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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan. Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan.
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare. An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare.
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife. Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife.
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan. Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan.
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara. The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara.
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower. Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower.
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving. Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving.
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky. The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky.
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

KANSAI Wakayama Reboot body and soul in Japan’s spiritual heartland

Wakayama offers the natural and spiritual sides of Japan with the ancient temple complex of Koyasan, the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route, and a picturesque coastline

Wakayama is Japan’s spiritual heartland attracting enlightenment-seeking pilgrims and beach-bound sun worshippers in equal measure. From the World Heritage listed Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Route and the mountaintop temple complex of Koyasan to the sparkling white sands of Shirara Beach. Wakayama City is home to an impressive castle and a delicious local ramen with its own style.

How to Get There

Wakayama can be accessed by express trains from Kyoto, Osaka and Nagoya. There are regular train and bus services from Osaka and Nagoya and easy connections for flights into Kansai International Airport. From Tokyo, you can reach the area via Nagoya by train, or fly into Wakayama’s Nanki-Shirahama Airport in just over an hour.

Most visitors access Wakayama Prefecture via Wakayama City on the JR Kuroshio Limited Express from Shin-Osaka Station, a major bullet train stop. To visit Wakayama's southeast coast approaching from Mie or Nagoya, take the JR Nanki Express. The journey from Nagoya takes three and a half hours and is not fully covered by the JR Rail Pass. If you don't have a rail pass, a less expensive alternative to air and rail is express bus. These run from Tokyo, Kyoto and other major cities. From Tokyo, expect the journey to take 12 hours.

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Don't Miss

    The calm, spiritual atmosphere at the ancient temple complex of Koyasan
    Wakayama Castle perched upon a mountaintop
    Jagged natural rock monuments seen from picturesque beaches
    Follow the ancient Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route through dense and misty forests

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Seasonal Highlights

  • Spring

    Mild temperatures and low rainfall offer ideal conditions for trekking the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Route. Head to Kimiidera Temple for some of the earliest-blooming cherry blossoms in Wakayama and the Kansai region—full bloom is usually early April.

  • Summer

    Beachgoers flock to the picturesque and dramatic coastline to soak up the sun when beach season gets fully underway in July. Through July and the first half of August, the Wakayama night sky fizzes with firework displays.

  • Autumn

    Blazing red maple leaves transform the gardens of majestic Wakayama Castle in mid-November. Shingu City celebrates its local festival in early October, in which divine spirits are transported along the Kumano River.

  • Winter

    Warm up in historical hot spring resorts in the mountains and along the coast. Enjoy Wakayama's sweet, juicy mikan oranges when they are in season between October and December.

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