Visiting Spots in Wakayama City

Access to Fudoki-no-oka

The museum is located around 3.4 kilometers (2.1 miles) away from JR Wakayama Station in the east. You can go there by bus. Please check the bus schedule at at Wakayama Bus.

Please be careful when you take a bus from JR Wakayama Station to Kii-fudoki-no-oka. Your bus stop is at EAST ENTRANCE of the JR station. The name of your destination bus stop is Kii-fudoki-no-oka, of course. As the number of buses is limited (around once every hour), taking a taxi may be a good idea.

The bus company may give up the service between JR Wakayama Station and Kii-fudoki-no-oka in the near future. (June 16, 2023)

Access to Wakayama

Wakayama City has a good access to Osaka City. Especially, two railroads are convenient for tourists. The railways are JR Line and Nankai Line. JR Hanwa Line connects Tennoji Station of Osaka Loop Line and JR Wakayama Station. Nankai Line connects Namba Station in the center of Osaka City and Wakayama-shi Station (meaning "Wakayama City Station").

A lot of commuters from Wakayama City go to their companies and schools in the southern part of Osaka including Osaka City by train every day. It takes around 70 minutes to reach Osaka from Wakayama.

  • JR Line (Ltd. Exp.): Shin-Osaka - Tennoji - JR Wakayama (about 60min.)
  • JR Line (Rapid Service): Tennoji (in Osaka C.) - JR Wakayama (about 70~80min.)
  • Nankai Line (the fastest): Namba (in Osaka C.) - Wakayama-shi. (about 60min.)

Both lines are connected with Kansai International Airport (KIX).

Wakayama Prefecture Map

JR Kinokuni Line is convenient for tourists to go down to the southern part of Wakayama Prefecture including Kumano Region. JR has a limited express service to Shingu. The limited express trains are called " Kuroshio." The name means "the Black Stream (in the Pacific Ocean)." in Japanese.

JR Wakayama Line from Wakayama Station takes you to Hashimoto near Koyasan. If you change trains there, Nankai Koya Line takes you to Koyasan. (Many of visitors from Osaka to Koyasan use Nankai Koya Line from Namba.)

My Case (as of December, 2022)

  • From/To Osaka City

As I live near JR Wakayama Station in Wakayama City, when I need to go to Osaka City, I usually use JR Rapid Service from JR Wakayama Station to Tennoji Station (80 min., 840 yen) or Osaka Station (88 min., 1270 yen).

I sometimes use Nankai Line from Wakayama-shi Station to Namba Station (59 min., 930 yen). Especially, when I feel like sitting in a relaxing seat all the way, I purchase a limited express ticket (520 yen) of " Southern (Sazan in Japanese)." "Wakayama-shi Station" means "Wakayama City Station" in Japanese.

  • From/To Kansai International Airport (KIX)

When I have a heavy piece of baggage, I use a airport limousine bus service from JR Wakayama Bus Stop (at the east entrance of the station) to the airport (40 min.,1200 yen). When I don't have to carry anything, I use JR Line to the airport (43 min., 900 yen). Of course, I can go to the airport by using Nankai Line from Wakayama-shi Station (47min., 880 yen).

  • From/To Shin Osaka Staion (the Shinkansen)

When I use the Shinkansen, or Japan's Bullet Train, I always use limited express trains named "Kuroshio (the Black Stream)" to Shin Osaka Station. The service is convenient for me because I don't have to change trains.

About a Place Name "Wakayama."

  • What does the place name "Wakayama" mean?

The first phrase "waka" means a type of a Japanese traditional poetry style called "waka." It consists of 31 syllables (5-7-5-7-7). And the second phrase "yama" means "mountain" or "hill." So, "Wakayama" means "a hill of waka," or "a hill related to waka poetry."

  • Who named the place "Wakayama"?

In the 16th century, there was a very powerful samurai called Hideyoshi Toyotomi. He succeeded in unifying the whole country of Japan. When he built a castle in present Wakayama City in 1585, he named the castle "Wakayama Castle" after a holy place of waka poetry in Waka-no-ura in present Wakayama City. In Waka-no-ura, a deity of waka poetry has been enshrined at Tamatsu-shima Shrine. Actually, the place name "Waka-no-ura" means "inlet of waka."

  • When did people generally begin to use the place name "Wakayama"?

In the Edo period until 1867, the fuedal domain named "Ki-shu," which was dominated by the lords of Wakayama Castle, seems to have been called "Wakayama Han (Domain)."

And in 1871, when the new Meiji Government of Japan abolished domains (called "han") and installed a new prefectures (called "ken"), they officially began to call the area in the western part of the Kii Peninsula "Wakayama Prefecture" ("Wakayama Ken" in Japanese). And then, in 1889, when a new organization of municipality began, Wakayama City officially started.

About Wakayama City

  • What is the geographical condition of the city?

Wakayama City is located in a flat area in the mouth of a big river called Ki-no-kawa. The river flows from a central part of the Kii Peninsula.

  • How many people live there?

About 360,000 people lives in the city now. It is about as much as 39 % of the prefectural population.

In 1889, when Wakayama City started, the population was the 12th largest in Japan. Currently, it is merely the 55th largest. However, it might mean it has a rich background in history.

Map of Wakayama City
Wakayama City Map
People in the city often say "Waka-ura" instead of "Waka-no-ura."

About Wakayama Prefecture

  • How much does Wakayama Prefecture occupy in Japan?

The next table shows the proportion of various things concerning Wakayama Prefecture to the whole of Japan. (This summary is based on a report published in 2020)

Item Number %
Population 2017 944,889 0.7%
Total Area 4,725km &sup2 1.3%
Mountain Area 3,610km &sup2 1.7%
Habitable Area 1,003km &sup2 0.9%
Rice Paddy Area 96km &sup2 0.4%
Grove Area 208km &sup2 7.4%
Manufacturing Shipment Value ¥ 2,640 billion 0.9%
Agricultural Production ¥ 112 billion 1.2%
Rice Production ¥ 7.6 billion 0.5%
Fruit Production ¥ 70.2 billion 8.4%
Flower Production ¥ 5.9 billion 1.7%
Japanese Apricot Fruit Crop Yield 53,500t 61.6%
Satsuma Mandarin Crop Yield 144,200t 19.5%
Persimmon Crop Yield 547,500t 21.1%
  • What can be said from the table?

Wakayama Prefecture shares 1.3% of the whole land of Japan. And only 0.7% of the whole population live there. It is because the area is so mountainous that habitable areas are limited for its size. And flat areas are concentrated only in mouths of big rivers.

Consequently, rice paddy areas and rice production are not as much as in other similar-sized prefectures.

On the other hand, thanks to efforts of the local people who have focused on fruit growing, the prefecture has become abundant in groves and orchards for citrus fruits, Japanese apricot fruits (ume), persimmons, peaches and others.

  • How about industry?

Several big factories for iron manufacturing, oil refining, chemical production, industrial machines and others are located in the northern seashore.