Kumano Hongu Taisha
Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine
Facts & Figures
Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine is dedicated to the Shinto religion and it is the leading shrine of more than 3000 Kumano shrines located all over Japan. The shrine itself belongs to the three grand shrines of Kumano, called Kumano Sanzan (Nachi Taisha, Hayatama Taisha and Hongu Taisha). It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and part of the - Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range. Interesting to know the grand shrine is the center of the ancient Kumano Kodo network of pilgrimage routes in this area. Every year worshippers come to this place the pay their respect to 14 enshrined deities, like Ketsumimiko-O-kami (deity who strives to help mankind) or Izanagi-O-kami (deity who gave birth to Japan) and not to forget the sun goddess Amaterasu. The image of Ketsumimiko-O-kami was designated as Important Cultural Property by the government.
- Kumano Hongu Taisha:
- Opening Hours - 6:00 am to 7:00 pm
- Closed - never, open for the whole year
- Admission Fee - free
The founding date of Kumano Hongu Taisha is unknown. The place was mentioned in literature already more than 900 years ago. Many emporers have visited the grand shrine over the centuries. In 1889 a huge flood destroyed most of Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine. The remaining buildings were relocated to the top of a hill nearby Oyunohara. In 1995 Kumano Hongu Taisha was named an Important Cultural Property of Japan.
Kumano Hongu Taisha is located in Tanabe in southern part of the Wakayama Prefecture.
Address: 1110 Hongu, Hongu-cho, Tanabe-shi, Wakayama Prefecture 647-1731
How to get to Kumano Hongu Taisha?
- 3hrs 10min from Nagoya Station to Shingu Station by JR Kansai and Kise Line or
- 4hrs from Shin-Osaka Station to Shingu Station by JR Hanwa and Kise Line and
- 1hr 20min from JR Shingu Station to Kumano Hongu Taisha mae by bus (once per hour)
Otorii Oyunohara - the gate will make you feel small, the largest Torii Gate in the world is an impressive sight - just 1 km away from the shrine
Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes - connects the other sacred UNESCO sites in the area - Koya-san, Hayatama Taisha, Nachi Taisha
Festival & Events (dates can change without notice)
Kumano Hongu Taisha Spring Festival (13th till 15th)
This traditional and spiritual festival is closely related with the pilgrimage to Kumano and the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route. On the 13th of April fathers carry their young sons, after a purification ceremony held at the sacred waters of Yunomine Onsen, on the shoulders and walking over the Dainichi-goe section of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route to Oyunohara. Everyone is wearing traditional costumes, which makes this festival so beautiful. On the 15th of April a portable mikoshi shrine is temporarily housing the invoked Kumano Deities and carried to the original location of descend, Oyunohara sandbank. Enjoy this peaceful festival in the Kumano Mountains.
Yata-no-Hi Matsuri Fire Festival (last Sat. in August)
The festival is held in Oyunohara (Hongu-cho). It honours the Yatagarasu crow (three legged crow). Do not miss Taiko drum and dancing shows, great fireworks and the parading of a fire mikoshi (portable Shinto shrine).
Where to stay near Kumano Hongu Taisha?
My 100 Best Moments in Japan
I am visiting Japan nearly every year since 2004. This is my collection of the 100 best moments in my favourite country. Enjoy the pictures and I hope you will start your own journey soon.