Nachi Falls (Nachi-no-taki) in Wakayama

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  • Nachi Falls Wakayama Prefecture

    Nachi Falls, Wakayama Prefecture

  • Nachi Falls Wakayama Prefecture

    Nachi Falls, Wakayama Prefecture

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Facts & Figures

The 133-meter-high Nachi Falls or Nachi-no-taki in the Wakayama Prefecture is the tallest uninterrupted single-drop waterfall in Japan. The scenic beauty of the falls with the Kumano Mountains as a backdrop is a well-known sight all over the country. Every second one ton of water is dropping down the cliff. The ridge has a width of 13 meters. Two rocks at the top of the Nachi Falls represent the guardian kami of the falls and the Hiro Shinto shrine. The plunge basin at the base of the waterfall has a depth of 10 meters. The water is collected from four rivers coming from Eboshiyama, Myohozan, Okumotoriyama, and Funami Toge. Japan Rail Pass Buy now and Save >
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Many shide can be seen left and right of the falls. These are zigzag-shaped paper streamers, which indicate the presence of a Shinto god (deity). The whole area is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site - Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range. There are in total 48 waterfalls within the Kii Mountain Range. Nachi Falls belongs to the Three Great Waterfalls of Japan. The other two are the Keagon Falls at Lake Chuzenji near Nikko and Fukuroda Falls in Daigo within the Ibaraki region. The rocks at the mouth of Nachi-no-taki are split into three sections. As the water cascades down in three streams, it is also known as Misuji-no-taki or the - three-streak fall. Other must-see tourist highlights nearby are the Seigantoji Temple and Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine (30-minute hike).

  • Nachi Falls:
  • Opening Hours - daily, 7:00 am to 4:30 pm
  • Closed - never, open for the whole year
  • Admission Fee (viewing platform) - 300 yen (Adults), 200 yen (Junior high school students and younger)

My tips for local activities

How about exploring the famous Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Trail with a local guide? Check out this page > for more details.

History

Nachi Falls is since ancient times an object of worship for the locals and is regarded as a deity. Each morning a Shinto priest performs a beautiful ceremony and makes offerings to the waterfall. The falls are also used for centuries for ascetic training sessions by monks who practice Shugendo, a Japanese religious tradition that combines elements of Shinto, Buddhism, and ancient Japanese mountain worship. Legend says that the spray and droplets carry the blessings of a long and joyful life. The thundering sound of the falls is a spiritual experience in itself. Nachi Falls was registered in 2004 as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site as part of the - Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range.

Location

Map of Japan

Nachi Falls (Nachi-no-taki) is located in the southern part of the Wakayama Prefecture near the coastal hot spring resort of Katsuura.
Address: Nachisan, Nachikatsura-cho, Higashimuro District, Wakayama Prefecture 649-5301, Japan

How to get to Nachi Falls?

  • 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
  • 21min from JR Shingu Station to Nachi Station by JR Kise Line and
  • 20min from Nachi Station to Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine by bus

Sightseeing spots near Nachi Falls

Top:

Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine - It is a famous Shinto Shrine and belongs to the three Kumano Sanzan shrines (Three Grand Shrines of Kumano), which are Hayatama Taisha, Hongu Taisha, and Nachi Taisha. The shrine is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site - Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range.

Seigantoji (Temple of the Blue Waves) - Seigantoji is a Tendai Buddhist temple and an Important Cultural Property of Japan. The temple has the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The three-story pagoda at the temple grounds is an amazing sight. Read more

Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes - These routes connect the other sacred UNESCO sites in the area - Koya-san, Hayatama Taisha, Hongu Taisha, and Nachi Taisha. Read more

Hiro Shrine (Hiro-jinja) - The shrine is located just 200 meters away from the Nachi Falls. It was built to worship the deity (god) of the waterfall (Okuninushi). Hiro-jinja is the auxiliary shrine of Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine. You have to pay 300 yen to access the viewing platform.

Daimonzaka Trail - This cobblestone path (600 meters long, 267 stairs) is leading up to the Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine and is part of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route. To walk here surrounded by huge century-old cedar trees is an amazing experience.

Nachi Primeval Forest - The forest beside the Nachi Falls covers an area of approx. 335000 square meters. The evergreen primeval forest has been protected since centuries and this place is home to many species.

Festival & Events (dates can change without notice)

July

Nachi-no-Ogi Matsuri (Fire Festival of Nachi) (14th of July)
The Nachi-no-Ogi Matsuri is one of the three largest fire festivals in Japan. It is held at Kumano Nachi Taisha (Grand Shrine). 12 pine torches with an incredible weight of 50 kg each are carried and waved around. The torches represent the 12 months of the year and the 12 deities (gods) dwelling in Kumano. The annual Fire Festival celebrates the god coming back to his original place, Nachi Falls (Nachi-no-taki).

December - New Year's Eve

Illumination of the Nachi Falls
At night on New Year's Eve the falls are lit up and give this place a mystical atmosphere.

Where to stay near Nachi Falls?

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