The Kii peninsula is south off of the main east west flow of movement between the major centers of Japan: Tokyo and Osaka/Kyoto. It is covered in mountains so the major access routes are along the coast including a rail line and highway system.
A toll road runs down the west side of the peninusula from the Osaka to Tanabe (Interchange name is Nanki-Tanabe) and then onto Susami.
In Shirahama, the Nanki-Shirahama Airport has daily flights to and from Tokyo, a very quick and efficient way of getting to this area.
The peninsula historically was a very isolated place which was considered the land of the Gods.
Today it is still considered an out of the way place and many Japanese tourist complain about the lack of public transportation which doesn‘t match the volume and pace of the Mega Japanese centers. But if you give yourself some time and do some planning it is surprisingly easy to make your way to and around this rural area.
The coast line is rugged with quaint villages tucked into bays but it is well worth the effort to head into the mountains, the sacred heart of Kumano.
From Shirahama or Tanabe there are buses that take you towards the Hongu area along highway 311 where you can experience the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route, visit the Kumano Hongu Taisha and soak in an Onsen.
From there you can take a bus south towards Shingu on the coast or bus north to Gojo.
Public bus services the villages in the mountains daily leaving from Kii-Tanabe Station, Shingu and Shirahama. Downloadable bus timetables for the region can be found on the bus page.
Rental bicycles are available for rental in main centers and a good way to see the sites.
Public bus timetable list >>
Rental bicycles >>
The Kansai WIDE Area Pass is a special rail pass for the bullet train "Sanyo Shinkansen", express, and local trains on the JR West railway network.
4 Day: 7,000 yen
More information, buy online >>
From July 1st, 2015.
5 Consecutive Days: Adult 10,500 Child (6 to 11) 5,250 yen
Tickets cannot be purchased in Japan.
Unlimited rides on JR conventional lines running between Nagoya, Matsusaka, Owase, Kumanoshi, Shingu, Nachi and Kii-Katsuura, and linking Taki, Iseshi and Toba!
Unlimited rides on buses convenient for visiting Ise Jingu Shrine, Toba area, and World Heritage listed Kumano Kodo (including Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Hayatama Taisha and Kumano Nachi Taisha)!
Information PDF >>
Website link >>
8,500 yen (Including tax) *There is no child price.
3 consecutive days from the starting date of its use
Period of Sales
From November 1, 2015 to September 28, 2016
Only customers with a special pass issued by JR (“Kansai WIDE Area Pass”, etc. ) that is within its period of validity may purchase the “WAKAYMA KUMANO PASS.” When you purchase this pass, you will need to set a date on which you will start using it that is within the period of validity of the special pass you already have.
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