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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: 100 users
 2  Kumano Kodo
Ancient network of pilgrimage routes.
User rating: 87/100 (49 votes)
Visited by: 98 users
 3  Hongu Taisha
One of the three Kumano shrines.
User rating: 85/100 (34 votes)
Visited by: 69 users
 4  Hayatama Taisha
One of the three Kumano shrines.
User rating: 78/100 (23 votes)
Visited by: 49 users
 5  Katsuura
Coastal hot spring resort.
User rating: 74/100 (27 votes)
Visited by: 67 users
 6  Shirahama
Large hot spring resort with sand beach.
User rating: 71/100 (41 votes)
Visited by: 81 users
 7  Kushimoto
Southermost point of Honshu Island.
User rating: 67/100 (24 votes)
Visited by: 45 users
 8  Kumano City
Site of an ancient shrine.
User rating: 58/100 (17 votes)
Visited by: 48 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 80 users):
85/100
  recommended

Best rated destinations (out of 164):
42.  Furano   85/100
43.  Yokohama   85/100
44.  Lake Towada   85/100
45.  Daisetsuzan   85/100
46.  Sapporo   85/100
47.  Kumano   85/100
48.  Kanazawa   84/100
49.  Oze National Park   84/100
50.  Shosenkyo Gorge   84/100
51.  Uji   84/100
Most visited destinations (out of 178):
91.  Ikaho Onsen   257
92.  Shiretoko   255
93.  Daisetsuzan   250
94.  Kakunodate   249
95.  Kushiro Marshlands   236
96.  Kumano   224
97.  Noto Peninsula   207
98.  Minakami   197
99.  Yakushima   191
100.  Yamadera   187

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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News and Reports
February 28, 2012
Kumano half a year after Typhoon #12
by schauwecker

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