Kumano Hayatama Taisha is a Shinto Shrine, and is
one of the Three Grand Shrines of Kumano ("Kumano Sanzan" in Japanese).
It is in Shingu city, and is located about 1.5 km northwest of JR Shingu station.
It is a part of "Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain
Range" designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
(See the page of Kumano Kodo.)
It is said that it was founded in 128 in legend. (It is hard to
But it is sure that it had existed before the 8th century.
And the first shrine was built before the construction of Kumano Nachi Taisha shrine, one of Kumano Sanzan.
The first shrine was built on the mountainside of Mount Kamikura to the
south of the current shrine.
And the shrine was moved to the current place.
On the original shrine, Kamikura Shrine was set up.
It is located about 1.5 km south of Kumano Hayatama Taisha shrine, and we must climb the steep 538 stone steps to visit there.
In the precincts of Kumano Hayatama Taisha shrine, 13 shines are set up
in the seven sacred buildings.
And each shrine enshrines both a god of Shinto and a Buddha statue.
By the approach to the shrine, there is a big "nagi" tree.
"Nagi" is a kind of conifer, and is found in Japan, Taiwan, and southern China.
The nagi tree is about 1,000 years old, and is the sacred tree of this shrine. It is designated as a national natural treasure.
"Nagi" has another meaning in Japanese. It is "lull of sea".
So the leaf of "nagi" had been a charm for the people who wished to have a safe trip.
And the leaf veins run only longitudinally. So it is difficult to tear off.
Also, it had been a charm that love doesn't break.
Of course, you must not pick the leaves of the nagi tree.
The charms with the spirit of the tree are sold in the shrine. Please buy them.
To Shingu, by JR limited express "Kuroshio", about 3 hours 30-50
minutes from Ten'noji (Osaka), about 1 hour and 30-40 minutes fron
Or, by JR limited express "Nanki", about 3 hours and 10-20 minutes from Nagoya.
Then about 20 minutes walk from Shingu station.
©Wakayama Prefecture / ©JNTO