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History / Culture / Tour Spots in Shirahama / Ryujin / Kumano / Nachi Area

  • Kumano Hongu Taisha shrine
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    4.5
    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...

  • Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine
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    4.5
    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.
  • 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.
  • Obaku-shu Gokokuzan Tokoji  Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Tanabe, Wakayama Prefecture hongu Yunomine 113
    A Tendai Buddhist temple located in the Yunomine Onsen area. The temple’s principle object of worship, the three-meter-tall Yunomine Healing Buddha, is said to be mineral deposits from the surrounding hot spring waters which accumulated and took the shape of a Buddha. Some 1,800 years ago, it is said that the famed priest Ragyo discovered the hot spring waters welling forth from a hole in the chest of Bhaisajyaguru, the Healing Buddha. Each year, the Eight Day Festival of Bhaisajyaguru is held on January 8. During the festival, hot spring water is offered in prayer for the prosperity of Yunomine Onsen and the fulfillment of the wishes of worshipers.
  • Shirahama Energy Land
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    3.5
    101 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunshirahamachou 3083
    Come experience this mystery filled theme park centered around ''People and Natural Energy!'' Try a variety challenges to overcome including The Maze, or Solar Town where you can learn all about renewable energy. Check out the mysterious pictures that fool your eyes with optical illusions in the Trick Art House. With these and many more there are a lot of ways to have fun while learning!

    Went in the afternoon and a couple of hours was all we needed. Interactive and educational. A little dated but still managed to amuse my teenager.

  • Kishu Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Wakayama Pref. Nishimurogunshirahamachou 2054-4
    An art museum located at the entrance to Hirasogen Park offering a sweeping via of the Shirahama Onsen area. Opened in 1973, the museum boasts a collection of over 1,300 pieces built around artworks collected by the Kotake family, a distinguished family from the former Kii Province, over a period of some 400 years. Although small in size, the museum has numerous points of note, including a complete collection of Hiroshige's Fifty-three Stations of the Tōkaidō as well as other ukiyo-e prints by him and such famed artists as Utamaro, Sharaku, and Hokusai. The museum also boasts what is deemed the greatest collection of ancient Karatsu ware in Japan.
  • Minakata Kumagusu Museum
    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.)
  • Oyunohara
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Honguchouhongu
    "Oyunohara is a historic location that was the original site of the Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine in Hongu Town, Wakayama Prefecture. The shrine was situated on a sandbank at the confluence of the Kumano River, the Otonashi River and the Iwada River. In Japan, Torii gateways are used to mark the boundary between sacred areas and the mundane world; Oyunohara is notable for its huge Torii gate, which is 34m high (roughly the height of an 11-story building). This area is linked to the story of the Yatagarasu, a raven that guided Emperor Jimmu when he was lost in the mountains of Kumano, and Yata Fire Festival is held here every year in August. Oyunohara's connection with a mystical event in which humans were guided towards happiness attracts many visitors to this ""power spot"" (a place that is believed to bestow power on the visitor)."
  • Kamikura-jinja Shrine
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    4.5
    158 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.

    To get to the stairs leading to the shrine you need to walk over a little bridge over the canal - there are signs- and climb almost vertical stone steps for about 50 meters. After that, it is an easy...

  • Takijirioji
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Nakahechichoukurisugawa 1226
    Located at a spot where the Tonda River and Ishiburi River meet, this course leads to the holy “Kumano Sanzan” shrines. The “Uwadawa Chaya Ato” site is about 600 meters above ground at the end of a steep path. This shrine is one of the “Gotai Oji,” which are the most distinguished of the “Kyujukyu Oji” (99 Grand Shrines).
  • Turkish Museum
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    4.0
    69 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.

    This museum is a monument for the Egtugrul Naval Ship which was the first visit in 1890s from Turkey (those days Ottoman Empire) to Japan. After the visit ship accident occurred and died over 500...

  • Toukei-jinja Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Prefecture Tanabe City Toyo 1-1
    This shrine is located in Tanabe City, Wakayama Prefecture and is affectionately referred to as “Gongen-san” due to it being called Tanabe Shrine after the transfer of the deity “Kumano Gongen” here. Kumano Betto Tanzo, said to be Musashibo Benkei’s father, is said to have held a cockfight in front of the main shrine in order to decide which side to support during the Genpei War. He ended up supporting Minamoto and leading the Kumano navy to victory. You’ll find statues of Tanzo and Benkei on the shrine grounds, and treasures such as the pot used to give the infant Benkei his first bath and Minamoto no Yoshitsune’s flute are kept here. Near the start of October, many visit for the “Benkei Festival.”
  • Kumano Kodo Kan Pilgrimage Center
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    4.0
    5 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Nakahechichoukurisugawa 1222-1
    This free rest area is located in Nakahechi Town, Tanabe City, Wakayama Prefecture and serves as the tourist information facility for both the 12 “Grand Shrines” and the Kumano Kodo road. The 12-side building based on these shrines serves as a landmark. There’s a video introducing Nakahechi and materials related to Kumano Kodo, as well as articles from Takijirioji Shrine on display. There’s also an area where you can take photos dressed in kimono, as well as works by a local pottery group and other goods for sale.

