If you’re looking for a truly awe-inspiring experience, look no further than the Nachisan Seigantoji Temple, nestled next to the Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine. This revered temple is the first stop on the Saigoku Pilgrimage route, a journey that takes you through 33 sacred sites in the Kansai region. And with its breathtaking views of the majestic Nachi Falls and the native forests of Nachi, it’s not hard to see why.
The temple’s history is rooted in Kumano worship and was once a vast training ground for Shugendo, a unique blend of Shintoism and Buddhism centered around Nachi Falls. Split into Seigantoji Temple and Nachi Taisha in 1868, the temple now features a stunning three-story vermillion pagoda that creates an unforgettable sight against the backdrop of the falls.
Since 2004, the temple has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with other sacred locations in the Kii Mountain Range, under the moniker “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes.” And with good reason – perched in front of the falls, the red pagoda serves as a striking example of a human-made structure that complements the natural environment.
But that’s not all – as Kumano’s oldest structure, Seigantoji Temple is a revered site in its own right, and visitors can discover many significant cultural properties within its walls. And with views of Nachi Falls, Nachi Primeval Forest, and even the Pacific Ocean, the temple grounds are celebrated for their awe-inspiring vistas.
So if you’re ready for a journey through ancient history and breathtaking natural beauty, make sure to add the Nachisan Seigantoji Temple to your travel itinerary.