The park rises up high into mountain peaks and dips down into dense woodland valleys. Rapid rivers, beautiful beaches and grand shrines bursting with abundant flora and fauna along the World Heritage Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range make the park a natural playground offering abundant opportunities for wild adventure and spiritual enlightenment.

A natural playground of deep spirituality set in deep green and raging water

The three grand shrines of Kumano-Hayatama, Kumano-Hongu and Kumano-Nachi—known collectively as the Kumano Sanzan—stand at the heart of the park, brilliant red vermillion beacons for pilgrims trekking the arduous Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Route on their individual spiritual journeys. The park is also a land of raging water—dropping dramatically in the form of the sacred Nachi Falls and roaring through the Dorokyo Gorge. It flows out into the ocean where divers can come to face to face with loggerhead turtles gliding gracefully through vivid coral reefs. The Pacific Ocean then throws the water back at the coastline creating dramatic natural formations including the cliffs and caves or Sandanbeki—hidden hideouts for Heian Era (794-1185) pirates.

All eyes on the Kii Peninsula—Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2018

Making the top ten of Best in Travel 2018: Top Regions—a very select list compiled by trusted global travel commentators Lonely Planet— the Kii Peninsula is garnering international attention for its relatively crowd-free natural scenery, hot springs, traditional culture and modern convenience. The peninsula sits alongside Italy’s Aeolian Islands and France’s Languedoc-Roussillon as lesser known destinations that deserve more notice.


Trek the trails

With no official start point to the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Route, you can customize your own trek through the mountain trails aiming for one of the Kumano Sanzan.


Stay the night

Your national park adventure doesn’t need to end when the sun goes down. Deepen your experience by staying at one of the traditional ryokan hotels dotted throughout the park.


Feel the heat

The geothermal waters that bubble beneath the park gush to the surface creating warming hot-spring pools—and even rivers—for you to wash away all stresses and strains.


Reach enlightenment

The trekking might be tough, but the pay-off is spiritual rebirth in the presence of grand shrines, thundering waterfalls and natural gods.


Take to water

Rip-roaring white water and clear, quiet rivers create an ideal environment for a range of water-based activities from stand-up log rafting to scenic boat trips.

Whispered Wisdom of Deep Mountains

The cobbled paths snaking through the jagged mountains and dense forests that make up the spiritual ground of Kumano have been well worn by the soles of pilgrims. Protected by canopies of thick forest, centuries of enlightenment seekers have been privy to the spiritual wisdom whispered through trunk, leaf, rock and water drop.


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