Precious main hall built in 1590
Historic sacred place in harmony with natural scenes
The temple in Wakayama is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site as part of "Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range." Though the year of is establishment is not recorded, there are signs that nature worship has been carried out since ancient times in the area and a legend that the temple was founded during the 4th century. From the middle period to the early modern period, the temple along with the adjacent Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine flourished as Shugenjo (place for ascetic training).
The main highlight is a three-story pagoda reconstructed in 1972. The red pagoda soaring against the dynamic Nachi Fall creates a beautiful contrast providing a great subject for photographers.
Its main hall, built in 1590, is designated as Important Cultural Property of Japan and exhibits a waniguchi drum (Buddhist alter equipment), the largest of its kind in Japan. The enshrined principal image, Nyoirin Kannon (the Bodhisattva of Compassion), is said to grant any wish, including wishes for wealth, wisdom, and power. The image is open to the public only on one day in February.
Address: 8 Nachisan, Higashimuro-gun Nachikatsuura-cho, Wakayama
Hours open to visitors: 8:30-16:00 (pagoda)
Admission Fee: Free admission to the grounds (200 yen to the 3-story pagoda)
Directions: From Kii-Katsura Station on the JR Kisei Honsen (3 hours and 40 minutes from Shin-Osaka) take a Kumano Kotsu Bus bound for Nachisan via Nachi Station and ride for 28 minutes to Jinja-otera-mae car park, and then walk for 15 minutes. (Car) 3 hours from Nanki Tanabe Interchange on the Hanna Expressway (no car parking available).