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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Kansai
Kumano 
# 96   of 178 destinations
in our travel guide

jump to:   access  -  hotels  -  ratings  -  links

The massive torii in Hongu

The Kumano area (熊野) is located around the southern tip of the Kii Peninsula, about 100 kilometers south of Osaka. It spans Wakayama and Mie Prefectures, though most of the attractions and religious sites are in Wakayama. The region was badly hit by a typhoon in September 2011, but has since recovered.

Kumano is centered around three shrines, Hongu Taisha, Nachi Taisha and Hayatama Taisha, collectively known as the Kumano Sanzan. Pilgrims have traveled to the Kumano Sanzan via walking trails, called Kumano Kodo, for over 1000 years. The shrines are even older, with mention in Japan's founding mythology.

The region is infused with religious and historical value that emanates from the three shrines. The Shinto sun goddess' great grandson, Jimmu, came to Kumano to unify the country as Japan's first Emperor. To further add to the area's sanctity, Kumano is often called "The Land of the Dead", in reference to the belief that Shinto spirits and family ancestors dwell here after they die.

Towns and cities dot the Kii coastline, combining Kumano's ancient history with day to day living. Some offer hot springs, such as Shirahama and Katsuura, while others feature coastal scenery, such as Kumano City and Kushimoto.

In 2004, Kumano's religious treasures and pilgrimage routes were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Named "The Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range", the designation also includes neighboring Koyasan, Yoshino and Ominesan.

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Attractions
 1  Nachi Taisha
One of the three Kumano shrines.
User rating: 90/100 (46 votes)
Visited by: 99 users
 2  Kumano Kodo
Ancient network of pilgrimage routes.
User rating: 87/100 (49 votes)
Visited by: 96 users
 3  Hongu Taisha
One of the three Kumano shrines.
User rating: 85/100 (34 votes)
Visited by: 68 users
 4  Hayatama Taisha
One of the three Kumano shrines.
User rating: 78/100 (22 votes)
Visited by: 48 users
 5  Katsuura
Coastal hot spring resort.
User rating: 75/100 (26 votes)
Visited by: 66 users
 6  Shirahama
Large hot spring resort with sand beach.
User rating: 71/100 (40 votes)
Visited by: 80 users
 7  Kushimoto
Southermost point of Honshu Island.
User rating: 65/100 (23 votes)
Visited by: 44 users
 8  Kumano City
Site of an ancient shrine.
User rating: 58/100 (17 votes)
Visited by: 47 users
 

Access and Orientation
Access and Orientation
How to get to and around Kumano.

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User Ratings
Ratings for Kumano:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  outstanding  
User Rating (by 81 users):
84/100
  recommended

Best rated destinations (out of 163):
49.  Oze National Park   84/100
50.  Kanazawa   84/100
51.  Shosenkyo Gorge   84/100
52.  Okuhida   84/100
53.  Tsuwano   84/100
54.  Kumano   84/100
55.  Uji   84/100
56.  Otaru   84/100
57.  Hakodate   83/100
58.  Izu Oshima   83/100
Most visited destinations (out of 178):
91.  Shiretoko   253
92.  Ikaho Onsen   252
93.  Daisetsuzan   249
94.  Kakunodate   248
95.  Kushiro Marshlands   234
96.  Kumano   221
97.  Noto Peninsula   205
98.  Minakami   194
99.  Yakushima   188
100.  Kirishima   184

User Feedback
We strive to keep japan-guide.com up-to-date and accurate, and are always looking for ways to improve the user experience. If you have any updates, suggestions, corrections or opinions, please let us know:

English Links
Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau
English website by Tanabe City.
Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range
English website by Wakayama Prefecture.

Japanese Links
Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau
Website by Tanabe City.
Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range
Website by Wakayama Prefecture.

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