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Kumano Hongū Taisha Sanctuary

Kumano Hongū Taisha, one of the three great historical shrines of the Kumano Sanzan, is located deep in the rugged mountains of Japan’s Kii Peninsula. This shrine is a sacred destination for both pilgrims and visitors seeking spiritual connection and tranquility amidst nature. Its traditional architecture, with a large Japanese cypress bark roof and characteristic bronze ornaments, blends harmoniously with the natural surroundings, providing a place of contemplation and devotion. Its symbol is the three-legged crow, Yatagarasu.

In addition to its importance as a pilgrimage site on the Kumano Kodo route, the Kumano Hongū Taisha plays a vital role in the region’s religious festivities. The Spring Festival, held annually in April, is a prominent event that brings together parents and children to purify themselves in the sacred waters of the Yunomine Onsen and walk along the ancient Kumano Kodo path to the shrine. This celebration, along with the Yata-no-Hi Matsuri Fire Festival in August, enriches the spiritual and cultural experience for visitors, keeping alive the tradition and connection to the divine at Kumano Hongū Taisha.

The shrine, despite its more than 900-year history, has undergone remarkable reconstruction in its history. In 1889, a great flood destroyed its original location in Ōyunohara. However, the remains were moved and faithfully reconstructed in their current location in Tanabe, where they remain to this day. This meticulous reconstruction preserved the essence and authenticity of the shrine, ensuring that it continues to be a place of spiritual and cultural significance in the Kumano Kodo.


    • Address
      1110 Hongucho Hongu, Tanabe, Wakayama 647-1731, Japan
    • Web
    • Visiting Hours
      Everyday from 8:00 to 17:00
    • What to see
      Wooden Sanctuary, Torii

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