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Kumano Kodo Waterfall Worship Hike



HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Kumano Kodo Waterfall Worship Hike


Experience an enlightening pilgrimage to Nachi’s sacred upper falls into the depths of Mt. Nachi

Nachi-Katsuura Tourism Organization




A major destination on the World Heritage Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Route, Mt. Nachi is located in the southeastern part of the Kii Peninsula, Wakayama Prefecture. For over 1,300 years, this sacred area and the 48 waterfalls scattered across the Nachi Primeval Forest have been a spiritual sanctuary where Yamabushi monks seeking enlightenment visit to undergo rigorous 1,000-day waterfall training.

Each year between February and June, the sacred precinct of the Nachi upper falls opens to the public for an exclusive hike beyond the Nachi Waterfall (also called the First Fall or Ichi-no-Taki). As public access to the area is usually not allowed, this hiking tour is a rare chance to experience the mysteries of Mt. Nachi.




Reconnect with yourself and nature as you begin the hike with a formal visit to Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine, to get permission and undergo a special purification ceremony to enter its sacred precinct. You will then be greeted by the mystical, primeval forest and crystalline waters of the upper falls. Accompanied by experienced guides, you will steadily make your way to the Second Fall (Ni-no-Taki) and the Third Fall (San-no-Taki). 




After three hours of hiking up the mountain, you will enjoy a hot meal packed with local flavor. The deified Nachi Waterfall, with its majestic form and waters believed to grant good health and longevity, will welcome you at the final stop of the hike, where you can pay respects and soak in the etherealness of your experience.





How to get there


From Nanki-Shirahama Airport, take a route bus to JR Shirahama Station (about 20 minutes). Take a limited express to Kii-Katsuura Station (about 1 hour and 25 minutes), then transfer to a bus to Mt. Nachi (about 30 minutes).


Nachi-Katsuura-cho, Higashimuro-gun, Wakayama-ken



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