Kumano Kodo is a network of ancient roads and paths stretching across the mountains of Kumano. The entire Kumano region is a designated World Heritage site. For more than 1000 years, pilgrims made the pilgrimage to Kumano from all over Japan, including people from all levels of society, all ages, and regardless of sex. They believed that they would die by entering the Kumano area, purify their souls, and then re-enter this world.
One of the three great shrines of Kumano, Nachi Shrine is a place to come when supplicants hope to improve their lives by establishing new connections with someone or something special in the future. After being purified at Hayatama Shrine where their soul will have been completely cleansed and blessed, they next visit Nachi Shrine. Over the centuries people have tended to come here to pray when they are experiencing troubles, in order to 'reset' their lives. Nachi Shrine and Seiganto-ji Temple, sitting next to one another, have been sacred places for ascetic practice under this famous and holy waterfall. But these days, easy access to Nachi Shrine has turned it into a picturesque sightseeing spot, mainly because of the newly rebuilt three-story pagoda and waterfall photo opportunity.
Find out more about Nachi Falls.
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Japan is a small island nation, but we have a huge number of surprising things to discover here. Many of these delights can be found when you step off the main street onto small side paths. I really enjoy studying about and researching various aspects of traditional Japanese culture, and then sharing this information with visitors to Japan. I hope you will enjoy it, too! ARTICLE INDEX & PHOTOS: An index of most of my Japan Travel articles can be found at the entry page of my blog, and my photos are shown here. 日本はとても小さな国ですが、大通りから一本小道に入ればたくさんの発見があります。日本人が積み重ねてきた歴史を学びながら、古い建物や庭を訪ね、物語の舞台となった景色を眺めて、皆様といっしょに日本文化の奥深さを探求していきたいと思います。