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Nanki Kumano Geopark (Kushimoto-cho)

A dynamic Geosite in Kushimoto Town, Wakayama Prefecture

Geopark is essentially a "park of the earth," a place where you can not only learn about the origins of the area's geography, but also experience the relationship between the land and people's lives through history, culture, flora and fauna, and foods. Located in the southern part of the Kii Peninsula, Nanki Kumano Geopark is a very rare area in Japan where three types of terrain created by plate subduction can be observed in one setting.

Hashigui-iwa Rocks, where rock pillars stretch up from the sea

After a five-minutes drive from Kushimoto Station, you will find a mysterious scenery of large and small rock pillars. The landscape was created about 15 million years ago when magma rose from underground and entered the earth's strata, and only the hard parts of rocks remained after erosion by the sea. Around 40 large and small rock pillars rise up in an orderly line like the piles of bridges for a distance of about 900 meters, and create an exceptionally beautiful scenery when the morning sun rises from between the rocks. It is designated as a national site of scenic beauty and a natural monument, and you can see the Hashigui-iwa Rocks illuminated in November. If the tide is low, be sure to take a walk in between the rocks. Nearby, there is also the roadside station Kushimoto Hashigui-iwa where you can have a meal.

Cape Shionomisaki, the southernmost point of Honshu

Located at the southernmost point of the Kii Peninsula, Cape Shionomisaki is famous as the southernmost cape of Honshu, the main island of Japan. At its tip lies a vast grassy plain of about 100,000 square meters called Boro no Shiba (watchtower lawn) with a stone monument marking the southernmost tip of Honshu Island. If you look up, the gently arching Pacific Ocean will spread before your eyes. On the last Saturday of every January, the Fire Festival of Southernmost Honshu is held, where the field is burned in a traditional manner to promote growth. Also, don't miss the Shionomisaki Lighthouse, one of the eight Western-style lighthouses first built in Japan and that has ensured safety over the sea for more than 100 years. On the way back, be sure to get the certification of visiting to the southernmost point of Honshu Island issued at the Shionomisaki Sightseeing Tower.

Fully enjoy the sea and the aquarium at Kushimoto Marine Park

Kushimoto Marine Park is the first designated marine park in Japan. Here, you can experience the beautiful coral sea through the aquarium, underwater observation tower and underwater sightseeing boat. The sea of Kushimoto is the northernmost table coral bed in the world. You can see numerous tropical fish swarming around the coral from the underwater observation tower situated 140 meters offshore and from the underwater sightseeing boat "Stella Maris." The aquarium faithfully reproduces the beautiful sea of Kushimoto, as well as focuses on sea turtles from egg laying to breeding, protecting and conducting ecological research. You can even interact with baby sea turtles. Backyard tours, sea turtle feeding and diving experiences are also popular activities.

Experience the fascination of the earth at Nanki Kumano Geopark Center

Find everything you want to know about Nanki Kumano Geopark here. Learn about the origins of Nanki Kumano's geography and the wonders of nature through a large 3D model of the Kii Peninsula, projection mapping that projects dynamic videos such as volcanic eruptions, an experience device that reproduces how the terrain was created and guided experiments on rivers and tsunamis. The experience-based exhibits using games and models are enjoyable for visitors of all ages.


Name Nanki Kumano Geopark (Kushimoto-cho)
Website https://nankikumanogeo.jp/eng/geosite/?area=97
Address 2838-3 Shionomisaki, Kushimoto-cho, Higashimuro-gun, Wakayama
Access From JR Kushimoto Station, approximately 20 minutes' ride on the Commuity Bus.
Approximately 15 minutes' ride on the "Magutoru" Kushimoto Tourist Bus.
Approximately 40 minutes' drive from the Susami-minami IC on the Kisei Expressway
Inquiries TEL: 0735-67-7100 (Nanki Kumano Geopark Center)

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