This Japanese Heritage Site Has Inspired Many Poets With Its Scenic Beauty

And it's only an hour away from Osaka.

Six kilometers south from the center of Wakayama City, Wakayama Prefecture, you’ll find a place where culture and nature are harmonized and temples intersperse with the sea. In 2017, it was registered as a Japan heritage site, “a treasure house with a superb view of Wakanoura.”

From Osaka, you can make a day trip to Wakanoura to visit Kimii-dera Temple, a place known for the early bloom of its sakura and its view of the heritage site. After that, drive down to Wakanoura itself, and feel the sentiments of the poets while walking through the historic sites. Fun fact: Waka, short for Wakanoura, is also what you call a 31-syllable Japanese poem. 

Check out our one-day itinerary in Wakanoura:

<11:00> Japan Heritage Kimii-dera Temple
1201 Kimii-dera Wakayama City, Wakayama
Contact: +81-73-444-1002
Open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

From the precinct ground, you’ll have a view of Wakanoura, Awaji-island, and Mt. Nagusayama glowing in the sun set. This is counted as one of the top 10 views in Wakanoura. 

Many tourists visit the temple to see the view of Wakanoura.

These 231 stone steps start from the tower gate, which is registered as an Important Cultural Property.

There are three wells in the property that still pump out fresh water.


<12:20> Japan Heritage Wakanoura
Around Saikazaki and Shin-Wakaura, Wakayama City, Wakayama
Contact: +81-73-444-4349
Opening hours vary among establishments

There are still numbers of historical heritages left in this heritage site, including the Kishu Toshogu Shrine, the Furobashi Bridge, and the Sandankyo Bridge.

Constructed in 1851 is this arched stone bridge, Furobashi.

This beautiful bridge, Sandankyo, that continues down to Mt. Imoseyama.


Kankaikaku, a pavillion on the water was rebuilt after Typhoon Nancy hit in 1961.

You can observe Nakanoshima and Futagojima from the westside of the Saikazaki Lighthouse, and the Namihayazaki (a promontory) from the east side.

Visit the lighthouse on the observatory platform at dusk for the best views. 

Wakaura Tenmangu Shrine is known as the home of the god of scholarship.

Kishu Toshogu Shrine

<13:10> Ottotto Square (Wakaura port morning market)

1-1 Shin-Wakaura, Wakayama City, Wakayama
Contact: +81-73-446-3308
Open only on weekends from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Ottotto Square is a market for fresh seafoods and other marine products that are hauled up to the port every morning. The market is open for tourists on weekends and holidays, and they provide assorted seafood rice bowls with plenty of fresh whitebait--a must-try dish--and many more amazing delicacies.

Raw Whitebait Bowl (¥800) is provided with plenty of fresh whitebait and boiled whitebait. Keep in mind that the quantity varies each day depending on the amount they fish in the morning.

Yabu-shin Bowl (¥600) comes with tempura and boiled whitebait.

Some shops at the square only sell fresh fish that were hauled up in the morning.

Other than fresh fish, there are sales booths that sell processed marine products.

This was originally an ice manufacturer.

<14:30> Wakaura Hot spring MANPA RESORT
2-10, Shin-Wakaura, Wakayama City, Wakayama
Contact: +81-73-444-1161
Open daily from 11a.m. to 3 p.m. for one day trip
Fee: ¥1,400 (comes with towel)

MANPA RESORT is the only fountainhead hot spring here at Wakaura. After having enjoyed the outdoor hot spring, relax at the terrace with a great view in front of you.

The outdoor hot spring Manyo no Yu.

Private hot spring Ao no Yu comes with blue LED lighting.

[Price: ¥3,990 (50 mins) + half price of bath charges]

The story of Wakaura 

The view of the tideland with its varying marks and colors has attracted many poets and artists.

The ocean that changes its face season by season is an impressive display.

How to get to Wakanoura from Osaka:

Take the Hanshin Expressway Minatomachi Entrance to Hanwa Expressway Wakayama Interchange
Time: 60 minutes
Price: Highway tolls is ¥2,220

To access Kimii-dera temple from Wakayama Interchange, use the prefectural road 145th down to 135th.
Time: 20 minutes
Distance: 8km

Provided by Japan Walker™, Walkerplus™, Kansai Walker™ (2 December 2017)

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