Wakayama Prefecture is often considered one of Japan’s most under rated prefectures to visit. It’s surrounded by the well known Osaka, Nara and Kyoto; so it’s easy to understand why many ignore a trip to Wakayama on their itineraries. But travelers could well be missing out if they ignore Wakayama. From the stunning Koya-san, all the way to the far south of Wakayama Prefecture; there’s plenty to see here.
A trip from Kansai International Airport to Wakayama City will take only 30-40 minutes by car, depending on traffic. The best thing about arriving by plane to Kansai Airport is that there is an array of options for your rental car; from Budget to Nissan rent-a-car, so be sure to research in advance to find the best value option for your trip.
From Wakayama City, you have plenty of options on your travels. One thing to remember about this prefecture is that there are surprisingly few highways, so always anticipate well in advance if you are short on time. Wakayama City has the very pretty castle; worth a visit if you can fit it in.
On our excursion, we planned to first reach Koya-san. This mountain has a stunning graveyard and a town full of beautiful buildings to explore. It’s very accessible by car and you should have no problem finding parking or places to drive around.
We then decided to head to Shirahama, the most famous beach resort in all of Japan. The drive there is a very pleasant one and the scenery when you arrive will match. There is a good reason why Shirahama is paired with Hawai’i’s Waikiki beach!
The following day we decided to head down to Nachi Taisha on the southern coast; the route there is full of stunning beach views as you can see below.
Expect to spend at least three to four hours driving on your way back to Wakayama City, so always leave plenty of time to navigate.
Wakayama is one of the most pretty places to explore by car in all of Japan. Highly recommended.