This mountain is known as the headquarters of the Japanese Buddhist Shingon sect. The scene here is very peaceful with lush forest, clean stone path, restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops.
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Especially Koyasan is also one of the famous pilgrimage places of Japanese followers. This is also the resting place of Kobo Daishi – who was credited with bringing Shingon to Japan.
And if you have come to Koyasan, do not miss the opportunity to enjoy Shojin Ryori – Japanese Buddhist Vegetarian Cuisine and participate in one of the Buddhist activities here such as print scripture, meditation …
All will help you escape from your thoughts, worries and towards peace, comfort in yourself and make your journey to Koyasan more meaningful.
Address: 152 Koyasan, Koya-cho, Koyasan
Phone: +81 (0) 73 656 3215
Hours: Daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (last admission 4:30 p.m.). From May to October, closing at 5:30 p.m.
Admission: 200 yen at the entrance of each building
Access : Kondô-mae stop on bus line Koya Rinkan
Dōjō-ji Temple – The place associated with love story
Dojo-ji is a Tendai school Buddhist temple located in Wakayama. The temple was built in 701 and is an important cultural heritage of the land of the cherry blossoms. Dojo-ji Temple is associated with a legend about Anchin and Kiyohime characters in the “Dojo-ji mono” story.
The story is told that Kiyohime secretly fall in love with Anchin as a clergy with a good-looking appearance. While worshiping the temple, she wanted to go on a date with Achin but Achin deceived her that he would stop by with her when the two returned but the truth was that Anchin had left her. After learning that he was betrayed, Kiyohime became very angry and turned into a giant dragon chasing Anchin, the dragon eventually burned Anchin when he was hiding in the bell of Dojo-ji Temple.
The story is also the theme of many puppet shows and performances in Japan and this story has made many people known about Dojo-ji and visit here more.
Address: 1738 Kanemaki, Hidakagawa, Hidaka District, Wakayama 649-1331, Japan
Phone: +81 738-22-0543
Kimii-dera Temple – The place to welcome the earliest spring of Kansai region
Kimii-dera Temple is officially called Kimiisangohoji Gokokuin, founded in 770. It is the second pilgrimage site in the list of 33 pilgrimage places in western Japan.
The reason for the temple is called Kimii-dera because there are 3 wells in the temple yard with pure groundwater, that are Shojosui, Kisshosui, Yoryusui. And that is why this temple was voted 100 places with famous Japanese clean water sources.
In the temple there are many important cultural properties such as the entrance to the temple “Romon”, the “Shoro” bell tower, the wooden statue of Bodhisattva with thousand hands … Passing Romon gate of Kimii-dera temple, visitors will see a very steep stone staircase with 231 steps leading to the main hall located in the center of the temple. This slope with this stone stairs is called “Kechien-zaka” which is said to be very spiritual about love and the path of career.
Especially the famous Kimii-dera temple is where to early blooming cherry blossoms in Kansai region with about 500 cherry blossom trees planted inside the campus. In the spring, the cherry blossoms at the temple are blooming, attracting a lot of tourists to visit the temple and see the flowers.
Address: 1201 Kimiidera, Wakayama, 641-0012, Japan
Phone: +81 73-444-1002
Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine & Nachi Falls
The Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine dedicated the god Fusuminokami, is said to be very spiritual. The shrine was built in 317 in its current position, but it was burned by Oda Nobunaga and later restored by Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Kumano-Nachi-taisha shrine along with Kumano-Hongu-taisha, Kumano-Hayatama-taisha is named the three largest shrines of Kumano, and and is recognized as a Unesco World Heritage Site. The temple with vivid vermilion is at the end of the 467-step stone staircase. This temple has all 6 shrines built in Kumano-gongen-zukuri architecture style, each worshiping a different god.
Nachi Falls is a wonder that nature bestows on Wakayama Prefecture, with a height of 133m, a depth of 10m, a ton of water per second, proud as the highest waterfall in Japan, voted as an national scenic beauty, and is part of the Unesco world heritage.
Pilgrimage on the Kumano Kodo Daimon-zaka Walking Trail
Kumano Kodo consists of 7 routes leading to three major Japanese temples: Hongu Taisha, Nachi Taisha and Hayatama Taisha. On these routes, you will pass through small villages, onsen, traditional restaurants serving Japanese cuisine and many stunning landscapes, varying by 4 seasons of the year.
Daimon-zaka is part of the Kumano Kodo path, one of the three largest ancient Shinto paths in Japan leading to Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine. This is a moss-covered stone slope, with a total length of about 600m, and height difference of about 100m. On both sides there are rows of giant cedar trees, creating a sacred atmosphere.
