Area Guide

[Wakayama] Nachisan Seigantoji Temple (青岸渡寺): Kumano’s Oldest Structure, Adjacent to Kumano Nachi Taisha and the Scenic Nachi Falls

Nachisan Seigantoji Temple: Known for its Spectacular Vistas and Revered Heritage

The Nachisan Seigantoji Temple is situated adjacent to the Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine. This revered temple marks the commencement of the Saigoku Pilgrimage route, a journey that spans 33 sacred sites in the Kansai region. Its spectacular vistas of the Nachi Falls and the indigenous forests of Nachi render it a desirable destination.

The temple’s origins are entrenched in Kumano worship and formerly served as an extensive training ground for Shugendo, a distinctive blend of Shintoism and Buddhism centered around Nachi Falls. Split into Seigantoji Temple and Nachi Taisha in 1868, the former now features a striking three-story vermillion pagoda that creates an unforgettable sight against the backdrop of the falls.

Since 2004, the temple has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with other sacred locations in the Kii Mountain Range, under the label “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes.” The red pagoda, situated in front of the falls, is an exemplary illustration of a human-made structure that harmonizes with the natural environment.

As Kumano’s oldest structure, Seigantoji Temple is a revered site in its own right, and visitors can discover numerous significant cultural artifacts within its walls. Furthermore, the temple grounds are celebrated for their awe-inspiring vistas, encompassing views of Nachi Falls, Nachi Primeval Forest, and even the Pacific Ocean.

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