Spots in Shirahama / Ryujin / Kumano / Nachi Area

  • Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine
    rating-image
    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
    rating-image
    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

  • Seiganto-ji Temple
    rating-image
    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.

  • Adventure World
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunshirahamachou Katata 2399
    This entertainment complex opened in 1978 focusing on the theme of interaction between people, animals, and nature includes a theme park, aquarium, and zoo. The zoo has succeeded in breading a total of 12 pandas, the greatest number outside China itself. In the popular Panda Love exhibit, daily backyard tours are held (advance reservation required). In the Safari World, visitors can view the animals up close in environments close to their natural habitats from vehicles such as a special bus. There are also walkable areas to stroll through. During the summer break period, the park remains open in the evening as well.
  • Kamikura-jinja Shrine
    rating-image
    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
    rating-image
    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.

  • Shirahama Aquarium, Kyoto University
    rating-image
    4.0
    122 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunshirahamachou 459
    This aquarium is annexed to the Kyoto University marine laboratory, and it’s open to the public for a fee. There are four different exhibits, with sharks, rays, large migratory fish, species from the neighboring waters, freshwater fish, and more on display. It also has one of the country’s best collections of invertebrates, including sea anemones, sea cucumbers, and more. There’s a 250-ton tank as well, making this a popular tourist spot. It’s also great for academic study.

    This is an aquarium located in the marine station of Kyoto University. Its small, but highly educational. Professors take time to curate maybe during weekdays. Entrance fee is only 600¥, free for...

  •  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
    rating-image
    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
    rating-image
    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
    rating-image
    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。

  • Nanki Shirahama Toretore Market
    Shopping
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunshirahamachou Katata 2521
    Located in Shirahama Town, Nishimuro County, Wakayama Prefecture, Toretore Market is one of the largest seafood markets in western Japan and is operated by the local Katata Fishery Cooperative. Boasting grounds some 50 thousand square meters in size, the market is filled with fresh seafood not only from Wakayama but around the country. A diverse array of processed goods, meats, vegetables, and even Wakayama souvenirs are sold here, and the market bustles constantly with visitors. Market highlights include the giant tanks filled with fish swimming around while waiting to be sold and the popular tuna butchering shows. Visitors can eat sushi and seafood rice bowls at Toretore Yokocho; the market’s seafood barbecue is also popular.
  • 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.
  • Katsuura Fishing Port Nigiwai Market
    rating-image
    4.0
    44 Reviews
    Shopping
    Wakayama Pref. Higashimurogunnachikatsurachou Tsukiji 7-12
    A fishing port located in Nachikatsuura Town, a part of the Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range World Heritage Site. The port serves as a base for tuna longline fishing and boasts the greatest catches of fresh tuna in Japan. Tuna auctions are also held here early in the morning, and visitors can watch this taking place from a second-floor observation deck. The Katsuura Fishing Port Nigiwai Market is held at the port every Sunday morning. Visitors to the market can purchase fresh seafood at bargain prices. In addition, the Nankikatsuura Onsen hot spring district is located right next door, making it easy to plan a fun-filled sightseeing route.

    Went in after the tuna auction for some fresh quality tuna. Did not disappoint ! Its a very small market with around 15-20 shops. But their food s great ! Outdoor dining area available as well

  • Yunomine Onsen Tsuboyu
    rating-image
    4.0
    22 Reviews
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Honguchouyunomine 110
    A public bathhouse located in the almost exact center of the Yunomine hot spring district through which passes the Kumano Highway. This unusual hot spring is also registered as part of the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Routes World Heritage Site as it is used by pilgrims to ritually purify them. The bathhouse’ bath is quite simple in construction, consisting of a natural stone bathing tub and wood board walls. Only around two to three people can enter at a time; there is no separate men’s or women’s bath. The rules for usage of the bath are as follows: Bathers get a numbered ticket at the entrance to the hot spring district and, when their number comes up, may bathe in the tub for 30 minutes before they must leave and the next group of bathers is allowed to enter. The nice thing about this system is that during their time, a group has the bath all to themselves. As the waters of the tub naturally change color several times throughout the day, the bath is known as a “seven colored bath.” The legend of Oguri Hangan is also connected to the bath.

