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.