Spots in Shirahama / Ryujin / Kumano / Nachi Area

  • Kumano Hongu Taisha shrine
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    4.5
    534 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

  • Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine
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    4.5
    616 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.

    It takes 20-30 minutes walk either by stairs or walking up to get to the temple but its all worth it. You can see the temple with nachi falls as the background. There is Kwan Im statue as well.

  • Seiganto-ji Temple
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    4.5
    269 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
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    4.0
    25 Reviews
    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.

    リブロースステーキセット、あらびきハンバーグセット、ライオンポテト、生ビール(大)コーラ、で¥6500ほどでした。ファミレスで言うならロイホっぽい価格帯。味は悪くなくごはんの炊き具合も良かったです。 テーブルクロスが塗り絵になっているのですが、色鉛筆が尖っていないタイプなので色鉛筆を持ち込むとよりお子さんも喜ぶと思います。

  • Nanki Shirahama Toretore Market
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    3.5
    26 Reviews
    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.

    We went there after lunch and we realized we should have come here for lunch. There were BBQ facility (you have to pay to use) to cook the very fresh seafood caught locally (you must buy them there...

  • Kamikura-jinja Shrine
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    4.5
    193 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..

  • Shirahama Aquarium, Kyoto University
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    4.0
    117 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...

  • Hiro-jinja Shrine
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    4.0
    133 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Higashimuro-gun Nachikatsuuracho Nachisan
    A 20-minute drive from JR Kii-Katsuura Station. This Shinto shrine is a subordinate shrine to Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine, counted among the Three Main Kumano Shrines; Nachi Falls is the shrine's shintai, or object of worship. The shrine has no front shrine and instead visitors worship in an area around 200 meters in front of the waterfall. Accordingly, visitors may participate in a formal prayer service not only in the Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine's Honden but also here in front of the waterfall; and after the 30-minute service is over, participants can listen to a lecture on the history of the shrine. The shrine sells lucky charms depicting a dragon god based on an ancient legend that a dragon lives in the falls.

    It sure gives you perspective on how high the falls are when you reach it foot; you have an opportunity to try some of the water.

  • 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.
  •  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
    82 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.

    If youre in the area make a visit to this museum. The museum itself is quite small, with some nice artefacts. The scenery/view from the balcony is great:the rocks are still visible, just like in...

  • 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...

  • Shirahama Submarine Observation Tower
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    3.0
    105 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunshirahamachou 1821
    This all-weather observatory is about 100 meters off the coast from Hotel Seamore and about 20 minutes by car from Shirahama Station. About 18 meters high and stretching 8 meters under water, you can observe about 30 kinds of fish including black porgies and largescale blackfish from its 12 windows. The air bubbles rising from the sea bed are said to be where a hot spring comes to the surface. A picture panel of the fish you'll see will help you identify them. The observation tower has a pleasant breeze and a great view that looks out to the vast stretch of the horizon.

    I went to visit this observatory deck with my family (I chose friends since we were not with kids nor teenagers) and the place was good. If you want to see the actual thing and is having hydro...

  • Roadside Station Susami
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    4.0
    51 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.

    夜9時半に到着し、明け方まで仮眠しました。 道の駅は閉まっていましたが、トイレは外にもあるので利用可能。 翌日お昼頃に戻ってきたときは車が満車に近い状態で、道の駅内も混んでいました。 エビとカニの水族館というところと併用のせいかもしれません。

  • Minakata Kumagusu Museum
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    4.5
    81 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunshirahamachou 3601-1
    This museum uses written and other materials to present the achievements of Kumagusu Minakata, natural historian and folklorist from Wakayama Prefecture. The museum displays over 700 items, including his beloved glasses, research equipment, and samples of plants collected overseas. There is also an exhibit where visitors can view via microscope the slime mold Minakata gave a lecture on to Emperor Hirohito. Located on the tip of a peninsula, the 360-degree panoramic view from the museum’s roof is stunning. (Note: The museum is currently closes for construction. The main and new buildings are scheduled to open March 19, 2017.)

    Prior to this visit to Japan, I had never heard of this remarkable man. He spent many years traveling, living in the USA and London before returning home. He did much research on slime molds and also...

  • Chikatsuyu Onsen, Hisui no Yu
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    4.5
    72 Reviews
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Wakayama Tanabe-shi Nakahechicho Chikatsuyu 401-12
    This is a hot spring facility for day use located a 60-minute drive from the Nanki Tanabe Interchange on the Hanwa Expressway via National Routes 42 and 311. It is in the heart of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail country, in a corner of the former shrine site known as Chikatsuyu Oji. Deep in the mountains and surrounded by abundant natural beauty, it offers a view of the Hikigawa River from the window of the bath. The water in the baths is sourced from a gently alkaline spring with a slightly oily texture and is said to impart a healthy shine to black hair. There are only indoor baths for both men and women, but the water is piped in directly from the spring (although heated a bit, since the spring is lukewarm in its natural state). The water contains sodium, hydrogen carbonate, and chloride spring. Customers can dine at the adjoining minshuku (family-owned inn), Chikatsuyu.

    our second nights stay on the kumano kudo self guided hike. the address for this spot is listed as tanabe, although the settlement is chikatsuyu. as it had been a long 4 hour + hike we didnt...

  • Ryujin Onsen Motoyu
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    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。

  • Katsuura Fishing Port Nigiwai Market
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    4.0
    42 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

  • Underwater Observatory
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    4.0
    73 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...

  • Fisherman’s Wharf Shirahama
    Shopping
    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.

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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