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The Kumano Sea area is more than just the site of numerous cultural properties that make up the area’s Japanese heritage. There are plenty of other opportunities to explore, too, including World Heritage sites, scenic spots that have been registered as Japanese Geoparks, and places where you can experience whales.

Japan Heritage “Living with Whales” Area Map

*Electronic topographical map data (tiles) published by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan have been used with the permission of the Director-General of that organization (approval number: 2016 No. 647).

Asuka-jinja Shrine

Information

  • Name:Asuka-jinja Shrine
  • Location:3169 Taiji, Taiji-cho, Higashimuro-gun MAP C4
  • Getting there:Located in the immediate vicinity of the Gyokyomae bus stop.

The shrine continues to hold traditional events celebrating whales, and the gorgeous main shrine has been designated as a Cultural Property by the Town of Taiji.

Gravesite of Yorimoto Wada, Whaling Founder

Information

  • Name:Gravesite of Yorimoto Wada, Whaling Founder
  • Location:Taiji, Taiji-cho, Higashimuro-gun MAP C4
  • Getting there:Located about 5 minutes on foot from the Gyokyomae bus stop.

The tomb of Wada Yorimoto, who founded old-fashioned whaling in the Kumano Sea region, can be found on the grounds of Junshin-ji Temple.

Whale Bone Torii Gate

Information

  • Name:Whale Bone Torii Gate
  • Location:Taiji, Taiji-cho, Higashimuro-gun MAP C4
  • Getting there:Located in the immediate vicinity of the Gyokyomae bus stop.

The gate, which was inspired by Ihara Saikaku's work The Eternal Storehouse of Japan, was built in 1985 (and reconstructed in 1996).

Whale Memorial

Information

  • Name:Whale Memorial
  • Location:Taiji, Taiji-cho, Higashimuro-gun MAP C4
  • Getting there:Located about 4 minutes on foot from the Gyokyomae bus stop.

The only memorial monument built during the era of traditional whaling that remains standing today. Located on the grounds of Tomyo-ji Temple.

Sekimon (Rock Gate)

Information

  • Name:Sekimon (Rock Gate)
  • Location:Taiji, Taiji-cho, Higashimuro-gun MAP C4
  • Getting there:Located in the immediate vicinity of the Sekimon bus stop.

The cave is shaped like a gate. You can still pass through it.

Takatsuka Lookout Site

Information

  • Name:Takatsuka Lookout Site
  • Location:Taiji, Taiji-cho, Higashimuro-gun MAP C4
  • Getting there:Located in the immediate vicinity of the Takatsuka bus stop.

This site served as a relay station for communications between mountain lookouts.

Tomyo-zaki Point

Information

  • Name:Tomyo-zaki Point
  • Location:Taiji, Taiji-cho, Higashimuro-gun MAP C4
  • Getting there:Located about 15 minutes on foot from the Hiramikoenmae bus stop.

You’ll enjoy panoramic views of the Kumano Sea from this point, where there’s also a restoration of an old-fashioned lighthouse.

Taiji Whale Museum

Information

  • Name:Taiji Whale Museum
  • Location:2934-2 Taiji, Taiji-cho, Higashimuro-gun MAP C4
  • Phone:0735-59-2400
  • Getting there:Located at the Kujirakan bus stop about 5 minutes from JR Taiji Station via the Taiji Municipal Shuttle Bus.
  • Hours:8:30 am to 5:00 pm
  • Closed:Open year-round.
  • Cost:Adults, ¥1,500; elementary and middle school students, ¥800

This museum in Taiji Kujirahama Beach Park, one of the few such facilities in the world to be dedicated to whales, features exhibits of a variety of materials related to the mammals in its main building. It also hosts whale and dolphin shows along with opportunities to see the animals up close, in a natural pool situated in an inlet of the ocean.

Taiji Kujirahama Beach Park

Information

  • Name:Taiji Kujirahama Beach Park
  • Location:Taiji, Taiji-cho, Higashimuro-gun MAP C4
  • Getting there:Located in the immediate vicinity of the Kujirakan bus stop.

A monument depicting the tails of pair of whales greets visitors.

Tomb of Taiji Kakuemon

Information

  • Name:Tomb of Taiji Kakuemon
  • Location:Taiji, Taiji-cho, Higashimuro-gun MAP C4
  • Getting there:Located about 5 min. on foot from the Gyokyomae bus stop.

The tomb of Taiji Kakuemon, who was responsible for the revival of old-fashioned whaling in Taiji, is located on the grounds of Junshin-ji Temple.

Tomb of a whale boat crewmember

Information

  • Name:Tomb of a whale boat crewmember
  • Location:Taiji, Taiji-cho, Higashimuro-gun MAP C4
  • Getting there:Located about 8 min. on foot from the Gyokyomae bus stop.

This tomb was erected by the Taichi family for a whale boat crewmember named Masato.

Kajitori-zaki Point

Information

  • Name:Kajitori-zaki Point
  • Location:Taiji, Taiji-cho, Higashimuro-gun MAP C4
  • Getting there:Located in the immediate vicinity of the Kajitorizaki bus stop.

Kajitori-zaki Point is home to a lighthouse. There’s also a whale-shaped memorial in a garden with an expansive lawn.

*Information in this website is accurate as of August 31, 2017. *Prices were verified as of the time of compilation and include consumption tax. *Travel times are approximate.

Watch and Play

Seeing, studying, and enjoying whales

Shops and Restaurants

A community of famous sites

Stay

Recommended lodging in Kumano

Event

Japan Heritage festivals and traditional
performing arts that depict whaling culture