Umikongo Coast

Kushimoto (串本) is located on the southern tip of the Kii Peninsula. The small town and its surroundings feature nice coastal scenery and several mildly interesting museums.

Cape Shionomisaki, just south of Kushimoto's town center, is the southernmost point of Japan's main island Honshu. A shrine and Shionomisaki Lighthouse stand nearby. The lighthouse contains a small museum with exhibits about the building and local history. It is also possible to climb to the top of the lighthouse.

Shionomisaki Lighthouse and the Turkish Museum

Not far from Cape Shionomisaki and connected with the mainland by a large modern bridge lies Oshima Island. The island is home to two small museums of foreign background and more coastal scenery.

The Turkish Memorial Museum is dedicated to an accident at sea in 1890, when a Turkish ship crashed on Oshima's shores. Survivors from the ship were cared for by townspeople until they could be safely sent back to Turkey. The incident marks the beginning of a deep friendship between Japan and Turkey.

Turkish memorial and the Japan-US Friendship Museum

Oshima's second foreign inspired museum is the Japan-US Friendship Museum, which commemorates the arrival of two American tradeships to Oshima in 1791. The event is said to be the first occurrence of a "friendly" relationship between the two countries. Walking trails connect the museum with a nearby observation point with views over the spectacular Umikongo Coast, named after Mount Kongo in Korea.

On the mainland, a series of rocks dot the coastline leading out towards Oshima Island. A legend claims that these rocks, called Hashigui-iwa, (meaning "bridge pillar rocks") were created by the famous monk Kobo Daishi. He formed the rocks after being challenged by a monster to build a bridge across the sea. Kobo Daishi nearly succeeded, and the remains of his efforts still stand.

Hashigui-iwa

Access

Kushimoto is a major station along the JR Kisei Line, served by both limited express trains and local trains.

Community buses provide access from Kushimoto Station to the various attractions of the city for 200 yen per ride. One line runs to Cape Shionomisaki, another one to Kashino Lighthouse and the Turkish Memorial Museum on Oshima Island, and another one to the Hashigui-iwa Rocks. There is about one bus every 1-2 hours on each line, except on the line to Oshima which is less frequent.

How to get to and around Kumano

Hours & Fees

Turkish Memorial Museum

Hours

9:00 to 17:00

Closed

No closing days

Admission

500 yen

Japan-US Friendship Museum

Hours

9:00 to 17:00

Closed

No closing days

Admission

250 yen

Hotels around Kumano