• A tour of World Heritage sites and fine cuisine: Shingu, Wakayama
  • A tour of World Heritage sites and fine cuisine: Shingu, Wakayama
  • A tour of World Heritage sites and fine cuisine: Shingu, Wakayama
  • A tour of World Heritage sites and fine cuisine: Shingu, Wakayama
  • A tour of World Heritage sites and fine cuisine: Shingu, Wakayama
  • A tour of World Heritage sites and fine cuisine: Shingu, Wakayama
  • A tour of World Heritage sites and fine cuisine: Shingu, Wakayama
  • A tour of World Heritage sites and fine cuisine: Shingu, Wakayama
  • A tour of World Heritage sites and fine cuisine: Shingu, Wakayama
  • A tour of World Heritage sites and fine cuisine: Shingu, Wakayama
  • A tour of World Heritage sites and fine cuisine: Shingu, Wakayama

Shingu is a major part of the Kumano area.
You can find here astonishing sceneries of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes, as well as enjoy a large variety of local delicacies.

Experience the fine cuisine and the Three Grand Shrines of Shingu area

Recommended route
for a Kumano Kodo culinary tour

Shingu has lots of picture-perfect spots!Look for this symbol on the photos on this page!In Shingu you will find lots of opportunities for amazing pictures.
Look for this symbol on the photos for our SNS pictures recommendations!

The culinary tour starts with the delicacies from the Kumano-nada sea

icon"Jofukuzushi Ekimaeten"

Located right across from Shingu Station, Jofukuzushi Ekimaeten is a must visit! The restaurant was opened nearly 70 years ago, and in addition to seafood from the Kumano-nada Sea (such as fresh bluefin tuna and whitefish served with mandarin orange vinegar), this restaurant offers local flavors like Kombu (kelp) sushi and mehari (mustard leaf) sushi. The restaurant’s signature dish, sanma (Pacific saury) sushi, is a must-try. The local delicacy, a healthy Pacific saury, straight from the Kumano-nada Sea, is marinated in vinegar made with yuzu (an Asian citrus fruit). The flavor is very unique, and the look of a whole fish on the plate makes a powerful impression! Takeout is also available here! The restaurant enjoys a high popularity at lunchtime, and the dishes get sold out quickly, make sure to arrive early to not miss your chance! About 9 minutes on foot

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Jofukuzushi Shingu Station location
Sanma (Pacific saury) sushi (whole fish sushi)
Kombu (kelp) sushi and sanma (Pacific saury) sushi
Fresh bluefin tuna with a splash of mandarin vinegar, another unique Kumano delicacy
Jofukuzushi Shingu Station location Jofukuzushi Shingu Station location Jofukuzushi Shingu Station location

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About 9 minutes on foot

On to Shingu’s new World Heritage site!

iconAsuka-Jinja Shrine

This ancient shrine is located at the foot of Mt. Horaisan, on the southern banks near the mouth of the Kumano-gawa River. Its history stretches back to ancient times. Legend has it the shrine was built in 423 BCE, during the reign of Emperor Kosho, the fifth Emperor of Japan. The shrine’s history is also intertwined with that of Jofuku, a figure who is said to have been sent to Japan by Qin Shi Huang of the Qin dynasty, and to have taught the locals about skills in disciplines such as farming, whaling, shipbuilding, and papermaking. The grounds of Asuka-Jinja Shrine are said to have been the place where Jofuku and his companions disembarked. Asuka-Jinja Shrine was added to an existing UNESCO World Heritage site in 2016. One of the monks at the shrine, Mr. Nishi plays a flute on the visitors request. If you happen to meet him make sure to say "Hi".
About 9 minutes on foot

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Asuka-Jinja Shrine
The approach to the Asuka-Jinja Shrine
Mr Nishi, the priest of the Asuka Jinja Shrine, plays the flute on request
Asuka-Jinja Shrine, added to the World Heritage registry in 2016
Asuka-Jinja Shrine Asuka-Jinja Shrine Asuka-Jinja Shrine

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About 9 minutes on foot

Enjoy beautiful and scenic views

iconShingu Castle Ruins

This public park with a lovely view is on the site of the ruins of a castle that had stood on Mt. Tankaku, with a relatively low elevation on the south bank of the mouth of the Kumano-gawa River. The castle is also known as Tankaku Castle, originally a residence of Tankaku Hime, daughter of the samurai warrior Minamoto no Tameyoshi. In 1619, the castle was taken by one Mr. Mizuno, and remained under the Tokugawa Yorinobu clan’s rule for 10 generations after that. During that time, the castle town flourished. That town is now the city of Shingu. Among the attractions here is a stone wall, which remains largely intact. When you climb the stone stairs leading up from the parking lot, you will find the base of the castle keep and the ruins of the main building. On the north side of the main building, a view of the Kumano-gawa River and Kumano-ohashi Bridge unfurls. This view has been named one of the top 100 places in Wakayama Prefecture to see the rising and setting of the sun. The ruins are also well-known as a place to view cherry blossoms in the spring.
About 10 minutes on foot

