Nature Spots in Wakayama Area

  • Sandanbeki Cave
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    4.0
    49 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...

  • 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.
  • Cape Shionomisaki
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Higashimurogunkushimotochou Shionomisaki
    At latitude 33° 25′ 59″ North and longitude 135° 45′ 45″ East, this cape is on the southern most tip of Honshu island. The vast expanse of the sea making an arc at the horizon is a site to see, especially at sunset when the whole sky is painted in coral colors. From the nearby observatory, Mt. Nachi can be seen.
  • Kino Matsushima
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    4.0
    52 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Higashimuro-gun Nachikatsuuracho Katsuura
    The boarding location for this tour boat is located approximately a five-minute walk from the JR Kii-Katsuura Station. It visits the unusual rock formations scattered outside Katsuura Port. The name, Kinomatsushima, refers to the beauty of the location, which is comparable to that of Matsushima, one of the three most scenic spots in Japan. Customers can board two types of tour boat and visit around the unusual shaped islands such as the Camel rock which has the camel-like hump as the name suggests, the Lion Island with green bushes on the top which looks like mane of a lion , the Cave of Tsurushima Island, the Yamanari Island where Taira no Koremori is said to have drowned himself. The course of the tour boats may change depending on the season and weather.

    I was snapping photos, hoping some came out while shooting into the sun, but the landscape was outstanding.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Engetsu Island (Takashima)
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunshirahamachou
    Engetsu Island, officially named “Takashima” and locally seen as a symbol of Shirahama, is a small island floating off Rinkaiura Beach. The island is 130 meters long north to south, 35 meters east to west, and is 25 meters tall at its highest point. The island has come to be known as Engetsu, meaning “full moon,” due to the round, full moon-like hole in the center of the island which has formed due to marine erosion. Also a well-known the beauty of its sunset, the island as been selected as having one of the 100 best sunsets in Wakayama Prefecture. Sunset occurs around 6:30 pm in summer and 4:30 pm in winter. During the spring and autumn equinox, visitors can enjoy the site of the setting sun passing perfectly through the island’s hole.
  • Tomogashima
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Wakayamashi Kada
    The general name for the four islands, Jinoshima, Torajima, Kamishima, and Okinoshima, between Wakayama Prefecture and Awajishima Island. On the uninhabited Okinoshima there are the remains of numerous forts giving it a look similar to the animated movie “Laputa: Castle in the Sky.” The azure sea surrounding the islands is beautiful and the walking course is popular.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Obara Cave Dinosaur Land & Gokuraku Cavern
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    3.0
    7 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Itogunkatsuragichou Hanazonoyanase 1020
    "This is a cavern where one can encounter a dinosaur experience just 20 minutes by car from the Hanazono branch of Katsuragi-cho town office. Two dinosaurs greet you at the gate of the cavern labyrinth. Once inside, the diorama corner displays dioramas of Triceratops and Pteranodons, and one can pass on through the cool maze of fluorescent minerals through the ‘glowing tunnel’ while enjoying the various Jurassic displays. In the Gokuraku-do (paradise cave), visitors can experience the world after death in Buddhism by walking along the passages leading either to ""paradise"" or ""hell"" themed areas. Besides, 200,000 kerria bushes which reach their peak bloom around the long holiday in May."

    恐竜ランドに行くまでは、恐竜の化石が発掘されたといった経緯があって作られたと施設だと、勝手に思っていましたが、全く関係なく、小原鉱山の廃坑を利用して村の活性化のために作られたものでした。中の蛍光石は天然ではなく展示品で、ちょっと残念でした。

