The Kii Peninsula 紀伊半島

  • Published on : 10/08/2020
  • by : J.R.
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The Kii Peninsula, the spiritual heart of Kansai

The Kii Peninsula is the largest peninsula on Honshu and stretches south-east from Osaka and is considered Kansai's spiritual heart. However, besides Mt Koya, travelers rarely visit this area, but it is home to some of Japan's true wonders. Discover more about the Kii Peninsula.

The great shrine of Ise is made up of several buildings, the most important of which is dedicated to the kami Amaterasu, the sun goddess who offered the sacred insignia of the Imperial family. In line with the Shinto belief of renewal, the shrine is rebuilt identically every 20 years. 

Another highlight of the city, the two "married couple rocks" (Meoto Iwa) a few meters high, linked together by a shimenawa (sacred rope made of rice straw), and representing the bonds of marriage.

Not far from Ise is Mikimoto, the pearl island, where it is possible to observe divers with the secular technique, who dive in search of pearl oysters.

Ise Shrine Building

Ise Shrine Building

Wikimedia Commons, Daderot, https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en

Other places to visit

If you want to wander around the area, you should take a trip to Wakayama, not far from Osaka on the west coast of the peninsula and home to a beautiful castle. If you pass by, be sure to stop at Bandoko Gardens.

Further south, you will find Shirahama Beach, a charming stopover in summer to cool off. This area is very popular with tourists.

In the extreme south of the peninsula is Kushimoto, a small town which shelters the rocks of Hashiguiiwa, the southernmost point of Honshu.

The Bandoko-teien gardens

The Bandoko-teien gardens

Juliette Rivière

Shirahama

Shirahama beach

Flickr Henry Burrows, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

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