Wakayama Prefecture

Wakayama Prefecture (和歌山県 Wakayama-ken) is a prefecture of Japan on the Kii Peninsula in the Kansai region on Honshū island.[1] The capital is the city of Wakayama.[2]

Wakayama Prefecture

Japanese transcription(s)
 • Japanese和歌山県
 • RōmajiWakayama-ken
Flag of Wakayama Prefecture

Official logo of Wakayama Prefecture

Location of Wakayama Prefecture
CapitalWakayama (city)
SubdivisionsDistricts: 6, Municipalities: 30
 • GovernorYoshinobu Nisaka
 • Total4,724.69 km2 (1,824.21 sq mi)
Area rank30th
 (October 1, 2017)
 • Total944,320
 • Rank40th
 • Density199.87/km2 (517.7/sq mi)
ISO 3166 codeJP-30
BirdJapanese white-eye (Zosterops japonica)
FlowerUme blossom (Prunus mume)
TreeUbame oak (Quercus phillyraeoides)


Present-day Wakayama is mostly the western part of the province of Kii.[3]

1953 flood disaster

On July 17–18, 1953, a torrential heavy rain occurred, followed by collapse of levees, river flooding and landslides in a wide area. Many bridges and houses were destroyed. According to an officially confirmed Japanese Government report, 1,015 people died, with 5,709 injured and 7,115 houses lost.


Map of Wakayama Prefecture Ja
Map of Wakayama Prefecture.
     City      Town      Village


Nine cities are in Wakayama Prefecture:

Towns and villages

These are the towns and villages in each district:



Since 1996, population of Wakayama Prefecture has kept declining, and since 2010, it has been the only prefecture in Kinki region with population below 1,000,000. In 2017, Wakayama is ranked 40th by population in Japan with a population of 944,320.

List of Governor of Wakayama (1947 to present)

  • Shinji Ono (小野真次):from 19 April, 1947 to 22 April, 1967
  • Masao Ohashi (大橋正雄):from 23 April, 1967 to 4 October, 1975
  • Shiro Kariya (仮谷志良):from 23 November, 1975 to 22 November, 1995
  • Isamu Nishiguchi (西口勇):from 23 November, 1995 to 13 July, 2000
  • Yoshiki Kimura (木村良樹):from 3 September, 2000 to 2 December, 2006
  • Nisaka Yoshinobu (仁坂吉伸): from 17 December, 2006 to Present


Mount Kōya (高野山 Kōya-san) in the Ito District is the headquarters of the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism. It is home to one of the first Japanese style Buddhist temples in Japan and remains a pilgrimage site and an increasingly popular tourist destination as people flock to see its ancient temples set amidst the towering cedar trees at the top of the mountain. The Sacred sites and pilgrimage routes in the Kii Mountain Range extend for miles throughout the prefecture and together have been recognized as Japan's 11th UNESCO World Heritage site.[4]

The Kumano Shrines are on the southern tip of the prefecture. Tomogashima (a cluster of four islands) is part of the prefecture.



Wakayama Prefecture ranks first in the production of oranges in Japan. Wakayama has its own brand of oranges, which is produced in Arida District and called 'Arida-Orange'. Arida District, where oranges have been produced for more than 400 years,[5] yields about half of the orange crops in Wakayama today.[6] Furthermore, the yield of Arida-Oranges accounts for about 10 percent of Japanese domestic production of oranges.[7]

Japanese apricot (Ume)

According to the survey by The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, Wakayama stands first in the production of Japanese apricots in Japan. As of 2016, Wakayama made up about 70 percent of Japanese domestic production of Japanese apricots.[8]

Sister relationships

Wakayama Prefecture has friendship and sister relationships with six places outside Japan:[9] Richmond, Canada; Shandong, People's Republic of China; Pyrénées-Orientales, France; Florida, United States; Sinaloa, Mexico; and Galicia, Spain.


Wakayama Prefecture has hot springs such as Shirahama, Kawayu, and Yunomine Onsen.

