Travel / Tourism Spots in Wakayama Area

  • Wakayama Castle
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    4.0
    694 Reviews
    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.

    Beautiful castle on a huge sight. Really big park. Will take a long time if you want to see it all. Actually, the best spot to take a photo of the castle is from down in the city. While you are in...

  • Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine
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    4.5
    636 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.

    One of the most pictorial spots in Japan. Beautiful view. It is far to get here, but it is worth it. When the waterfall flows full capacity, it is very impressive.

  • Kumano Hongu Taisha shrine
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    4.5
    545 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 shrine is very nice and even 3 of 5 parts are from origin (saved by the flood) , this worth it to come. You can smell the tree odor in this shrine. Roof are amazing

  • Kongobuji Temple
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    4.5
    504 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."

    Kongōbu-ji temple is quite big, with a nice entrance. It has several halls and alleys. Its free and its one of Koyasans highlights. When we were there, it was a rainy and cloudy day so we couldnt...

  • Seiganto-ji Temple
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    4.5
    277 Reviews
    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.

    I didnt venture in, but was all around it trying see best vantage point to incorporate it, the pagoda and falls into a good photo.

  • Koyasan Reihokan Museum
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    4.5
    162 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    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.

    Koyasan recently celebrated it 1200th anniversary, and some of the treasures in this museum are that old, loaned from some of the 100 monasteries on this mountain. The museum is small and so displays...

  • Kamikura-jinja Shrine
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    4.5
    201 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Shingushi Kamikura 1-13-8
    A Shinto shrine located in 1 Chome Kamikura, Shingu City. Situated on sacred ground where the god Kumano Omikami first descended to Earth. The Kodobiki Boulder, considered a sacred natural object and deity, is also located on the shrine grounds at the top of over 5000 natural stone steps. The Oto Matsuri, held each year on February 6, is an unusual festival in which white robed men carrying torches lit with a sacred flame run down a series of stone steps. The festival is designated an Important Intangible Folk-Cultural Property.

    the shrine is ok. the hike up is more interesting and abit taxing up rock steps which is pretty steep at some areas..

  • Taiji Whale Museum
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    4.0
    148 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Wakayama Pref. Higashimuroguntaijichou Taiji 2934-2
    A museum in Taiji, Taiji Town, Higashimuro County. Through various displays visitors can learn about the more than 400 year old relationship Taiji Town has had with whaling, as well as traditional whaling techniques, and the ecology of whales. Visitors can also watch the whales in action in dolphin and whale shows like the short-finned pilot whale show held in the natural pool built in the sea. The full scale skeleton of the world's largest animal, the blue whale, exhibited outdoors, is an impressive sight.

    Wish there was more English there. Interesting museum with show of dolphins and whales. I do not like shows of animals, so I did not stay for that.

  • Kokawa-dera Temple
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    4.0
    69 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Kinokawashi Kokawa 2787
    This temple is located in Kokawa, Kinokawa City. It is the third pilgrimage site of the “Saikoku Sanjusansho” pilgrimage that takes visitors to various holy sites associated with Kannon. It was constructed at the end of the Nara period in 770 by Otomo no Kujiko. The main temple building was rebuilt in 1720, and it features a very rare design that combines a single-roof worship hall with a double-roof main hall, making it an Important Cultural Property.

    We drove from Negoro-ji Temple to Kokawa-ji Temple, both of which stand at the southern foot of the Izumi Mountains north of the Kinokawa River. Kokawa-ji Temple is believed to have been established...

