5 Must Visit Spots in Wakanoura, Wakayama, Japan!June 29, 2019 9:55 P
Writer Seigo Nishikawa
English consultant Madison Blake
June 29th, 2019
Wakanoura is located southwest of Wakayama city, an hour and a half from Namba station in Osaka.
In the Manyoshu, the oldest poetry collection in Japan (645 – 759 A.D.), there are about 4,500 poems in 20 books.
13 of these poems in this traditional book were written in the Wakanoura area.
Wakanoura was given the honored title of “Treasured, Picturesque Views” by Japan Heritage, Agency for Cultural Affairs, in 2017.
No.5 : Kimii dera (Kimii Temple)
This temple was founded 770 A.D. and was the second temple of the 33-temple Buddhist religious pilgrimage route in the Kansai and Chubu regions of Japan. Mr. Ikou, who came from China in the Tou era (618 – 907 A.D.), found a golden statue of Kannon with a thousand hands under a pine tree. The maker of the statue is still unknown. He felt sorry this beautiful statue was left outside, so he then carved another statue of Kannon with eleven faces. This temple is good to visit if you want to avoid bad lack, to have good fortune, to find a good match, to have a healthy birth and more. This golden statue is a very impressive twelve meters tall! You will have a great view of the Wakanoura area from the temple after climbing 231 steps.
1201 Kimiidera, Wakayama City, Wakayama Prefecture
It is about a 10 minute walk from JR Kimiidera station.
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
No.4 : Kishu traditional industry hall “Uruwashi kan”
Kishu lacquerware is one of the Japanese traditional crafts. It began 600 years ago in the Muromachi era (1336 – 1573 A.D.). Guests can experience applying lacquer to round trays with long brushes. This activity is enjoyable for all ages. There are some cute lunch boxes and dishes in the souvenir shop of 1st floor.
222 Funoo, Kainan city, Wakayama Prefecture
It is a 20 minute walk from JR Kuroe station.
10:00 am – 4:30 pm
Painting experience 1,500 yen to 2,500 yen
No.3 : Oto To Hiroba (Oto To Square)
Wakanoura is famous for fresh seafood, and Oto To Hiroba is a good place to have lunch! I tried boiled whitebait on top of hot rice with sour plum and other toppings like seaweed and perilla and some miso soup. The whitebait was very fresh and caught in Wakanoura Bay. There is a seafood market in this square, so visitors can buy seafood such as fish, shrimp, clams and the catch of the day from the bay.
1-1 Shinwakanoura, Wakayama city, Wakayama prefecture
Few minutes walk from “Shin Wakanoura” bus stop, which you can take from JR Wakayama station.
10:00 am to 2:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday
Whitebait bowl 500 yen
Ramen 500 yen
Grilled scallop 380 yen
No.2 : Nakano BC
This is the sake brewery well-known in the Wakayama prefecture. There are two famous brands: “Kiikuniya Bunzaemon Jyunmai Ginjo” which won the platinum prize on KURA MASTER sake competition held in France in 2017, and “Beni Nanko” which won the first year of the Umeshu grand prix in 2007. Try a sake brewery tour and walk through beautiful gardens and see sake preparation tanks. At the end of the tour, you can taste some fresh sakes and find your favorite!
758-45 Fujishiro, Kainan city, Wakayama prefecture
It is a 20 minute walk from JR Kainan station
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
The sake brewery tour is free, but book in advance.
There are both free and paid sake tastings.
No.1 : Saigasaki lighthouse + town scenery
A wonderful, panorama view of sea and islands awaits you at the Saigasaki lighthouse. It’s a good way to catch the sea breeze. After visiting the lighthouse, walk through the small town towards the fishing port. You will see scenery like the Amalfi Coast in Italy after a 10 minute walk. When I visited on a Saturday, the market was not open to the public. Please find more details at the web site below.
Saigasaki fishery cooperative association
809-2 Saigasaki, Wakayama city, Wakayama prefecture
There are many places to visit beautiful coastline scenery, to eat gourmet seafoods, to try your hand at traditional crafts and more.
If you want to know more about Wakayam, try these links for more information.
Wakayama sightseeing information
More Hot Spots in the Wakanoura area
Stay: HOTEL EPICHARIS
This is a new resort hotel with a Greek, Aegean sea theme. I loved the dinner course set, which has local, fresh ingredients.
There are many options such as seafood lunch, grouper pot, etc.
Sake brewery: Nate Shuzo Ten
Over 200 years history, they heartily make “Kuro Ushi” brand sake.
Shrine and temple: Kishu Toushou Gu
Founded by Tokugawa Yorinobu in 1621, this temple recognized by the Japanese Heritage, Agency for Cultural Affairs. It’s called the “Nikkou of Kansai” after the Nikkou Toushou Gu located in the Tochigi prefecture, near Tokyo.
Shrine and temple: Wakanoura Tenman Gu
Founded in 964 A.D., the god of studies Fujiwara Michizane is enshrined here. The gate and main hall are recognized by the Japanese Heritage, Agency for Cultural Affairs.
Shrine and temple: Chou Hou Ji
Founded in 1000 A.D., the tower and gate are recognized by the Japanese Heritage, Agency for Cultural Affairs.
The Kishyu area Tokugawa family’s 11th lord, Harutomi Tokugawa, ordered this garden to be built. It’s rare because it takes sea water from the bay to create this pond.