WALK (Wakayama And Luminous Koyasan)
Welcome to Wakayama city and Koyasan! WALK is a group of licensed tour guides specialized in the northern part of Wakayama prefecture, Wakayama city & vicinity and Koyasan. We can offer you experienced guides for general and trekking tours in these areas.
Koyasan or Mt. Koya is a well-known sacred site of esoteric Buddhism in Japan situated about 900 m above sea level on a secluded mountain top in the northern Wakayama pref. Koyasan has been the heart of Koyasan Shingon sect of Buddhism over 1,200 years. Since its foundation in 816 by monk Kukai, more commonly known as Kobo Daishi, Koyasan has been the sacred place for ascetic practices of esoteric Buddhism by monks and it has been the destination of millions of pilgrims and nowadays tourists as well because of its uniqueness of long history, location and atmosphere. Geographically, Koyasan is roughly divided into two western and eastern parts, Danjo Garan (a complex of temples and pagodas) and Okuno-in (the largest cemetery in Japan including the mausoleum of Kobo Daishi).
Walking from Ichinohashi to Gobyo (Kobo Daishi’s mausoleum) along more than 200,000 gravestones and memorial pagodas among huge centuries-old cedar trees will assure you of an unforgettable experience.
Located in the southern part of Kansai region, Wakayama City is easily accessible for foreign tourists, only 40 minutes by train or bus from Kansai International Airport, and also about one hour by train from Osaka. The city is blessed with beautiful sceneries of seashores and also historically interesting sightseeing spots since the ancient times. Strolling around the castle town and historical areas and experiencing the life of the people will give you an unforgettable memory of your travel.
Wakayama Castle Area
Wakayama Castle, a symbol of Wakayama city, is located on the top of Mt. Torafusu at the center of Wakayama city. The graceful interconnected building style is similar to that of Himeji Castle (UNESCO world heritage). It used to be a national treasure, but unfortunately it was burned down to the ground during the WWII. However, the castle was reconstructed in 1958 with the passion of Wakayama citizens. As a result, the façade and the features of the original castle have been restored again. You can enjoy a panoramic view of Wakayama city from the main keep of the castle.
In spring, if you are lucky, you may come across Ninjas helping tourists and may have a chance to take photos with them.
Also, you can experience the Japanese tea ceremony at the tea house in the beautiful Nishinomaru-Teien Garden of Wakayama castle.
Wakanoura is well-known for its beautiful scenery of seashore depicted in ancient poems. There is a spectacular seashore on which ancient poets were inspired to wirte poems since the remote ages. There are Tamatsushima Shrine enshrining the deity of waka poetry, Toshogu Shrine with its marvelous sculptures, and Yosuien, which was once a villa of the Tokugawa family boasting of a pond fed by both fresh and sea water.
This stone arched bridge was built in 1851 by order of Harutomi Tokugawa, the 10th Lord of the Kishu Domain.
The main building of this shrine was ordered in 1621 by Yorinobu Tokugawa, the first Lord of the Kishu Domain. It is called the “Nikko of the Kansai” for how it resemles Nikko Toshogu Shrine of the World Heritage Site in Tochigi Prefecture.
This shrine is dedicated to Michizane Sugawara, a scholar, poet and politician from Japan’s Heian Period (794-1185) who was defined after his death. It is one of the three principal shrines to honor him. The main building was build in 1604 at the request of Yoshinaga Asano, the Lord of the Kishu Domain at the time.
Tamatsushima Jinja Shrine
This shrine has drawn the allegiance of the imperial court and poets since long time ago as the deity of waka poetry.
Kimiidera Temple, the second temple of the Saigoku pilgrimage route(the 33 Kannon pilgrigage temples in western Japana) dates back to 1250. The temple is well-known for the earliest blooming of cherry blossoms in Kansai region. Up to the top the stairs, you can enjoy a commanding view of breath-taking scenery of Wakanoura. The largest standing Buddha statue made of wood in Japan is also something to see.
Wakayama Marina City Area
Wakayama Marina City offers a lot to see and do, including the Porto Europa theme park that resembles a Mediterranean port, and Kuroshio Ichiba Market where fresh tuna filleting show are held every day and you can taste fresh seafood at Japanese restaurants or barbecue corner. Also you can experience Onsen, hot spring if you like.
Northwest of Wakayama city center, Kada is a beach with clear water, popular for swimming and sun bathing. Nearby sightseeing spots include Awashima Shrine, famous for its annual ritual in March 3rd in which dolls are set out to sea in boats. It recognized as both a deity of medicine and protector of expecting women, and has drawn strong adoration since long ago from people asking the god to cure women’s disorders and ensure safe birth.
- If you have any questions or need further information about the tours which are not posted above, please feel free to contact us.