Updated: November 30, 2016
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10 Must-Do Things For Sightseeing In Wakayama

Located only 35 minutes away from Kansai Airport by car, Wakayama guarantees you a fun-filled visit with atmospheric attractions and tasty food. Head over there and do these 10 awesome things!

1. Visit Wakayama Castle

Perfect for history buffs as Wakayama Castle boasts many interesting artefacts on samurai weaponry and armor so that visitors can understand how samurai warriors prepared for battle during the Edo period. If you are not really into history, you will also be entertained by the splendid bird's eye view of Wakayama City!
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Wakayama Castle is a great spot to soak up the ambience of the city

2. Go to "Europe"

Yes, you read that right. In Wakayama, you can immerse yourself in the streets of Italy, France and Spain if you pay Porto Europa a visit. Porto Europa not only just showcases stately buildings with amazing architecture that won't look out of place in Europe; it also has tons of exciting rides, engaging street performances and entertaining animal shows! An ideal place where both couples and families can spend quality time together.
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Create beautiful memories at this European-style theme park

3. Eat at Kuroshio Ichiba Market

All the ride taking at Porto Europa can be quite exhausting, so why not take a break and replenish your energy at the nearby Kuroshio Ichiba Market? Here, you can savor a hearty seafood lunch at the many seafood restaurants.
Also not to be missed is the tuna-cutting demonstration conducted by a professional fishmonger three times a day. The sheer size of the huge tuna alone will take your breath away!
Porto europe   kuroshio ichiba   inside https://goo.gl/0AokR3
Come experience Wakayama's food culture at Kuroshio Ichiba Market

4. Enjoy Wakayama ramen

Ramen is arguably the "soul food" of Japanese, so you can be sure that Wakayama ramen will be deeply savory and comforting. Titillate your taste buds by indulging in the umami-rich noodles and broth made from soy sauce, pork bones and chicken. Also don't forget to pair your ramen with mackerel sushi, a popular specialty dish in Wakayama!
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Satisfy your tummy with a delicious bowl of Wakayama ramen

5. Buy ume-plums

Ume-plums are synonymous with Wakayama as it produces an astounding 60% of all ume-plums in Japan. So why not extend your memories of your trip further by buying a few packets of pickled ume-plums (umeboshi in Japanese) home?
Then you can make your own ume-plum juice for your family and friends! A renowned Wakayama brand, Nanko-Ume plums are what you should keep your eyes peeled for.
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Make your own health drink with umeboshi

6. Stay a night in Koyasan

Keen to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and experience some downtime for yourself? Avid trekkers and spiritual enthusiasts alike will relish the idea of staying overnight at a temple in Koyasan, which is where Shingon Buddhism originated from.

Walk around some of the 117 temples spread over the mountains, tuck into vegetarian cuisine and meditate during morning prayers. You're sure to leave Koyasan with a renewed appreciation of your life!
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Tranquil and picturesque...Koyasan is the best!

7. Visit Adventure World

Another attraction that is right up to the alley with couples bringing their kids to Japan. At Adventure World, not only can you observe more than 200 species of animals ranging from giraffes and white tigers to elephants and even pandas, but you can also book your own jeep as well as feed some of these animals. A jolly good time awaits you!
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Won't you want to get up close with pandas at Adventure World?

8. Take on the Kumano Kodo

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes enable you to watch the same path as pilgrims from all walks of life did more than a thousand years ago so as to reach Kumano Sanzan (the three shrines in Kumano). You will be impressed with how devoted and determined ancient Japanese people were in terms of demonstrating their faith.
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9. Pay respects at Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine

One of the three shrines that are collectively known as Kumano Sanzan, the Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine is the head shrine of Kumano Shrine, of which there are 3,000 in Japan. So if you would rather get to this shrine quickly, you can take a train from JR Wakayama Station to JR Kii-Tanabe Station and then a bus from JR Kii-Tanabe Station to Hongu Taisha-mae bus stop.
Climb the stone steps flanked by cedar and cypress trees, and the majestic sight of Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine will greet your eyes!
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A magnificent-looking Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine

10. Soak in Tsubo-yu

How would you like to take a dip in the oldest and smallest onsen in Japan and let the piping water soothe your muscles? Yunomine Onsen, which is a hot spring town where pilgrims would stay over for a break en route to Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine, contains this little gem. Go locate the small cabin that houses a rock bath big enough for two adults, queue for your turn and enjoy heavenly bliss for 30 minutes.
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Somewhere in Yunomine Onsen lies Tsubo-yu, Japan's smallest onsen!
As one of the spiritual capitals of Japan, Wakayama Prefecture has plenty to offer visitors, be it families, couples, gourmet fans or outdoor adventurers. Quick! Pay Wakayama a visit and have the time of your life!

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