Because it is a well-preserved and in good condition, even the first climber can easily go. In addition to the beautiful surroundings, visitors can walk while watching two huge cedar trees with about 800 years of age in a steep climb with the Furikase-bashi bridge – believed to be the entrance to the holy land.
Experience the life of a monk
Temporarily living in a temple has gradually become the latest experience for Wakayama tourists. There are about 52 temples here allow visitors stay overnight and visitors can find any temple to experience living as a monk, joining some meditation courses and enjoy traditional vegetarian food.
In addition to the tourist attractions, you should also stop to rest for the next trip and Onsen is the best choice. Wakayama has long been famous for its long natural hot springs. Here we introduce some popular places, Saki-no-yu in Shirahama, south of Wakayama, which is a Onsen located on the Pacific coast; Sennin-Buro in Kawayu, southeast of Wakayama, is the largest outdoor Onsen bath in Japan. Also in the neighboring city of Katsuura there are a few excellent onsen like the Nakanoshima hotel, which has an onsen overlooking the ocean and the Urashima hotel, has a unique onsen located in a cave.
Wakayama Marina City
Wakayama Marina City is a city located on an artificial island in Wakayama Bay. Coming to Wakayama Marina City you will just want to stay here and do not want to go back because of the entertainment activities and a peaceful life here from the marine fish park to the immersion in Kishukuroshi Onsen, watching the beautiful scenes at Resort Harbor and of course enjoy the best fresh seafood at Kurishio market.
Although not as famous as Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, but still one of the largest fish markets in Japan, Kuroshio Market in Marina City sells fresh seafood mainly caught from Wakayama Sea.
At the outdoor seating area, visitors can enjoy crabs, sushi, flavorful grilled seafood. In addition, the tuna cutting performance is also very popular with tourists, attracting many visitors to visit and is performed 3 times a day at 11am, 12:30am and 3pm. There are also daily tuna auctions at the market, visitors can enjoy free sushi, sashimi or Tataki tuna.
In Kishu Kuroshio area also has an outdoor Onsen bath area and a large bath area using water from the seabed erupting at a depth of 1.500 meters.
Because in the hot spring water contains chloride, in addition to relaxation, it is also effective in weight loss and toxic waste. Kishu Kuroshio Onsen also includes bathing method on natural stones (pebbles), foot reflexology massage, facials … All aim to bring comfort to visitors and also a traditional way, a famous natural health care method of Japan.
The most prominent place here perhaps is Porto Europe theme park with the main design is the Mediterranean fishing village, in addition, there is the streets of France, the ancient castles of Spain …
Along with many interesting recreational games such as ferris wheel, wooden horse, sled, water slide … In addition there is a dolphin park, visitors can interact with the friendly dolphins. At Dolphin Park, Dolphin Holding will also be held, visitors can go on small boats running parallel to the dolphins and interact with them.
In addition, there is a marina and specialty shops in Wakayama such as soy sauce, apricot sauce, and fruits and vegetables picked in Wakayama.
Go to Kishi station to visit the beautiful stationmaster cat Tama
In Wakayama no one knows the head of the beautiful Kishi station, Tama, and the visitors all want to meet this stationmaster once. It was a female cat named Tama. Tama cat itself has made Kishi station a tourist attraction. Tama has a funny face always wears a station chief cap and she is very friendly to play with visitors.
The working began to welcome guests from 2007 and in 2008, the number of passengers and even to Kishi station only to meet this cat has increased 10% in the first two years when she appeared.
Due to the successful completion of the assigned work, Tama was promoted to the Chief of the Station in 2008 and has a private office. Along with that was a hat of station master and a badge bearing on the shirt.
Visiting to Wakayama, people not only remember these famous landmarks in this land known as the “Sleeping Beauty”, but they also have an interesting impression about this very special station head. But maybe now when you come here, there are only images, memories of this station leader because Tama died in June 2015. But Tama’s career will be continued by another cat in her family.
Nachi-no-Ogi matsuri (Nachi Fire Festival)
Wakayama has long been famous as one of the origins and maintenance of the Nachi fire festival – one of the oldest and most sacred festivals in the land of the rising sun.
The Nachi fire festival begins in July every year in a temple near the Nachi Falls in Wakayama. According to the legend, the former Nachi Falls is home to the gods protecting the Emperor and every 14th of July, the gods will leave Nachi Falls to return to their home. The Nachi fire festival where fire is an important factor helps the gods to purify the unclean and mundane of the earth before returning home.
Along with the worshipping ceremonies, praying for a good harvesting by recreating the plowing the land, the most important ritual is the healthy men carrying Daimatsu torches weighing up to 50 kg ran up and down the stairs leading to Nachi Falls.
