Nachi no Taki: A Sacred Waterfall Part of a World Heritage Site
Climbing down the rocky steps to Nachi no Taki, it is difficult to be ready for the astounding sight you are about to witness.
A simple shrine area and shop sit on the stone plaza with an incredible view of the famous waterfall. For 300 yen, visitors can ascend the rocky stairs beyond the shrine to a raised platform overlooking the waterfall. On the way to this platform, there is an area in which worshippers can purchase a small plate (100 yen) to fill with the sacred water.
The drop from Nachi Falls is 133 meters in a long, graceful line to the bottom of the shrine area. Two rocks at the top of the falls are the guardians of the waterfall and shrine. Before the Meiji Restoration, there was also a Buddhist temple in this location, but it was destroyed.
Nachi Falls is part of the “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range” UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located on Nachi-san, or Mount Nachi. On Mount Nachi, there are more sites worth visiting, which include the Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine, Seiganto-ji Temple pagoda, and Hiro-jinja Shrine at the base of Nachi Falls.
The waterfall and surrounding area can be accessed by bus from Kiikatsuura Station. Roundtrip bus tickets can be purchased for 1000 yen from the bus station next to the train station. Buses leave about once an hour, and the trip takes about 25 minutes from Kiikatsuura Station to the base of Nachi Falls. Alternatively, the route can be walked to enjoy the towns, temples, and shrines along the way; however, this is a lengthy journey for most visitors. Be sure to inquire at a local information office for more details.
[posted by Nadia]
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