About Shingu City
Shingu City in Wakayama Prefecture, aka Kumano Shingu, with a population of 30,000, is located at the southeast of the Kii Peninsula, about three and a half hours by train from both Osaka and Nagoya. It is a place famous for its abundant nature and mild climate. It has also been a famous spiritual heartland with everyone, from outcasts to emperors, making the long pilgrimage over the steep mountain passes. In July 2004, Kumano Hayatama Grand Shrine, the Gongen Mountains, and the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes, including the Kumanogawa River pilgrimage route, were registered as World Cultural Heritage Sites under “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range.”
Hilight in Shingu
Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine stands at the mouth of Kumanogawa River. This Grand Shrine, as one of the Kumano Sanzan, enshrines twelve deities including Kumano Hayatama no Okami and Kumano Fusumi no Okami. There are over 3,000 shrines throughout Japan that bear the name Kumano. In the precincts of the Kumano Hayatama shrine, there is a sacred 1,000-years-old Nagi tree which is considered the biggest in Japan. (World Heritage) 【15minutes walk from Shingu station】
Kamikura Jinja Shrine, the original shrine of Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine, is located nearly 100 meters up a precipitous cliff of the Gongen-yama Mountains.After going 538 steep stone steps up, there is a huge rock called "Gotobiki-iwa,"which is the object of worship. (World Heritage ) 【15minutes walk from Shingu station】
This is also one of the auxiliary shrines of Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine. (World Heritage)
About 2200 years ago, Jofuku came to Shingu in search of an elixir of life by the order of the first Emperor Qin of China. Jofuku taught techniques of whaling, farming, paper making, etc. 【3 minutes walk from Shingu station.】
400 years ago, a big castle was constructed in Shingu city. As a result, the city flourished as a castle city. The beautiful masonry is registered as a national historic landmark. 【10 minutes walk from Shingu station】
For over 1000 years pilgrims had been making the journey to Kumano.Kumano River was a vitual section of the "Kumano Kodo"pilgrimage route between Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine and Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine. Visitors are able to board traditional wooden flat-bottom boats as pilgrims had been doing for centuries. This is unique way to get a river view perspective of Kumano's special landscape. 35 minutes by bus from Shingu. Boat runs twice a day: 10:00~,14:30~ Reservation is required
This foremost gorge is designated as a national treasure.You can enjoy its stunning beauty from a water-jet boat.
The Kumotori-goe Section which consists of Ogumotori-goe Section and Kogumotori-goe Section connects Kumano Nachi Grand Shrine and Kumano Hongu Grand Shrine.This is considered the toughest of the Nakahechi Routes, and usually takes two days.
Located in the center of Shingu. This entire island,which has rare ferns and aquatic plants,floats on a pond This is a national treasure. [10 minutes walk from Shingu station]