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History / Culture / Tour Spots in Wakayama / Kinokawa Area

  • Wakayama Castle
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama prefecture Wakayama city 1-3
    This famous castle belonged to the Kishu Tokugawa family, one of the “Tokugawa Gosanke” families. It has been beloved by many as a symbol of Wakayama for ages. The Okaguchi Gate, which was made a Nationally Designated Important Cultural Property, as well as the stone wall constructed with Kishu-specialty blue stone (chlorite-schist) in the Nozura-zumi style, still maintain their original structures. From the castle tower constructed by citizens in 1958 after the war, you can see the Kinokawa River, the Wakayama cityscape, and more. Many visitors come during the cherry blossom and fall foliage seasons as well. Inside the castle tower, many items associated with the Tokugawa family are on display.
  • Negoro-ji Temple Daito Great Tower
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Iwadeshi Negoro 2286 head temple Negoro-ji in
    Located on the grounds of the Negoro-ji Temple, a Shingi Shingon Buddhist temple established by Mt. Koya priest Kakuban, this 36-meter-tall tower is one of the largest such two tier wooden pagoda towers in Japan. Designed to represent the doctrines of Shingon Buddhism, the tower was completed in 1547. Thanks to Shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the tower escaped the fires of the Conquest of Kii Province, but the building still bears the marks of bullets fired from matchlock rifles. A designated National Treasure—visitors can also view the inside of the tower.
  • The Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama
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    4.0
    31 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Wakayama Pref. Wakayamashi Fukiage 1-4-14
    This modern art museum was built on the Wakayama Castle site and features a refined, contemporary design. The collections and exhibitions focus on fine art from the Meiji period to present times. In addition to works by Wakayama artists, there are over 10,000 items in total, including 13 oil paintings by Yuzo Saeki and works by Picasso, woodblock prints by Munch, and more. There are planned exhibitions and collection items on display, as well as temporary exhibitions.

    After the very disappointing national art gallery in Osaka, it was a pleasant surprise to walk through this gallery primarily comprising Japanese artists and the odd American (e.g. Rothko). There was...

  • Kishu Toshogu Shrine
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    4.0
    69 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Wakayamashi Wakauranishi 2-1-20
    This Gongen-style shrine was built in 1621 by Tokugawa Yorinobu, the first lord of the Kishu domain, to provide protection for the Nankaido road. Tokugawa Ieyasu and Tokugawa Yorinobu are enshrined here as deities. The shrine is brilliantly decorated with lacquerware and sculptures featuring both the Kano and Tosa styles, and it is called the “Nikko of Kansai.” It has been designated an Important Cultural Property as a representative structure from the early Edo period.

    It's a very pretty shrine with very nice view over the city but you need to walk and climb up hundreds of steps before reaching the top. So please ensure you have at least 40 minutes.

  • Kongoho-ji Gokoku-in (Kimiidera Temple)
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Wakayamashi Kimidera 1201
    This temple in Kimiidera Temple, Wakayama, was originally founded in 770 AD by Ikou shounin, a travelling priest from China. The two-story pagoda, bell tower, and tower gate on the grounds have been designated Important Cultural Properties of Japan. There are also 500 cherry trees planted on the grounds that are known for being early bloomers. One of the cherry blossom trees planted before the main hall of the temple is used as one of the specimen trees to determine the cherry blossom season.
  • Fujishiro-jinja Shrine
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    3.5
    12 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Kainanshi Fujishiro 466
    This shrine is located in Fujishiro, Kainan City. It is referred to as “the first torii gate of Kumano” since it serves as Kumano’s entrance. This shrine is one of the “Gotai Oji,” which are the most distinguished of the “Kyujukyu Oji” (99 Grand Shrines). The shrine grounds contain a camphor tree that’s over 1,000 years old said to protect children, as well as the remains of the estate said to belong to the first “Suzuki.”

    熊野の入口といわれ、平安時代には、熊野詣での人々で賑わっていたとのことです。今でも、参拝客が多いようで、第一駐車場、第二駐車場がありました。

  • Kokawa-dera Temple
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    3.5
    3 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Kinokawashi Kokawa 2787
    This temple is located in Kokawa, Kinokawa City. It is the third pilgrimage site of the “Saikoku Sanjusansho” pilgrimage that takes visitors to various holy sites associated with Kannon. It was constructed at the end of the Nara period in 770 by Otomo no Kujiko. The main temple building was rebuilt in 1720, and it features a very rare design that combines a single-roof worship hall with a double-roof main hall, making it an Important Cultural Property.