    30 minutes in the oldest hot spring in Japan, why not? Could not have chance to see how the water change coulor 7 times per day but really enjoyed to soaked my body in here, watch out for centipedes...

  • Katata no Yu
    rating-image
    3.5
    79 Reviews
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Wakayama Nishimuro-gun Shirahamacho 2498-1 Toretore Tei
    Katata no Yu is a hot spring resort for day use adjacent to Toretoretei restaurant near the edge of Shirahama Town. Visitors can reach it by taking the Shirahama Highway from the Tazuru Intersection on National Route 42 in Shinjo-cho, Tanabe City. The baths feature nano water, good for hot bath therapy, moisture retention, and permeation. Visitors can enjoy mixed bathing either indoors or outdoors. This spring is a, simple bicarbonate (mildly hypotonic high temperature) hot spring whose waters have a reputation for having a soft, moist feel like skin lotion and for not cooling off. They are effective against burns, wounds, chronic skin diseases, chronic gynecological conditions, rheumatism, nervous disorders, and nerve inflammation. Visitors can choose to use the facility only for bathing.

    I absolutely loved this place! We arrived after 1pm which was written on a stub placed on our table. The restaurant didnt appear too crowded even though it was the weekend (Saturday). If you...

  • Underwater Observatory
    rating-image
    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...

  • Ryujin Onsen Motoyu
    rating-image
    4.0
    7 Reviews
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Ryujinmuraryujin 37
    At this public facility, you can enjoy soaking in water from Ryujin Onsen, known as one of the three most beautiful hot springs in Japan. Located in Ryujin Village, Tanabe City, Wakayama Prefecture. The free-flowing hot spring water is changed daily and has a nice cleansing feeling. The indoor baths include cypress baths and rock baths, and the open-air bath offers a great view of the mountain stream. It is open until 9 p.m., so you can enjoy stargazing as you bathe. There’s a lodging facility next door as well.

    源泉掛け流しだけかと思ったら、循環もありちょっと残念。露天はしっかり循環と書かれていた。内湯は循環では無いらしいが、加温しているらしい。しかし、湯は良かった。

  • Fisherman’s Wharf Shirahama
    rating-image
    4.0
    48 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunshirahamachou 1667-22
    This leisure and resort area in Shirahama Town, Nishimuro County of Wakayama Prefecture has a fresh seafood market operated by local fishers, a restaurant, and a diving base. Visitors enjoy eating the freshly caught fish and shellfish, displayed on the stalls, right there on the spot. One can enjoy Japanese food, Italian, or seafood barbecue from the four restaurant shops on the wharf. Divers can choose from various course levels; from a easy diving encounter, up to boat diving for more experienced divers. Even beginners can safely try diving here at the Nanki Shirahama waters.

    This spot is next to the beach and relatively easy to find. It serves good seafood dons. So if you are around, it is a good lunch spot. Seafood was fresh and reasonable price.

  • Aquarium of Crab and Shrimp
    rating-image
    4.0
    33 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunsusamichou Esumi 808-1
    "This aquarium is about eight minutes on foot from Esumi Station. Re-purposing the former Esumi Junior High School, it's home to about 150 varieties of crustaceans, including shrimp and crabs. Their ""Seafloor Exploration Sub"" is a tank with small shrimp and crabs modeled on a submarine. They also have unusual varieties like the Tasmanian Giant Crab, one of the largest in the world. The Susami Ocean Tank has a reproduction of the Guinness World Record holding mail box on the ocean floor, and their Marine Environment Learning Center conducts seasonal experiments with the creatures there."

    We are glad to have visited this aquarium which mainly habitats shrimp and crabs. Its small but interesting since a lot of these species of crustaceans I had never seen before. I particularly like...

Wakayama 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