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Nanki Kumano Geo Park

Hashigui-iwa Rock
Hashigui-iwa Rock

Superb view created by nature

Centuries of volcanic activity have sculpted the Kumano area into a land of mighty rivers and waterfalls, honeycomb rocks, and towering monoliths steeped in Wakayama legend. The Kumano area is dominated by a rich natural environment and imbued with cultural and spiritual heritage. The Kumano area of Wakayama joins sections of Mie and Nara prefectures to form an expansive national park.

Kushimoto town is home to Hashigui-iwa Rock, a craggy bridge-like outcrop. Legend goes that the forty-some odd rocks making up the 850 m span, were built by Kobo Daishi, the Shingon Buddhist monk and founder of Koyasan more than 1,200 years ago. Watching the sun rise at this national heritage site, makes visiting this scenic spot well worth the effort.

Hulking rock towers above the Kozagawa River

Ichimai-iwa Monolith
Ichimai-iwa Monolith

Ichimai-iwa Monolith is a towering rock on the bank of the Koza-gawa River. It is more than 500 metres wide and 100 metres tall. The earth continues to push the rock upwards, making it grow taller. Ichimai-iwa is remarkably smooth compared to other nearby rocks, which have a honeycomb texture.

Scenic Spot

The Umikongo Rocks
The Umikongo Rocks

The cliffs that continue from Kashino-zaki Point to Taka-no-su in the Kii Oshima are made of firm rhyolite where you can observe steady cracks along the precipices. Many rocks made by these cracks stand close together at the Umikongo.

The Biggest Highlight

Pheonix Fold
Pheonix Fold

The Phoenix Fold is an excellent example of a tectonic fold. It was formed underground about 30 million years ago when one tectonic plate moved under another, forcing the fold to the surface. The distinctive shape of the fold and sandstone veins around its core result from sustained geological forces.

The Spot where Deities of Kumano Descended

Gotobiki-iwa Rock
Gotobiki-iwa Rock

Gotobiki-iwa Rock is a huge boulder sitting adjacent to Kamikura-jinja Shrine on Mt. Gongenyama. Legend suggests that the deities of Kumano descended from the heavens and landed upon the rock. The boulder and shrine are located at the top of around 500 steep stone steps.

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