TRAVEL | MY TRIP TO KANSAI, JAPAN - WAKAYAMA

wakayama sunset travel
Werbung/Press Trip
Some of you might remember my trip to Wakayama from last year. This year I returned to Wakayama for a two-day trip, visiting new places and exploring Wakayama in December..


As soon as I arrived in Wakayama JR station, I had someone from Wakayama prefecture picking me up to escort me for a two days trip trough Wakayama. Our first spot was a vegan restaurant in Wakayama city. While vegan is becoming more popular in the world, also Japan started to grow its number of vegan restaurants and Wakayama already has a selection of vegan restaurants, which also feature Japanese traditional cuisine and even vegan soft ice.

wakayama vegan food softice

After my delicious lunch, we took the car to get off at the Wakayama castle. Last year, when I was visiting Wakayama, I had a short stay in Wakayama city but I didn’t have time to explore the city. I remember that I was waking up early in the morning to go for a one hour run through the city. I also stopped at the castle and saw a little black cat running around the castle. However, as it was 5AM, I couldn´t enter the castle itself and was just quickly passing by. This time I could finally explore the castle of Wakayama city.

Wakayama Castle was built in 1585 under the command of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. In the Edo period it flourished as an important base for the Tokugawa Clan, which turned out great numbers of generals. Now it serves as a symbol of Wakayama City, and its tower offers great views of the whole town. With approximately 600 famous cherry blossom trees, the castle is also a popular cherry blossom viewing spot in spring.

wakayama castle museum kansai

After visiting the castle, I was driving for a little, as I was heading to the Bandoko Teien Garden, to watch the sunset. The part is offering a romantic scenery with a wide view. The part is open for picnics and definitely worth a short stop. Also, nearby one can head to Saikazaki, which has been one of my highlights during my trip to Wakayama. Dense outcroppings of houses on the cape’s cliffs evoke Italy’s Amalfi coast. an unforgettable view is guaranteed. 

epicharis hotel wakayama sea nature travel japan

As I was visiting this lovely small town, I was staying in hotel Epicahris, which is truly a special hotel. You guys know that I travel a lot and I´m always looking for a special experience but honestly, I would return to Wakayama only to stay one more night in this beautiful property. The 28-room boutique hotel offers ocean view, including 16 outdoor terraces, while I was lucky enough to have one of these rooms including a terrace, I could even enjoy outdoor baths and my own hammock.

Hotel Epicahris aims to be a hotel that can provide time and space like a dream that one can experience in a Greek resort like Mykonos, facing the Mediterranean Sea which opens people's mind and body and makes one dream away from everyday life. In order to embody the ideal, the hotel name was taken from Greek and named "EPICHARIS". EPICHARIS is a Greek word meaning "attractive".

tenman gu shrine

In the next morning I was visiting the Wakaura Tenman-gu Shrine. A two-story gate stands halfway up Mt. Tenjin. If one climbs the stone stairs, one will be rewarded with sweeping views of Wakaura Bay. The Shrine is also well known for students, as they would usually climb up and pray to pass the exams. The main hall and two-story gate are the work of Heinouchi Masanobu, a master builder and official carpenter of the Edo shogunate. There is also a small forest on the top which people can walk through. I would recommend to visit early in the morning to also enjoy the view in harmony.

shirasaki coast wakayama japan kansai

Climbing up the Wakaura Tenman-gu Shrine was a perfect warm up for my next location, as I was visiting the Shirasaki coast. This mysterious location features a scenery of massive white limestone along the coast and is designated as one of Japan's special shores. Visitors can cruise around the pure white limestone area. This coast is also famous as a diving spot and features a diving center. Walking around takes some time so I definitely recommend flat comfortable shoes. Once one climbed up to the top, one can look down the cliffs. The area also features some guest houses and during summer this is a promising spot for families to settle for a holiday.

Akizuno Garten wakayama travle kansai workshop mandarin jelly

When people ask me, what makes Wakayama unique or charming I would always refer to the rich nature and wide landscapes of Wakayama. Besides pilgrim routes, temples, shrines and the biggest tori gate in the world, one can get closer to mother nature. A good example for that is the Akitsuno garden. The Akizuno Garten stands in Kamiakizu Tanabe, Wakayama. It is a green tourism facility invested by local residents and established in November, 2008. It is the site of former Kamiakizu elementary school, and now there are a farmer’s restaurant where local mothers serve slow food, sweets workshop, accommodation, and Mikan Resource Center which shows the history of mikan cultivation. We would like you to spend the relaxing time and feel nostalgic in Akizuno Garten.

I also joined a workshop in the Akizuno Garten and created my own mandarin jelly, of course all vegan. Jelly is a popular desert in Japan and if one has never tried it before, one should definitely give it a try. The workshop takes place in an old elementary school, which was transformed into a museum, also offering some guest rooms and gives a better understanding for foreigners into the Japanese culture. 

shirahmana beach travel wakayama japan kansai beach romantic

My last stop in Wakayama, before leaving was Shirahama. Unfortunately, I had only a short trip to Wakayama this time, as everything and everyone was a little busy because of new year´s celebration. I had a suuuuper short stop in Shirahama beach last year in summer, but as I had a schedule I couldn´t go for a swim and this time it was too cold (unfortunately), but I’m still dreaming about a little beach holiday in Shirahama and enjoying the beach. Shirahama beach is know for it´s white sands. Moreover, it’s the sister beach of Waikiki Hawaii. Next to the beach, one can enjoy the Senjojiki rock plateau, which I also featured within my last trip. The name is insured of the meaning “a thousand tatami mats”.

For my last magical sunset, I was heading to a viewpoint of Engetsuto Island, which serves as a symbol of Shirahama. Renowned for its arch, the island is the Kansai region's foremost spot for viewing sunsets. It is a popular spot in every season and truly a must see. As I finished my schedule I was heading to my last spot, the Hotel Seamore. 

SHIRAHAMA KEY TERRACE HOTEL SEAMORE (formally known as Umedaru-Spa Hotel Seamore) was just renovated and reopened. At HOTEL SEAMORE, one can enjoy Infinity footbath while overlooking Pacific Ocean, outdoor hot springs with sea breeze, seasonal onsen and delicious foods for the buffet reception, including vegan options. The hotel also added an addition to the regular hotel, as long-term guests can now check in into residences, which are great for trips during the summer holidays.

As always, time flies in Wakayama, as there is so much to do and to explore. While this was my second trip, I feel that there so much left to see. I got a preview of autumn and winter in Wakayama and while I already visited in summer, I´m really curious about sakura season in Wakayama. Well, maybe one days. Who know?

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