The original site of Kumano Hongu-Taisha, the 12 shrine pavilions that made up the grand shrine in Oyunohara were swept away by a ferocious flood in 1889. Of the original buildings, only two small stone shrines remain. However, the area still impresses with a towering torii gate – the largest in Japan. The gate represents the division of the secular and spiritual worlds.
It can be accessed by train.
A bus from JR Kii-Tanabe Station will take you to the area in around two hours where you will disembark at Hongu-taisha mae. Those traveling from Shingu station will have a slightly shorter travel time of one hour and 20 minutes.
Oyunohara's location in lush Wakayama nature lends itself to an ever-changing backdrop as the seasons cycle through their changes. It draws photographers looking for that authentic Japanese shot of a torii gate among the bright and subtle pinks of spring cherry blossoms or the deep reds and yellows of vibrant fall leaves. Also known as a power spot, the area is popular with those looking to charge up their spiritual energy.