There’s so much to see on your trip to Nachi-Katsuura in the Kii Peninsula, from the tuna market and hot springs to the Nachi Fire Festival. The famous Nachi Falls is part of the World Cultural Heritage sites of the Ancient Kumano Pilgrimage Trail. This waterfall features the largest drop in Japan―a staggering 133m. The waterfall itself is worshipped by Hiro Shrine.
The area of the three shrines of Kumano Sanzan (Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine, Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine, and Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine) contains the Nachi Falls and is a sacred area that has long attracted many believers. The Kumano Sanzan shrines and the pilgrimage routes were registered as UNESCO World Cultural Heritage sites as the “Ancient Kumano Pilgrimage Trail,” and have been attracted much attention from around the world.
The Kii Peninsula is full of place to see: the Nachi Fire Festival (Nachi-no-Ogi-Matsuri Festival), one of Japan’s three great fire festivals, the tuna market of Katsuura, and hot springs. These attractions earned the peninsula the 5th spot worldwide in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018: Top Regions. Lonely Planet has the highest market share of all travel guides in the West.
Daimon-zaka is a path to Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine and Nachisan Seiganto-ji Temple, and is part of the Ancient Kumano Pilgrimage Trail, a designated as a World Cultural Heritage site. The stone path extending around 600m from Daimon-zaka parking lot is surrounded by huge trees said to be 800 years old. This part of the Ancient Kumano Pilgrimage Trail will make you feel like you’ve been taken back to Japan’s Heian Period (794 AD-1185 AD) .
Nachi Fire Festival (Nachi-no-Ogi-Matsuri Festival) is one of Japan’s three great fire festivals. It is held July 14 every year. The Nachi Falls was the original object of worship of Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine, and this festival symbolizes the once-a-year return home of the deity to Hiro Shrine located in front of Nachi Falls. Twelve large pine torches, each of which weighs 50-60kg, are carried on the path to the waterfall to meet portable shrines decorated with fans.
Nachi-Katsuura, home to Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine and Nachisan Seiganto-ji Temple, is also known for its hot springs and tuna market. One of the best features of the hot springs of Nachi-Katsuura are the open-air baths, where you can relax while enjoying the dynamic sea scenery. After a long day hiking the Ancient Kumano Pilgrimage Trail, revitalize your tired body in an open-air bath and enjoy fresh tuna sashimi.
|Address||1 Nachisan, Nachi-Katsuura-cho, Wakayama|
|Access||30 minutes by Kumano Kotsu bus from JR Kii-Katsuura Station
Around 15 minutes’ walk from Nachi-no-Taki-mae bus stop, or the last stop
|Business Hours||Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine: 6:00-16:30
Hiro Shrine: 7:00-16:30
|Inquiries||TEL:0735-52-5311 (Nachi-Katsuura Town Tourism Association)|