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Shingu Castle Ruins
Castle ruins and park with a great view at the low elevation of Mount Tankaku, on the south bank of the mouth of the Kumano-gawa River
Shingu Castle Ruins (Tankaku Castle Ruins) Photo on right: The stone wall, representing the best of the era’s engineering
The stone wall, representing the best of the era’s engineering
Shingu Castle Ruins Shingu Castle Ruins Shingu Castle Ruins

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About 10 minutes on foot

Don’t forget to pick up some suzu-yaki, a local favorite!

iconKoubaidou

"Koubaidou" is a long-standing Japanese confectionery store with a history of nearly 150 years. The stores speciality is “suzu-yaki.” With their adorable, bell-like shapes, and a top-quality texture far beyond the typical bell-shaped sponge cake, they are hugely popular. The aromas of egg and milk will delight your mouth, conveying the quality of these confections. The offerings here also make great gifts, and cannot be purchased anywhere else. Make sure to get one before you go.
About 7 minutes on foot

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Koubaidou
Suzu-yaki
Koubaidou
Cute gift packages!
Koubaidou Koubaidou Koubaidou

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About 7 minutes on foot

A popular spot for longlasting relationship attraction

iconKumano Hayatama Taisha
Grand Shrine

This grand shrine is one of the three Kumano Sanzan shrines, along with Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine and Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine. The main deities enshrined here are husband and wife: Kumano Hayatama no Ohkami, and Kumano Fusumi no Ohkami. The shrine grounds are home to a large nagi tree that is about 1,000 years old, which is also a designated Natural Monument. Thanks to its strong leaves, which are hard to tear, this nagi tree is considered to bestow couples with good luck and matrimonial happiness. Kumano Shimpokan, Sacred Treasure Museum, which hosts a collection of items that have been presented as offerings to the Hayatama Grand Shrine, has been called the “Shoso-in of Nanki” (The Shoso-in is a famous treasure house in Nara, a historic city near Kyoto). Most of the items here have been designated as National Treasures or Important Cultural Properties.
About 9 minutes on foot

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Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine
Grand shrine in Shingu, one of the Kumano Sanzan shrines
The Sacred Tree Nagi: Its leaves, which do not split from side to side, are good-luck charms for marriage
Romantic fortune slips and other good-luck charms are also in abundant supply
Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine

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About 9 minutes on foot

Cool down with Kakigori, Shaved ice

iconNaka Kori-ten

Naka Kori-ten is in a narrow alleyway on the way from Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine to Kamikura-Jinja Shrine. With a charming retro atmosphere that recalls the mid-20th century, this store is a Mecca for kakigori enthusiast, (shaved ice ice-creams). Long a favorite among locals, this store uses the famous water from the Koza-gawa River. Here you can enjoy kakigori made of water gently frozen over a 72-hour process to create top-quality “pure ice,” all year long. The store opens at 8:00 AM, and apparently there are many visitors who stop by after some early-morning sightseeing. The “suika-gori,” which has a watermelon-like appearance, is among the most popular choices here. All of the syrups here are handmade, and include flavors like jabara, a citrus fruit that has garnered much attention as of late for its beauty benefits, as well as fresh mandarin orange. These cool, frozen treats are also massively popular on Instagram. How about trying one?
About 11 minutes on foot

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Naka Kori-ten
Suika-gori, a favorite among the locals. Melts in the mouth in an instant!
Mandarin orange flavor also available, with the store’s signature syrup!
Enjoy Kakigori, made with “pure ice,” all year long
Naka Kori-ten Naka Kori-ten Naka Kori-ten

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About 11 minutes on foot

Ease of walking is important here! Comfortable to walk shoes are recommended.
The view from the stone steps is amazing!

iconKamikura-Jinja Shrine

Enshrined at Kamikura-Jinja Shrine is the Gotobiki-iwa rock, the sacred rock that is featured in the legends about the first time the deities of Kumano descended to earth.
Try climbing the cliff-like stone steps, which participants of Oto Matsuri Festival descend every February. These stone steps are, of course, part of the Kumano Kodo.
Climbing these 538 steps all the way to the top of the mountain, where the Gotobiki-iwa rock can be found, will really get the heart pumping! At their steepest, the steps are at a 45 degree angle. While you’re climbing, be sure not to look down! It’s a dizzying sight!
That being said, the mystical sight of the Gotobiki-iwa rock and from the top, with the clear view of the Kumano-nada sea are worth the effort.
About 8 minutes on foot

