4 Must-Go Places in Wakayama [Shirahama, Koyasan, Kushimoto, Nachikatsuura]

This time I will introduce the 4 areas that are must-go in Wakayama. They are “Koyasan (高野山)”, “Shirahama (白浜)”, “Kushimoto (串本)” and “Nachikatsuura (那智勝浦)”.

Let’s go now!

Koyasan area

Koyasan is the sacred place of Shingon Buddhism which was founded by Kobo Daishi about 1200 years ago.

Once you step into the mountain area, you will be able to feel the abundant sacred air.

There are many temples at Koyasan, this time I will introduce the places that can be toured by bus! 


The grand Daimon, the symbol of the entrance to Koyasan.

If you see it closely, it is considerably bigger than in photo and is very compelling! 

The statue of Kongo Rikishi is huge too!!

Tanjo Garan 壇上伽藍(だんじょうがらん)

One of the two sacred places in Koyasan, Tanjo Garan.

The vermillion tower in the area is especially very attracting. 

Of course, there are monks too.

Kongobuji Temple 金剛峯寺(こんごうぶじ)

The center of the temples in Koyasan is the Kongofuji Temple here.

There is no doubt that during autumn, the area around the entrance gate will be very beautiful with the red leaves! 

You can enter the Kongofuji Temple by paying the entrance fee.

Okunoin 奥の院

Okunoin is the other sacred place in Koyasan, along with Tanjo Garan.

Let’s walk along the approach in the forest to the building called Gobyo (mausoleum).

In fact, the approach is famous of the graves of the famous Sengoku warriors and historical figures

Photography is prohibited at Gobyo, and you can see how they do offerings here!

Koyasan Shingon Buddhism, Shohonzan Kongofuji Temple

Shirahama area

Speaking of Wakayama sightseeing, one would not miss the popular Shirahama area.

I will introduce the many charms of Shirahama! 

Shirahama 白良浜(しららはま)

As the name suggests, the Shirahama has a long stretch of beaches with pure white sands. 


Adventure World

If you are here at Shirahama, there is no reason for you to miss the Adventure World

Anyway, I am here to see these “kids” at the Adventure World.


They are rolling, eating and playing at their own pace, and look like stuffed toys.

Please have a look of their movements with your own eyes! 

Panda, safari, aquarium and amusement park. The Adventure World is not just a zoo, it is a big leisure land.

If possible, let’s stay overnight here and enjoy Shirahama without worrying about time!

Adventure World
  • Address: Wakayama Prefecture, Nishimura-gun, Shirahama-cho, Katata, 2399 banchi
  • Tel: 0570-06-4481
  • Website: http://www.aws-s.com/en/ 

Sandanbeki Cave 三段壁洞窟(さんだんべきどうくつ)

The cave, which was gnawed out by the waves, is best known as the hidden place of the ships of “Kumano Suigun”, the strongest pirate during the Kamakura era.

Inside the cave, there is a replica of the small hut of Kumano Suigun as well as the power spot dedicated to “Benzaiten”, the goddess of water. 

Listening to the sounds of the lapping waves inside the dim cave, you will feel like you have time travelled. It is a very special feeling.

The cave is about 200 wide, you can see all at a quick glance. 

Sandanbeki Cave

  • Address: Wakayama Prefecture, Nishimuro-gun, Shirahama-cho 2927-52
  • Tel: 0739-42-4495
  • Website: http://sandanbeki.com/

Senjojiki 千畳敷(せんじょうじき)

Another stunning spot of Shirahama is the Senjojiki, which is in between the Saki-no-Yu and Sandanbeki

Compared to the scraggy Sandanbeki, the Senjojiki is white and smooth.

Let’s walk to the edge of the rock, be careful not to slip and fall.  


Kushimoto Area

Kushimoto-cho is located at the southern tip of Wakayama. In fact, the southernmost in Wakayama is equivalent to the southernmost of Honshu

Hashiku-iwa Rock 橋杭岩(はしくいいわ)

Not too far from the JR Kushimoto Station is an unexpected scenery, the Hashiku-iwa Rock

This photo was taken when it was high tide. When the tide is out, you can walk till the big rocks.

Hashiku-iwa Rock

Shionomisaki 潮岬(しおのみさき)

Shionomisaki, the southernmost part of Honshu.

Let’s climb to the Shionomisaki Lighthouse that has a really nice view.

Look! The Pacific Ocean, extends to as far as one’s eyes could see!!! 

Shionomisaki Lighthouse

Nachikatsuura Area 

The last are to introduce is Nachikatsuura area, where Nachi no Taki (waterfall) is at.

Since we are here at Nachi, let’s walk a bit of the Kumano Kodo (Ancient Trail) that is full of nature. 

The “husband and wife cedar trees” at Daimonzaka (Kumano Kodo) 

Kumano Kodo is the trail leading to the Kumano Taisha.

There are different routes, but the trail from Daimonzaka to Kumano Nachi Taisha~Nachi no Taki Waterfall is about 2.5km, is famous as it is shorter and easy to walk. 

Welcoming you after the Daimonzaka is the 800-year-old “husband and wife cedar trees”.

Walk through the trees, and at once it will feel like the Kumano Kodo

From here, a 30-minute walk will bring you to Kumano Nachi Taisha.

The “husband and wife cedar trees” at Daimonzaka

Kumano Nashi Taisha 熊野那智大社

The Kumano Nachi Taisha is one of the Kumano Sanzan (three Kumano major shrines), along with Kumano Hongu Taisha and Kumano Hayatama Taisha.

It is the main shrine of the approximately 4000 Kumano Shrines all over the nation. 

Seigantoji Temple’s three-storied pagoda and Nachi no Taki waterfall 

Together with the waterfall, the three-stored pagoda of Seigantoji Temple, next to Kumano Nachi Taisha is a must see too.

Kumano Nachi Taisha

Nachi no Taki Waterfall 那智の滝

Nachi no Taki itself is the “Shintai (body of a deity in the Shinto religion)” of Nachi Hiro-jinja Shrine. 

From near, the sound of the waterfall and the splash are really powerful

Nachi no Taki

I have introduced the 4 must-go area in Wakayama. What do you think? Although sometimes it happens that some famous sightseeing spots may be disappointing, but here in Wakayama, it will never fail your expectation. 


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