|Area||4724.68 sq. km|
Just south of Osaka, Wakayama Prefecture (和歌山県, Wakayama-ken) offers a stark contrast to its northern neighbor - idyllic countryside views and a much more laid-back lifestyle, but with more than enough places to see to keep you busy for at least a couple of days.
Wakayama's main attraction is Mount Koya, one of Japanese Buddhism's most sacred sites. Okuno-in, which is the largest graveyard in Japan and is the final resting place of the great monk Kukai (or Kobo Daishi) along with many daimyo, as well as the famous temple Kongobu-ji, are located within this area. Some of Mount Koya's temples even offer one-night stay experiences. Much of the Kumano Kodo, the World Heritage Site pilgrimage, is also located within Wakayama.
Historical and cultural significance aside, Wakayama also attracts tourists due to its beaches and hot springs, the best of which can be found in Shirahama.