This is a small uninhabited island (130m from north to south and 35m from east to west) floating in Rinkai Inlet that is also referred to as the symbol of Nanki Shirahama. The official name of this island is “Takashima Island.” It has been given the name “Engetsuto Island” (literally meaning “round moon island” in Japanese) because of the circular arch created through marine erosion in the center of the island. The beauty of the evening scenery when the sun sets is exceptional. This is a leading evening scenery spot in Shirahama.
Address: Shirahama Town, Nishimuro District, Wakayama Prefecture
Access: JR Shirahama Station → Take the Meiko Bus Town Loop Line Via Rinkai for 17 minutes and get off at Rinkai → It is then a short walk
Shirarahama Beach is a continuous coast of white sand that is shaped like an arc over the length of about 640m. The crystal clear blue sea, pure white sand beach and palm trees planted alongside the shore give this site the mood of a tropical resort. There is also an open air bath you can go in with a swimsuit in the swimming area.
Address: Shirahama Town, Nishimuro District, Wakayama Prefecture
Access: JR Shirahama Station → Take a Meiko bus bound for Shinyuzaki/Sandanbeki for 15 minutes and get off at the “Shirarahama” stop; it is then a short walk. Alternatively, head in the same direction for 12 minutes and get off at the “Shirahama Bus Center” stop; it is then a three minute walk.
Shirahama Onsen is a hot springs area with a prestigious history as one of the Three Ancient Springs of Japan together with Arima and Dogo. This site boasts a tradition of more than 1,350 years. There is a wide range of accommodation here – from luxury ryokan (Japanese inns) and hotels to minshuku (guesthouses). Moreover, you will find plenty of day-trip bathing facilities here. You can enjoy the leisure facilities found around the beautiful white sand Shirarahama Beach as a marine resort.
Address: Shirahama Town, Wakayama Prefecture
Access: Get off at JR Shirahama Station
Koyasan is Buddhist holy ground with a history that spans 1,200 years. Many people come to see the 117 temples, including Kongobuji Temple, that are gathered together deep in the mountains at an altitude of approximately 900m. There are many shukubo (temples where regular worshippers and tourists can stay) on Koyasan, so you can enjoy beautiful buildings, garden walks, morning religious services and shojin ryori (Buddhist vegetarian cuisine).
Address: 600 Koyasan, Koya Town, Ito District, Wakayama Prefecture
Access: Koyasan Station on Koyasan Cable → Take a Nankai Rinkan bus bound for Daimon or Okunoin-mae and get off at any of the bus stops.
Kumano Kodo is a series of pilgrimage routes that lead to Kumano Sanzan (Kumano Grand Shrines of Hongu, Shingu and Nachi). Kumano Kodo has been visited by many people – from retired emperors and aristocracy to samurai and commoners – from over 1,000 years ago. This road was listed as a World Heritage Site in 2004, and is one of only two registered pilgrimage routes in the world. If you walk the pilgrimage trail on Kumano Kodo, you will be able to feel the Japanese history, culture and nature.
Address: Nakahechi Town, Hongu Town, Kumanogawa Town & Nachikatsuura Town, Tanabe City, Wakayama Prefecture
Access: 40km and 50 minutes from Nanki Tanabe IC on Hanwa Road via National Highway 311.
Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine
This is one of the Kumano Sanzan. This is equivalent to the headquarters of the “Kumano Shrines” across Japan. If you walk along the Nakahechi Route, a popular pilgrimage trail in Kumano Kodo, Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine is the first place you will come to after finishing the journey of penance. There is an especially ancient and enchanting atmosphere in Kumano Sanzan.
Address: 1110 Hongu, Hongu Town, Tanabe City, Wakayama Prefecture
Access: JR Shingu Station → Take a Kumano Kotsu bus bound for Kumano Hongu for 1 hour and 22 minutes and get off at “Kumano Hongu Taisha-mae” stop; it is then a short walk.
Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine
This is one of the Kumano Sanzan. The chief gods are Kumano Fusumi-no Okami and Kumano Hayatama-no Okami. The main building of Hayatama Shrine that enshrines Hayatama-no Okami has a unique Kumano structure with eaves attached to the gabled roof facade and a reidono (worshipping hall) at the front. This shrine also has a sacred treasure hall with more than 1,000 shrine treasures and a large nagi tree (natural monument) that is 1,000 years old.
Address: 1 Shingu, Shingu City, Wakayama Prefecture
Access: JR Kiseisen Shingu Station → 15 minute walk
This is a typical old road that symbolizes Kumano Kodo. This road leads to the shrine town of Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine from near the Daimon-zaka bus stop. There is a thick avenue of cedar trees that continues on both sides of the mossy stone steps with a length of 600m and the vestiges of Kumano Kodo remain unchanged here. If you climb this slope, you can see Nachi Waterfall and you will come to a mysterious road that is said to be the most beautiful in Kumano Kodo.
Access: Nachisan, Nachikatsuura Town, Higashimuro District, Wakayama Prefecture
Access: JR Kii-Katsuura Station → Take a Kumano Kotsu bus bound for Nachisan via Nachi Station for 20 minutes and get off at “Daimon-zaka” stop; it is then a short walk.
Nachi Waterfall has a height of 133m and a width of 13m. This is one of the three most famous waterfalls in Japan. This waterfall has attracted the reverence of people since olden times as an object of worship of Hiro-jinja Shrine – an associated shrine of Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine. The primeval forest of Nachi (natural monument) stretches out behind the waterfall. This is a treasure trove of 300 species of plants centered on warm season vegetation.
Address: Nachisan, Nachikatsuura Town, Higashimuro District, Wakayama Prefecture
Access: JR Kii-Katsuura Station → Take a Kumano Kotsu bus bound for Nachisan via Nachi Station for 27 minutes and get off at “Nachi-no Taki-mae” stop; it is then a 5 minute walk.
Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine
This is one of the Kumano Sanzan. If you go up the stone steps that are lined by souvenir shops, you will find that the road divides to the left and right. You will arrive at Seiganto-ji Temple if you take the right and Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine if you take the left. This shrine that consists of six buildings is located at an altitude of approximately 500m. Gods are deified in each of these as Kumano Fusumi-no Okami. A large camphor tree with an estimated age of 800 years spreads out it large branches in the grounds of this shrine.
Address: 1 Nachisan, Nachikatsuura Town, Higashimuro District, Wakayama Prefecture
Access: JR Kii-Katsuura Station → Take a Kumano Kotsu bus bound for Nachisan via Nachi Station for 28 minutes and get off at “Nachisan” stop; it is then a 15 minute walk.
This site is a national place of scenic beauty and a natural monument. This is a group of 40 small and large rocks formed in a straight line that stretches approximately 850m toward Oshima from the coast. The soft shale of the tertiary layer has been eroded by the waves and only a dike of liparite remains intermittently. There is a legend that Kobo Daishi and an antagonistic demon had a competition to build a bridge here in one night.
Address: Kujinogawa, Kushimoto Town, Higashimuro District, Wakayama Prefecture
Access: JR Kushimoto Station → Take a Kumano Kotsu bus bound for Shingu for four minutes and get off at “Hashigui-iwa” stop; it is then a short walk.