How To Get To The Kii Peninsula
The Kii Peninsula covers an expansive area between Nagoya in the east and Osaka in the west. Within that area, visitors will find three of Japan’s most important religious destinations including the Ise Grand Shrine, Kumano Kodo and the temple mountain of Koyasan. These three destinations are separated by a considerable distance and can be approached from different directions. To make things as simple as possible, on this page you will find the following information:
For information on how to get to Nagoya from common locations including Nagano, the Jigokudani Monkey Park, Tokyo, Kanazawa and more, please refer to our ‘HOW TO GET TO NAGOYA’ page.
WHERE IS THE KII PENINSULA?
The Kii Peninsula lies between Nagoya in the east and Osaka in the west, covering a wide area spanning Wakayama, Osaka, Nara and Mie Prefectures. It is the largest peninsula on Japan’s main island of Honshu and is best-known for its multiple spiritual sites including the Ise Grand Shrine – the most important Shinto shrine complex in Japan – along with the pilgrimage trails, shrines and temples of the World Heritage-listed Kumano Kodo and the temple mountain of Koya-san. Given the expanse and multiple points of interest in the region, estimating how long it takes to reach the Kii Peninsula depends very much on where you are headed. Most visitors begin their journey in either Nagoya or Osaka, therefore the following directions are from those points:
HOW TO GET TO THE ISE GRAND SHRINE FROM NAGOYA
The Ise Grand Shrine is the most important Shinto complex in Japan. Consisting of many shrines, the complex is centred around the Kotai Jingu (Inner Shrine) and Geku (Outer Shrine). The shrines are separated by several kilometres, with both Isehi Station and Ujiyama Station in Ise City providing access – buses run from both stations to the shrines. From Kintetsu-Nagaoya Station – located within easy walk of Nagoya Station – take the Limited Express Kintetsu service to Iseshi Station – 80 minutes / JPY2810 – or Ujiyamada Station – 85 minutes / JPY2810. Buses run from the stations to the nearby shrines, with Ujiyamada Station being slightly closer to the Inner Shrine.
HOW TO GET TO THE KUMANO KODO FROM NAGOYA
For visitors heading to the pilgrimage trails of the Kumano Kodo, there are multiple ways to approach the area depending on your exact destination. For visitors heading to the Kumano Kodo from Nagoya, we recommend using the Limited Express Nanki service. While there are only three services each day running to both Shingu and Kii-Katsuura, it is notably faster than other trains and its ‘wide view’ windows provide great views of the passing landscape.It is important to note that while the Nanki is operated by Japan Rail (JR) Central, visitors with a JR Pass will have to pay a small surcharge to use this train as it runs along a private line for part of the journey.
The service departs from Platform 12 at Nagoya Station at 08:05, 10:01 and 12:58 with the last service of the day departing at 19:47 but only running to Shingu Station:
For visitors buying a ticket a one-way journey to Shingu Station costs JPY7000 and Kii-Katsuura Station costs JPY7330. The return schedule is as follows:
From Shingu Station, buses run to Kumano Hongu Taisha – 80 minutes / JPY1560 – while Kumano Hayatama Taisha can be reached on-foot. Kumano Nachi Taisha can be reached by bus from Kii_Katsuura Station – 30 minutes / JPY630.
HOW TO GET TO THE KUMANO KODO FROM OSAKA
For visitors approaching the trails and attractions of the Kumano Kodo from Osaka, heading to Kii-Tanabe Station will be the fastest and easiest option. From Shin-Osaka Station, take the Limited Express Kurshio service to Kii-Tanabe – 130 to 140 minutes / JPY4840. The same service continues onto Kii-Katsuura Station – 240 minutes / JPY6490 – and terminates at Shingu Station – 250 minutes / JPY6820.
HOW TO GET TO KOYASAN FROM OSAKA
To reach the temple mountain of Koyasan from Osaka, take the Nankai Koya Line from either Namba Station or Shin-Imamiya Station to Gokurakubashi Station – 85 to 90 minutes / JPY1680 and 80 to 85 minutes / JPY1680 respectively. Once at Gokurakubashi, take the Koyasan cable car up the mountain – 5 minutes / JPY500. The cable car operates from 05:30 to 22:30 (approximately). Visitors will then need to use the public bus or taxi to head into the centre of town. Most of Koyasan’s many attractions including Okunoin Temple, Garan and Kongobuji Temple are within easy reach of the town centre.
25 THINGS TO DO AROUND NAGOYA & WHERE TO STAY
The largest city in Central Japan, Nagoya is one of Japan’s great metropolises. One of the country’s financial and industrial hubs, Nagoya is a modern, industrious and youthful city with rich history and great food scene. As a stop on the Tokaido Shinkansen line running from Osaka and Kyoto to Tokyo, and the Limited Express Shinano running to Matsumoto and onto Nagano, many travelers use Nagoya as a transport hub as they move from east to west, west to east and deep into Central Japan. But those who choose to stay and explore the city discover one of Japan’s best cities with plenty of keep you entertained. Our ’25 Things To Do Around Nagoya & Where To Stay’ page has some great suggestions of what’s on offer in and around the city, including accommodation listings.
40 THINGS TO DO AROUND OSAKA & WHERE TO STAY
Many travelers headed to the Kii Peninsula will do so from Osaka – one of Japan’s largest and thriving cities. Known for its merchant culture, great food and nightlife, Osaka is a world away from the serene and tranquil atmosphere of the Kii Peninsula. Nearby Osaka, the former capitals of Kyoto and Nara boast some of Japan’s most important temples and shrines and when combined with time in Osaka, offer enough to keep you entertained for your entire time in Japan. Our ’40 Things To Do Around Kyoto / Nara / Osaka & Where To Stay’ page has some great suggestions of what’s on offer and the best places to stay across the three cities.
BOOK WITH US! NAGANO’S NO.1 TOUR & CHARTER OPERATOR
Central Japan offers many, many reasons to visit. Operating all year round, we are Nagano’s No.1-rated tour and charter operator, offering a range of services including group tours, private tours and charters. We can arrange transport including a private vehicle and driver, to transport you to, from and between any destination in Central Japan including Nagoya.
Our drivers and vehicles are fully certified, allowing us to transport you to and from your preferred destinations in combination with any activity that suits your schedule. All vehicles are fitted with a protective screen – separating the driver from passenger and luggage area – and our drivers wear protective masks, allowing you to move between your destinations in comfort and safety.
We can arrange both private tours with an English-speaking guide or a private charter, including a private vehicle and driver but without a guide. We’d love to be part of your adventure in Central Japan and help you discover even more!
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Awarded a 2019 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for our 1-Day Snow Monkeys, Zenko-ji Temple & Sake Tour – recognised as one of the Top 10 Experiences in Japan – we have the local knowledge and experience to help you get the most out of your time in Nagano.
Got a question about visiting Central Japan? Contact us at email@example.com and let’s get planning together!