Nachi Waterfall, also called the First Fall (Ichi-no-Taki), was enshrined as a deity by Jimmu-Tennô (the legendary first emperor of Japan). Further inland, the forty-eight waterfalls that flow through the sacred Mt. Nachi have been revered as places of performing rigorous monk training leading to enlightenment. In the "Pilgrimage to Nachi's Sacred Upper Falls," you will step into the god precinct, which is normally closed to the public, and visit the Second Fall (Ni-no-Taki) and the Third Fall (San-no-Taki).
Kumano Kodo Waterfall Worship Hike
An official visit -Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine-
Before departing, you will receive prayer for the safety of your trip. After that, a Shinto priest will explain the history of this pilgrimage. Only those who have made a formal visit will be allowed to enter the mountain.
You will visit Nachisan Seiganto-ji Temple, an important cultural property. It was founded by Empress Suiko in the 7th century, and rebuilt in the Momoyama period by the order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The austere and elegant space brought about by the beauty of the architecture will fascinate you.
Entering the mountain -Mt. Nachi-
As you listen to the tour guide's explanation, you will follow the path taken by monks deep into the mountain. You will see large cedars, streams of clear water and feel the profundity of nature as you make your way to the waterfalls.
The Second Fall (Ni-no-Taki) and the Third Fall (San-no-Taki)
This is a view that can only be seen and experienced by those who have walked through the sacred precinct. In this mysterious precinct, you can feel the stunning power of nature. After the Second Fall (Ni-no-Taki) (pictured here), the Third Fall (San-no-Taki) will await you at the end of your trip.
After three hours of hiking up the mountain, you will take a break for a hot meal. Enjoy Mehari-zushi, a local dish, and Kumano Moude Mochi, a rice cake that can only be eaten at Kumano Sanzan.
The First Fall (Ichi-no-Taki) - Nachi Waterfall-
Back in front of the First Fall (Ichi-no-taki), you will reflect on the experience of the tour. After experiencing the mysteries of Mt. Nachi, the great fall will look different.
Beyond the First Fall (Ichi-no-taki), into the depths of Mt. Nachi
Emperor Jinmu, the founder of Japan, is said to have arrived at the First Fall (Ichi-no-taki), the largest waterfall in Nachi, when he set out for the shining mountain. It is said that the volume of water flowing down from its 436 ft (133m) height, the highest drop in Japan, is about one ton per second. The water from this waterfall, revered as a sacred body, is also revered as water that prolongs life and longevity. There are forty-eight waterfalls in the entire Mt. Nachi area, including this First Fall (Ichii-no-Taki), where monks have been practicing 1,000 days of waterfall training from 1,300 years ago. Although the government banned this practice due to its harshness, monks still continue to perform waterfall training at the forty-eight waterfalls. The "Pilgrimage to Nachi's Sacred Upper Falls" is the only way to enter the sanctuary, which is normally closed to the public, and to visit the Second Fall (Ni-no-Taki) and the Third Fall (San-no-Taki) of the 48 waterfalls. Experience the mysteries of Nachi, deep within Nachi Waterfall, which can usually only be viewed from a distance on the outside.
What is the mystery?
Crunchy fallen leaves, soft moss, white granite.
The flowing water, the wind on the ridge, the sound of your own footsteps on the soil.
The roots of the trees undulate violently and protrude from the ground.
The sun is shining through the trees, shimmering softly.
I look up and see majestic trees that have imbibed the water of Mt. Nachi watching over this place.
In the flow of time, we will never see the same state again.
It is a miracle to encounter for a moment.
In the form of the waterfall, we see the impermanence of all things.
What is the mystery?
A journey to the depths.
- Time Schedule(tentative)
- Kii-Katsuura Station
- In front of the Nachisan bus stop
- The approach to Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine (467 steps)
- Official visit to Nachi Taisha Shrine and the main shrine
Visit Seiganto-ji Temple
- Entering the mountain
A short break
The Second Fall (Ni-no-Taki)
The Third Fall (San-no-Taki)
- Nachi Waterfall, Otaki Shrine
- What to bring
Drinks for hydration
Cotton gloves (we will be walking on rocks)
Towel (to wipe off sweat)
Non-slip athletic shoes
Raincoat (in case of rain)
Backpack (handheld bags are not recommended)
On the day of the hike, the guide may refuse to take you if your clothes (or shoes) are not suitable for the hike.
In that case, the tour fee will not be refunded.
The tour will take about 3 hours on mountain roads, crossing rivers and unpaved paths.
As a rule, eating, drinking, and smoking are not allowed in the shrine area.
(Except for rehydration drinks and snacks that the guide will hand out during breaks.)
The course may be changed or canceled due to stormy weather or other weather conditions in consideration of safety.
recommended route for enjoy your trip
Accsess to Nachi Katsuura
Half day trip plan from morning to noon
Full day trip plan from morning to night and accomodation
Half day trip plan arriving at noon and staying overnight