All About Japan

Top Things To Do Around Kumano Kodo, Wakayama

Onsen Festivals Temples & Shrines Wakayama

If you’re looking to experience the best of Japan, then look no further than Kumano Kodo in Wakayama. You’ll find ancient shrines, some of the best onsens in the world, food markets, festivals, and hidden mountain walkways. We’re going to share our top list with you.

10. Become part of the festivities at the Nachi Fire Festival or Kumano Kodo Picture Scroll Procession

Also known as the Nachi-no-Ogi Matsuri, it takes place annually on July 14th at the Nachi Taisha shrine. This incredible parade sees men carrying lanterns that are set alight. The parade starts from the shrine to the waterfall and is said to purify the route. For a calmer procession, head to the Kumano Kodo Picture Scroll Procession at Kumano Kodo on November 3rd. This enchanting parade is a reenactment of the royal pilgrimage processions with traditional costumes.

9. Witness a typical live-tuna auction at Katsuura Port Fish Market

If you’re into sushi, you will not want to miss this unique experience of seeing a live-tuna auction. We had no idea that such a thing even existed! Katsuura lands more tuna than anywhere else in Japan, and the heart of trade takes place in the local market. The early morning auctions can see up to 150kg (330 lbs) worth of tuna sold every day. The auctions are busy, loud, and obviously a little bit fishy. But guests can watch from an observation deck on the second floor. Which tuna would you bid for? Of course, after witnessing such an event if you head to a local restaurant you might be tasting the very same fish. Can’t get much fresher than that.

8. Go in search of large sea creatures on a whale and dolphin-watching tour

From rivers and onsens, our next listing takes us to the Pacific Ocean in search of whales and dolphins. If you’re lucky, you’ll be blessed to see these magnificent animals in their natural habitat. You might also be visited by all kinds of large animals, including killer whales and even sharks. Booking a tour with an experienced company is the best way to ensure your chances. Let the professionals take you on a voyage of the Pacific. Just remember to have your cameras (without a flash) ready to catch the moment.

7. Relax and unwind and one of these top onsens

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Futon with a view #ryokan

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A trip to Japan would not be complete without a visit to a relaxing onsen. We’d recommend heading to one of the three best onsens in the area. First, the Yunomine Onsen has a World-Heritage onsen. This tiny onsen can host only one or two people per bath and was built right on top of the river. It is the only World Heritage Onsen Site in the world. Located on the Oto River, next on our list is the Kawayu Onsen. In these beautiful and natural surroundings, you can even dig your own thermal bath. Sounds interesting to us. Finally, Katsuura Onsen is located in a place we can only describe as a part-fishing port, part-onsen. There are numerous onsens in this area, although it’s worth noting that most are attached to lodgings.

6. Test your wits on the Tanize Suspension Bridge

6. Test your wits on the Tanize Suspension Bridge

If you don’t have a fear of heights, we recommend testing the Tanize Suspension Bridge, which has a total length of 297 meters (974.41 feet). The construction of this bridge means that it is hanging 54 meters (177.17 feet) above the ground. And it was built in 1954. It is famous as the longest ‘in-use’ bridge in Japan and as you walk across you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Well, that is if you manage to keep your eyes open and not be scared like us! The boards you can walk on are only 80-centimeter (2.62-feet) wide and the bridge sways and rocks with the movement of people. We wish you good luck.

5. Get involved with water sports along the Dorokyo Gorge

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Rafting at Dorokyo Gorge in Japan in a ancestral bamboo raft is very special and a unique experience that accompanies us for life. Love it!!! 👌🎋🇯🇵 Every year I say that the next Big Trip I will do, surely be better than the last. My standard is already very high and the "standard" has nothing to do with luxury like most people think. Last year I was in Japan for a few weeks. What a wonderful trip - will be hard to match! 😉 More on the blog, #travelfeedbackblog #japan #ilovejapan #asia #kiikatsuura #nachikatsuura #rafting #dorokyogorge #japao #kitayama #village #nature #water #river #bamboo #raft

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Designated as an area of scenic beauty, your heart will be swept along with the water of Dorokyo Gorge. Located near the Kitayama River, it is a beautiful place to explore with a gentle riverboat tour. However, for those of you who are looking for something a little bit less timid, we’d definitely recommend trying a log raft experience. This ancient element of the Dorokyo Gorge may have changed over the years, from when logs were floated down the river for materials. However, the skill of the ‘logging river runners’ has continued to grow, and now tourists can enjoy the experience themselves, a historical tradition that has survived over 600 years.

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