Culture and History

The way to the river where Nanki Kumano leads between the pass route beyond the steep mountains and the mountains, throughout the length and breadth of the land, the way to the tied sea was a transportation way of many people’s traffic and resource, and culture was being brought by the relation with all part up.

Belief to a natural object was developing into deep forest, fall, megalith and big tree at a mountainous region. The representation is a national historical site and Nachi no Otaki Waterfall which is place of scenic beauty and becomes the divine object in Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine. A sense of awe to such nature was ground, and Kumano belief based on syncretization of Shinto with Buddhism was born, and Pilgrimage to Kumano which asks loaves and fishes came to be performed extensively in the Heian Period. Because the person and the lady who have a physical disability from early time had been accepted, and many people visited this area from a retired sovereign to common people, a pilgrimage to the Kumano Shrine is called “ant processions to Kumano”. The visit way to Pilgrimage to Kumano “Kumano Kodo” was registered with World Cultural Heritage as 2004 “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range”.

Nachi no Otaki Waterfall
Pilgrimage to Kumano

The living for which abundant forest resources and branch were utilized from the old days was supporting economy in an area at Kitayama-gawa river basin circled by the steep mountains. The wood cut down was dropped off at a nobbyhorse and SHURA (of a wood, the Facilities slid off) to a river from a mountain, and made a raft and was carried to Shingu City in a mouth of a river. There is also such history and the choice left in Wakayama-ken strong in culture and the relation of the person through a river in case of abolishing feudal domains replacement is performed, and a village in the only scattered territory “Kitayama Village” is going to exist nationwide at present.


Such as the river boat which carries a traveler and physical distribution from the old days was used by the member of the Imperial family in the Heian Period and the aristocrat who were sailing and visited in Pilgrimage to Kumano for Kumano-gawa basin, too, it was also used as the visit way to the river. A large Danpei-bune appeared in the Edo Period, and a propeller ship and a jet ship entered service from the modern times, and improvement of transportation capacity was being advanced. Kumano-gawa River and Kitayama-gawa River were the way where people in a mountainous region and people in the estuary part are connected as the way to the river.

A town developed into the estuary part as an entrepot of goods Hiki-gawa River, Koza-gawa River and Ota-gawa River equally, and it was the relay point that a sea and a mountain are connected.

There was a “barge” (barrel barge, cargo-vessel plied between Osaka and Edo and Shingu barge) in Tonda (Shirahama) and Shingu in the Edo Period, and various goods were trading between Edo and the Osaka as a* ascent thing as much as descent rice, liquor, soy sauce, charcoal, a wood, medicine, kerosene, a kimono and arms. “mackerel ship” carried transportation of goods of short distance in the area, and a coast in this area was an aorta of marine traffic of a long distance and short distance.

On the other hand Kumano-nada in the east in Shionomisaki was also a dangerous place of dangerous marine traffic at the time of the west-facing sailing by which strong ocean current and a wave and go against the current of a Kuroshio Current in particular. Therefore Mt.kamikurasan rising one above another, Toumyou-zaki Point in Taiji Town,Kajitori-zaki Point, Nachi Waterfall in Nachikatsuura Town and Shingu City in Kushimoto Town was used from the old days to sail a rudder safely as a taken mark.

In Meiji Period, this area of sea which is a dangerous place doesn’t change, and a distress accident in a British Ton Norman frigate and a Turkish ell to Lulu frigate happened at this area of sea. Therefore the first Western style stone lighthouse was installed in Kashino-zaki Point and the first Western style wooden lighthouse was installed in Shionomisaki in Japan for safety ensuring.

The Kii Peninsula offing is also an important traffic way of a domestic and abroad ship up to now after Meiji Period, and when the offing is looked around from Shionomisaki even at present, a lot of shipping is sailing.

Kashinozaki-todai Lighthouse

Such as beautiful cityscape in these countryside in a place and beach leads to designation in the Yoshino-Kumano National Park where Shinpei Goto and a celebrity of Takuji-Ogawa were impressed and utilize Kumano area as a national park(February 1, 1936), cultural ground using nature is brought up.

Dorokyo Gorge

Ancient rite whaling was being performed extensively at a coastal area from Kushimoto Town Koza to Shingu City. There is history which has also prospered as a base of whaling in the modern times in Taiji Town in particular, and Japanese whaling culture is inherited.