    粉河寺本堂の前に、崖地を利用した石組による枯山水庭園があります。 大小様々な石と蘇鉄などの植物を組み合わせた独特の力強さを感じる珍しい作風で、桃山時代のものです。 国の名勝に指定されています。

  • Wakayama Prefectural Museum
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    3.5
    11 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Wakayama Pref. Wakayamashi Fukiage 1-4-14
    This prefectural museum is located near Wakayama Castle in Wakayama City, Wakayama Prefecture. It was moved to its current location and opened in 1994. Architect Kisho Kurokawa designed the building, which features glass walls for a bright, modern look. The collection consists of over 1,000 items, including cultural artifacts and historical documents related to Wakayama Prefecture on display, along with materials on Mt. Koya, the Kumano faith, and the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route. There are also items that belonged to Kishu Tokugawa. The regular exhibits introduce 30,000 years of Wakayama Prefecture history, and special exhibitions and other projects are held year-round.

    ガラス越しに展示物を見るのですが、室内の照明が若干暗く設定されているためか、説明文や展示物の様子がよく見ることができないものが有りました。

  • Negoro-ji Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Iwadeshi Negoro 2286
    Negoro-ji is a complex of temples in Negoro, Iwade City. It is the head temple of the Shingi Shingon sect founded over 900 years ago. The large wooden pagoda within the complex has been designated a national treasure and is the only large wooden stupa to have been designated as such. Visitors are welcome to enter inside and look around. The temple is also a famous spot for cherry blossom viewing.
  • Wakayama Prefectural Museum of Natural History
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    4.0
    15 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Wakayama Pref. Kainanshi Funo 370-1
    The Wakayama Prefectural Museum of Natural History in Funoo, Kainan City, has two exhibition spaces. The first is an aquarium and the second is dedicated to animals and plants, geology, fossils and diorama exhibits. Events inside the museum as well as outdoor events such as nature observation tours and excavation trips are held from time to time making it a great place to learn about the rich and diverse wildlife and nature around Wakayama.

    小さいながらも水族館くらいの価値はあります。亀やカエルなど身近な生き物からはじまって、大きい水槽を泳ぐ魚たちに癒されます。 タッチングプールがあったのも良かったです。 ゆっくり見て回れるし、とくにお子様連れにはオススメです。

  • Wakayama City Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Wakayama Pref. Wakayamashi Minatohonmachi 3-2
    "This museum is about five minutes on foot from Wakayamashi Station and about 20 minutes by car from Wakayama Interchange. Next to the Wakayama Civic Library, the museum opened in 1985. Their permanent exhibit ""What the Materials Tell of Wakayama's History"" has a total of six display areas. Five cover the primitive to the modern era, and a sixth Folk Area gives a feel for farm life. Their special and planned exhibits showcase various periods in history and different areas, and they host lectures and educational workshops too. The museum shop sells picture books of past exhibits."
  • Itakiso-jinja Shrine
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    4.0
    40 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Wakayamashi Idakiso 558
    A Shinto shrine dedicated to Isotakeru-no-mikoto. This shrine is ancient and its name in an entry dated 702 in the “Shoku Nihongi” imperial history anthology. The shrine was moved to its current location a three-minute walk south of Idakiso Station on the Kishigawa Line in 713. In addition to the main shrine building, there is also a Miisha Shrine dedicated to gods of water and wells, and a boulder known as the “Monkey Rock” which is said to cure any diseases from the neck up when rubbed; both of these have gained popularity in recent years as mystical “power spots.” The Uzue Festival held here each year on the date of the Little New year attracts many visitors. During the festival, bowls of azuki-gayu rice gruel with azuki beans are handed out and eating this is said to guarantee sound health for an entire year.

    This is a great shrine which is old and authentic. You can enjoy silent atmosphere. There is an interesting wood through which you can passl. By doing so, you will be protected by the God. There are...

  • Kamayama-jinja Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Wakayamashi Wada 438
    A Shinto shrine dedicated to Hikoitsuse-no-mikoto. Visiting this shrine, Hinokuma Jingu Shrine, and Itakiso Jinja is known locally as the “Saigoku Three Shrine Pilgrimage.” The shrine is located a 10-minute walk south from Kamayama Station on the Wakayama Electric Railway Kishigawa Line. The location of the shrine can easily be identified by its large torii gate. The place name “Kamayama” appears in the “Kojiki” and the “Nihon shoki,” two of Japan’s oldest historical records, and it is believed that this is the place where Hikoitsuse-no-mikoto, elder brother to the very first emperor of Japan, Emperor Jinmu, was buried. In fact, a tomb for Hikoitsuse-no-mikoto stands behind the main shrine building; the death of his elder brother is said to have encouraged Emperor Jinmu to journey eastward instead of westward in his expedition to unite the country under his rule. Accordingly, the shrine is said to protect the security of Japan and the peace of and development of the world.
  • Hinokuma Jingu Shrine and Kunikakasu Jingu Shrine (Hinokuma Jingu Shrine Office)
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    4.0
    38 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Wakayamashi Akiduki 365
    "These shrines are about one minute on foot from Nichizengu Station, and about five minutes by car from Wakayama Interchange. Founded more than 2,600 years ago, they honor the Shinto gods Hinokuma-no-Okami and Kunikakasu-no-Okami. Worshiping there is thought to be helpful for matchmaking and household security. They hold a ceremony called ""Nichizengu Ebisu Mairi"" from January 9 to 11 when they offer lucky items like kumade and fukudawara amulets. It's the only time the approach to the shrine is lined with red banners lit up at night. On July 26, their kagura hall hosts a performance of Noh theater by firelight."