  • Enjugahama Beach
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama prefecture Hidaka gun Mihama cho
    Enjugahama Beach is a crescent-shaped beach 4.6 kilometers long and 500 meters wide between the mouth of the Hidakagawa River and Cape Hino-misaki. The first feudal lord of Kii Province, Tokugawa Yorinobu, planted a forest of black pines along the length of the beach to prevent salt damage. It is a well-known scenic spot in Wakayama Prefecture, and it has been selected as one of the 100 best combinations of white sand beaches and pine forests in Japan.
  • Point Saika
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Wakayamashi Saikazaki 629
    This coastal area is a part of Wakanoura, but is called Oku-Wakaura. This is the only remaining natural beach in Wakanoura. The view from the Point Saika lighthouse is a wonderful sight. On a clear day, one can see not only Awaji Island, but even as far as the islands dotting the Seto Inland Sea.
  • Kizetsukyo Gorge
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Kamiakidu
    This gorge, located at the upper end of Aizu River that runs through the center of Tanabe City is dotted with magnificent and unusually shaped boulders. It is well loved for its beautiful foliage in the autumn, and its fresh green foliage in the spring. The famous Waterfall of Akagi, (where the Fudo deity is enshrined), and the cliffs far above the falls where Magai Buddha is engraved is a sight to see.
  • Kada Coast
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Wakayamashi Kada
    Facing the Kitan Channel, the attraction of this beach is its beautiful shoreline. Located facing the Kada Bay, this coast features a natural sandy beach not formed by landfill. In the summer, the coast is used as a shoal beach for swimmers, and on a clear day Awajishima Island can be seen. Camping and barbecue pits are allowed here, with one of its attractions being that tents and other rentals including reservations for meals can be made so one can enjoy camping without all the preparation. There are many other sites to visit nearby, including the Awashima-jinja Shrine where the deities are enshrined for marriage and safe baby delivery, and other hot spring facilities.
  • Kataonami Beach
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Wakayamashi Wakauraminami
    Extoled even in the Manyoshu, the ancient anthology of poems, these exquisite 1200-meter long white sandbank is part of the Wakanoura Bay. The sandbank, extending to 100 meters, accommodates many beach visitors in the summer. So popular has this site been that it was awarded special selection status in the seas category for Top 100 Most Comfortable Beaches by the Ministry of the Environment in 2006. With the nearby Kataonami Park nearby, the beach is a delightful spot for walks and dates even in off-season. Only 10 kilometers from the Hanwa Expressway Wakayama Interchange, it is an easily accessible beach.
  • Cape Tenjinzaki
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Tenjinzaki
    This cape, jutting into the north side of the Tanabe Bay, is formed of the 20 hectares of coastal woods and 21 hectares of rocky reef. Comprising a unique eco-system of forest, rocky beach and ocean, both sea and land flora and fauna are squeezed into this strip of land. Due to Japan’s black current, this cape maintains a year round mild climate, making it a prime location for studying and enjoying the plant and animal life common to the southern hemisphere. Quickly gaining notoriety through national trust movements, the cape has come to be endeared also for its beautiful sunsets that can be seen painting the horizon.
  • Cape Hinomisaki
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Hidakagunmihamachou Mio
    This cape is the most westerly cape of Wakayama Prefecture. The whole area is preserved as the Cape Hinomisaki Park in which the Cape Hinomisaki lighthouse is an ideal site for overlooking the Kisyu-nada (sea off the coast of Kishu) and the Pacific Ocean. In addition to taking in the Onarutobashi Bridge and Awajishima Island beyond the Kii Channel, the expansive view selected as one of Wakayama’s Top 100 Sites for Scenic Sunrises and Sunsets can be relished. With over 2,000 Yoshino and Yamazakura cherry trees planted here, one of the attractions is the beauty of the contrast seen in the delicate pink cherry blossoms against the dark ocean blue.
  • Dorokyo Gorge
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama
    This massive gorge straddling the borders of Nara Prefecture, Mie Prefecture, and Wakayama Prefecture in Yoshino-Kumano National Park has been designated as a National Special Place of Scenic Beauty. The gorge is divided into two parts, Kamidoro and Shimodoro, at the upstream of the Kitayama River. The downmost part of Shimodoro, also known as Dorohaccho, has a particular majestic beauty thanks to the boulders and unusual rock formations that line it. The two-hour jet boat cruises (round-trip) are an especially popular attraction. Passengers can enjoy the deep and mystical cobalt blue water , its rugged sheer cliffs, and its magnificent boulders.
  • Mt. Gomadanzan
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Ryujinmuraryujin
    Mt. Gomadan is located on the border between Wakayama and Nara prefectures. Called the roof of Kii region, legend holds that Koremori of the Taira clan, defeated at the Genpei battle at Yashima, offered goma sticks to invoke good fortune for the Taira clan on this peak. Standing at 1,300-meter elevation, this spot provide exquisite scenic views of fresh verdure in the spring and vibrant autumn colors of yellow and red in the autumn. In winter, the snowscape and frost covered trees may be enjoyed. Chosen as one of Wakayama’s top 100 sites for scenic sunrises and sunsets, the expansive view from the Roadside Station Gomasan Skytower is a sight to see.

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.

Wakayama Photo Album

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