When you gaze upon the mesmerizing beauty of Nachi waterfall, you can understand why this area is holy ground for Japan’s animistic roots. At 133 meters tall, this is the mother of all waterfalls in Japan. I think that standing under the pounding streams of Nachi can probably dislocate one’s ribs and joints, so even if it were possible to climb down under the waterfall I was content merely to observe the water in motion and to feel the cool mist on my face.
In terms of natural beauty, I would have to rank Wakayama at the top along with my favorites in Kyushu including the Aso area, Kagoshima (around Kaimon-dake), Saga (especially around Karatsu), Oita (the Kuju area and the coastline), Miyazaki (around the gorge and beaches), and of course Okinawa. Shirahama beach has crystal clear water, an onsen carved out of the coastal rocks where you can feel the sea spray of the waves as they crash, and a long stretch of white sand (although this, I am told, is imported from Australia).
It is also said that the mountains in Wakayama look like broccoli. This is because they are covered in a nice variation of foliage and trees and give the hilly landscape a bumpy, mottled appearance, as opposed to the landscape of the usual evergreen monoculture (of cedar) that has unfortunately replaced most of Japan’s natural forests. The mix of deciduous, broad leafed trees, bamboo, pine trees, and other native plants is easy to look at.