Have you heard of Wakayama? Wakayama is a tranquil and spiritually rich place. It is full of breathtaking views with World Heritage Sites. There is little wonder why you should visit this remarkable destination.
From its majestic mountains to dynamic coastlines, Wakayama offers cycling enthusiasts various options. The lack of congested roads and traffic lights, make Wakayama one of the friendliest places in Japan for cyclists.
Wakayama – treasure trove of ancient temples and shrines
Wakayama is set amongst the world’s most sacred mountains. Koyasan is considered to be the most sacred place that represents Wakayama. It is headquarters of Shingon Buddhism and one of three World Heritage Sites is the Kill Mountain Range. Koyasan is serene and mysterious with 117 temples, 52 of which offer accommodation for visitors at shukubo (temple lodgings). A shukubo stay in Koyasan is considered one of the best in Japan where guests can experience a traditional monk’s lifestyle with meditation, temple services, Buddhist gardens and vegetarian cuisine.
Explore an Ancient Route
Kumano Kodo is a special pilgrimage site, registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site which connects three shrines. The Kumano Hongu Talsha Grand Shrine, Kumano Hayatama Talsha Grand Shrine and Kumano Nachi Talsha Grand Shrine. The network of pilgrimage routes which have been in use for over 1,000 years is easily navigable and include hot springs retreats, wild and waterfall-laced mountains and delicious local food. Walking the Kumano Kodo is a fantastic way to experience Wakayama’s spiritual countryside.
Kumano Nachi Talsha Grand Shrine
One of the highlights on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage is the 1,700-year-old Kumano Nachi Talsha Grand Shrine. This Shrine is 133 meters high and is the tallest in Japan. The path and climb to the Shrine is breathtaking. It is one of the most beautiful roads to travel on.
Ancient Hot Springs
Relax and rejuvenate at one of Wakayama’s many ancient hot springs, or onsen. Visit the Hongu Onsen-kyo area which is located close to the Kumano Hongu Talsha Grand Shrine, where you can relax in one of Japan’s oldest and most famous hot springs, Yunomine onsen.
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