  •  Yunomine-oji ato
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Honguchouyunomine
    This shrine in Yunomine, Hongu-cho is one of the 99 Oji Shrines. On the nationally historic Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail, it's about five minutes on foot from Yunomine Onsen's Tsubo-yu hot spring. Located in the center of Yunomine Onsen, it was once next to Tokoji Temple, which honors Yumune Yakushi, a form of the Medicine Buddha. In 1903 the temple's Yakushido and the main shrine building burnt down, and the shrine was rebuilt in its current location on a hill. It's said the legendary Oguri Hangan found favor with the gods on his Kumano pilgrimage, and recovered from serious illness through the healing waters of Yunomine Onsen's hot springs. The shrine also holds a ceremony known as the Chigo Dance.
  • Turkish Museum
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    4.0
    86 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Higashimurogunkushimotochou Kashino 1025-25
    You’ll find this Turkish memorial building in Kushimoto Town of Higashimuro County, Wakayama Prefecture. The “Ertuğrul Fırkateyni,” a wooden battle cruiser from the Ottoman Empire bearing a special envoy, sank in 1890 in the Kumano Sea, resulting in 587 deaths. Thanks to the generous rescue efforts of the locals, Japan and Turkey have enjoyed warm relations ever since. The building contains materials related to the sunken vessel as well as models, mementos from the sailors, and more. You can see the crash site from the observation deck on the second floor.

    It is very interesting, unfortunately everything is in Japanese and Turkish only. However, they do have some papers that they can lent you (you can not take it) with all the information about the...

  • Sandanbeki Cave
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    4.0
    51 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunshirahamachou 2927-52
    This is a cave formed by years of sea erosion and is set into one of the famous sheer cliffs of Japan, the Sandanbeki cliff. It is a spot for invaluable study of fossilized ripples of stone caused by waves and currents, and rock crevasses surging with the tide. It is said that this cave was the hideout for the Kumano navy ships in the Genpei War during the Heian Period. Inside the cave is a restored Kumano navy barrack, and it enshrines Japan’s largest bronze benzaiten deity of water, the Muro-dai-benzaiten.

    Sandanbeki Cliff has two parts, both the inside and the outside. To access the underground caves, you would have to take an elevator down, and follow the path to see the different parts of the...

  • Roadside Station Susami
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    4.0
    54 Reviews
    Transportation
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunsusamichou Esumi 808-1
    Susami Roadside Station is located along National Route 42, about a 15-minute drive from the Susami Interchange or a five-minute walk from JR Esumi Station. A special attraction is the Susami Municipal Aquarium of Crab and Shrimp right next door. Just a five-minute drive farther along the road is Esuzaki Point, a National Natural Monument, one of the many nearby scattered scenic sightseeing attractions that make this area so wonderful. The restaurant's flagship dishes include Deep-Fried Local Lobster on Rice Dinner and Saury Sushi, and it also sells a unique Lettuce Dipping Sauce. Another shop on the premises sells freshly caught local fish.

    紀州名物のサンマの押し寿司を買うために寄った。コーヒースタンドでホットを買って、ついでに有田みかんソーダをお土産に買って帰った。

  • Nachi Waterfall (Hiro Jinja Shrine)
    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.
  • Dojo-ji Temple
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    4.5
    54 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Hidakagunhidakagawachou Kanemaki 1738
    Located in Kanemaki, Hidakagawa Town, this Buddhist temple was founded in 701 and is the oldest in Wakayama. The temple’s principal object of worship, a thousand-armed figure of Kannon, is over 1,300 years old and one of the oldest in Japan. This and two other designated National Treasures are housed in the temple’s treasure hall, as well as 11 Important Cultural Properties, and four prefecturally-designated Cultural Properties, all of which are viewable by visitors year-round.

    Famous spot due to the story of Antin and Kiyohime, the Dojoji temple, the most ancient in the Wakayama prefecture, is 1 hour away by train from the JR Wakayama station. One has to climb steps of...

  • Kudoyama Sanada Museum
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    4.0
    55 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkudoyamachou Kudoyama 1452-4
    A museum located in Kudoyama, Ito County, Wakayama Prefecture which opened in 2016 and which is dedicated to presenting the history of the Warring States period samurai Sanada Masayuki, his son Sanada Yukimura, and grandson Sanada Daisuke. Informational panels and videos present the life of Yukimura during his time in Kudoyama, the area where he spent the majority of his life. The museum also displays paintings and calligraphy by the three men as well as a folding screen which depicts Yukimura fighting in the summer campaign of the Siege of Osaka. In addition to a standing exhibition, the museum also holds special exhibitions irregularly.