Saikazaki Wakaura01bs4272

Saikazaki, Wakanoura

121013 The museum of modern art, wakayama01s3

The Museum of Modern Art, Wakayama


Konpon Daido
(Mount Koya)


(Kumano Kodō)





  • Hanwa Expressway
  • Keinawa Expressway
  • Yuasa Gobo Road
  • Nachi Katsuura Road

National Highway





See also


  1. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Wakayama prefecture" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 1026, p. 1026, at Google Books; "Kansai" in p. 477, p. 477, at Google Books.
  2. ^ Nussbaum, "Wakayama" in p. 1025, p. 1025, at Google Books.
  3. ^ Nussbaum, "Provinces and prefectures" in p. 780, p. 780, at Google Books.
  4. ^ UNESCO.org
  5. ^ 今月の旬 Wakayama Prefecture website, accessed May 31, 2017
  6. ^ 農林水産 特産品 Wakayama Prefecture website, accessed May 31, 2017
  7. ^ 有田みかんについて JA Arida website, accessed May 31, 2017
  8. ^ 作況調査(果樹): 農林水産省 The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries website, accessed June 1, 2017
  9. ^ 友好・姉妹提携 Archived 2011-06-11 at the Wayback Machine Wakayama Prefecture website, retrieved May 16, 2008


  • Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric and Käthe Roth. (2005). Japan encyclopedia. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5; OCLC 58053128

External links

Coordinates: 34°3′N 135°21′E / 34.050°N 135.350°E

Gobō Station

Gobō Station (御坊駅, Gobō-eki) is a railway station in Gobō, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan.

Hashimoto Station (Wakayama)

Hashimoto Station (橋本駅, Hashimoto-eki) is a railway station in Hashimoto, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan.

Iwashiro Station

Iwashiro Station (岩代駅, Iwashiro-eki) is a railway station in Minabe, Hidaka District, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan.

Kada Line

The Kada Line (加太線, Kada-sen) is a railway line in Wakayama Prefecture owned by Nankai Electric Railway. This line connects to the Nankai Main Line.

Kii-Temma Station

Kii-Temma Station (紀伊天満駅, Kii-Temma-eki) is a railway station in Nachikatsuura, Higashimuro District, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan.

Kii Province

Kii Province (紀伊国, Kii no Kuni), or Kishū (紀州), was a province of Japan in the part of Honshū that is today Wakayama Prefecture, as well as the southern part of Mie Prefecture. Kii bordered Ise, Izumi, Kawachi, Shima, and Yamato Provinces. The Kii Peninsula takes its name from this province.

During the Edo period, the Kii branch of the Tokugawa clan had its castle at Wakayama. Its former ichinomiya shrine was Hinokuma Shrine.

The Japanese bookshop chain Kinokuniya derives its name from the province.

Kinokawa River

The Kinokawa or redundantly Kinokawa River (紀ノ川 or 紀の川, Kinokawa) is a river in Nara and Wakayama Prefecture in Japan. It is called Yoshino River (吉野川, Yoshinogawa) in Nara. It is 136 km long and has a watershed of 1,660 km².

The river flows from Mount Ōdaigahara to the west. It pours into Kii Channel at Wakayama city.

Kiwa Station (Wakayama)

Kiwa Station (紀和駅, Kiwa-eki) is a railway station in Wakayama, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan.

Kumano Nachi Taisha

Kumano Nachi Taisha (熊野那智大社) is a Shinto shrine and part of the UNESCO-designated World Heritage Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range of Japan. The Kumano Kodō route connects it to other sites under the same classification, which are primarily located in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan. The four sites on the route, classified as pilgrimage destinations and World Heritage Sites, are: 1) Nachi Taisha; 2) Hongū Taisha; 3) Hayatama Taisha; 4) Koya-san.

