Learning everything there is to know about Japan’s sustainable Wakayama Prefecture is more than just a treat for the eyes; it also has a lot of spiritual and natural significance that’s filled with so much history. Sustainable travel is something many of us want to enjoy nowadays, and it seems Wakayama Prefecture might be the perfect spot.
The Kumano Kodō
This 1,100-year-old network of pilgrimage routes connect the temple of Kumano and the Three Grand Shrines and is a major part of Wakayama Prefecture. Although many hikes have a start and finish point, the Kumano Kodō is different as people can start wherever they like along the journey. In fact, people can also spend anywhere from a few hours to several days taking it all in. However, there is a limited capacity to ensure it’s as sustainably as possible.
Saigoku 33 Temple Pilgrimage
While the Saigoku 33 Temple Pilgrimage covers a staggering 22 temples, the first three are found in Wakayama Prefecture. It’s said that it all started in 718 BCE when a monk named Tokudo was tasked with creating a worship place for every one of the 33 incarnations of Kannon. Now, people have to prepare for a journey as the pilgrimage covers 600 miles, meaning most people split visiting the temples over several days.
Believe it or not, but Wakanoura has become such a scene bay area that it inspired a new form of art. It was first used as a place for noble families to relax and unwind, but it wasn’t long before they started writing waka poetry, something they would then send back to their loved ones. Poets have been inspired to visit the area ever since, and several people want to enjoy it for themselves.
This hot spring town covers less than half a mile of beach and is thought to be one of the oldest hot springs across Japan. Although there are plenty of places to bathe throughout Wakayama Prefecture, doing so by the sea is an entirely different sensation. The combination of salty sea air on the skin with the natural spring water is something that’s said to create a harmonious effect on anyone lucky enough to try it for themselves.
Kōyasan is still the most sacred site of Shingon Buddhism. It’s believed that monk Kōbō Daishi threw a sancocho from China, and it landed in a pine tree on Kōyasan. From there, it’s said to have become the central training hub for every monk in the sect to come since 816 BCE. Now, Kōyasan is a small town that’s filled with around 100 temples. Visitors can visit approximately half of them to take a look into the life and training of the monks in the area.
It turns out there is plenty to know about Japan’s sustainable Wakayama Prefecture, especially when it comes to how the area is one of the most sustainable locations found across the nation. A trip here really is like nothing else we can experience in the world.