    A nice arrangements of displays, mostly of information and illustrations on the wall with some artifacts from the past. No English brochure available but they had many of the wall displays with...

  • Underwater Observatory
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    4.0
    72 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Higashimuro-gun Kushimotocho Arida 1157 Kushimoto Underwater Park
    This observatory is located approximately a 20-minute drive from Susami-minami Interchange. It is situated inside Kushimoto Underwater Park, and there is a free shuttle bus that runs from the JR Kushimoto Station. As the name suggests, visitors can use the observatory to look underwater from above ground. The coastal area of Kushimoto is known as the world's northernmost coral colony registered in the Ramsar Convention. In addition to the table corals, there are also around 270 species of fish, including schools of Largescale Blackfish, which can be observed here. Depending on the temperature of the water, anywhere from 20 to 70 species of fish can be seen at a time. The facility is open all year round, and business hours are extended during long holidays.

    Dont just visit the aquarium. The giant turtles at the aquarium are a sight to behold but your visit is incomplete if you dont venture out, step onto the bridge, entered the Tower and go...

  • Road Station Aragi no Sato
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    3.5
    27 Reviews
    Transportation
    Wakayama Arida-gun Aridagawacho Mita 664-1
    "Located approximately 30 kilometers east from the Hanwa Expressway's Arita Interchange, about 50 minutes by car, this Roadside Station is close to Aragijima Island, chosen as one of the top 100 rice terraces in Japan, and is situated along National Route 480. At the direct sales office for processed forest and agricultural products, items such as fresh local vegetables, goods made with the Japanese pepper ""Budo Sansho"" that the area boasts the largest production for in all of Japan, as well as handmade Kishu Washi paper called ""Yasudagami"" are available for purchase. In the cafeteria, you can try out popular dishes such as healthy ""konnyaku udon noodles"" made with homemade konjac, and lunch sets featuring side dishes made with ample amounts of local produce."

    あらぎ島に行くときに立ち寄りました。 メチャクチャ大きい道の駅とは言いがたいですが、お土産コーナーと食堂があります。 あらぎ島に行くときはオススメです。

  • Roadside Station Okutoro
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    4.0
    24 Reviews
    Transportation
    Wakayama Pref. Higashimurogunkitayamamura Shimoi 335
    This roadside station is on National Route 169 in Yoshino-Kumano National Park. Located at the eastern edge of Wakayama Prefecture, it provides tourist information for the Kitayama Village area, has outdoor activity and sports facilities, a spa, and lodging. They also have a cultural area exhibiting artifacts from the Jomon period. Their Jabara Shokudo serves fare packed with the goodness of the local mountains, and their Jabaraya specialty shop sells woodwork and local specialty products. While it's a great rest stop on your drive through the mountains, it has so much to offer it's a destination in its own right.

    this was one of the best ideas we had while in Wakayama. at 6000yen each, it isnt too expensive, and at a good hour and a half on the water - definitely recommend. do bring spare shoes because yours...

  • Roadside Station Kushigaki no Sato
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    3.5
    12 Reviews
    Transportation
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkatsuragichou Taki 53-1
    Located along National Route 480, Kushigaki no Sato Roadside Station opened in 2017. Its primary mission is to serve as a community center for the local residents, and it offers a large rest area where visitors can eat and drink. In addition to specialties as dried persimmons, the roadside station deals in a wide variety of local food ingredients, which make suitable souvenirs of the area. Fukumimi Bakery, a branch of a bakery in Iwade City, sells varieties of bread that can be found nowhere else. There is also a restaurant where visitors can try Kishu Plum Udon, a variety of noodle with plums kneaded into the dough for noodles. The various shops at this roadside station are closed on different days.

    The Nabetani Tunnel newly opened to traffic, which has made the drive from Osaka to Mt. Koya easier, smoother, and faster. I found this roadside rest stop with a farmers market and a restaurant the...

Wakayama Areas

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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.

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