Reboot body and soul in Japan’s spiritual heartland
Wakayama Prefecture (和歌山県, Wakayama-ken) located south of Osaka in the Kansai Region. The Prefectural capital is Wakayama City. The prefecture’s best-known tourist attraction is Mount Koya (Koyasan), Shingon Buddhism’s headquarters. Which is the best place to experience an overnight stay at a temple.
Wakayama offers Japan’s natural and spiritual sides. The ancient temple complex of Koyasan. World Heritage-listed Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route. And a picturesque coastline with sparkling white sands of Shirara Beach. Wakayama is Japan’s spiritual heartland. Attracting enlightenment-seeking pilgrims and beach-bound sun worshipers in equal measure. The city is home to an impressive castle and delicious local ramen with its own style.
Just a couple of hours south of Osaka’s electric city. There’s a place where ancient pathways lead to hidden shrines shrouded in mist. Where monks worship waterfalls, and mystical forests float. The mountains here are a sacred dwelling for the gods. Known for their restorative powers.
Wakayama is accessible by express trains from Kyoto, Osaka, and Nagoya. There are regular train and bus services from Osaka and Nagoya. And easy connections for flights into Kansai International Airport. From Tokyo, you can reach the area via Nagoya by train. Or fly into Wakayama’s Nanki-Shirahama Airport in over an hour.
Most visitors access Wakayama Prefecture via Wakayama City. On the JR Kuroshio Limited Express from Shin-Osaka Station, a major bullet train stop. To visit Wakayama’s southeast coast – approaching from Mie or Nagoya, take the JR Nanki Express. The journey from Nagoya takes 3.5 hours and is not fully covered by the JR Rail Pass. If you don’t have a rail pass, a less expensive alternative to air and rail is an express bus. These run from Tokyo, Kyoto, and other major cities. From Tokyo, expect the journey to take 12 hours.
Visited: December 2019
References: Wakayama Prefecture, First time Wakayama: a guide to Japan’s spiritual heartland, Wakayama, Wakayama Prefecture [和歌山県], Wakayama Prefecture