THEMES

Unspoilt Nature

Discover Wakayama's many epic natural facets.

Tour of Ki-no-Matsushima Islands

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Shirasaki Coast

The Shirasaki Coast (Shirasaki Kaigan) is known for its remarkable white limestone rock formations. This protected area can be enjoyed above and below water, and along with cruises, Shirasaki Kaiyo Koen offers diving and snorkeling.

Shirasaki Coast

Shirasaki Coast

The Shirasaki Coast (Shirasaki Kaigan) is known for its remarkable white limestone rock formations. This protected area can be enjoyed above and below water, and along with cruises, Shirasaki Kaiyo Koen offers diving and snorkeling.

Koya-ryujin Skyline Road

From Mount Gomadanzan's peak, take in the awe-inspiring vista that stretches from Koyasan to Ryujin, a hot spring haven. This scenic mountain drive is particularly breathtaking in Autumn, when the leaves change color. This area occasionally turns into a wintery wonderland when hoarfrost coats the foliage.

Koya-Ryujin Skyline Road

Koya-ryujin Skyline Road

From Mount Gomadanzan's peak, take in the awe-inspiring vista that stretches from Koyasan to Ryujin, a hot spring haven. This scenic mountain drive is particularly breathtaking in Autumn, when the leaves change color. This area occasionally turns into a wintery wonderland when hoarfrost coats the foliage.

Engetsuto Island

A natural archway carved over time by raging seas, Engetsuto Island is a fine example of natural architecture. Its Japanese name, Engetsuto, is a reference to its full-moon-like shape. In the winter and summer months, this iconic Shirahama landmark is the best spot to watch the sun set as it dips behind the horizon.

Engetsuto Island

Engetsuto Island

A natural archway carved over time by raging seas, Engetsuto Island is a fine example of natural architecture. Its Japanese name, Engetsuto, is a reference to its full-moon-like shape. In the winter and summer months, this iconic Shirahama landmark is the best spot to watch the sun set as it dips behind the horizon.

Sandanbeki Rock Cliff

Wild, impressive waves crash against Sandanbeki’s cliff face. With a sheer drop of 50 m, it is a thrilling sight to see the Pacific Ocean pounding Wakayama’s easterly coast. For more adventure, ride the elevator down into the underground caves, where you can also see the rock formations up close, and maybe catch the blowhole spout.

Sandanbeki Rock Cliff/Sandanbeki Cavern

Sandanbeki Rock Cliff

Wild, impressive waves crash against Sandanbeki’s cliff face. With a sheer drop of 50 m, it is a thrilling sight to see the Pacific Ocean pounding Wakayama’s easterly coast. For more adventure, ride the elevator down into the underground caves, where you can also see the rock formations up close, and maybe catch the blowhole spout.

Koibito-misaki Cape

The lookout point at Koibito-misaki Cape presents an unusual phenomenon: waves approach from opposite directions and unite. Buffeted by winds and tides, this scenic view constantly changes. Translated, its name means lovers point – a poetic allusion to the ever-changing nature of love.

Koibito-misaki Cape

The lookout point at Koibito-misaki Cape presents an unusual phenomenon: waves approach from opposite directions and unite. Buffeted by winds and tides, this scenic view constantly changes. Translated, its name means lovers point – a poetic allusion to the ever-changing nature of love.

Hashigui-iwa Rock

Kushimoto town is home to Hashigui-iwa Rock, a craggy bridge-like outcrop. Legend goes that the forty-some odd rocks making up the 850 m span, were built by Kobo Daishi, the Shingon Buddhist monk and founder of Koyasan more than 1,200 years ago. Watching the sun rise at this national heritage site, makes visiting this scenic spot well worth the effort.

Hashigui-iwa Rock

Hashigui-iwa Rock

Kushimoto town is home to Hashigui-iwa Rock, a craggy bridge-like outcrop. Legend goes that the forty-some odd rocks making up the 850 m span, were built by Kobo Daishi, the Shingon Buddhist monk and founder of Koyasan more than 1,200 years ago. Watching the sun rise at this national heritage site, makes visiting this scenic spot well worth the effort.

Nachi Waterfall

Nachi Waterfall (Nachi no Otaki) at 133m tall is the highest cascade in Japan. The waterfall is revered as embodying a Shinto deity. Sacred places like this one, are marked by shide – the lightning-bolt-shaped paper hangings. The 2 best viewing spots are from Hiro-jinja Shrine at the base of the falls, and from a distance at Nachisan Seiganto-ji Temple.

Nachi Waterfall

Nachi Waterfall

Nachi Waterfall (Nachi no Otaki) at 133m tall is the highest cascade in Japan. The waterfall is revered as embodying a Shinto deity. Sacred places like this one, are marked by shide – the lightning-bolt-shaped paper hangings. The 2 best viewing spots are from Hiro-jinja Shrine at the base of the falls, and from a distance at Nachisan Seiganto-ji Temple.

Nachi Primeval Forest

The Taiheiyo Rainforest (Pacific Rainforest) is home to one of Japan’s old-growth forests. Remotely located in Yoshino-Kumano National Park, and the home of the Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine, this mystical area filled with broadleaf trees, has been the site for centuries of ascetic worship of natural phenomenon such as mountains, waterfalls, trees and other natural wonders.

Nachi Primeval Forest

The Taiheiyo Rainforest (Pacific Rainforest) is home to one of Japan’s old-growth forests. Remotely located in Yoshino-Kumano National Park, and the home of the Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine, this mystical area filled with broadleaf trees, has been the site for centuries of ascetic worship of natural phenomenon such as mountains, waterfalls, trees and other natural wonders.

Doro-kyo Gorge

The picturesque Doro-kyo Gorge is known for its vertical cliffs, bizarre rock formations, and deep water pools. Located on the Kitayama-gawa River, the views along this gorge are particularly spectacular in Spring and Autumn, and can be leisurely enjoyed from the comfort of a jet boat.

Doro-kyo Gorge Sightseeing Boats

Doro-kyo Gorge

The picturesque Doro-kyo Gorge is known for its vertical cliffs, bizarre rock formations, and deep water pools. Located on the Kitayama-gawa River, the views along this gorge are particularly spectacular in Spring and Autumn, and can be leisurely enjoyed from the comfort of a jet boat.

Ki-no-Matsushima Islands

This cluster of 130 small islands making up Ki-no-matsushima in Katsuura Bay, is one more example of the remarkable geological features of Wakayama. Enjoy a scenic 40 minute cruise trip, and gain a different perspective on what makes this area unique.

Tour of Ki-no-Matsushima Islands

Ki-no-Matsushima Islands

This cluster of 130 small islands making up Ki-no-matsushima in Katsuura Bay, is one more example of the remarkable geological features of Wakayama. Enjoy a scenic 40 minute cruise trip, and gain a different perspective on what makes this area unique.

Daimon-zaka Slope

Heading to the Nachi Waterfalls, prepare to enter a towering world of 800-year-old cedars trees lining the cobblestone sloping path called Daimon-zaka. If you need a break, why not step back in time and try on a Heian period costume reminiscent of the first pilgrims – members of the imperial Heian court some 1,000 years ago.

Daimon-zaka Slope

Heading to the Nachi Waterfalls, prepare to enter a towering world of 800-year-old cedars trees lining the cobblestone sloping path called Daimon-zaka. If you need a break, why not step back in time and try on a Heian period costume reminiscent of the first pilgrims – members of the imperial Heian court some 1,000 years ago.

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