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Kamikura-Jinja Shrine
The sacred Gotobiki-iwa rock
The open space in front of the shrine building offers the best view of Shingu.
The birthplace of Kumano as a religious site, where the deities made their appearance
Kamikura-Jinja Shrine Kamikura-Jinja Shrine Kamikura-Jinja Shrine

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About 8 minutes on foot

Reward yourself with magnificent Kumano beef!

iconYakiniku Hige

Cap the day off and recharge with some delicious yakiniku (Japanese barbecue)! Located near Shingu Station, Hige is the only yakiniku restaurant in Wakayama Prefecture that is licensed to offer Kumano beef. Kumano beef is a brand of wagyu beef that is raised in the warm climate and rich natural environment of Kumano, with quality and flavor of the very highest standard. The fat melts away easily, so it’s not too heavy, yet the beef offers a rich flavor with all of its true goodness intact. The Kumano Beef Special here is available for lunch only, and will allow you to enjoy Kumano beef to your heart’s content for only ¥1,500. The Kumano beef offal is also a popular choice among regulars. Quantities are limited, so if you see something that catches your fancy, you’ve got to try it!
Yakiniku Hige

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Yakiniku Hige
The fat, which melts at the body temperature, is not too heavy, allowing you to enjoy the goodness of the meat.
A ¥1,500 lunch of satisfying proportions!
High-quality Kumano beef. Produced in small quantities. This is a rare opportunity.
Yakiniku Hige Yakiniku Hige Yakiniku Hige

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Yakiniku Hige

Hotel list

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Route Map

Hunting for awe-inspiring scenery

Most Beautiful Places

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  • Kumano Kodo Koya-zaka Slope Walk

Kumano Kodo Koya-zaka Slope Walk

This is the part of the Nakahechi Route, which is taken by people who are making the pilgrimage from Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine to Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine. After a visit to Hama-oji (one of the Kumano Kujuku Oji shrines), if you take a walk along Ojigahama Beach while gazing at the Sea of Kumano scenery, you will soon arrive at the foot of Koya-zaka Slope. You can see the ocean from the moss-covered stone paths that wind between the trees here. A trek of about one hour here is sure to be packed with the charms of the Kumano Kodo.

  • Doro-kyo Gorge Sightseeing Jet Boat

Doro-kyo Gorge Sightseeing Jet Boat

This sightseeing boat tours Dorohaccho, the roughly 31km of ravines that run through the Yoshino-Kumano National Park. You will cruise along the Kumano-gawa River in a jet boat at a speed of about 40km per hour. When you get to the gorge, the roof opens up, and you can view the fascinating shapes of the rocks along the cliffs that rise above both banks of the river at close range. You can then go ashore in the gorge for about 20 minutes, for the full experience of the canyon’s beautiful seasonal scenery. Please enjoy this round-trip cruise of about two hours. After that, we recommend visiting the cafe at the Doro Hotel, which stands on a cliff with a view of the gorge.

  • Kumano-gawa River Boat Tour

Kumano-gawa River Boat Tour

This river pilgrimage route was used by ex-emperors and aristocrats to head for Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine after a visit to Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine.This is the only stretch of the river in the world to be listed as a World Heritage site.
Today, you can still travel down this stretch of the river in a small, simple wooden boat, and experience what it was like to make a pilgrimage in the Heian period (794-1185).
The tour departs from the river side near the Road Station “Doro-kyo Gorge Kaido Kumano-gawa River.” The trip lasts about 90 minutes, ending at Gongengawara near Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine. This is a chance to enjoy an elegant river ride while listening to stories from a guide.

  • Kuwanoki Falls

Kuwanoki Falls

This waterfall, with a height of about 21m, is found in the Kuwanoki Canyon (Kuwanoki: “mulberry tree”), which branches off from the Takada-gawa River, itself a tributary of the Kumano-gawa River. Selected as one of Japan’s top 100 waterfalls, Kuwanoki Falls is said to have been named for the profusion of trees that grew in the vicinity long ago. You can also enjoy a walk here, as there is a path to the waterfall from a bridge over the Takada-gawa River, along Prefectural Road 230.

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When you’re in Shingu, you’ve got to try this!

Local specialties

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  • Unaju (eel rice bowl) at Shikaroku

Unaju (eel rice bowl) at Shikaroku

Shikaroku is a long-standing restaurant said to have been frequented by Shingu-born writer Haruo Sato. Select domestic eel is carefully grilled over ubame oak charcoal, and paired exquisitely with a secret sauce. The refined atmosphere of the restaurant is also a delight.

