Nachi Falls

The serene sight of Japan’s tallest waterfall leaves quite an impression

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The nature surrounding Kumano Kodo and Nachi is carefully protected as an object of worship. Nachi Falls is registered as part of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range.
Nachi Falls, Nachisan, Nachikatsuura, Higashimuro District, Wakayama

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The sight of the waterfall on the sacred Mt. Nachi is incredible

Mt. Nachi in Wakayama Prefecture has been an object of worship by many people since ancient times due to the existence of a god living in the mountain. Within its primeval forest, there are several mountain streams and around 60 waterfalls. Nachi Falls is one of the natural objects of worship, and visitors can be seen in worship at the waterfall. It is a sacred waterfall which has appeared from time to time in religious art. With a drop of 133 meters and a basin depth of 10 meters, it is also Japan’s tallest single-drop waterfall. The sight of water flowing from the mountain and into the basin is amazing. You can feel the serenity within all of the turbulence and you can understand from that standpoint why so many people revere it. It is lit up on New Year’s Eve which enhances its beauty. And annually on July 9th and December 27th, there is an event held to change the sacred straw festoon atop the waterfall.

A World Heritage site trip

The deep forest has come to be known as a place chosen to practice Pure Land Buddhism for the Buddha and Bodhisattva. For that reason, hallowed mountain grounds have been created within the Kii Mountains for Mt. Yoshino, Mt. Omine, the Kumano Sanzan and Mt. Takano along with paths leading to those places. Those grounds and paths in the Kii Mountains have been registered as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Around Nachi Falls, there are many notable places that have flourished as the center of worship for the Kumano region such as Kumano Nachi Taisha known for its kami looking after agriculture and fisheries, Seiganto-ji Temple with its must-see vermilion 3-story pagoda and Nachi Falls in the background, Fudarakusan-ji Temple which is registered as a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range and has the Important Cultural Property of the thousand-armed Kannon, the beautiful stone-paved Kumano Kodo heading for Mt. Nachi and Daimon-zaka.

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