Nearby the Kii river, Wakayama Castle was once the home of Saiga Ikki during feudal Japan. It had been taken over and seized multiple times throughout its life but now Wakayama Castle is now the symbol of Wakayama, Japan and is visited throughout the year by locals and tourists alike.
Wakayama Castle was destroyed in World War 2 and has since been rebuilt using modern materials. It is now considered a great historic site in Japan.
Nachi Falls is the largest single-drop waterfall in Japan at over 130 meters tall. Widely considered to be one of the greatest waterfalls in Japan, the top of the falls is overlooked by the beautiful Seiganto-Ji Temple which many visitors come to see.
The Nachi falls are considered a remarkable backdrop for photography. The Nachi Falls and the surrounding area were once used as a pilgrimage location called the Kumano Kodo traveled by Japanese Buddhist monks.
Kishu Toshogu Shrine
To say the Kishu Toshogu Shrine has cultural significance would be an understatement. The Kishu Toshogu Shrine is where the body of the mighty first Shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate.
One of the most memorable features of the Kishu Toshogu Shrine would definitely be Samurai Hill located at the base of the Shrine where visitors will have to climb 108 steps to the top. The beautiful Edo-style artwork and architecture that decorates the Kishu Toshogu Shrine is complemented by the beautiful green forest that cradles this historical shrine.
The Shirahama Onsen Resort is situated in the Nanki Shirahama area of the Wakayama Prefecture. It is safe to say that the Shirahama Onsen is one of the most popular and beautiful destinations in Wakayama as visitors come to see the beautiful white sandy beaches and dip into one of the many natural hot springs that are scattered about the area.
The Shirahama Onsen has a history of over 1,300 years which means that visitors can be rest assured that they will be taking in a piece of cultural history along with natural beauty.
Walk The Kumano Kodo
Designated by UNESCO World Heritage Property as a Sacred Site, the Kumano Kodo is one of Japan’s oldest and most sacred sites and has been a pilgrimage mecca for Japanese Buddhist Monks for centuries. Areas such as Kumano Sanzan, Koyasan, Yoshino and Omine are connected by the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes.
Beginning in the Wakayama Prefecture, the Kumano Kodo stretches all the way to the Ise Shrine in the Mie Prefecture. The Kumano Kodo is perfect for avid hikers or nature lovers.
Tama the Cat Station Master
The Tama Cat phenomenon swept the Kishi Station in the Wakayama Prefecture in 2007 as Tama was selected as the Station Master by railway officials. The primary duty of Tama the Station Master was to greet passengers with a cute station hat in place of a salary.
Due to the appointment of Tama as the Station Master, the once financially troubled Kishi Station saw a boost in tourism as people around Japan came to visit Tama the Station Master. Unfortunately, Tama passed away in 2015 as she lived to be 16 years old! Tama the Cat Station Master’s position is now proudly occupied by her predecessor Nitama who is doing a fine job.
Tore Tore Market
Located in the Nishimuro District of the Wakayama Prefecture lies the Tore Tore Market where visitors can purchase local fresh fish, produce and sample various snacks throughout the market.
Visitors are also provided a barbecue where you can cook the foods bought from the market. Food lovers will definitely want to make a stop at the Tore Tore Market!
Sandanbeki Dokutsu Cave
The Sandanbeki Dokutsu Cave is one of the most beautiful natural caves in all of Japan. A 2-kilometer deep cave takes visitors on an underground adventure filled with historical sites and natural beauty. Visitors will be required to pay for entrance as they cannot enter on their own. the Sandanbeki Cave is one of the most beautiful and mysterious attractions of Wakayama.
Near the Seto Sea in Wakayama, there is a patch of 4 Islands called Tomogashima. Long ago the islands were used as training grounds for Buddhist Shugendo monks. Now visitors come to view the untouched nature of the islands and experience the beautiful green scenery year round.
During the Meiji era, there was once a military compound on the island that is now overrun with growth and plant life. The military compound and Tomogashima’s famous lighthouse are a great experience for those looking for a sightseeing adventure.
The Awashima Shrine in the Wakayama Prefecture is solely dedicated to the Japanese Hina dolls as there are thousands spread about the Awashima Shrines grounds.
March 3rd marks a very important day for the Awashima Shrine as it is Girl’s Day celebrated across Japan as families pray for the happiness and health of their daughters. The Awashima Shrine also celebrates Nigashibina where boats will be filled with Japanese Hina dolls will be set out to sea.
Mount Koya can be found in the Northeast part of the Wakayama Prefecture and is considered to be an active religious center for Shingon Buddhism. Visitors come from all over to take in the mysterious atmosphere and take a glance at one of the many temples located about.
Visitors are especially interested in staying the night at one of the temple lodges called Shukubo.
Nanki Shirahama Adventure World
Nanki Shirahama Adventure World is a massive entertainment complex consisting of an Amusement Park, a Safari Park Zoo, an Aquarium, and the mainstay, Panda Land.
Visitors can easily spend the entire day and more as they see various animals on the Safari Zoo tour or have fun with the large Pandas who lay about in Panda Land.
The Nanki Shirahama Adventure World’s facilities are incredibly massive which leaves visitors with endless options for entertainment and picture opportunities with cute animals.
Yosui Park is a beautiful Japanese Garden located in the Western part of the Wakayama Prefecture. Yosui Park sits right along the water which offers visitors a cool breeze as they take in the sites of the over 200-year-old Japanese Garden which has been classified as a Cultural Heritage Site by the Japanese Government.
Visitors who love Japanese Gardens will definitely not want to miss their chance at viewing Yosui Park.
Kiifudoki no Oka Museum of Archaeology and Folklore
The Kiifudoki no Oka Museum of Archaeology and Folklore takes visitors back thousands of years to the original inhabitants of the Wakayama area. Visitors will be able to take a look into ancient folklores and see the original building sites of the Wakayama Prefecture.
History lovers will surely want to take a trip to the Kiifudoki no Oka Museum of Archaeology and Folklore in Wakayama.