Kumano Nachi Taisha is also one of the three sacred Kumano Sanzan shrines:

Kumano Nachi Taisha

Kumano Hongū Taisha

Kumano Hayatama TaishaThis classification is based mostly in Japanese history, as pilgrims would travel to all three sites to complete their pilgrimage.

Kumano Nachi Taisha is an example of Buddhist and Shinto syncretism (Shinbutsu shūgō) nestled in the Kii Mountains, near Kii Katsuura, Japan. Cedar forests surround the site. The Nachi Waterfall, worshiped at the Hiryū Shrine near Kumano Nachi Taisha, is believed to be inhabited by a kami called Hiryū Gongen. Also, there is a sacred tree at this site, the Sacred Camphor Tree, located between the Nachi Shrine (heiden) and Seigantoji Temple. It is 850 years old and is said to have been planted by Taira-no-Shigemori (1138-1179). The straw rope (shimenawa) and paper flags show that this tree has been sanctified as a kami. The tree is alive with moss and ferns and other small plants growing on its ancient limbs. It is possible to enter the tree, where there is a small altar for making offeringsNachi-no-Hi Matsuri Fire Festival, performed on July 14, is the major festival of Kumano Nachi Taisha. It is a fire festival in which six-meter-high portable shrines symbolically representing the purification of the waterfall with the fires from oversized torches is laboriously carried by men dressed in white.

Kuroe Station

Kuroe Station (黒江駅, Kuroe-eki) is a railway station in Kainan, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan.


Nachikatsuura (那智勝浦町, Nachikatsuura-chō) is a town located in Higashimuro District, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan.

As of February 1, 2012, the town has an estimated population of 17,261, with 8,359 households, and a density of 94.09 persons per km². The total area is 183.45 km².

Created in 1955 from four towns: Nachi, Katsuura, Ukuimura and Wakamura, by 1960 the municipality expanded to include Shimosato farther south and Otamura inland up the Ota River.

The Kumano Nachi Taisha, one of the three Kumano Shrines, is in Nachi Katsuura. These shrines form part of the "Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range" UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Nanki–Shirahama Airport

Nanki–Shirahama Airport (南紀白浜空港, Nanki Shirahama Kūkō) (IATA: SHM, ICAO: RJBD) is a third class airport in Shirahama, Wakayama, Japan. It serves the southern part of the Kii Peninsula with three daily Japan Airlines round-trips to Tokyo International Airport, utilizing Embraer E170 aircraft. The travel time is 65 minutes to Haneda and 75 minutes in reverse direction.

Rinkanden-entoshi Station

Rinkanden-entoshi Station (林間田園都市駅, Rinkanden-entoshi-eki) is a railway station in Hashimoto, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan.

Shimizuura Station

Shimizuura Station (冷水浦駅, Shimizuura-eki) is a railway station in Kainan, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan.

Shingū Station

Shingū Station (新宮駅, Shingū-eki) is a railway station in Shingū, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan.

Wakayama (city)

Wakayama (和歌山市, Wakayama-shi, Japanese: [ɰakaꜜjama]) is the capital city of Wakayama Prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan.

Wakayama Station

Wakayama Station (和歌山駅, Wakayama-eki) is a railway station in Wakayama, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, jointly operated by the West Japan Railway Company (JR West) and the Wakayama Electric Railway.

Wakayamako Line

The Wakayamakō Line (和歌山港線, Wakayamakō-sen) is a railway line operated by Japanese private railway company Nankai Electric Railway that runs in Wakayama, Wakayama Prefecture, between Wakayamashi and Wakayamakō stations.

The purpose of the line is to provide a railway link to Wakayama Port that has ferry service to Tokushima in Shikoku. The line is jointly owned by Nankai and Wakayama Prefecture.

Wakayamashi Station

Wakayamashi Station (和歌山市駅, Wakayamashi-eki) is a railway station in Wakayama, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan. To distinguish it from Wakayama Station (JR West, Wakayama Railway), the station is called "City Station (市駅, Shi-eki)".

Shadow picture of Wakayama Prefecture Wakayama Prefecture
Core city
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