Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine is part of a trio belonging to the Kumano area on the southern tip of the Kii Peninsula. This particular shrine is found around halfway up Mt. Taisha, at an elevation of around 350 meters. It is located right next to a Buddhist temple named Seigantoji, and for centuries the two were under the same management, as the majority of Japanese people practiced both faiths.
Aside from being a one-stop shop for all your Japanese spiritual needs, the site also boasts the tallest waterfall in the entire country: 133-meter-tall Nachi no Taki. It’s thought that this waterfall was worshipped in prehistoric days, setting a precedent for the future religious sites which were established here.
If you’re feeling extra pious, you can visit Kumano Nachi Taisha as part of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route, which has around a dozen stops and takes 5 or 6 days to complete. You’d be following in the footsteps of countless people who have been treading these hallowed trails for over 1000 years!