Nachi Falls, the tallest waterfall in Japan and long-worshipped sacred site in Wakayama Prefecture
With its 133-meter drop from the top, Nachi Falls in Wakayama Prefecture is the tallest waterfall in Japan and was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2004. It is said that locals in ancient times believed that the area was sacred and that the falls were where a spiritual deity existed. According to ancient literature called Records of Ancient Matters, Emperor Jimmu, the first emperor of Japan enthroned in 660 B.C., encountered the place on his journey called Jimmu Tousei, in which he conquered the eastern area with his army. After that, the falls became famous as a sacred site, and more people started to worship the place. Once you visit the falls, you will see why people felt such a spiritual presence. Local people of Nachikatsuura have taken good care of the surrounding area, preserving the falls as a sanctuary where people visit for the same spiritual deity that the ancient locals worshipped.