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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).

Kuroshima Island・Taijima Island

Information

  • Name:Kuroshima Island・Taijima Island
  • Location:Nishimukai, Kushimoto-cho, Higashimuro-gun MAP B3
  • Getting there:Located about 10 min. on foot down National Route 42 from JR Koza Station.

Kuroshima Island can be seen on the left, and Taijima Island on the right. The latter has a distinctive, eye-like hole. Kuroshima Island can be seen on the left, and Taijima Island on the right. The latter has a distinctive, eye-like hole.

Cape Shionomisaki Lookout

Information

  • Name:Cape Shionomisaki Lookout
  • Location:Shiono-misaki, Kushimoto-cho, Higashimuro-gun
  • Getting there:Located about 7 minutes on foot from the Shiono-misakitodaimae bus stop. MAP A4

Located on the west side of Cape Shiono-misaki. Long ago during the early spring, people kept watch here for whales swimming from the waters of Shikoku toward the Kii Peninsula in the east.

Whale-watching Kazuyoshimaru

Information

  • Name:Kazuyoshimaru
  • Location:Sue, Kushimoto-cho, Higashimuro-gun MAP B4
  • Phone:0735-65-0046/090-3033-8050
  • Getting there:Located about 20 min. by car from JR Kushimoto Station.
  • Hours:Trips depart at 7:00 am from late April to late September (ask about an additional trip at 12:00 pm on Sundays and holidays). *Reservations required at least two days in advance. Trips may be canceled in the event of inclement weather.
  • Cost:Adults (middle school students and older), ¥6,000; children (age 4 and older), ¥4,000

Trips depart from the Port of Sue on Kii Oshima Island (in the town of Kushimoto) for the Kumano Sea between Shiono-misaki Point and waters off Taiji. Guests encounter whales and dolphins, and sometimes killer whales. Trips last about three to four hours.

Hashigui-iwa Rock

Information

  • Name:Hashigui-iwa Rock
  • Location:Kujinokawa, Kushimoto-cho, Higashimuro-gun MAP A3
  • Getting there:Located in the immediate vicinity of the Hashiguiiwa bus stop.

A row of enormous, strangely shaped rocks extends 850 meters out to sea.

Kushimoto Marine Park

Information

  • Name:Kushimoto Marine Park
  • Location:1157 Arida, Kushimoto-cho, Higashimuro-gun MAP A4
  • Phone:0735-62-1122
  • Getting there:Located about 12 minutes by complimentary shuttle bus from JR Kushimoto Station.
  • Hours:9:00 am to 4:30 pm (ticket sales stop at 4:00 pm)
  • Closed:Open year-round. (Sightseeing ship departures may be canceled due to inclement weather.)
  • Cost:Ticket package to the aquarium, observation platform, and ship—adults, ¥2,600; elementary and middle school students, ¥1,400 (Separate tickets are also available.)

The aquarium reproduces the Kushimoto seascape. Enjoy watching marine life from the undersea tower and the sightseeing ship.

Turkish Museum

Information

  • Name:Turkish Museum
  • Location:1025-26 Kashino, Kushimoto-cho, Higashimuro-gun MAP B4
  • Phone:0735-65-0628
  • Getting there:Located about 3 minutes on foot from the Kashinotodaiguchi bus stop.
  • Hours:9:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Closed:Open year-round
  • Cost:Adults, ¥500; elementary, middle school, and high school students, ¥250

The museum features exhibits of crewmembers’ belongings. The accident claimed more than 580 lives, despite islanders’ best efforts to rescue survivors.

Whale lookout at Kashino-zaki

Information

  • Name:Kashino-zaki Lighthouse
  • Location:Kashino, Kushimoto-cho, Higashimuro-gun MAP B4
  • Getting there:Located about 8 minutes on foot from the Kashinotodaiguchi bus stop.
  • Cost:Access to the lighthouse is not restricted.

Kashino-zaki Lighthouse, which is located at the site of a whale lookout, is Japan’s oldest Western-style lighthouse. You can look out over the Kumano Sea from the walkway that circles the building.

Kozagumi whaling superintendent stone shrine

Information

  • Name:Kozagumi whaling superintendent stone shrine
  • Location:Koza, Kushimoto-cho, Higashimuro-gun MAP A2
  • Getting there:Located in the immediate vicinity of the Kozajinjamae bus stop or about 22 min. on foot from JR Koza Station.

Koza whaling superintendents worshiped this shrine, where they offered pieces of wood that described distinguished service rendered by Kitano Matabee.

Umikongo

Information

  • Name:Umikongo
  • Location:Kashino, Kushimoto-cho, Higashimuro-gun MAP B4
  • Getting there:Located about 13 min. on foot from the Kashino bus stop.

The scenic landscape woven from the azure ocean and oddly shaped rocks was chosen as one of the 100 most beautiful places of natural beauty in Japan that should be preserved for the 21st century.

Japan-U.S. Friendship Memorial Museum

Information

  • Name:Japan-U.S. Friendship Memorial Museum
  • Location:1033 Kashino, Kushimoto-cho, Higashimuro-gun MAP B4
  • Phone:0735-65-0099
  • Getting there:Located about 10 min. on foot from the Kashino bus stop.
  • Hours:9:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Closed:Open year-round
  • Cost:Adults, ¥250; elementary, middle, and high school students, ¥120

Visit the Japan-U.S. Friendship Memorial Museum to learn about the very first contacts between the two countries.

*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.

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Seeing, studying, and enjoying whales

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Recommended lodging in Kumano

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Japan Heritage festivals and traditional
performing arts that depict whaling culture