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Kii Peninsula & Mountain Range 紀伊半島&山地

Danjogaran, Koyasan (photo by 663highland- Creative Commons licence)
Cherry blossoms at Mount Yoshino-yama (photo by Tawashi2006 - Creative Commons licence)

The pilgrimage routes of the Kii Mountain Range in the centre of Kii Peninsula, Japan's largest peninsula, have been designated UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004. The area is important to both followers of Shintō and Buddhism.

The nominated sites are in three seprate locations : Kōya-san (Wakayama), Yoshino-Ōmine (Nara), Kumano Sanzan (Wakayama). Yoshino and Omine can be regarded as two distinct sites, with high hills of Yoshinoyama spreading southward from the town of Yoshino, and the much higher Mount Omine (1719m), 30 km to the south. The official north-south limit between the two regions is marked by Mount Aone-ga-mine (青根ヶ峯).

The Yoshino-Kumano National Park is part of the Kii Peninsula and straddles the prefectures of Nara, Wakayama and Mie. The region is renowned for its onsen (hot springs), gorges, waterfalls and sacred shrines.


Mount Kōya-san


Enormous monastic complex and headquarters of the Shingon school of Buddhism.
Kumano Sanzan

Kumano Sanzan

Three ancient shrines hidden in Japan's most spectacular gorge.
Mount Omine

Mount Ōmine

Mystic place of pilgrimage for ascetics in mist-covered mountains, banned to women until 1965.
Mount Yoshino-yama

Mount Yoshino

Japan's most famous place for cherry blossom viewing, featuring hills covered by 30,000 cherry trees.

Overview of the attractions on Google Maps

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