Itineraries

Wakayama City: the Castle Town

Explore the city that rose to prominence during the Edo period (1603 - 1868), and get a teaser of the region’s bounty.

Wakayama Castle

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Wakayama City is the gateway to the Kii Peninsula. Whether coming direct from the airport or from elsewhere within Japan, a day exploring the city is an excellent way to start any Wakayama adventure. Discover some of the city's highlights in the itinerary below.

This itinerary begins at JR Wakayama station. Arriving on the first Kuroshio express, means you can start the day around 9:00 a.m. This also happens to be the time the castle opens it gates.

JR Wakayama Station

Take one of the buses from the station and alight at Koen-mae. Alternatively, jump in a taxi and expect to pay around ¥1,000.

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Most buses from the station stop at Wakayama Castle. Ask at the tourist information desk inside the station if unsure. Money-saving 1-day bus passes are also available

1 Wakayama Castle

Walk through the grounds and head straight up to the castle to beat any early morning crowds. Inside are historic artifacts from feudal times, the castle's keep affords picture-worthy views of the city and bay. Make sure to keep your admission ticket for free entry into Wakayama Historical Center, located at the tour bus parking lot across from Momijidani Garden.

2 Momijidani Garden

Momijidani Garden is a beautiful traditional Japanese garden. After checking out the castle, stop by here for a moment of calm. Don't miss out on a delicious cup of Japanese green tea (matcha) and some wagashi (Japanese sweets) at the teahouse.

3 Wakayama Historical Center

Dig your castle admission ticket out of your pocket, and feed your inner history buff. 15 minutes in the History Exhibition Room will give you a good overview of the castle's history and get you up to speed on key Wakayama historical figures.

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Marina City

Buses bound for Marina City (Kuroshio Market) service the Shiyakusho-mae stop directly in front of the Wakayama Historical Center. For help with timetables, visit the tourist information office on the first floor of the facility. If opting for a taxi, expect to pay around ¥4,000.

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4 Kuroshio Market

No Wakayama itinerary is complete without a trip here. Shop for souvenirs, sample some of the region's best seafood, and make sure to catch one of the 3 daily tuna-filleting shows (11:30, 12:30, and 3:00 p.m.). For lunch, pick a food stall, or choose fresh seafood to grill at the outdoor BBQ-seating area. Finished at the market? Take a soak next door at Kishu Kuroshio Onsen or have some fun with the family at Porto Europe. Feline lovers may want to visit Kishi Station east of JR Wakayama station, and their goodluck calico mascot, Stationmaster Tama.

City Center

After a full day exploring the sights, take a bus or taxi back into the city center to freshen up at your hotel before dinner.

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5 Accommodations

Many hotels can be found around JR Wakayama Station: a convenient base for onward travel with restaurants and bars within walking distance. For views of the castle lit up at night, try either Daiwa Roynet Hotel Wakayama or Smile Hotel Wakayama.

6 Dinner

Once rested, take a walk around the JR station area, and choose from one of many dining options available. If only staying 1 night in the city, a bowl of famed Wakayama ramen is the way to go. One of the city's most well-renowned ramen restaurants is Ide Shoten, and is conveniently located nearby Wakayama Station.