Wakayama Prefecture is the largest peninsula in Japan, and it’s famous for its mandarins.
Kumano Kodo, which appeared in the video, is a famous tourist spot within Wakayama Prefecture. There are also plenty of other famous tourist sites in the lush green Wakayama Prefecture.
Let’s walk the Kumano Kodo
Kumano Kodo, which has been designated a World Heritage Site, is a series of ancient pilgrimage routes that tie together all the places in Kumano.
This road that leads to Kumano was the largest sacred ground in Japan during the Middle Ages, and many people throughout Japan used to pass through this road. The road appears often in historical literature, as well. You can really feel the history, while walking this old road, which is surrounded by lush green nature.
When you walk Nakaheji, which is considered to be the road that has had the most pilgrims walk through, you will arrive at Kumano Hongu Taisha, which had its 2050th founding anniversary in 2018.
The symbol of Kumano, Yatagarasu (the eight-span crow), can be found in many places, so you should try looking for them.
Located 5 minutes from Kumano Hongu Taisha is Ooyunohara. There are only few places like it in the world, and it has a Torii gate that is 34 meters high! It is also a famous spot to view cherry blossoms in spring.
What about the hot springs in Wakayama?
After walking the Kumano Kodo, you want to relax in a hot spring. Yunomine Onsen, which is located close to Kumano Hongu Taisha, has a bath called Tsuboyu, its water is said to change its color seven times a day, depending on the day. Since it’s a small bathtub made of rocks that can only accommodate two or three people, you must get a numbered ticket from the counter, and wait for your turn.
Wakayama has many other types of hot springs, to the extent that it is often referred to as the country of hot baths.
Shirahama Onsen, which also makes an appearance in the oldest existing Japanese poetry collection “Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves”, is located close to Adventure World, a large amusement facility, which makes it a popular place among people who are travelling with their family.
Katsuura Onsen is located right next to the sea! You can view the sky and the sea, while relaxing in the very spacious outdoor bath.
Delicacies and souvenirs in Wakayama
You can enjoy delicious food, like Onsen Tamago (egg that is slow cooked in the water of a hot spring) and seafood at hot spring inns in Wakayama Prefecture.
There are plenty of local delicacies that are also loved by the locals.
There are two types of Wakayama ramen, both of which are Tonkotsu (pork bone) and soy sauce-flavored. One has a soy sauce base, and the other one, which has a stronger flavor, has a Tonkotsu broth base.
Sechiyaki, which is eaten in Gobo City in Wakayama Prefecture, is a dish where eggs are mixed with yakisoba, and made in to something that resembles Okonomiyaki pankakes. In the local dialect “sechigau” means making a mess of something, which is where the name Sechiyaki comes from.
“Green soft” is matcha (green tea) flavored soft serve ice cream, which can be bought from supermarkets and convenience stores within the prefecture.
Umeboshi (pickled dried plum) are a famous souvenir in Wakayama! Depending on the store, there are various different types that can be bought.
If you are looking to buy some sweets, Kagerou is a famous sweet from the area of Kishu. It is a kind of sandwich, where the bun is filled with gently sweet buttercream. As soon as you put it in your mouth, it crumbles apart.
Kagerou has a fine texture, and it can be eaten by anyone from young to old. Highly recommended!
There are many enjoyable spiritual sites and hot springs that are famous for their uniqueness in the lush green Wakayama Prefecture.