Kirinosato Takahara: The hidden hotel along Wakayama’s Kumano Kodo you won’t want to keep secret
Designated as a World Heritage Site in 2004, Kumano Kodo continues to enchant people all over the world. Of its many pilgrimage routes, the Nakahechi Road, which cuts through the mountains from the Wakayama seaside towards Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine, is said to be the one most trodden.
But did you know that in the small woodlands alongside the Nakahechi Road, there is a hotel that welcomes visitors not only from Japan but from around the world? Named “Kirinosato Takahara,” this “hidden” hotel is beloved by all those who know it. We’re here to tell you why.
I am K. Y. Having been born and grown up surrounded by the vast nature of the ocean, mountains, and rivers, I am a genuine country girl. I am in love with the ocean so much that my dream is to be a humpback whale in my next life. Irrespective of categories, I offer various kinds of local information, focusing on unique experiences only available at specific places.
An ocean of fog: Breathtaking views from the hotelOne of the many appeals of Kirinosato Takahara is its location. At 320 meters above sea level, it offers a striking view of the boundless sky, as well as mountains that transform in appearance with the seasons. Each room is equipped with its own balcony, allowing guests to have the view all to themselves.
Depending on the weather, you might also be able to see a sea of clouds stretching out beneath your eyes. The mystical scenery born of the topography of Kumano will no doubt captivate your heart.
Located on a small mountain, and as the air is clear, star-filled nights sky can be seen from the hotel.
Mouthwatering dishes prepared with top-quality ingredientsAnother reason for this hotel’s popularity is the food made from fresh ingredients sent directly from local producers. The local dishes focus on organic ingredients, presenting tastes nostalgic to the Japanese palate. The menu always features many seasonal dishes, and you can savor the “taste of a Japanese mother’s cooking” regardless of whenever you visit.
Other popular dishes include fusion foods created by the owner who spent many years living in Spain.
The hotel is open as a restaurant during the day, so drop-in visitors can also utilize the services. Indulging in delicious food on an open-air terrace while seeing the beautiful scenery is truly delightful.
Warm hospitality awaits visitors to KumanoIt’s safe to say that one of the hotel’s greatest charms is the hospitality awaiting the guests, regardless of language or nationality. Led by the friendly owner, the staff’s kindness transcends language barriers, reaching into the hearts of every traveler. Even first-time visitors will be tempted to say, “I’m home.” That is the kind of atmosphere permeating the hotel.
Additionally, Takahara offers an onsen hot spring for hotel guests and drop-in visitors, a tastefully designed interior, and several other features. If you’re passing through the Kinan area (southern part of Wakayama Prefecture), why not soothe your soul with the mesmerizing nature and the generosity of the people of Kumano?
*The information herein is as of August 2021.
Access: 45-minute drive from JR Kii-Tanabe Station
Address: 826Takahara, Nakahechi Town, Tanabe City, Wakayama Prefecture