Outline of Nachi-Katsuura
Nachi-Katsuura is a small town located in the southeastern part of Kii Peninsula in Wakayama Prefecture. It is famous for tuna fishing. It has developed as a fishing town because of the Kuroshio Current which flows from the south bringing a lot of fish, and also the location covered with the intricated coast line has the advantage to avoid the wild wave. The town attracts a lot of people because of the hot spring. The city itself is very attractive and adding to that, it is a starting or ending point of Kumano Kodo trekking.
Katsuura Fish Market
Katsuura Fish Market is famous for dealing with tuna. It is not the huge market, but the amount of the fresh tuna sold here is the top in Japan. The tuna is not only caught around the town, but fishermen bring them from all over the country. There are many different types such as Pacific bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna and bigeye tuna. Pacific bluefin tuna is the most expensive one and Japanese people love it!
Tuna is sold by the auction every morning from 7 am except on Saturday and Tuesday (they open some Tuesday, so please check the market schedule before you visit). You can observe the auction from the upstairs without reservation. You can look down all the auction floor. It is interesting to see the floor covered with so many tunas.
If you make a reservation, you can see the auction on the same floor as the auction area.
Auction takes place quietly. In some markets in Japan, the auctioneers shout the price, but here, they indicate the price by the hand sign.
Because of the tuna, there are many fresh seafood restaurants in the town. You can get information at the tourist information located at the Kii-Katsuura Station, or you can ask at the hotel.
Nachi-Katsuura is also known as a town of hot spring. Some hotels are located on the island or on the opposite side of the bay, so they provide boats for the guests. It is interesting to go to the hotel by the boat because you may feel as if you stay in the private island.
You can enjoy the nice view of the ocean and the bay from the hotel and from the hot spring. Some hotels have open-air hot spring close to the ocean.
Sightseeing spots around the town
Nachi Taisha Shrine and Nachi Waterfalls
Kumano Nachi Taisha is one of the sanctuaries of Kumano Kodo. Kumano Kodo is an old trail for the pilgrimages from the ancient time. Kumano Nachi Taisha is a large complex with the main shrine and Seigantoji Temple and Nachi Waterfalls. The Shinto shrine and Buddhist temple building are standing next to each other.
The Nachi Falls is a highest waterfall in Japan. The height is 133 meters. The waterfall itself is like a god in the idea of Shinto. So it is a sacred place. You can take a very Japanese photo of the waterfalls including the three storied pagoda.
You can start the Kumano Kodo hiking from here.
It takes about 30 minutes by bus from Kii-Katsuura Station.
Hashi means bridge and Kui means picket. There are series of rocks which look like pillars of the bridge, so it is called Hashikuiiwa. It is a very unique scenery.
It takes 40 minutes from Kii Katsuura Station to Kii Hime Station, then about 20 minutes walk.
From Shin-Osaka Station: Take JR Kuroshio Express. It goes directly to Kii Katsuura Station. It takes about 4 hours.
From Nagoya Station: Take JR Wide-view Nanki Express. It goes directly to Kii Katsuura Station. It takes about 4 hours.