Top things to do in Hongū

Top Choice Shinto Shrine in Hongū

Kumano Hongū Taisha

Kumano Hongū Taisha is one of the Kumano Sanzan (three great shrines of Kumano) and if you're following the traditional pilgrim route it's the first one you'll encounter. Though the shrine has been rebuilt many time…
Teahouse in Hongū

Fushiogami-chaya

Along the Nakahechi trail halfway between Hosshinmon-ōji and Kumano Hongū Taisha (about an hour's walk from either) is this inviting pit stop run by a gang of local ladies. It serves homemade shiso (perilla-leaf) ju…
Shokudo in Hongū

Kumanoko Shokudō

This new restaurant – the only place in Hongū serving regularly after dark and naturally a gathering spot – dishes up small plates made with local ingredients, such as river fish, free-range eggs and venison, paired…
Shinto Site in Hongū

Ōtorii

In 2000 this giant torii (entrance gate to a Shintō shrine) – 33.9m tall and 42m wide, made out of steel, painted dramatic black and the largest in Japan – was erected at the entrance to Ōyunohara, the sandbank that…
Vegan in Hongū

Cafe Bonheur

An unexpected treasure at Hongū's southern end is this vegan cafe in a former post office (with the wooden floors and clapboard walls to prove it). It does lunch plates with curry, tofu, salads, and bagel sandwiches…
Museum in Hongū

Kumano Hongū Heritage Centre

Part museum, part visitor centre, this contemporary multimedia complex has exhibits about Kumano's culture and natural environment, plus resources for travellers and English-speaking staff.
Shinto Shrine in Hongū

Hosshinmon-ōji

The last of the five important Ōji shrines before Kumano Hongū Taisha, Hosshinmon-ōji marks the outer limits of the grand shrine's precincts and literally means 'spiritual awakening gate'. It's a small building, pai…
Cafe in Hongū

Cafe Alma

Get coffee (¥300), castella (Nagasaki-style sponge cake; ¥250) and a seat on the terrace, across the street from the Kumano Hongū Heritage Centre.
Buddhist Temple in Hongū

Tōkō-ji

This temple in the middle of Yunomine Onsen is just above Tsubo-yu Onsen, and like many hot-spring-adjacent temples is dedicated to Yakushi Nyorai, the medicine Buddha.