Kii peninsula access guide. How to get Shirahama, Kii-Katsuura and Shingu.

Torii gate a the entrance of Kumano Nachi Taisha shrine

Kii peninsula has many interesting spots, like Kumano Kodo, Nachi Falls and Shirahama Onsen. But this area is very wide and big. Travel time is long and trains do not run very often.

In this post, I show you how to access this peninsula by train.

Access routes

Please see the map below.

Access map (Click to enlarge)
Access map (Click to view large)

If you want to go to Shingu or Kii-Katsuura, you can access from both Osaka and Nagoya. But if you go to west coast of Kii peninsula, such as Shirahama, Kii-Tanabe, Osaka route is much faster than Nagoya route.

Ise is located in this peninsula. But I wrote about access to Ise at the different post. Please see the post below to find the details:

Ise access guide. Kintetsu is the best way but we can use JR Pass too.

Access from Nagoya by Limited Express Wide View Nanki

If you access from Nagoya, Limited Express Wide View Nanki takes you Shingu and Kii-katsuura directly. It takes 3.5 hours from Nagoya to Shingu. Kii-Katsuura is only 15 minutes away from Shingu. Please see the link below to find more information about this train:

Access to World Heritage Kii mountains from Nagoya. Limited Express Wide View Nanki.

If you go to Shirahama or other places in the west coast from Nagoya, take Shinkansen to Shin-Osaka and transfer to Limited Express Kuroshio. This route is much faster.

You can get more information, map and layout of Nagoya station, please see JR Central official site to get the layout of Nagoya station.

Access from Shin-Osaka, Tennoji and Kyoto by Limited Express Kuroshio

Many of Limited Express Kuroshio is operated by newer 287 series.
Many of Limited Express Kuroshio is operated by newer 287 series.

Limited Express Kuroshio departs from Shin-Osaka. And some of them depart from Kyoto. All trains go through Tennoji. But this train takes a short cut route between Shin-Osaka and Tennoji. Therefore it does not stop at Osaka station and you need to go either Tennoji or Shin-Osaka. It takes 2.5 hours to Shirahama from Shin-Osaka and takes 4 hours to Shingu.

For more information about this train, Access to Kii mountains/peninsula from Osaka and Kyoto, Limited Express Kuroshio/a>.

Access from Kansai airport

Kansai airport is located between Tennoji and Wakayama. Many of Limited Express Kuroshio stops at Hineno station in the middle of this segment and Hineno is a branch point of the line to Kansai airport and the line to Wakayama. You can transfer from local train to Kuroshio at Hineno.

Gateway stations

I would like to show you some stations in this area.

Kii Katsuura station

Kii Katsuura station

This station is a gateway to Kumano Nachi Taisha shrine and Nachi falls.

This station has three tracks and two platforms. And there is only one ticket gate. The station is very small and very easy to find the direction.

There is Kumano Kotsu bus office in front of Kii Katsuura station. You can buy a ticket and catch a bus to Kumano Nachi Taisha shrine here.

Kumano Kotsu Katsuura office

There are many coin lockers beside the stairs of the station and in Kumano Kotsu bus office.

Coin lockers at the station

Kii Katsuura is very popular hot springs resort. This town offers many accommodations.

Shingu station

Shingu station exterior

This station is the gateway to Kumano Hongu Taisha shrine, Dorokyo gorge, Kawayu Onsen.

This station has also two platforms, three tracks and one ticket gate.

The bus ticket office is located in front of the station. You can catch a bus there to Hongu Taisha shrine.

Kumano Kotsu Bus to Hongu Taisha Shrine wait for a passenger in front of the office. Shingu station building is seen in the back.

There is an information center in the office too.

As far as I know, there are some coin lockers in the station building only. The number of the lockers are very limited. Please do not rely on these lockers.

That’s all Shingu station has.

Shingu is not an Onsen town. The accommodation around the station is very limited. Kii Katsuura is more attractive to stay overnight.

