What to do
- Walk the Kumano Kodo World Heritage pilgrimage route
- Go Kayaking
- Go to the beach
- Experience Canyoning
- Go Rafting
- Soak in an isolated Onsen (hot spring)
- Take in a local festival or event
- Tour the area with an Audio Guide
- Try on a Traditional Kimono from the Heian Era (794-1185)
- Visit the Kumano Hongu Heritage Center
- Visit the Minakata Kumagusu Archives
- Visit an Art Museum
The crystal clear rivers of Kumano are perfect for kayaking. The Kumano River is part of the World Heritage Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route and spending a day or two on this historic river is a unique way to experience the Kumano pilgrimage.
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There are a scattering of beaches along the coast of Wakayama which are great places to pass away a hot summer day. Ogigahama beach is located in Tanabe city (10 minutes walk from JR Kii-Tanabe station) and Shirahama beach is located across the Tanabe Bay, a short day trip from Tanabe.
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Canyoning (Sawa Nobori) is for the exploring spirit, a combination sport where you hike/scramble up and down secluded creeks and canyons, playing and swimming in beautiful waterfalls along the way. Some waterfalls make ultimate natural waterslides!
This rafting tour is on the beautiful Kitayama river in the extraordinary Dorokyo gorge. This scenic natural landscape features sheared cliffs, oddly shaped rocks, deep pools of water, and swift running rapids. Exploring by raft is a thrilling way to get up close and personal with the Dorokyo gorge.
This remote area of Japan boasts onsen each with its own unique history and atmosphere.
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There are festivals and events happening all year round. We are working on updating our database, please be patient.
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Using one of Tanabe's audio guides is a great way to experience the local culture, history and lifestyle of the fascinating culture of Japan's spiritual landscape. There are two versions available for free download: One for the area around JR Kii-Tanabe station and one for the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route. More audio guide >>
During the Heian era the Kumano Pilgrimage was extremely popular with Japan‘s elite. This period was considered the Golden Age of the Imperial court and one of the world‘s most exquisitely refined cultures. Try on a tradition Kimono from this era!
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This new visitor center is a great place to familiarize yourself with the “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range" World Heritage Site. There are a diversity of services and facilities available for travellers.
more Kumano Hongu Heritage Center >>
The Minakata Kumagusu Archives is a collection books and writings of Minakata Kumagusu, a local eccentric genius researcher and pioneering environmentalist who devoted his life to learning. His well preserved residence is located beside the archives.
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There are two art museums in Tanabe. One in Nakahechi along the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage route and one close to Shimin Shogo center close to Shirahama.
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The Kushimoto Marine Park Center is a set of educational and sightseeing facilities focused on the outstanding marine environment in Kushimoto including an aquarium, underwater observation tower, glass-bottom boat tour, restaurant, souvenir shop, research station and diving park.
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Dorokyo is a gorge on the Kitayama-gawa River famous for its steep cliffs, clear emerald waters, and unique rock formations. Travelling by jet boat is a fun and easy way to experience this natural treasure from water level.
more Dorokyo Jet Boat Tour >>