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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).

Nachisan Seiganto-ji Temple


  • Name:Nachisan Seiganto-ji Temple
  • Location:8 Nachisan, Nachikatsuura-cho, Higashimuro-gunMAP A1
  • Phone:0735-55-0001
  • Getting there:Located about 10 minutes on foot from the Nachisan bus stop.
  • Hours:5:00 am to 4:00 pm
  • Cost:Admission to the temple grounds is free.

The temple’s main building has acquired the patina of time. The building houses its principal image, a statue of the bodhisattva Nyoirin.

Fish Memorial


  • Name:Fish Memorial
  • Location:Located on the grounds of Nachisan Seiganto-ji Temple. MAP A1
  • Getting there:Located about 10 minutes on foot from the Nachisan bus stop.

This memorial monument was built by fishermen and others associated with the fishing industry to express gratitude to the whales and fish they catch.

Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine


  • Name:Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine
  • Location:1 Nachisan, Nachikatsuura-cho, Higashimuro-gunMAP A1
  • Phone:0735-55-0321
  • Getting there:Located about 10 minutes on foot from the Nachisan bus stop.
  • Hours:6:00 am to 4:30 pm
  • Cost:Admission to the shrine grounds is free.

The vermillion-colored worship hall can be seen in the center of the photograph. The large camphor tree whose branches can be seen on the right is said to have been planted by Taira no Shigemori himself.

Nachi Waterfall


  • Name:Nachi Waterfall
  • Location:Nachisan, Nachikatsuura-cho, Higashimuro-gun MAP A1
  • Phone:0735-55-0321 (Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine)
  • Getting there:Located about 3 minutes on foot from the Nachinotakimae bus stop.
  • Hours:Access to the falls is not restricted (the viewing area is open from 7:00 am to 4:30 pm).
  • Cost:To the viewing area—adults, ¥300; elementary and middle school students, ¥200

Deep in a primeval forest, water flows dynamically over a huge, 133-meter cliff.

Daimon-zaka Slope on the Kumano Kodo


  • Name:Daimon-zaka Slope on the Kumano Kodo
  • Location:Nachisan, Nachikatsuura-cho, Higashimuro-gunMAP A1
  • Getting there:The entrance is located at the Daimon-zaka bus stop.

Countless pilgrims have traveled this sacred pilgrimage route, which is unique among World Heritage sites.

Tour of Katsuura Fish Market


  • Name:Tour of Katsuura Fish Market
  • Location:7-8-2 Tsukiji, Nachikatsuura-cho, Higashimuro-gunMAP C3
  • Phone:0735-52-0951(Katsuura Fish Market)
  • Getting there:Located about 5 minutes on foot from JR Kii-Katsuura Station.
  • Hours:About 30 min. starting at 7:00 am. Make a reservation at the front desk of your hotel by 5:00 pm the day before you plan to visit the market (or if not staying at a local hotel, contact Katsuura Fish Market).
  • Closed:Saturdays, days before holidays, days on which there is no catch, and two other days per month as scheduled
  • Cost:Middle school students and older, ¥1,000; elementary school students and younger, ¥500

Freshly caught tuna lie in rows at the fish market. You can watch the auction free of charge without reservations from the second-floor gallery.

Ki-no-Matsushima Islands Cruise


  • Name:Ki-no-Matsushima Islands Cruise
  • Location:Katsuura, Nachikatsuura-cho, Higashimuro-gunMAP C3
  • Phone:0735-52-8188
  • Getting there:Katsuura Tourist Pier is located about 8 minutes on foot from JR Kii-Katsuura Station.
  • Hours:Departures from Katsuura Tourist Pier from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm (subject to change)
  • Closed:Open year-round. (Trips may be canceled in the event of inclement weather.)
  • Cost:Route A—middle school students and older, ¥1,650; children age four and over, ¥830 (if disembarking in Taiji, ¥1,250 and ¥630, respectively)

You’ll pass through areas where there are strangely shaped rocks such as Rakuda-iwa (in the foreground), named for its resemblance to a camel. Route A takes 55 minutes (or 40 minutes to Taiji Kujirahama Beach Park).

Group of mountain lookout sites on the Ugui Peninsula


  • Name:Group of mountain lookout sites on the Ugui Peninsula
  • Location:Ugui, Nachikatsuura-cho, Higashimuro-gunMAP B1
  • Getting there:Located about 5 min. by car from JR Ugui Station. Park at the Ugui Visitors’ Center. The site is located about 15 min. on foot from the parking lot.

Miwasaki’s whaling superintendent kept watch for whales from a mountain lookout located at this site.

Shiogama-jinja Shrine Semi Right Whale Ritual


  • Date(s):Second Sunday in January
  • Location:Shiogama-jinja ShrineMAP A2

Running, white-clad children pluck a straw whale, or semi, from a target.

Hamanomiya Shrine Archery Ritual


  • Date(s):Saturday immediately before February 14
  • Location:Kumano Sansho-omiwasha ShrineMAP B1

A festival at Kumano Sansho-omiwasha Shrine. The decorative part of the target is called a semi.

*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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