Wakayama 和歌山

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Wakayama city is situated south of Osaka on the coast of the Kii Peninsula in the Kansai. Visitor can explore Wakayama Castle and try some of the local specialities including Chinese-style noodles, mikan oranges and pickled plums (umeboshi).

  • Nearest Airport

    Kansai Airport (KIX) 

    33 - 40 minutes by train to Wakayama Station 

    40 minutes by the Limousine bus

  • Train Stations

    Wakayama Station (JR Wakayama, Hanwa, Kisei lines and the Wakayama Electric Railway)

    Wakayamashi Station ( JR Kisei Line, and the Nankai Railway Kada, Nankai and Wakayamako lines)

  • Districts

    Ichibancho - Wakayama Castle and gardens and Momijidani Teien Garden

    1 Chome - The Museum of Modern Art

    Nachi Falls


Things to see and do in Wakayama

Wakayama Castle is Wakayama's main sightseeing attraction. The castle, on Mt. Torafusu, was first constructed on the orders of Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-1598) in 1585.

Most of the buildings you see today were rebuilt in 1958 after the castle was badly damaged in World War II. The main entrance gate of Wakayama Castle, the Otemon Gate, was rebuilt in 1989. Only the Okaguchi Gate and the impressive stone walls remain from the original castle.

The castle grounds are Wakayama's most popular spot for cherry blossom viewing (hanami) and also contain the Nishi-no-Maru Garden (Momijidani) built by Yorinobu Tokugawa in the early 17th century.

The garden has a pond, a waterfall and is famous for its autumn leaves. The garden was adjoined to the Nishi-no-Maru palace of the domain lord.


South of the castle park is the impressively-designed Wakayama Museum of Modern Art with a collection of both Western and Japanese contemporary art, including works by Picasso, Nonagase Banka, Tanaka Kyokichi, Mark Rothko and George Segal. There is also an extensive display of modern prints.

The museum has a spacious restaurant and was designed by the celebrated Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa, who also designed both Oita and Toyota stadiums, Kuala Lumpur Airport and the New Wing of the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.

The Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama in Wakayama, Wakayama prefecture, Japan

The Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama in Wakayama, Wakayama prefecture, Japan

By 663highland - Own work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27358926

You will also find many shrines and temples, such as Awashima Jinja, the doll shrine, Kiimidera Temple, whose cherry trees are the first to bloom every year in Kansai, or the small Itakiso-Jinja shrine, dedicated to the worship of trees.

While in Wakayama, don't miss the small Bansho garden, offering a refreshing view of the turquoise blue Pacific Ocean between Honshu and Shikoku.

Wander through the hills around the town, covered with fruit trees: yuzu, peaches, persimmons, Mikan mandarins... Try your hand at picking from the farms in the area. The whole Wakayama region is full of varied and beautiful landscapes, between sea and mountains.

Awashima-jinja, Wakayama

Awashima-jinja, Wakayama

By Saigen Jiro - Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=92356801

Rotenburo of Hotel Urashima in Nachikatsuura, inside a large natural cave that has been eroded by the sea

Rotenburo of Hotel Urashima in Nachikatsuura, inside a large natural cave that has been eroded by the sea

By 663highland - This is a complete original image ( no retouch, and no re-compression )., CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10965313

Travel to Wakayama with a Japan Rail Pass

  • Included : Economic and simple, Unlimited travel

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