Yoshino-Kumano National Park

The diversity, history and culture of the Kii Peninsula

The region stretches from north to south in the center of the peninsula. A portion of the area is designated a World Heritage site, named the "Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range. Part of the northern area is designated as a UNESCO Eco Park aimed at the harmonization of preserving the ecosystems and ensuring sustainable utilization. Along with the Nanki Kumano area in Wakayama Prefecture, itis registered as a Japanese Geopark.

Visiting Japan's National Parks

Yoshino-Kumano National Park, like all of Japan's national parks, has no entrance fees, no opening and closing hours, and a permit is not required to enter or stay in the park. The national parks of Japan differ from national parks worldwide in that the land within the national parks is not exclusively designated for national park use and is made up of private property as well as public and protected areas. Visitors are free to enter and leave at any time.

Park Highlights

The vast flat topography of the area, at around 1,500 m above sea level, is rare in Japan. The Higashinokawa River running through the area creates a deep V-shaped valley with a series of waterfalls and rock cliffs.

DON'T MISS

  • Visit the Kumano Sanzan—the grand shrines of the Kumano region
  • Explore Sandanbeki Cliff, the hideout for Heian period (794-1185) pirates
  • Dive down to the area's dramatic coral reefs

The Dorokyo Gorge is a gorge situated in the downstream basin of the Kitayama River, a tributary of the Kumano River fed by waters flowing down from the Omine Mountain Range and Odaigahara Plateau. This area features a diverse array of linked scenic elements consisting of oddly shaped rocks, deep pools of water and vertically sheared cliffs. Board a hovercraft or other vessel to explore the beautiful allure of this extraordinary gorge.

OMINE MOUNTAIN RANGE

The Omine Mountain Range is a profoundly mountainous area, known as the Roof of the Kinki Region. It comprises, from north to south, a series of famous peaks. At present, in addition to spiritual mountain climbing around Mt. Sanjogatake, the mountains have been used in various ways, including hiking and competitive mountain climbing.

MT. NACHI AREA

This mature mountainous region, home to Mt. Myoho and Mt. Eboushi, was formed after granite porphyry intruding into a tertiary deposit remained due to the delayed encroachment compared to other mountains. The famous Nachi Falls, the tallest free-flowing waterfall in Japan with a height of 133 m, flows down the face of a cliff between the geological layers.

MT. YOSHINO

Noted as the finest site of wild cherry trees in Japan, visitors are invariably captivated by the sight of the entire slope of the mountain gradually becoming tinged by the color of cherry trees in bloom from the bottom to the top of Mt. Yoshino in spring. There is an observatory set up at a lookout point where visitors can behold the commanding views of Mt. Kongou and Mt. Katsuragi in the distance.

ODAIGAHARA PLATEAU

A site that receives some of the highest rainfall in Japan, the area boasts average annual precipitation of approximately 3,500 mm. The precipices, waterfalls, and other formations created through erosion, caused by heavy rains, have created a majestic landscape. A scenic highway takes visitors near the summit to offer a fully-fledged mountain climbing experience of both a nature walk and hiking.

About the Park 

Yoshino-Kumano National Park is a park of varied landscapes consisting of mountains, rivers, and beaches. It encompasses the Omine Mountain Range, known as the Roof of the Kinki Region.

FACTS & FIGURES

  • Date of National Park Designation: February 1, 1936
  • Area: 61,406 ha (614.06 square kilometers)
  • Location: Mie, Nara, Wakayama prefectures

PARKS RULES & SAFETY 

As with any national park or conservation area, visitors to Yoshino-Kumano are required to observe the following rules for safety and to protect the area's natural biodiversity:

  • Carry in, carry out: Take all of your trash with you.
  • Do not pick wildflowers or damage plants.
  • Do not feed the wild animals.
  • Hunting is not permitted.
  • No fishing unless with a certified guide.
  • No smoking while walking.
  • Campfires are only permitted in designated areas.
  • No idling, turn off engines.