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和歌山 WAKAYAMA

Explore Wakayama.Treasure trove of nature, culture and hot springs!

Wakayama Prefecture is located on the west side of the Kii Peninsula – the largest peninsula in Japan. There are many unmissable tourist spots here: Kumano Kodo and Mount Koya are listed World Heritage Sites as sacred ground in the Kii Mountain Range, while the popular Shirahama Onsen has a beautiful beach with white sand and clear blue water! We will introduce you to the charms of Wakayama Prefecture here.
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Tokyo Osaka Wakayama

Recommended Tourist Spots in Wakayama Prefecture

  • 1Engetsuto Island

    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

  • 2Shirarahama Beach

    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.

  • 3Shirahama Onsen

    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

  • 4Koyasan

    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.

  • 5Kumano Kodo

    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.

  • 6Kumano 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.

  • 7Kumano 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

  • 8Daimon-zaka Slope

    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.

  • 9Nachi Waterfall

    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.

  • 10Kumano 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.

  • 11Hashigui-iwa Rocks

    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.

  • Engetsuto Island
  • Shirarahama Beach
  • Shirahama Onsen
  • Koyasan
  • Kumano Kodo
  • Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine
  • Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine
  • Daimon-zaka Slope
  • Nachi Waterfall
  • Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine
  • Hashigui-iwa Rocks

*If you click on the numbers, the tourist spot will be displayed on the left-hand side.

Tourist Attraction and Hot Springs Map

Transportation facilities which can be used with the WAKAYAMA KUMANO PASS

Available area

  • Ryujin Bus
  • Kumano Kotsu Bus
  • Meiko Bus
  • Nara Kotsu Bus

Transportation facilities which cannot be used

  • JR Line / JR Shinkansen
  • Nankai Electric Railway
  • Wakayama Electric Railway
  • Nankai Rinkan Bus

Check!Three Days Unlimited Bus Rides for Free!
Economically Explore Southern Wakayama with the “WAKAYAMA KUMANO PASS!”

If you wish to explore the southern area of Wakayama Prefecture, we recommend the bus excursion ticket “WAKAYAMA KUMANO PASS,” which can only be purchased by users of the “ Kansai WIDE Area Pass This will give you unlimited rides over three days at 8,500 yen per person. This lets you explore tourist spots such as Kumano Kodo and Shirahama Onsen at a relaxed pace without the hassle of having to pay each time you take the bus.

>> Click here for more details on how to purchase the “WAKAYAMA KUMANO PASS” and its available area

How to purchase

Sales Counters

JR Ticket Offices (Midori-no-madoguchi) in the stations in Wakayama Prefecture of JR-WEST (Wakayama, Kii, Musota, Iwade, Hashimoto, Kimiidera, Kainan, Minoshima, Fujinami, Yuasa, Gobo, Minabe, Kii-Tanabe, Shirahama, Kushimoto, Kii-Katsuura and Shingu Stations)

Price

8,500 yen (Including tax) *There is no child price.

Validity period

3 consecutive days from the starting date of its use

Period of Sales

From November 1, 2015 to September 28, 2016

Purchase Conditions

Only customers with a special pass issued by JR (“Kansai WIDE Area Pass”, etc. ) that is within its period of validity may purchase the “WAKAYAMA KUMANO PASS.” When you purchase the “WAKAYAMA KUMANO PASS,” you will need to set a date on which you will start using it. The date must be within the period of validity of the special pass you already have.

The “Kansai WIDE Area Pass” is a special pass that offers unlimited travel in non-reserved seats on local trains, limited express trains and the Sanyo Shinkansen (between Shin-Osaka and Okayama) in a limited area (e.g. Kansai).

Access to Wakayama Prefecture

Access to Wakayama Prefecture

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