    Stopped in here before beginning our Kumano Kodo walk at Takijiri. Women working was very friendly. We looked at the exhibits, took some pictures, browsed the shop (if you've forgotten something they...

  • Kozanji Temple
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    4.5
    8 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Inarichou 392
    This ancient temple that overlooks downtown Tanabe is of the Omuro School of the Shingon Sect and is said to be founded be saint Kobodaishi (Kukai). Famous for the Sakura blossoms, many visitors come to worship and enjoy the annual Kozanji Temple Spring Festival. On the grounds is a rare, even for Japan, two-story pagoda honoring Prince Shotoku (known as Uenomiya Taishi), and also a shell mound unearthed from the prehistoric early Jomon period. On the coastal side, are the graves of the biologist, Kumagusu Minakata said to be the father of mycology, and the founder of the self-defense art, Aikido, Ueshiba Morihei.

    私は紀伊田辺駅の方から歩いてアクセスしましたが、線路からすぐ近くに見えている割には、道はちょっと入り組んでいて、思った以上の距離を感じました。お寺は小山の上にあるような立地ですが、登り口からすると想像つかない程高台エリア内に見所は多くて、墓地には有名な南方熊楠のお墓等もありますので、それぞれの見所を具に見ていくと、案外所要時間が必要な名刹だと思いました。

  • Minakata Kumagusu Archives
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    4.0
    9 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Nakayashikimachi 36
    This facility houses books and other materials that belonged to Kumagusu Minakata, a modern scholar of natural history, theology, and folklore. It is next to the residence he inhabited in his later years in Nakayashiki Town, Tanabe City, Wakayama Prefecture. Inside, you’ll find exhibits that explain his accomplishments, life, the region, and so on. The second floor contains a study and an area where you can read reproduced materials. The copy of Kumagusu’s resume, written on a roll of 7.8 meter-long-paper in fine print, is a must-see. Entry is free, though entry to the adjoining residence requires a fee.

    南方熊楠顕彰館に隣接しています。(有料300円) 近代日本の博物学者南方熊楠が後半生を過ごした屋敷。 屋敷の外から内部を眺めるルートで玄関や当時の生活がうかがえる居間や研究に没頭した書斎などそのまま残されています。また、研究の対象になった木々や植物などが植えられた広い庭も見どころです。彼のエコロジーの思想が今の熊野自然を守ったのでしょうね。

  • Kushimoto Okyo Rosetsu Art Museum
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    4.5
    10 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Wakayama Pref. Higashimurogunkushimotochou Kushimoto 833
    This art museum is a 10-minute walk from Kushimoto Station, on the grounds of Muryoji Temple. Modern art and local historical documents are stored and displayed alongside temple treasures. Although said to be the smallest art museum in Japan their collection includes a number of early-modern works by artists such as Maruyama Okyo and his student Nagasawa Rosetsu as well as Kano Tanyu and Hakuin. 55 of their room partition paintings including Maruyama Okyo’s “Hajougunsenzu” and Nagasawa Rosetsu’s “Ryukozu” have been designated Important Cultural Properties of Japan.

    ずっときになっていました。 道に迷って地元のこどもに教えてもらい到着。 何人か他のお客さんもいたので一緒に鑑賞。 円山応挙と長沢蘆雪の作品を身近に鑑賞できます。 迫力があり、虎の表情がとても好きです。

  • Chikatsuyu-oji
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Nakahechichouchikatsuyu Kitano 906-1
    This is a section of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route and is one of the “99 Grand Shrines.” There are records of retired Emperor Gotoba holding tanka poetry gatherings here, and there is a “prince monument” that was built in 1934.
  • Tsugizakura Oji Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Tanabeshi Nakahechichounonaka 590-1
    One of the 99 Oji shrines in Kumano, the Tsugizakura Oji is lined with giant cedars estimated to be around 800 years old. From the fact that all eight cedars stretch their branches towards the south, they are called as one, “the cedar of Nonaka.” Near the shrine is also the Nonaka spring water, selected as one of the top 100 springs in Japan.
  • Asuka-jinja Shrine
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    4.0
    32 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Shingushi Asuka 1-2-25
    This is an old Shinto shrine said to have been built in the year 423 BC. Inside the grounds Yayoi period pit dwellings and earthenware have been found, and these are displayed in the Shingu City Museum of History & Folklore. It was registered additionally as a World Heritage Site in 2016.

    This jinja is near the sea , at the front of small mountain where it recovered ancient buddha statues , let check in the nearby treasury house and I inspired how importsnt of this shrines in Kumano...

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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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