Overshadowed by the neighboring town of city, this humble Japanese prefecture is home to arguably Japan’s most delicious ramen, a 1,700-year-old hearth competition and an enormous outside tub fed by a spring.
You’ll find abundant of what you wish for the whole Japanese expertise on this tiny crescent of land on the southern coast of the country’s largest island, Honshu.
Here area unit seven ways that to start to urge to grasp this tiny Japanese secret.
1. Walk Kumano Kodo
Japan’s best unknown hike, Kumano Kodo is that the good Kii Mountain getaway.
Made from seven routes of varied difficulties through the south of Wakayama prefecture, the hike was originally associate degree ancient journey resulting in 3 major Japanese shrines: Hongu Taisha, Nachi Taisha and Hayatama Taisha.
Our suggested route starts from Tanabe town (Kii-Tanabe son station) to Nachi Fall (Nachi son station).
The simply passable routes area unit dotted with varied onsen (hot spring) cities, scenic valleys and restaurants serving rustic Japanese preparation.
To find out a lot of regarding the hike, cross-check our report on Kumano Kodo.
2. Cook ‘hot spring egg’ in an exceedingly real onsen
There’s no higher thanks to cook a batch of onsen tamago – or spring egg – than truly boiling it in associate degree onsen.
Visitors to Wakayama will do therefore at the general public cookery basin within the Yunomine onsen space, the sole UN agency World Heritage spring within the world.
All you wish to try and do is obtain eggs and alternative vegetables from the native store close to the new spring basin – they are available pre-prepared for cookery in an exceedingly internet – and boil them within the basin.
Local residents usually obtain onsen water ($1 for ten liters) to bring home for cookery.
How to get there: Take a bus from Tanabe (Kii-Tanabe son station) or Shingu (Shingu son station).
3. Cross-check the Nachi hearth competition
Wakayama’s Nachi hearth competition, command each July, celebrates the homecoming of the Nachi Waterfall’s god.
The 1,700-year-old event is taken into account one in every of the foremost sacred festivals in Japan.
Tucked away on Nachi mountain, home to the Nachi Taisha shrine and 133-meter-high falls, the competition involves dozens of young Japanese men carrying twelve large torches up and down the stone stairway that ends up in the falls, shouting sky-high all the method.
It’s quite an sight (and sound). every torch weighs regarding fifty kilograms and kids have to be compelled to take a flip carrying one.
Locals sit close to the steps on the mountain to cheer on groups. Be there early to secure an honest read.
4. Live sort of a monk
Living (temporarily) in an exceedingly temple has become the most recent in factor for travellers to Wakayama.
The holy Buddhist grounds in Koyasan have fifty two temple lodgings for guests seeking a tranquil keep that has meditation, temple services, Buddhist gardens and eater preparation.
Book your Koyasan temple keep and check train schedules to Koyasan beforehand.
5. Fancy hot springs within the wild
Wakayama has many ancient onsen spots. Saki-no-yu in Shirahama, south of Wakayama, may be a public tub right the shore of the Pacific .
Sennin-buro in Kawayu, southeast of Wakayama town, may be a large 73-degree stargazer pool right within the watercourse. It’s additionally Japan’s biggest outside tub.
The city of Katsuura features a few onsens with wonderful views — edifice Nakanoshima on atiny low island off the port has onsens trying over the ocean associate degreed edifice Urashima has an ancient bathing website in an exceedingly cave.
For a less-exposed onsen expertise, you’ll soak your feet in spring water whereas you dine at Ashiyu-Yokocho, a Japanese restaurant/feet onsen in Shirahama.
6. Get a castle-view bedroom in Wakayama town
You’ll find the most effective read of Wakayama Castle from the hotels across the road.
Daiwa Roynet edifice Wakayama and Wakayama Tokyu lodge area unit 2 of the most effective choices. provoke a castle-view once creating a reservation.
Explore the peaceful castle gardens and therefore the broad views from the highest once you’ve got checked in.
The castle additionally hosts exhibitions regarding the history of the town. there is a tiny admission fee (JPY150, or $1.5) however the remainder of the park is liberated to the general public.
7. Feast on fruit
Whether you wish to do hardcore fruit selecting or simply eat a number of from the market, we have a tendency to extremely suggest you have got some quite orange-related expertise in Wakayama.
The prefecture, the self-proclaimed kingdom of fruit, produces one in every of the most effective styles of Mandarin oranges within the world.
Named once their growing space, Arida area unit thin-rind mandarins aforesaid to possess the right balance of sweet and bitter. The fruit area unit therefore delicious and juicy they qualify as a sweet in Japan.
The prefecture additionally has no shortage of strawberries, grapes and persimmons. And at Minabe, the biggest ume (Japanese apricot) producer in Japan, you’ll get smashed on beautiful ume wine.
Wakayama town, the capital town of Wakayama Prefecture, is regarding thirty five minutes by train from the regional Kansai airdrome and 550 kilometers from Tokyo.