Kumano Area

Registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, Kumano brims with an overwhelming natural power and is part of the Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes of the Kii Mountain Range. This sacred area carries a long history of worship and spiritual devotion, with the "Kumano Pilgrimage" – connecting the three main Kumano shrines – offering a popular route for pilgrims to enjoy a millennium of history. Highlights include Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine – the head shrine of all the Kumano shrines in Japan, which total over 3,000 in number – and Nachi Falls, the tallest uninterrupted waterfall in Japan.

Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine and Nachi Falls

Mt. Nachi is a sacred site of Kumano faith that includes Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine – one of the Kumano Sanzan – and Nachisan Seigantoji Temple. Nachi Falls has the highest direct drop in Japan, and the water falling through primeval forest looks divine. This area was designated as a World Heritage in 2004.

Kumano Kodo

This is a series of religious routes that lead to Kumano, Japan's largest sacred site. Along with the three Kumano Shrines, this site was awarded three stars by Michelin's Japanese travel guide "Michelin Green Guide Japan," further underlying its must-see status. Walking the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes and trying on Heian-period clothing are popular activities among foreign visitors.

Kumano Hongu Onsen Village (Hot Springs)

The Kumano Hongu Onsen Village is an area home to "Yunomine Onsen (hot springs)" – discovered over 1,800 years ago – the "Kawayu Onsen," where hot water bubbles up from the river, and the "Wataze Onsen" with its large open-air rotenburo bath.

Katsuura Onsen (Hot Springs)

Katsuura Onsen boasts a large volume of hot water that comes from over 100 sources. Its famous open-air bath that has been formed in a cave looking over the Pacific Ocean as well as its quiet bay-facing open-air bath are very popular.

Shirahama Onsen (Hot Springs)

Shirahama Onsen is one of the three oldest hot spring resorts in Japan and is even mentioned in the ancient "Manyoshu" and "Nihon Shoki" books. Nowadays, it is lined with many ryokan-style inns, hotels and minshuku guesthouses and is the resort spot of choice in the Kansai area.

INSIDER TIPS

Kumano Tourism Bureau

Check out the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau website, which provides comprehensive information about Tanabe City and Kumano in English, French, Spanish, Chinese and Korean. Their excellent online reservation system facilitates easy booking of accommodation, tours, activities and travel services.

SEASONAL ATTRACTIONS

  • SPRING

    Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine Annual Festival

    Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine, Tanabe City

  • SUMMER

    Nachi Fire Festival

    Around Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine, Nachikatsuura Town

  • FALL

    Mifune Festival

    Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine, Shingu City

  • WINTER

    Sennin-buro River Bath

    Kawayu Onsen, Tanabe City

ACCESS

  • Train or Subway
  • Boat or Ferry
  • Walk
  • Car or Taxi
  • Bus

From Kansai International Airport

4 hr 5 minor 3 hr 20 min

From JR Osaka Station

4 hr 10 min3 hr 45 min

From JR Shingu Station

  • 1.Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine

    40 min

  • 2.Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine

    5 minor 15 min

  • 3.Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine

    40 min

  • 4.Nachisan Seigantoji Temple

    40 min

  • 5.Fudarakusanji Temple

    20 min

  • 6.Kumano Hongu Onsen Village

    50 min

  • 7.Katsuura Onsen

    25 min

From JR Shirahama Station

  • 1.Shirahama Onsen

    10 min

※Travel times are provided as a guide only. Actual travel times may differ.

OTHER