Wakayama Prefecture is located on the Kii peninsula. It is part of the Kansai region which is also home to Osaka and Kyoto. Wakayama's capital is Wakayama City, where the prefectural office is located. The prefecture adjoins Osaka Prefecture to the north, and Nara and Mie Prefectures to the east. It is at latitude 34.14º North and longitude 135.10 º East, and covers 4,726 square kilometers, of which 80 percent is mountainous.
Owing to its warm and moist climate, Wakayama Prefecture produces more premium fruit – including mandarin oranges, Japanese persimmons, and ume (an apricot-like fruit) – than anywhere else in Japan. It also has thriving farming, forestry, and fishing industries, that include landing fresh seafood such as tuna and bonito (skipjack tuna).
Its rich natural landscape, generously dotted with thermal hot springs near mountains, rivers, and the Pacific Ocean, make the region one of Japan’s premier thermal hot springs destinations, popular with tourists.
Koyasan, the Kumano Sanzan (Three Grand Shrines of Kumano), and the pilgrimage routes that connect them, were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on July 7, 2004. They are a significant tourist draw.
As of April 1, 2015, the prefecture's estimated population was 965,597 people.
The prefectural symbols are the ume plum flower, the ubamegashi tree from which Kishu Binchotan (white charcoal) is made, and the tuna fish.