World Heritage Kumano Kodo is a road that has been visited by more visitors than ever before.
When you stroll along the old road, you can enjoy the sacred air, the green nature that is gentle to your eyes, and the scenery that has not changed in the past and in the present for a while, and feel like you have slipped back in time.
The course introduced this time is about 2.5 km (one way), and you can enjoy Nachi Falls and a three‐storied pagoda at ease.
Kumano Kodo Daimon Slope
The Kumano Kodo Daimon Slope continues about 600 meters of stone pavement for the Holy Land Mt. Nachi, with an elevation difference of about 100 meters. Cedars stand on both sides of the stone pavement, and the old road is not exposed to direct sunlight, and green moss grows at the foot of the cedar.
The old road where you can hear the breathing of the worshippers, which is the same as now and the past, gives you a strange feeling as if you went back in time.
Nachi Kumano Taisha Shrine
Kumano Nachi Taisha is a shrine that enshrines Nachi Falls as a god. It’s said that there’re benefits such as perfect health, long life and fulfillment of wishes.
In the precincts, there’s a large camphor tree, a natural monument of the prefecture that is over 850 years old.
The Hirou-jinhja Shrine that you will visit after this is the secondary shrine of Kumano Nachi Taisha and you can see Nachi Falls in front of you.
- Hours: 6:00～16:30
- Admission: Free
- Treasure house: 8:00～16:00 (Admission: 300 yen for general)
Seiganto-ji is a temple next to Kumano Nachi Taisha and is designated as an important cultural property.
The main hall is attractive for its thick and beautiful wooden pillars. It’s very powerful when you see it close, so please go inside.
Behind the main hall stands the vermilion Three Stored Pagoda. This is a famous photo spot where many people take pictures with Nachi Falls in the background. The cherry blossom season in April is especially beautiful!
Nachi Falls is getting closer.
- Hours: 5:00～16:00
- Admission: Free
- Three-storied Pagoda: 8:30～16:00 (Admission: 300 yen for general)
Hirou-jinja Shrine and Nachi Falls
If you leave Seiganto-ji and go down along the road, you will see the stone steps that are typical of Kumano Kodo.
Surrounded by dense groves, a quiet and solemn path will lead you to Nachi Falls.
On the way, you go through the bamboo forest tunnel. You can hear the fall sound of Nachi Falls. Let’s go down the stone stairs further!
When you arrive at Hirou-ijnja Shrine, it’s the last route to Nachi Falls . This shrine has a torii but no main hall. Since Nachi Falls itself is a substitute of the main shrine, you have to pray to the falls.
A few minutes’ walk from the torii gate at the entrance of Hirou-jinja leads you to Nachi Falls. The moment you see the waterfall beyond the torii gate, you will be overwhelmed by the breathtaking view of nature.
The height of the waterfall is 133 meters and the depth of the basin is 10 meters. It’s said to be the best waterfall in Japan in height and quantity of water, and it’s one of the three biggest waterfalls in Japan.
You can get closer to the waterfall from the left side when you see the waterfall in front.
Let’s receive the energy of the waterfall to your heart’s content!
- Hours: 7:00～16:30
- Admission: 300 yen for general, 200 yen for junior high school students and younger
You have to go down the mountain after seeing the waterfall. Let’s enjoy shopping and resting at souvenir shops and cafes as we get off. I also recommend the cafe Seiryotei in the precincts of Nachi Kumano Taisha.
Starting at Daimon Slope, the course is about 5 km round trip. It will take half a day to look around, so let’s leave early!