Nachi Waterfall

[AREA] Nachisan

Nachi Waterfall

A cool breeze caressing your cheeks, taking one step beyond the Torii gate, the fresh air will give you a sensation of awakening and purification. One step at a time, you will consciously walk up the stone stairs surrounded by tall trees on both sides. From glimpses of spray in-between the trees, Nachi Waterfall, one of the three great waterfalls of Japan, will slowly reveal itself.
A great waterfall with a 436 ft (133m) vertical drop and a 33 ft (10m) deep basin. It is stated in the Kojiki (the first written record in Japan) that the waterfall was enshrined by Jimmu-Tennô (the legendary first emperor of Japan), attracting pilgrims since ancient times as one of the central locations of the Kumano pilgrimage. As the first fall (Ichi-no-Taki) in the 48 falls of Nachi scattered across the Nachi Primeval Forest, the location has been visited by practitioners of waterfall meditation and training for about 1300 years.
Going beyond the path and approaching the waterfall, you will be met with the splashes from the waterfall carried along by a cool breeze; a moment in which you will be able to appreciate with your whole body what makes the great waterfall “great” and truly understand why it is a place of worship. Along the way is a sacred spring believed to be beneficial for a long and healthy life, and you can also drink the fresh water from the waterfall’s basin.
Nachi Waterfall symbolizes both the Kumano Forest in which water flows abundantly and the Kumano pilgrimage which is so deeply rooted to nature. We recommend visiting this location on sunny days for the beautiful contrast but also on rainy days and in the early mornings for a sense of tranquility.

Nakahechi/mountain

Spot information

30 minutes by Kumano Gobo Nankai bus (bound for Nachisan) from Kii-Katsuura Station, get off at Nachi-no-Taki-mae, and 5-minute walk from there (go down the stone steps.)
25 minutes by car from the entrance / connection point which leads national road 42 to prefectural road.
There is a parking lot (requires fee).

Admission Fee: Free

<Waterfall Worship Place>
Visit Time: 7am~4:30pm
Adult: 300 yen, Ages 15 and under: 200 yen
Group (over 30 people):280 yen per person
Discount for a person with disabilities (If Certification for Persons with Disabilities is presented at the reception, the person with disabilities and a person comes along with will pay 200 yen each.)

Daimon-zaka Slope

[AREA] Nachisan

Daimon-zaka Slope

As you walk along the cobblestone path, take a moment’s pause to look up and take in how you’re sheltered by trees centuries old. The rays of light that intermittently slip through the gaps in the trees and leaves cast complex patterns on the wet cobblestones. Turn your attention to simply “walking”. Slowly relaxing your muscles, let your body take in the forest’s air.
Kumano Kodo is one of the rare paths to be included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Surrounded by Kumano’s tall trees, the pilgrimage route has been used by worshipers for over 1000 years. Leading to the sacred Mt. Nachi, Daimon-zaka Slope is of particular note with its cobblestone path of about 2100 ft (650m) that retains its appearance of the time, leaving an impression on visitors to Kumano from all over the world.
Daimon-zaka Slope was named so after the large gate at its entrance (“daimon” literally translates to “large gate”). With views over folk houses and terraced rice fields to the sides, the mountain path slowly turns into a cobblestoned one. Eventually passing through the two 800-year-old Meoto Sugi (literally “Wedded Cedar”) cedar trees, the light is shunned and the atmosphere transforms into that of a forest. Following up the mountain path lined with large trees, the approach to Mt. Nachi is just around the corner.

Nakahechi/mountain

Spot information

From Kii-Katsuura Station (Kumano Gobo Nankai bus) : Bound for Nachisan, get off at Daimon-zaka Slope (around 19 minutes from Kii-Katsuura Station), 500 meters on foot after getting off.

By car: 10 minutes from the entrance / connection point which leads national road 42 to prefectural road. 500 meters from Daimon-zaka Slope parking lot (free).

<Starting from the entrance of Daimon-zaka Slope, get to the Nachi Waterfall through Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine>
Mileage: around 2.5 km, Time Required: around 2 hours, Walking Time: around 1 hour.

The Kakenuke-michi path

[AREA] Nachisan

The Kakenuke-michi path

As the rain falls, the moss gets wet and the water drips. Tall and strong trees cast a deep shade of green. The fog arises and envelops the distance in a haze. Feeling a presence, you steadily but speedily descend down the gleaming cobblestone path. The Kumano forest can suddenly change its expression, making you feel as if you have wondered into the other side.
The Kakenuke-michi path can be followed to the Myohosan Amida Temple. Pilgrims follow the mossy path to Myohosan Mountain, depicted in the Nachi Pilgrimage Mandala as the entrance to the netherworld. A quiet mountain path with few visitors, the cobblestones and stone monuments along the way retain the appearance of the time, hinting at the long history of Kumano Kodo written over more than 1000 years. At the summit some 2457 ft (749m) above sea level, you will find the main shrine and inner shrines of the Amida Temple which has been worshiped since ancient times as the entrance to Sukhāvatī or the land of Perfect Bliss.
Deviate from Oogumo Torigoe that heads to Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine from Mt. Nachi and take the Kakenuke-michi path to the summit via Tsukimigahara hill where one can enjoy the spectacular views over Katsuura. This route is recommended for those who want to purify their minds and enjoy the forest, much like the monks and pilgrims of the past.

Nakahechi/mountain

Spot information

Using Kumano Gobo Nankai bus from Kii-Katsuura Station, get off at Nachisan bus stop (around 25 minutes).

Mileage: around 5.0 km, Walking Time: around 2.5 hours.

List of natural resources

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recommended route for enjoy your trip

Accsess to Nachi Katsuura