新宮観光協会

Experience Shingu in a day

Refer to this guide for ideas of where to go on your way down from Hongu to Shingu!

For those coming from the onsen areas of Watarase, Kawayu and Yunomine, follow this course for a taste of Shingu on your way down from Hongu! Shingu full of history and culture, so make sure to check out these places if you have the time!

Check out from the Kawayu, Yunomine, Watarase Onsen Area

Take a bus from your respective onsen to get to the Road Station rest stop (or 'Michi no Eki') along the Kumano-gawa River. The River Boat Centre is located here.

Arrive before 10am to board the Kumano-gawa River Boat tour.

30 minutes by bus

Ride on the Kumano-gawa River boat

Take a ride down the Kumano-gawa River boat, just like the ancient pilgrims did hundreds of years ago, all the way to Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine. This is a 90 minute trip that leads you past a number of waterfalls and other notable sights within the river.

The boat will depart at 10 o'clock, though there is another one in the afternoon from 14:30 - make sure to reserve a seat on the boat ahead of time by calling up the River Boat reception a day in advance.

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90 minutes by river boat

Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine

You'll arrive at the Gongen-gawara around 11:30, and if you walk a little from the landing area, Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine is right around the bend. Stroll around and visit the shrine, making sure not to forget to see the 1000 year old Nagi tree within the shrine grounds too.

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5 minutes on foot

Have lunch in the area

There are a few places very close to Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine where you can enjoy lunch, including Kaki-no-ate, Kafugetsu and Porto.

These are right at the shrine entrance but there are many other options just a short walk away. To see these, feel free to download Shingu's restaurant map from the Information, Brochures and Maps page.

10 minutes on foot, 40 minutes to go up and down

Visit Kamikura-Jinja Shrine

Challenge yourself with a climb up the steep 538 step stone pathway upwards. Though it can be quite tiring, the view at the top definitely makes the trip up worth it.

Please proceed with caution if the day before was rainy, as the stone steps remain fairly slippery and it becomes dangerous to climb up and down.

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10 minutes on foot

Ukijima-no-Mori Island

Have a walk through the strange forest that shoots out of Shingu's residential area. In Japanese its name means 'The Floating Forest'; the forest is a floating mass of plants - there are species that only grow in either cold or hot climates that live alongside each other here, and thus it was designated as a National Natural Monument in 1927.

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10 minutes on foot

Shingu Castle Ruins

Shingu Castle has great historical and cultural importance in the area, as its existence and the people who resided in it helped to increase Shingu's prosperity through its wooden exports trade. Binchotan charcoal and forest wood were sold from the port adjacent to the castle grounds.

The castle has 400 years of history, though only its stone walls remain today. These stone walls are still able to convey a vast history regarding the area. If you're interested in more, contact the Tourist Association for pamphlets or a guided tour.

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10 minutes on foot

Asuka-jinja Shrine

This shrine was registered as an additional part of the World Heritage Site in the Kumano area in 2016. It has ties to the Legend of Jofuku, a scholar from China who came to Japan seeking the elixir of life, and as such there's a small shrine dedicated to him within the grounds of the shrine.

To the side is the History & Ethnology Data Hall, which showcases many items related to Shingu's history - this includes religious treasures that have been excavated from the shrine grounds, as well as tools from Shingu's wood export trade.

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Stay the night

Near Asuka-Jinja Shrine, there are places to stay including Hotel New Palace, Koyo Inn and Station Hotel. These are all located near the city centre, which makes it convenient to get around to all the different restaurants and local stores in Shingu. For more information, check out the respective Sightseeing, Restaurants and Stay pages.

Enjoy a night out in Shingu!

There are restaurants and drinking holes aplenty in Shingu, though some may be harder to spot than others. Have a look through the Gourmet Restaurant Map and the Shingu Nightlife Guide on the Brochures and Maps page to look through the many options available - there's sure to be something you'll love in there.