Translated by Greg
Nanki-Katsuura Onsen - Check Out Wakayama's Best Kept Secret!
Written by Mayu
Wakayama prefecture's Nanki-Katsuura Onsen is an area with many hot springs near the world heritage site, Kumano Kodo. Today we'll give you information on onsen health benefits, access, hotel recommendations and day-trip hot springs.
Nanki-Katsuura Onsen is an area filled with many hot springs, located in the Kansai region, in Wakayama prefecture's Higashimuro Nachi-Katsuura town.
Nachi-Katsuura town is a seaside port, close to Nachi Mountain, Nachi Falls and Yoshino-Kumano National Park. All three places are part of "The Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range", which has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Every year many people visit Nachi-Katsuura town to see these sacred sites, and take in the beautiful coastline scenery here in the former Kii province (present-day Wakayama prefecture and the southern part of Mie prefecture).
The town's focal point is the Katsuura fishing port, which boasts the largest catch of tuna in Japan. At the port's nearby shops, you can sample the delicious fresh tuna. The area is also famous for Kumano Nachi Taisha Temple's annual festival, the Nachi no Ogi Matsuri.
Nanki-Katsuura Onsen-Special Features
Nanki-Katsuura Onsen's water quality is characterized by its sulfuric content, giving the hot spring a uniquely egg-like aroma. When you step inside the hot spring your blood circulation improves. It's also been said that the sulfur is beneficial for skin conditions and other health problems, including those particular to women.
Also, a word of caution. Before entering the hot spring please be sure to remove all your accessories. In particular, ones made from iron, copper and tin, because if they accidentally get in contact with the water they'll oxidize and turn black.
*The health benefits of the hot spring water differ from onsen to onsen.
Getting to Nanki-Katsuura Onsen
To get to Nanki-Katsuura Onsen from Tokyo, first hop on board the shinkansen (bullet train) and go as far as Shin-Osaka Station. The required time is two hours and thirty minutes and the one-way fare is 13,620 yen. For detailed information on traveling from Tokyo to Osaka, please have a look at the following article: Traveling from Tokyo to Osaka? A Guide for Prices and Times.
At Shin-Osaka Station take the JR Kuroshio Limited Express Train headed for Shingu, and get off at Kii-Katsuura Station. The required travel time from Shin-Osaka Station is four hours and the one-way fare is 6370 yen.
From here it's only ten minutes on foot from Kii-Katsuura Station to the district where Nanki-Katsuura Onsen is located.
Day-Trip Hot Springs at Nanki-Katsuura Onsen
Next, we'll introduce day-trip hot springs at Nanki-Katsuura Onsen.
Hamayu (Natural Hot Spring Public Bath)
At Hamayu, a public bath fed by a natural hot spring, visitors can easily take a dip into the water for a reasonable price. When you step into the sulfuric hot spring water, your body soon warms up. It's a public bath loved by all the local residents. This is an indoor facility only, with no outdoor bath.
Entry fee: Adults 320 yen, elementary school students 130 yen, children 60 yen (*all entrance fees include tax)
Address: Wakayama, Higashimuro, Nachi-Katsuura, Katsuura 970
Official Home Page: Hamayu
Nachi Station Exchange Center - Nishiki-no-Yu
Nishiki-no-Yu is a simple, alkaline hot spring, where both senior citizens and children can enter without any worries. This hot spring is adjacent to Nachi Station, and has good access since it's only two stations away from Kii-Katsuura Station. This is an indoor facility only, with no outdoor bath.
Entry Fee: Adults 600 yen, children 300 yen (*all entrance fees include tax)
Address: Wakayama, Higashimuro, Nachi-Katsuura, Hamanomiya 445-8
Umi-no-Yu (Foot Bath)
Umi-no-Yu is a foot bath located within the Katsuura fishing port area. Here you can sit back and relax as you gaze out at the picturesque scenery. The three separate foot baths can accommodate a total of twenty-five people, making this a relatively large facility. Also, every Sunday at Katsuura fishing port's Nigiwai Hiroba Market, locally produced products go on sale.
Address: Wakayama, Higashimuro, Nachi-Katsuura, Tsukiji 7-1181-442
Official Home Page: Umi-no-Yu
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Ryokan Recommendations at Nanki-Katsuura Onsen
Here are our accommodation recommendations in Katsuura.
Katsuura Kanko Hotel
For visitors who would also like to do some sightseeing in addition to relaxing in the hot spring, we recommend the Katsuura Kanko Hotel. The hotel currently runs a special service where hotel patrons can be taken by car to see famous sights, such as the Kumano Kodo and Katsuura Harbor's Maguro (Tuna) Fish Market. This is a convenient service that allows you to go wherever you want to, and takes the worry out of your itinerary planning.
They also serve coffee made from hot spring water. It's a tasty drink that's popular with patrons, and only available at this hotel.
Address: Wakayama, Higashimuro, Nachi-Katsuura, Tenma 1530
Official Home Page: Katsuura Kanko Hotel (Japanese)
Hotel & RentaCar660
This is a hotel with excellent access, only two minutes on foot from Kii-Katsuura Station. Guests at the hotel can also rent a car (twelve hour limit) by paying a fee of 3780 yen, in addition to the room charge. So visitors can quickly get to all the local sightseeing spots. The hotel's bath is gensen kakenagashi , meaning that the water is fed from a natural hot spring,
Address: Wakayama, Higashimuro, Nachi-Katsuura, Asahi 3-7-1
Official Home Page: Hotel and RentaCar 660 (Japanese)
Umino Hotel Ichi-no-Taki
At Umino Hotel Ichi-no-Taki, all rooms have an ocean view. Visitors can also enjoy the stunning scenery while relaxing in the hotel's large bath. The bath's water comes directly from a local hot spring. While the hotel has a luxurious setting, rooms are surprisingly affordable at only 5000 to 6000 yen for a single room (meals not included).
Address: Wakayama, Higashimuro, Nachi-Katsuura, Katsuura 752
Official Home Page: Umino Hotel Ichi-no-Taki (Japanese)
Nanki-Katsuura Onsen: See the Nachi No Ogi Matsuri
So how about enjoying your visit to the Nanki-Katsuura Onsen area by relaxing at the nearby sightseeing spots and by joining the local festival?
Every summer in July, Kumano Nachi Taisha Temple hosts the Nachi no Ogi Matsuri Festival. This is a festival where large torches weighing up to fifty kilograms each, line the approach to the temple. Along with the Oniyo festival at Daizenji Tamataregu Shrine in Fukuoka and Nagano prefecture's Dosojin festival in Nozawa, the Ogi Matsuri is considered to be one of Japan's top three fire festivals.
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Also, getting to world heritage site Kumano Kodo from the hot spring area only takes about thirty minutes on foot. For more adventurous souls who have available time and stamina, walking along one of Kumano Kodo's pilgrimmage routes and visiting Kumano Sanzan, or the three great shrines of Kumano (Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Hayatama Taisha, Kumano Nachi Taisha), will prove to be a worthwhile excursion.
For details on how to have a good experience at a hot spring, please refer to the following article, Bath Culture In Japan: What Every Visitor Should Know Ahead Of Time.
**Travel times, transportation costs and onsen fees are based on information listed in the respective official home pages. This information is correct at the time of writing, March 2017. Please note that this information is subject to change.
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