    ヤマト朝廷にとって、東の出口が伊勢神宮とすれば、西の出口がここです。だもんで、伊勢神宮と同じく、神階を贈らない別格の社として尊崇されてきました。祭神である日前大神は天照大神の別名だそうです。祭神である日前大神は天照大神の別名だそうです。雰囲気は良いし、駐車場は広いし、是非寄ってください。

  • Honganji Temple Saginomori Betsuin
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Wakayamashi Saginomori 1
    This Temple is situated a five-minute walk from Nankai Wakayama-shi Station on the Nankai Railway. The eighth head of the Honganji Temple in Kyoto, Rennyo Shonin, founded it for the purpose of spreading Jodo Shinshu Buddhism to Kii Province (Wakayama Prefecture). Built in 1476, it is considered a historical treasure in itself, but its storehouse contains priceless items, such as paintings of seated Shinran Shonin (the founder of the sect) and Rennyo Shonin (the restoration of the sect) and its endorsement and the only remaining complete set of five volumes of the sacred texts published by Shonyo Shonin. In the present day, the temple publishes materials designed to popularize the rituals, including funeral rites, of the Honganji sect of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism and to explain the sect's beliefs.
  • Misato Astronomical Observatory
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Wakayama prefecture Seagusa County Mino Mino Matsuke Mine 180
    "You don't need reservations for this astronomical observatory in Kimino Town with its 105-centimeter telescope, the largest in Wakayama Prefecture. Away from the lights of the city, on moonless nights you can see the Milky Way with the naked eye. Their “Starry Sky Tour"" where the resident staff will point out the constellations is popular, too. The observatory is located on the summit of Matsugamine at about 400 meters above sea level. Beautiful sunset which changes its color with lapse of time and can be viewed from the observation deck has been chosen as one of the 100 best places for the sunrise and sunset in Wakayama Prefecture."
  • Tama Museum Kishi Station
    Travel / Tourism
    Kinokawa City Kishigawa-cho, Wakayama Prefecture
    "The terminal station of the Wakayama Electric Railway Kshigawa Line, it is looked after by the honorable permanent station master ""Tama"" who has become a daimyojin (god). Currently, calico cats (three-colored), ""Nitama (Tama II"" and ""Yontama (Tama IV)"" are in charge. The cute-looking catshaped station building is characterized by its great use of natural materials, such as Kishuwoods in the cypress bark roof. It also features ""Tama Cafe"" and ""Tama Shop"" where original goods are sold. The line is said to have been laid for ""Three-Shrine Visits"" to Nichizengu Shrine, Kamayama Shrine, and Itakiso Shrine sitting quietly aside the tracks. And there are unique trains, such as the ""Ichigo(Strawberry) Train"", the ""Omocha(Toys) Train"", and the ""Tama Train"", which have particular about the design of details. Overall, it's a fun local line to ride."
  • Minatofukiage-jinja Shrine (Minatohon Ebisu-jinja Shrine)
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    3.5
    7 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Wakayamashi Onomachi 2-1
    This Shinto shrine is approximately eight minutes on foot from Nankai Electric Railway Wakayamashi Station and 16 minutes by car from Wakayama Interchange. It's also a short walk southeast of the Wakayama City Museum. A historic shrine mentioned in the ancient Japanese records of the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki, the grounds feature a monument engraved the origin of the name, “Onominato”, Bravery port. The venue is unusual for Japan in that there are two main shrine buildings honoring two different Shinto gods. It's famous as the place where the Tokaebisu Festival originated, as well as the noshiame sweets thrown during the Ushinoshita Mochinage ceremony on November 23.

    境内には、百度石と彫られた石があり、この石を、百回回ってお祈りするんだと時代劇でのワンシーンを思い出しました。

  • Wakayama Prefecture Kii-fudoki-no-oka Museum of Archaeology and Folklore
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Wakayama-shi Iwase 1411
  • Awashima Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Wakayama Pref. Wakayamashi Kada
    "This is the head shrine of the more than 1000 Awashima shrines in Japan. Known for offerings of dolls, it is characterized by the many Japanese dolls that fill the shrine. As the birthplace of doll offerings and the birthplace of the Hinamatsuri Festival, over 300,000 dolls are offered every year. The god of medicine, Sukunahikona no Mikoto, is the shrine deity. In particular, women come for divine help with women's diseases, having children and marriage. ""Hari-Kuyo"" (a service for broken needles) is held on February 8th, ""Nagashi-bina"" (Floating Ceremony of Paper Hina Dolls) on March 3rd, and the ""Amazake Matsuri"" (Sweet Sake Festival) on October 3rd."

Wakayama Main 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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