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  • Mehari (mustard leaf) sushi at Mehariya

Mehari (mustard leaf) sushi at Mehariya

Mehari sushi is a local dish that features white rice balls wrapped in lightly pickled mustard greens. The flavor is rustic, with a hint of nostalgia. Each dish is made-to-order, with nothing prepared in advance. Please enjoy these fresh flavors.

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  • Amanogawa at Matsubaya

Amanogawa at Matsubaya

This hidden gem is announced only by a small sign. The famous, hand-made “Amanogawa” (the Japanese name for the Milky Way galaxy) sweets here combine the fun of a crispy outer texture made with agar and sugar with a dense, flavorful filling made from adzuki beans. Their translucent appearance also makes for great pictures!

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  • Yatagarasu no Tamago at Tsukushi

Yatagarasu no Tamago at Tsukushi

Tsukushi offers a range of Japanese and Western confectionery. Among the products available here are sweets that have as motifs the myths that have been passed down in Kinokuni. The Yatagarasu no Tamago (“egg of Yatagarasu”; Yatagarasu is a raven from Japanese mythology) is made with egg yolk paste and white bean jam, which are wrapped in a dough that includes high-quality Kishu charcoal. The stunning appearance, the fluffy, springy texture, and the flavor are all captivating.

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  • Tendaiuyaku Jelly at Carrot

Tendaiuyaku Jelly at Carrot

Carrot is a cafe on the Nakanocho Shopping Street. The star of the show at Carrot is this jelly, made with lindera root, a specialty from Shingu that is said to be the “Medicine of Immortality” from the Jofuku legend. The jelly is made by boiling down the leaves and twigs that come from the same plant as the lindera root, and then adding adzuki beans to the mixture. It overflows with refreshing, wholesome goodness.

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  • Kakinoha sushi ( wrapped with Persimmon leaf)  at Kakinoate

Kakinoha sushi ( wrapped with Persimmon leaf) at Kakinoate

"Kakinoate, located in front of the Torii gates of Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine, is an establishment specializing in food made with leaves from persimmon trees.
Kakinoha sushi is available in two types: salmon, and mackerel. Every piece is made by hand that very morning. Wrapped with care one-by-one, this persimmon leaf sushi brings together the goodness of the fish, the rice, and the seasoning, producing exquisite flavors."

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  • Crepes at Magic Pierrot

Crepes at Magic Pierrot

Located a short walk from Shingu Station at the entrance to the Tankaku Shopping Street, this crepe and burger restaurant has been in business for 33 years. The crepes are made with a springy signature batter, and are found on a menu boasting upwards of 250 choices. In addition to the crepes, popular offerings here include the Deluxe Kumano Beef Burger, something you won’t find in any other part of the country.

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  • Kumano UFO Pie at Nankaido

Kumano UFO Pie at Nankaido

This bakery, which offers bread and Western confectionery, opened in 1953 on National Route 42. The lineup here features plenty of variety, and includes breads of all sorts, as well as macarons and eclairs. The Kumano UFO Pie comes highly recommended. A lovingly-prepared crust is filled with ingredients including apples, orange jam, and raisins.

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  • Sashimi Platter at Ajito

Sashimi Platter at Ajito

Ajito, an izakaya (Japanese-style pub) much loved by the locals, is best known for its fresh sashimi, made with fish carefully selected by the proprietor, who also enjoys fishing. The menu here has even been known to feature fish freshly caught by the owner himself. We also recommend the Kumano chicken and other local food available here.

Hotel List

Access

  • Access by Train
  • From the direction of Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe
    •On the Kisei Main Line from Kyoto/Shin-Osaka Station, get off at Shingu Station.
    From the direction of Nagoya
    •On the Kisei Main Line from Nagoya Station, get off at Shingu Station.
  • Access by Car
  • From the direction of Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe
    •Take the Hanwa Expressway. Take R311 at the Kamitonda Interchange, then take R168 south at Hongu Keiyu.
    Or, take the Hanwa Expressway south, then take R42 at the Susami-Minami Interchange. From Ichiya, take the Nachikatsuura-Shingu Road to get to Shingu.
    •From the Nishi-Meihan Expressway, take R24/R168 south to Shingu.
    From Nagoya
    •From the Higashi-Meihan/Ise/Kisei Expressway, take R42 south from the Kumano-Odomari Interchange to get to Shingu.
  • Access by Air
  • •From Nanki-Shirahama Airport, take the airport shuttle bus to Shirahama Station. From Shirahama Station, take the Kisei Main Line and get off at Shingu Station.

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*Disclaimer: Prices shown are lowest available room rates per person per night based on double occupancy as of October 24 2017. Prices may vary from those listed above depending on room type, number of guests staying, schedule, and availability.

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