Logo Gif


Call Us: +1 (347) 688 3952 or Email: hello@oomitravel.com

Kii - Tanabe

Gateway to Kumano Kodo

Fuel up at Izakaya in Ajikoji. This is the hometown of Aikido, and a major source of Ume plum and Mikan oranges. A great place from which to embark on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage and key for both land and ocean transportation routes.

Discover Kii - Tanabe

Tanabe City is a sleepy coastal city, with a rural community focused on fishing and agriculture. The mountains inland from the coast are covered with terraced orchards. Tanabe Bay is to the west with mountains rising in the east a key location for both land and ocean transportation routes. Across the bay to the south is the Shirahama resort area. 

Tanabe is the hometown of legendary teacher Ueshiba Morihei, the founder of the Aikido martial art. Pay a visit to the grave and see his depiction in a bronze statue and at other sites. Another famous resident is said to have been Musashibo Benkei, a legendary warrior monk. Many stories about him appear in traditional Japanese Kabuki theatre. Benkei was supposedly born in Tanabe in the 12th century.

Pray for a safe journey at Tokei-jinja Shrine, established in 419 AD. Many important pilgrims paid homage here as the Kumano deities manifested. Some pilgrims worshipped the Kumano Sanzan from afar. The Tokei-jinja festival is held mid-July annually with traditional floats and ceremonies.

Pilgrims used to purify themselves using sea water at a beach in Egawa, Tanabe City before proceeding on to the Nakahechi Route in the mountains. In tribute to this custom, a place for purification using sea water Shiogori-ba, has been built at Ogigahama Beach. Wash hands with sea water and try to see a beautiful sunset from Ogigahama, one of Wakayama’s top beaches. With such clear waters and sand it draws a crowd in summer.

In all of Japan Tanabe City has the most Izakaya’s in the compact entertainment area in front of JR Kii-Tanabe station called Ajikoji. Every alley is full of quaint places to eat and drink, and is packed with over 200 restaurants to choose from. Two Izakaya style restaurants in the Ajikoji entertainment district called Tokuno and Kogane were listed in the Michelin Guide 2022.

The Kii Peninsula is famous for its lush natural environment serves a delicious base for local cuisine. Fresh local products are featured throughout the region along with an ordinance obliging residence to make their Kanpai toasts with Umeshu. The Ume orchards are built onto the slopes surrounded by natural forest. This region boasts the highest yield in the country with nearly 50% of Japan’s total production. The Ume 梅 plum or Japanese Apricot cannot be eaten raw but when processed is consumed as both food and medicine. Found commonly in Umeboshi a pickled Ume, and in Umeshu liqueur. It is said to aide recovery from fatigue and prevent food poisoning. The Nanko Ume is a large species with thick flesh, small pits, and thin skin. It was developed locally sought out as a premier brand. The Aka Shiso or Red Shiso, is a perilla mint leaf that makes for  a brilliant, natural red color, used to make a refreshing juice drink during the summer and to colour red Umeboshi. This region also boasts 80 species of Mikan or mandarin oranges are grown here throughout the year.

Sample Mehari sushi, a local dish made of rice wrapped in pickled Takana mustard leaves. A popular food to take into the mountains, it is said when bit into it makes eyes widen giving it the Mehari name in Japanese. A highly prized delicacy of wild boar hot pot is famous in this area and is also known as Shishi-Nabe, Botan-nabe, or Peony hot pot. A small local fish, Ayu sweetfish is found in the clear rivers and served grilled with salt. Also found here is the Amago red-spotted masu salmon. 

The Michelin Guide for 2022 lists two restaurants: Yamabushido Ogamian soba restaurant where Mr. Nakane, the owner and chef, is a Yamabushi mountain ascetic uses all-natural, local ingredients for vegetarian noodles. And Dal Chef’s Table an Italian restaurant serving Verona-style cooking with local ingredients from owner Giovanni Dal Bosco, who grows his own food and runs a local winery.

Tours in Kii - Tanabe

  • All
  • Self-Guided Tours
  • Group Tours
  • All
  • Adventure
  • Art & Design 
  • Beach
  • Family
  • Food & Wine
  • Luxury
  • Nature & Sustainability
  • Romance
  • Spa & Wellness
1 1

Featured Tours

Become an Oomi Travel Member!

Receive exclusive members only offers, exclusive travel content, seasonal updates, and travel news.


The Oomi App

Introducing The Oomi App travel companion

Enjoy On-the-go Live access to your:

  • Travel itinerary
  • E-tickets and vouchers (if applicable)
  • A 5-day weather forecast local to your destinations
  • Maps & Points of Interest in the areas you are staying
  • Live Flight Information (updates if flights are delayed etc.)
  • Messaging Service linked to our team both during, before and after your trip
  • And more

Download your FREE Travel APP [powered by Vamoos]


The Oomi App

Only as good as our last trip