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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 has been designated as a Historic Site by Wakayama Prefecture.

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.

Constructed in 1985, the gate was inspired by the Nippon Eitaigura story. (The gate was rebuilt in 1996.)

Whale Memorial

Information

  • Name:Whale Memorial
  • Location:3320 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.

Sekimon (Rock Gate) is noted in the Kiizokufudoki, a chronicle of historical records compiled by the former Kiishu domain.

Takatsuka Lookout Site

Information

  • Name:Takatsuka Lookout Site
  • Location:694 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:Tomyo-zaki 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, ¥1,300; elementary and middle-school students, ¥700 (increases to ¥1,500 and ¥800, respectively, as of April 1, 2017)

Located in Taiji Kujirahama Beach Park, Taiji Whale Museum, which is one of the few museums in the world to focus exclusively on whales, features a variety of exhibits and materials related to whales. The facility also holds whale shows as well as dolphin and whale encounters in its natural pool, which utilizes an ocean inlet.

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.

*Information in this website is accurate as of November 30, 2016. *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