Wakayama's 5 Regions Each Provide Very Distinctive Experiences
Facing the Pacific Ocean, Wakayama Prefecture boasts a dramatic coastline spanning more than 600 km. Located on the Kii Peninsula – the largest peninsula in Japan – with its mild climates and fertile soils, this largely mountainous region abounds in rich natural landscapes, local cuisine and a deep spiritual history. Discover what each of its 5 regions offer, in distinctive landscapes, spiritual heritage, outdoor activities, and historic sites.
A few highlights of what you can discover, and experience in Wakayama Prefecture.
With echoes of feudal era Japan, Wakayama City, the gateway to the Kii Peninsula and the north western region of the prefecture, offers a sampling of the prefecture's bounty.
High-up in the Kii mountains where the air is crisp and the atmosphere sublime, there lays Koyasan. In this ethereal landscape, more than 12 centuries ago, an esoteric Buddhist sect known as Shingon was born. To this day, visitors journey to wonder at the 117 temples on this sacred mountain, which is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Shirahama / Kushimoto
Nature, thermal hot spring spas, and marine activities characterize Shirahama and Kushimoto – areas blessed with dramatic coastlines, beaches and picturesque landscapes. It is the southernmost tip of Honshu, the largest and main island of the Japanese archipelago.
Arida / Yuasa / Hidaka
Captivating palates the world over, soy sauce was first produced in Japan in this rural area of Wakayama. It is also the home of the most famous Japanese salt-pickled ume relish, umeboshi.
Searching for heaven on earth, the pilgrimage roads lead to Kumano and Japan’s spiritual heritage.