The city of Kumano is located in the southern part of Mie Prefecture, with the sea to its southeast and mountains to the northwest. Blessed with abundant nature, the city offers countless spots to catch spectacular views of the sea and mountains, many of which have been designated parts of Yoshino Kumano National Park, including the World Heritage Site Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes. Citrus cultivation thrives in the mild climate, and many specialty products based on the fragrant citrus Niihime fruit are available for purchase. Within the mining industry, Kumano is known as the only domestic producer of Nachiguroishi, a black slate rock that is highly prized for its beauty when used to make pieces for the board game Go and other handicrafts.
The Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes attract many visitors who come to walk along the ancient roads, including those that lead through the Matsumoto and Obuki mountain passes, finding spiritual healing in the sights of the stone-paved pathways and Buddha statues. Kumano is home to many other sites of historical, cultural, natural, and aesthetic value, including the naturally-formed massive rock formations Onigajo and Shishi-iwa, which have been registered as World Heritage Sites; Hana no Iwaya Shrine, which is said to be the oldest Shinto shrine in Japan; and Maruyama Senmaida, which was selected as one of the top 100 terraced rice paddies in Japan.
Getting there and around
Kumano is conveniently accessible via the JR and Kintetsu lines when traveling from Nagoya or Osaka.
From Nagoya Station take the JR Nanki Limited Express to Kumanoshi Station (approx. 3 hrs. 10 min.)
From Tsuruhashi Station in Osaka take the Kintetsu Limited Express to Matsusaka Station (approx. 90 min.)
At Matsusaka Station transfer to the JR Nanki Limited Express to Kumanoshi Station (approx. 2 hrs.)
Kumano is home to numerous scenic spots of natural splendor and various attractions of historical and cultural value, such as the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes. Other noteworthy attractions include its many World Heritage Sites, such as Onigajo, a curious rock formation of stunning proportions created by wave and wind erosion; Shishi-iwa, a cliff face created by coastal uplift and carved by wave erosion to appear like a giant lion howling out to sea; and Shichiri-Mihama, the longest sand and gravel beach in Japan.
Temples & Shrines
Mountaineering & Hiking
The Kii Mountain Range is home to the three sacred sites of Kumano Sanzan (Three Kumano Shrines), Koyasan (Mt. Koya), and Yoshino-and-Omine, which have nurtured various forms of faith, including Shint...