Trip report

I have traveled this area in October, 2018. Please find the link below to read my trip report. I hope you will get some idea from this report.

Visit Kumano Sanzan (Kumano three important shrines) in one day

9 thoughts on “Kii peninsula access guide. How to get Shirahama, Kii-Katsuura and Shingu.”

  1. Hello Takeshi,

    If I travel from JR Shingu to JR Wakayama on the Kuroshio Limited Express, can I purchase train the ticket without Reserved Seating or I must pay an extra cost for Reserved Seating? Additionally, is there a Special Pass to travel Wakayama Area? I want to buy the JR Sanyo San’in Pass because I plan to travel all the way to Fukuoka. Should I purchase and additional Special Pass for Wakayama?

    Hope to hear from you soon, thank you!

    1. Hi Izzie,

      You don’t need to reserve the seat. This train has non reserved seat car. You can take a seat in this cars without seat reservation.
      I don’t know your travel duration. But if you complete the travel to Fukuoka and Shingu in 7 days period, JR pass is better than Sanyo Sanin area pass. Because Sanyo Sanin area pass is 19,000 yen. The return base fare for Wakayama to/from Shingu with non reserved seat fee is more than 10,000 yen. JR pass is 29,100 yen and covers both Fukuoka and Shingu.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/japan-rail-pass-user-guide-how-to-use-jr-pass-to-its-maximum.html

      But if you cannot make all trips in 7 days, you can add Kansai wide area pass for trip to Shingu.
      https://jprail.com/travel-informations/other-rail-passes/rail-pass-for-visitors/the-newest-jr-west-rail-pass-for-kansai-and-okayama-kurashiki-kinosakai-and-shingu-area-kansai-wide-area-pass.html

      This pass is cheaper than regular fares.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  2. Hi Takeshi,

    I have purchased the ICOCA card and am currently residing in Osaka.

    I am planning to stay one night at Yusomine Onsen and do the hongu trail day hike . The kumano kodo site suggests I should stay at Yusomine the night before too.

    May I know what is my best option in terms of transportation as I have a luggage with me. I also plan to spend 2 days in Kyoto after before returning to Osaka.

    Thanks you very much!
    Keidi

  3. Dear Takeshi
    We arrive in Japan on Sunday at 9am after a long flight from England. We will be tired & new to Japan. We need to go to Kii-Tanabe to start the Kumano trail. There are many choices of route depending on whether our flight is delayed. We will not travel by train again for 8 days so the Kansai Wide Area Pass is not economical. What is the best way to buy the right ticket when we arrive please? Is there a tourist office in the airport that can help us? Is there internet where I can access Hyperdia to check the best train. Please can you give us your helpful suggestions.
    Thank you very much for very useful website & articles.
    Thanks a lot
    Michca

    1. Hi Michca,

      First of all, regarding ticket, single ticket is the best choice. You can find the detailed info about KIX at the link below. You will find the tourist info and station info at this link:
      https://jprail.com/sample-itineraries/airport-access/kansai-kix/kansai-airport-transportation-guide-find-info-about-station-ticket-airport-bus-and-high-speed-ferry.html

      Wi-Fi is available in terminal building:
      http://www.kansai-airport.or.jp/en/service/internet/index.html#_02

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      1. I want to tell your boss that you are doing a really good job. These articles are really helpful, well worded & cover all the practical requirements of an independent traveller. You are helping to promote independent travel in Japan & encouraging travellers to explore outside the big cities.
        Thank you so much for the hours of research.
        Best wishes
        Michca

  4. Dear Takeshi,

    I’m planning to go to Saki No Yu onsen in Shirahama. So far I haven’t found clear information on the easiest way to access Saki No Yu onsen from Osaka. Could you please enlighten me on most efficient public transport, fares and travel time to reach Shirahama/Saki No Yu from Osaka (Umeda area)?

    Thanks for your help 🙂

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