Kuroshio Corridor and the Hometown of Gods. A world heritage cherished for its natural and spiritual properties.
Kumano, located in the southeast part of the Kii-hanto Peninsula, enjoys mild weather (annual average: 17 degrees Celsius) and much rain.
The northern part of the coastline facing the Sea of Kumano is a typical saw-toothed coast continuing from the Shima-hanto Peninsula, where you can visit the columnar joint Tate-ga-saki and Atashika Beach, which is designated as one of best 100 beaches in Japan. In the southern part, you will see the World Heritage Site Oni-ga-jo, an area of strange rock formations where legend says 'oni' (demon) used to live, as well as Shichiri-Mihama, a 25-km-long seacoast of raised sand gravel.
Moving inland, the city begins to rise towards a steep mountain area of the Kii Mountains, where you can find the Yunoguchi-onsen Hot Spring, which boasts of excellent spring water qualities, Maruyama-Senmaida, designated as one of Japan's best 100 rice terraces, a number of streams, and, along the Kitayama-gawa River, Doro-kyo, the Kii's most beautiful valley.
At the southern end of city, near the boundary of Mie, Wakayama and Nara prefectures, is the Kumano-gawa, a river running through a World Heritage Site. This area, along with Shichiri-Mihama, Yoshino-gun of Nara, and a part of Wakayama Prefecture, form Yoshino Kumano National Park.
Vast expanses of nature displaying various seasonal views, and eternal history and culture represented by the World Heritage Hana-no-Iwaya-jinja Shrine, which is regarded as one of the Japan's oldest shrine sites, have been carefully preserved. Hana-no-Iwaya-jinja Shrine appears in Japan's oldest history book, "Nihon Shoki" (compiled in 720 A.D. during the Nara Period) as the stage of Kuniumi, the creation of Japan. People have worshipped at this shrine, which even predates the Kumano Sanzan (three grand shrines), since ancient times.
In addition to the Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range, which were inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 2004, there are a number of other world heritages that attract visitors, such as Kumano Kodo in the city, Hana-no-Iwaya, Oni-ga-jo, and Shichiri-Mihama.
[Rail] 1h 45 min from Tokyo to Nagoya Station by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line, and 3h from Nagoya to Kumanoshi Station by JR Kisei Line.