Kii Peninsula attractions

Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Kōya-san


Oku-no-in, whose name means 'inner sanctuary', is perhaps the most intensely spiritual place in Japan. At its farthest reaches is the Gobyō, the crypt that Shingon Buddhism founder Kōbō Daishi entered to began his e…
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 tim…
Top Choice Waterfall in Nachi-Katsuura


At 133m, Nachi-no-taki is Japan's highest waterfall. It's the first of many still deeper in the Nachi mountains and has long been used in ascetic training.
Top Choice Monument in Kōya-san


The wooden, thatched roof gate here is as far as you can go in Oku-no-in. Beyond it lies the crypt Kōbō Daishi entered in 835, never to leave. Pilgrims in a constant stream pause here to light incense and candles an…
Buddhist Temple in Kōya-san


The name of this temple, which is sometimes called Danjo Garan or Dai Garan, derives from the Sanskrit saṅghārāma, which means monastery. With eight principal buildings (temples, pagodas), the complex was the origin…
Buddhist Temple in Kōya-san

Konpon Daitō

The most interesting structure at the Garan is the Konpon Daitō, a 50m-tall, bright-vermilion pagoda seated at what is considered to be the centre of the lotus-flower mandala formed by Kōya-san's eight mountains. Th…
Buddhist Temple in Kōya-san


This is the headquarters of the Shingon sect and the residence of Kōya-san's abbot. The main gate is the temple's oldest structure (1593); the present main hall dates from the 19th century. It's free to enter the gr…
Shinto Shrine in Nachi-Katsuura

Kumano Nachi Taisha

Built on the side of a mountain, facing the waterfall Nachi-no-taki, this shrine is one of Kii's most spiritual places, a site of ancient nature worship and one of the Kumano Sanzan (three great shrines of Kumano). …
Shinto Shrine in Shingū

Kumano Hayatama Taisha

Located at the mouth of the Kumano-gawa, Kumano Hayatama Taisha is one of the Kumano Sanzan (three sacred shrines of Kumano), enshrining Hayatama-no-Okami, the god said to rule the workings of nature and, by extensi…
Factory in Kii Peninsula

Yuasa Soy Sauce Factory

In the town believed to be the first place in Japan to produce soy sauce (shōyu in Japanese) – some 750 years ago – this factory lets visitors in on both ancient and modern production techniques. You're free to obse…