban, this 36-meter-tall tower is one of the largest such two tier wooden pagoda towers in Japan. Designed to represent the doctrines of Shingon Buddhism, the tower was completed in 1547. Thanks to Shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the tower escaped the fires of the Conquest of Kii Province, but the building still bears the marks of bullets fired from matchlock rifles. A designated National Treasure—visitors can also view the inside of the tower.
  • Koyasan Reihokan Museum
    rating-image
    4.5
    141 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan 306
    This facility preserves and displays invaluable Buddhist imagery and paintings from temples on Mt. Koya, such as the Kongobu-ji temple, the head temple of Shingon Buddhism. Opened in 1921, the museum's collection currently includes some 28 thousand important works of art, including 21 National Treasures, 143 Important Cultural Properties, and 16 Wakayama Prefecturally Designated Cultural Properties. During the extremely popular Great Treasure Hall Exhibition in summer, the museum displays the Eight Great Youths, a sculpture designated a National Treasure that was carved by Unkei, the greatest Buddhist imagery maker of the Kamakura period.

    While visiting the Koyasan complex, we decided to visit the museum to learn a bit more fo the context of the complex, as well as see some highly recommended statues, we were slightly disappointed...

  • Tokugawa-ke Reidai
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkouyachou Kouyasan 682
    Toshogu Shrine which enshrines Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo shogunate, and his son Tokugawa Hidetada, the second shogun. It used to be on the premises of Daitokuin, but in the Meiji period, Daitokuin merged with another temple and only this reidai was left behind. Facing the mausoleum, Ieyasu is on right side building while Hidetada is on the left. The structure was designed in hitoe hogyo-zukuri style and is 6.5 meters in both length and width, respectively, while the interior is lavishly decorated in lacquer and gold leaf.
  • Senjojiki
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunshirahamachou
    Facing the ocean from the tip of Setozaki Cape, Senjojiki is a vast bedrock formation that looks as though countless tatami mats were spread out along the shore. The formation is composed of soft white sandstone, and the magnificent scenery formed by waves hitting the shore over many years is truly overwhelming. This is also a popular spot to watch the sunset.

Wakayama Main Areas

around-area-map

Wakayama prefecture unites pilgrims, food lovers, and culture buffs in a tranquil corner of Japan at the base of the Kii Peninsula. The setting for many a Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail, Wakayama invites those in search of spirituality from one side of the prefecture to the other, from the 100-plus Buddhist temples of the sacred Mount Koya in the west to the inspiring temples of the Kumano Sanzan set among breathtaking nature in the east. Once the grueling hike is complete, make a beeline for Wakayama city to savor some of the country's most delicious ramen noodles.

Wakayama Photo Album

Browse Interests