Coming to Nachi festival, you will be immersed yourself in the extremely excited atmosphere, with the people shouting and cheering for the men who carry on them the daimatsu torches to create a bustling atmosphere, bearing the true spirit of the festival of Japan.
After the area of the road to the falls was purified with torches of daimatsu, the Mikoshi palanquins in shaped of waterfalls carrying the gods will be carried. When arriving at the foot of the waterfall, all palanquin pauses, concentrating there, making rituals like welcoming the gods come back home, then all go to the foot of the waterfall.
So the gods after a year of protecting the Emperor were returned home and with the Japanese people, the Wakayama people began to look forward to a year of prosperity and good harvest from the gods. Attending the Nachi fire festival also means that you have reached the Kumano Nachi temple, one of Japan’s sacred temples and the place where the Japanese Nachi festival takes place.
Wakayama travel blog: Where to eat?
In Wakayama, Ramen is often called “Chuka soba”. Since Ramen at Ide Shoten is voted as the “Best Ramen in Japan” in a culinary program, this small Ramen shop has become an indispensable eatery for those who love ramen when visiting Wakayama.
Ramen in Wakayama has special taste thanks to the delicious broth from stewed pork bones and soy sauce. A bowl of Ramen Wakayama seems to be very simple, it is just noodles and pour the broth and add a few slices of pork, eggs or mackerel but its taste is really appealing to anyone who has ever enjoyed it.
Address: Japan, 〒640-8329 Wakayama, Tanakamachi, 4 Chome−８４
Hours: 11:30AM–11:30PM/Thursday: Closed
Phone: +81 73-424-1689
Onsen Boiled Eggs
Osen – are you used to hearing this word? This is a very popular public bath in Japan, here you will have the opportunity to boil eggs in the public cooking area in Yunomine hot springs (Onsen), the only hot spring World Heritage Site in the world.
All you need to do is buy eggs and vegetables from local shops near the hot spring area and process them into delicious dishes. Local people often buy hot spring water ($1 for 10 liters) here to bring home for cooking.
Wakayama’s Kuroshio Fish Market – Ichiba is one of Japan’s largest fish markets, attracting a lot of tourists. It not only offers a wide range of fresh seafood but on Tuesday every week, there is also a training session on cutting tuna into slices that makes people and tourists fascinated. In addition, the tuna auctions also
are very exciting, and of course you can also enjoy free sushi, sashimi or Tataki tuna.
Address: 1527 Kemi, Wakayama, 641-0014, Japan
Phone: +81 73-448-0008
In addition, the tuna cutting show takes place at 11:00, 12:30 and 15:00.
After a long day exploring Wakayama, waking up this sleeping beauty has made you tired?! However, don’t forget to recharge your energy with the special fruits of Wakayama region.
Wakayama is famous for its delicious fruits such as strawberries, grapes, apricots, oranges … The most famous of which is Arida tangerine, thin peel, perfect flavor, balanced between sweet and sour.
The apricot is also a very famous specialty here, Wakayama is the largest producer of umeboshi (salted apricot) in Japan, so don’t forget to taste the delicious apricot liquor of Wakayama.
Wakayama is located next to the famous and bustling cities but Wakayama has weared on it a very outstanding and brilliant shirt so that no one can forget it. It is the land of a sacred festival, where the ancient temples, home to the best ramen in Japan and a famous artificial city are inferior to any city. Once you come to Wakayama, you will see what a “Sleeping Beauty” is !!!
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, to and from Tokyo you can refer to
- Private Narita International Airport Transfers (NRT) for Tokyo 23 Wards, Hakone, or Karuizawa
- Private Haneda International Airport Transfers (HND) for Tokyo 23 Wards, Hakone, or Karuizawa
- Airport Limousine Bus Transfers from/to Narita and Haneda International Airport (Free Wifi Onboard)
- Tokyo Amazing Sightseeing Bus Day Tour
- Tokyo Highlights Private Day Tour
- Nikko Day Tour from Tokyo
- Mt Fuji & Hakone Day Tour: Lake Ashi & Ropeway Day Trip from Tokyo
- Nikko Cultural Day Tour from Tokyo
- Tokyo Subway Ticket (24, 48, or 72 Hours)
- Tokyo Skyliner and Tokyo Subway Ticket
- Shuttle Bus Transfers (One Way/Round Trip) from Shinjuku/Ikebukuro to Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea
- Sky Hop-on and Hop-off Bus Pass
- 4G Prepaid Sim Card (JP Airports Pick Up) for Japan
- 4G WiFi (Japan Pick Up) for Japan
- JR Pass for Whole Japan (7, 14, or 21 Days)
Are you finding more top things to do in Japan: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Let’s check it out here.