A Shinto shrine and a Buddhist temple next to picturesque falls
High up on Mt. Nachi, the brilliant orange and white Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine enshrines the 12 deities of Kumano and the deity of Nachi Falls. One of the designated Kumano Sanzan shrines, it is one of the ultimate destinations for pilgrims trekking the historic Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Route.
The Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine is located in Wakayama Prefecture, japan. It is situated on Mt. Nachi, which is part of the larger Kumano mountain range. The shrine is known for its stunning architecture and its spiritual significance to the people of Japan.
The shrine is dedicated to the 12 deities of Kumano, who are believed to protect the region and its people. These deities are worshipped by pilgrims who visit the shrine to pay their respects and seek blessings. The shrine is also dedicated to the deity of Nachi Falls, which is a majestic waterfall located nearby.
The Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine is one of the three Kumano Sanzan shrines, which are considered to be the most sacred sites in the Kumano region. These shrines have been important pilgrimage destinations for centuries, attracting people from all over Japan and even from other parts of the world.
To reach the shrine, visitors can take a bus from Kii-Katsuura or Nachi Station. The bus ride takes about 30 minutes from Kii-Katsuura Station to the Nachi-san stop. Alternatively, visitors can take a bus from Shingu Station, which takes about 15 minutes to reach the shrine.
One of the highlights of visiting the Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine is the Daimonzaka approach, a heavily forested stone staircase that leads to the shrine. This ancient staircase provides a glimpse into the past and allows visitors to experience the shrine as pilgrims would have approached it centuries ago.
As visitors enter the shrine grounds, they will be greeted by a large camphor tree. This tree is nearly a thousand years old and is considered to be sacred. Its boughs spread over the shrine’s roofs, creating a beautiful sight. Visitors can even squeeze through a natural hollow in the tree’s trunk to listen to its ancient breath.
The Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine has a unique history, as it is closely connected to the neighboring Seigantoji Temple. These two religious sites were once joined together, offering a place of worship to followers of both Shintoism and Buddhism. However, in the 19th century, the Meiji government forced the separation of the two religions. Despite this, the two spiritual structures remain connected and represent harmony in the presence of nature.
The shrine’s festival calendar is filled with lively events, but the most prominent one is the Nachi Fire Festival held every July 14. During this festival, torches are set ablaze and carried down the path to Nachi Falls in a long procession. This ritual is meant to purify the route and is a sight to behold.
Visiting the Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine is a truly magical experience. The combination of its stunning architecture, natural surroundings, and rich history make it a must-see destination for anyone interested in Japanese culture and spirituality.
In conclusion, the Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine is a place of great spiritual significance and natural beauty. Its location on Mt. Nachi, its stunning architecture, and its connection to the Kumano Sanzan shrines make it a popular destination for pilgrims and tourists alike. Whether you are interested in exploring the history of the Kumano region, seeking blessings from the deities, or simply enjoying the picturesque surroundings, a visit to the Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine is sure to be a memorable experience.
Address And Maps Location:
1 Nachisan, Nachikatsuura-cho, Higashimuro-gun, Wakayama-ken