Getting to Tanabe 田辺
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 peninsula from 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 that was considered the land of the Gods.
Today it is still considered an out-of-the-way place, and many Japanese tourists complain about the lack of public transportation unlike the extent of what they would find in the Mega Japanese urban 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 coastline 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.
Getting around Tanabe 田辺
Public busses service 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 in main centers and a good way to see the sites.