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Doga-TV > Sightseeing > Secret Cove of Pirates of Kumano

Secret Cove of Pirates of Kumano

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Published on 02.26.2016 Located in the southwest area of Kii Peninsula (the largest peninsula in Japan) in the Wakayama prefecture is a cliff called “Sandanbeki Cliffs.” 36 meters underneath the cliffs is a huge cave called “Sandanbeki Cave.” There is a legend saying that the “Kumano Suigun Navy” also known as “Pirates of Kumano” hid their boats in the cave. The landscape from the sheer cliffs about 60-meters-high is breathtaking.

“Kumano Suigun Navy” held power over all of the Seto Inland Sea. They also played a big role in the battle between the Genji clan and the Heishi clan at the end of Heian period. It is said that Kumano Suigun Navy contributed to the Genji clan in the Genpei War with by offering 2,000 soldiers and 200 boats. This legend hints to how massive expanse of the Sandanbeki Cave, where the Kumano Suigun hid such a large number of boats.

After descending under of the cliffs by an elevator, there is alley way of the cave about 200 meters long. In the alley way is a spiritual place where “Benzaiten God” is enshrined. At the shrine, they sell amulet bills called “Senja Fuda.” There are five kinds of amulet cards, These cards are for for bringing about good fortune in various aspects of life such as love, safety, health, studies, and finance. It is said that if you make a wish at the shrine by writing down your wish on the card, and offering it to the shrine, it will come true.

After exploring in the cave, you can heal your body at “Sandanbeki Ashiyu.” Ashiyu is a foot bath with hot spring water, where you can warm your body without having to undress. You can spend a relaxing time there, and enjoy the magnificent view of the Pacific Ocean.

Sandanbeki Cave is a spiritual sightseeing spot that you can experience Japanese history, and great views at the same time.


“Sandanbeki Cave”:
Access: From JR Kinokuni line Shirahama Station, take Meikou bus towards “Sandanbeki”
(about 23-minute) and walk 2-minute.
Opening hours: 8 a.m. 〜 5 p.m. (No closing days)
Fee: ¥1300 (junior high school students or older), ¥650 (elementary school students),
Children under school age are free of charge
Address: 2927-52 Shirahama-chou, Nishimuro-gun, Wakayama

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