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Spots in Shirahama / Ryujin / Kumano / Nachi Area

  • 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.
  • Kumano Hongu Taisha shrine
    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...

  • Nanki Shirahama Toretore Market
    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)
    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...

  • Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine
    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.
  • Shirarahama Beach
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunshirahamachou
    A beautiful swimming beach considered one of the best of the Kinki region whose white sands stretch for 640 meters. Generally opened to the public around May 3 each year, the earliest on the main island of Honshu, the beach is popular for its equatorial beach resort-like atmosphere. In addition, Shirasuna, a large, pool-like mixed sex open-air bath (bathing suit required) is open year-round and can be used as a foot bath in winter.
  • Ryujin Onsen Motoyu
    1 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.

    車かバスで来ることになります。熊野本宮大社から2時間半くらい、紀伊田辺駅から1時間半弱。7-21時まで、大人700円、小人350円。小さな休憩所は飲料とマッサージチェアのみ、食事はありません。女性は3階、男性は1階に分かれてて、男性の露天風呂は角度(位置)によって歩道から見えてしまいます。露天ですが、囲いが高く、川は見えません。 リンスインシャンプー、ボディソープ、ドライヤー有り。綿棒やティッシュ...

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tanabe, Wakayama Prefecture other
    This ancient pilgrimage route, also called the Kumano Sankeido, visits the Three Head Kumano Shrines—the Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine, Kumano Hayatama Taisha Shrine, and Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine. Starting in ancient times, the Kumano faith grew strong throughout the centuries, and countless people of all classes, from emperors and nobles to samurai and commoners have traveled this pilgrimage route. Due to the heavy rains in the area, the route’s stone paving still remains exposed in some areas, such as Daimon-zaka. A nationally designated Historic Site, a portion is also registered a World Heritage Site as part of the Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range.
  • Kawayu Hot Spring Sennin-buro River Bath
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Honguchoukawayu
    This large open-air bath is formed by the mixing of the waters of the Oto River, a tributary of the Kumano River, with an over 70-degree hot spring continuously welling forth from the riverbed. Only usable from December until the end of February, the bath is familiar to many Japanese as a poetic image of winter. Bathing is free but mixed sex; accordingly, unlike most hot spring baths in Japan, it is acceptable to wear a bathing suit. On clear days, visitors can enjoy the sun or a star-filled sky during their bath, giving you an unprecedented sense of freedom and openness. Note that the bath may not be available for use due to weather or water levels.
  • Watarase Onsen Dairotenburo large open-air bath
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Honguchouwataze 45-1
    The largest open-air bath in Western Japan, situated on the grounds of a large hot spring inn. Non-guests can also enjoy a day trip of bathing in the inn’s baths. This natural hot spring bath is continuously filled from a hot spring source famed for its beautifying properties. In addition to the open-air bath, the inn’s popular reservable private open-air bath for families is also usable by non-guests. In the dining hall adjoining the open-air bath, visitors can enjoy mehari-zushi, a Kumano specialty of rice balls wrapped in mustard leaves, as well as onsen rice porridge.
  • Yunomine Onsen public bath
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Honguchouyunomine 110
    The Yunomine hot spring was discovered by the regional administrator of Kumano, Oato no Sukune, around the fourth century, and is known as Japan’s oldest onsen. The hot spring is also famous as having been used by emperors throughout history to purify themselves when they came to visit the temples of Kumano, and since ancient times the hot spring has flourished with worshipers coming to see Kumano’s temples. The public bathhouse is located in the center of the area. There is a general bath, medicinal bath, reservable private bath, and relaxation bath. The Tsuboyu, a rock bath registered as a World Heritage Site, is located nearby. This bath is a popular tourist attraction thanks to its color changing properties—depending on conditions, the bath’s waters may change colors several times in a day, leading to its nickname, the “Seven Color Bath.” Visitors can also purchase hot spring water to take home with them.
  • 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.
  • Saki-no-yu Hot Spring
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunshirahamachou 1668
    Together with Arima Onsen and Dogo Onsen, Shirahama Onsen is considered one of the best hot spring areas in Japan, and this particularly hot spring bathing facility boasts 1,350 years of history. Saki-noyu Hot Spring even appears in the Nihon Shoki and the Man’yoshu, Japan’s two oldest collections of poetry. It is recorded that the hot spring was frequented by emperors and the nobility. The open-air bath has been considered one of the seven great hot spring baths in the area since ancient times. Located so close to the sea you can get sprayed by the crashing waves, bathers can enjoy the hot waters while gazing out over the majestic Pacific Ocean.
  • Shirarayu
    16 Reviews
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunshirahamachou Shirahama 3313-1
    A hot spring which retains an old fashioned public bath house feel located along the popular Shirarahama Beach. An old fashioned attendant’s booth stands at the entrance. Bathers can look out over the white sands and blue ocean nearby from spacious windows, giving the baths an airy, open feel. In summer, the bath house bustles with swimmers from the beach cleaning up before heading home.


  • Muronoyu
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunshirahamachou Yuzaki 1665
    Together with Arima Onsen and Dogo Onsen, Shirahama Onsen is considered one of the best hot spring areas in Japan, and, like the Saki-noyu Hot Spring, this hot spring bath facility’s outdoor bath has been considered one of the seven great hot spring baths in the area since ancient times. Boasting 1,350 years of history, Muronoyu even appears in the Nihon Shoki and the Man’yoshu, Japan’s two oldest collections of poetry, and it is recorded that it was frequented by emperors and the nobility. There are two baths in the bathing area, one filled from the Mabuyu hot spring and one from the Miyuki hot spring, giving bathers the chance to enjoy the unique properties of both.
  • 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.
  • Kashinozaki Lighthouse
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Higashimurogunkushimotochou Kashino
    Standing atop the Kashino cliffs, this is Japan’s oldest lighthouse with a still working light. When ships from all over the world began visiting Japan after the country’s borders opened, this lighthouse was constructed according to a design by British engineer Richard Henry Brunton. The daffodils that bloom profusely on the premises are said to have been planted by the British engineers to remind them of their hometown.

Wakayama Main Areas


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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