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Mention Wakayama prefecture to any Japanese person and you are sure to hear them mention Koya-san (the center for Shingon esoteric Buddhism) and Nachi waterfalls (the highest waterfalls in Japan). These are sacred places since ancient times for Shinto and Buddhism and thus have been granted World Heritage status. However Wakayama has so much more to offer.

Deep within it's lucious mountains lies the sacred Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes which join the Kumano Sanzan - Kumano Hongu, Kumano Hayatama and Kumano Nachi (three ancient shrines of Shinto worship).

Natural Hot Springs along the coastal towns of Shirahama and Nachikatsuura and also in the mountains and rivers of Ryujin and Hongu.

Wakayama castle and Kimiidera temple in Wakayama city which are great spots for Cherry Blosson viewing during spring time.

The Beautiful Kozagawa river which is great to canoe along during the hot summer months and the mysterious rock formations Shirasaki kaigan, Engetsuto and Hashikuiiwa that can be found along the coastal towns of Yura, Shirahama and Kushimoto respectively.

Shirahama beach which is one of the most beautiful beaches in Japan. It has white sand imported from Perth Australia and has one of the best firework festival displays during the summer.

Dojoji Temple found in Hidakagawa village which is the oldest temple in Wakayama and also has an interesting story attached to it (the origin of the stalker! I kid you not!).

Minabe Plum forest. Minabe grows and processes ume (plums) more than any other place in Japan to produce Umeboshi (Japanese pickled plum). The plum trees are grown on the hills and valleys. During the ume blossoming season in early spring the carpet of white flowers along the hillsides are a site to behold!

Please refer to these websites for more detailed info:

So get out there and get to know your your beautiful prefecture of Wakayama! There is lots to see and do!

Iwade City (岩出市)Edit

Wakayama City (和歌山市)

Kinokawa City (紀ノ川市)

Hashimoto City (橋本市)Edit

Kainan City (海南市)

Kaiso District (海草郡)

This includes: Kimino Town, Shimotsu Town, Nokami Town, and Misato Town.

Ito District (伊都郡)

This includes: Katsuragi Town, Kudoyama Town, Koyaguchi Town, Koya Town, and Hanazono Village.

Arida City (有田市)

Arida District (有田郡)

This includes: Aridiagawa Town, Kanayama Town, Kibi Town, Shimizu Town, Hirogawa Town, and Yuasa Town.

Gobo City (御坊市)

Hidaka District (日高郡)

This includes: Mihama Town, Hidaka Town, Yura Town, Inami Town, Minabe Town, and Hidakagawa Town.

Tanabe City (田辺市)

Nishimuro District (西牟婁郡)

This includes: Kamitonda Town, Shirahama Town, and Susami Town.

Shingu City (新宮市)

Higashimuro District (東牟婁郡)

This includes: Nachikatsuura Town, Taiji Town, Kozagawa Town, Kushimoto Town, and Kitayama Village.