A site set up by a local guide to provide information about places of interest in Wakayama City.
Nice Places in Wakayama City
Especially for Long-stay Travelers and Long-term Residents in Kansai
Please be sure to check the latest information including transportation you need for yourself.

Waka-no-ura

Waka-no-ura is a wonderful place to enjoy walking. You can see beautiful scenery and visit historic spots in the southern coastal area of Wakayama City.

"Waka" is originally a name of a Japanese traditional poetry style composed of 31 syllables. And "ura" means "an inlet" and "no" connects the two words like "of."

Waka-no-ura has a Shinto shrine regarded as one of the most important places for waka poetry. An emperor ordered waka poems to praise the beautiful scenery there about 1,300 years ago.

Waka-no-ura has a lot of places to enjoy scenery. The area is designated as one of "Japan Heritage" by the national government. The title is ‘Treasure House of Scenic Beauty in Waka-no-ura.’

In 1950’s and 1960’s, Waka-no-ura was at the peak of popularity. Much more people from Osaka and other cities in Kansai used to visit this nearby resort. Though it is not as popular as before, it does not mean the place has lost its original beauty and value. Now is the time to rediscover the appeal of the area.

Please spend a peaceful time to enjoy yourselves in Waka-no-ura.

Lighthouse

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Saikazaki Lighthouse is located at a tip of a cape. The 14-meter-high white building is on a 60-meter-high cape. It has a nice observatory.

Seto Inland Sea

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The observatory of the lighthouse commands a nice view of the Seto Inland Sea National Park. It is the eastern end of the park area.

Fishing Port

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Saikazaki port developed after fishermen here invented a new fishing skill to use a line and a hook about 600 years ago.

Homes Densely Built

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Many houses are closely situated side by side all over a hillside by the port. Some people say the scenery is like an Italian one in Amalfi.

Esplanade

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The traditional port is also a modernized one. It has a walkway along the seashore to the eastern part of Waka-no-ura.

Beach

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When you walk along the seashore, through a bridge of the walkway, you'll enter a beach called "Namihaya" in a few minutes.

Another Fishing Port

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Tanoura Fishing Port is next to the beach. After walking through it, you'll go up a hill to a wider road going around the cape.

Waka-no-ura Bay

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The higher you walk up the hill to an observatory, the more you can enjoy the panoramic view of Waka-no-ura Bay.

Observatory

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Takatushi-yama Observatory is at the peak of a 151-meter-high hill. There used to be a ropeway and a rotating observation deck until 1997.

Kataonami Beach

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If you look south from the observatory, you'll see the beach and its surrounding area, including distant mountains in Kii Peninsula.

View of Saikazaki

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If you look west from the peak, you'll see Saikazaki, where you visited a lighthouse and a fishing port previously.

View of the City

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You'll also see the central part of Wakayama City, including Wakayama Castle, and Yosui-en Garden in the foreground.

Comfortable Path

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There is a pleasant walking path between the observatory and the next destination, Waka-ura Tenman-gu Shrine. It is about 900m long.

Waka-ura Tenmangu

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After walking through woods, you’ll enter premises of the Shinto shrine. The wooden building has kept its shape for more than 400 years.

Cultural Assets (1)

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The shrine is dedicated to Sugawara Michizane, a deity of academic achievements. National Important Cultural Assets.

Examinee's Deity

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Michizane from a low-ranking family was promoted to the highest position in Court. Many examinees pray for their success here.

Tosho-gu Shrine

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Kishu Tosho-gu is next to Tenman-gu. It is dedicated to Ieyasu, the first Tokugawa shogun, and his tenth son, the lord of Wakayama.

Rich Ornaments

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Japan has more than 500 Toshogu shrines where Ieyasu is enshrined. This is one of the most famous for its rich decoration next to Nikko's.

Cultural Assets (2)

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Five of the buildings and 17 items of the shrine are designated as National Important Cultural Assets, including the two-story gate.

Furo-bashi Bridge (1)

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The stone bridge with a name meaning "eternal youth bridge" was built as a part of a special path used in Tosho-gu festival.

Furo-bashi Bridge (2)

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You can see elaborate reliefs on the sidewalls. The stone structure itself was built by stonemasons invited from Kumamoto in Kyushu.

Shiogama Shrine

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There is another shrine by the stone bridge. Its name means "a brine pan to make salt." The deity here is for an easy delivery.

Shrine for Poetry

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Tamatsu-shima shrine is famous for its relationship with waka poetry since an emperor ordered waka poems to praise the scenery in the 8th C.

Mudflats

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A poet composed a waka poem depicting cranes flying and honking over mudflats with reeds. The place is called Kataonami.

Map of Waka-no-ura (Waka-ura)

Wakaura Map

A Plan for Walking

Order Places/Trips Stay
1 JR Wakayama Sta. -
- by bus (35min.) -
2 Saika-zaki Yuen (bus stop) -
- walk (20min.) -
3 Saika-zaki Lighthouse 15 min.
- walk (15min.) -
4 Saiga-saki Fishing Port 10min.
- walk (10 min.) -
5 Namihaya Beach 5min.
- walk (20min. upslope) -
6 Takatsushi-yama Observatory 15min.
- walk (20min.) -
7 Wakaura Tenman-gu Shrine 15min.
- walk (10min.) -
8 Kishu Tosho-gu Shrine 15min.
- walk (15min.) -
9 Tamatsu-shima Shrine 10min.
- walk (10min.) -
10 Waka-ura Bus Stop -
- by bus (35min.) -
11 JR Wakayama Sta. -

  • You can get on a bur for Saika-zaki at a bust stop in front of JR Wakayama Station. The buses leave once an hour in the daytime.
  • After getting off the bus at a bus stop (Saika-zaki Yuen), please walk to the lighthouse along a paved road.
  • A way from the lighthouse to the fishing port may be a little difficult to find out. The downslope path through houses is very narrow and winding, and it may be an unforgettable experience.
  • Please walk along the seashore to another fishing port named Tanoura and walk up the upslope to the observatory at Takatsushi-yama.
  • There is a walking path in woods between the observatory and Tanman-gu Shrine.
  • Buses from Waka-ura Bus Stop leave a few times an hour.
  • If you want to walk more, you can visit Kimii-dera Temple, and you can go back to JR Wakayama Sta. by train from the nearby station.