The hidden gem reaches outer space
Kushimoto, Japan – (Newsfile Corp. – February 22, 2021) – The Kushimoto City Tourism Association announces new tourist attractions.
Although the many cultural and geographical highlights of Honshu Island (the main island) of Japan are famous, if you even ask a knowledgeable person what the southernmost point of the island is, they will be. probably puzzled. The answer is the hidden gem of a township called Kushimoto in Wakayama Prefecture.
Besides being a paradise beach dotted with alluring and unusual rock formations, Kushimoto has a myriad of attractions and historical landmarks. The region has a fascinating international history, much of which makes it particularly welcoming to people outside of Japan.
Kushimoto Beach Tourism
Naoya “Dan” Sakamoto, a Japanese businessman who has lived and worked in the Philippines for over 20 years, decided to move his multicultural family to the Kushimoto region. “People here have a known history of over 1,000 years of welcoming foreigners. There are even legends that messengers came from Chinese emperors in search of medicines from plants to give eternal life. “, he says. He adds that the people of Kushimoto “have had a long relationship with people outside this seaside”. Indeed, some of the stories of these contacts are impressive for their tremendous impact.
The Kushimoto region can be roughly divided into three areas, Kushimoto Town, Cape Shionnomisaki, and Oshima Island, the latter being a picturesque island parallel to the mainland coast of Cape Shionnomisaki. All of these areas are dotted with spectacular rock formations caused by volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. Yoshino-Kumano National Park, among other places in the region, features these spectacular rock structures. An impressive example is the Ichimai Iwa standing stone, a 100-meter-high megalith which is the largest aerial monolith in Japan. It is a breathtaking view and it is just one of the natural wonders of the national park. These include the Umikongo rock formations and Odaigahara and Osugidani gorges. Spectacular geological creations continue on the Kushimoto coast. Right next to the shores of the main city beach park are the Hashigui standing rocks. They offer a spectacular view when swimming in the protected waters of this calm bay.
Rock Formations: Tourism in Kushimoto
Kushimoto also has a more technological claim to fame. In March 2019, space exploration company Space One chose the city as the site of its new rocket launch base. Construction has started and a rocket launch to put a satellite into orbit is scheduled for late 2021 or early 2022. Hirotaka Hamaji, director of the Kushimoto City Government Planning Department explains that the city has been chosen for three reasons: it is the southernmost point of the island of Honshu; there are no buildings or people around the launch point; and there is easy access from the Honshu factory. Hamaji explains, “The locals welcome and support the rocket launch site. We run workshops for schoolchildren and locals on space, rockets and launch sites. We are committed to ensuring that residents gain a deep understanding of technology. The director said the Wakayama Prefecture government estimates that the Kushimoto region will receive an economic windfall of 67 billion yen (about $ 630 million) from the project. Tourists are expected to flock to see the launch.
Space one: tourism in Kushimoto
In addition to the striking geological formations, stunning beaches, scenic rivers and mountains, these tourists will be drawn to Kushimoto’s many museums and deep cultural history. Two notable episodes are the visit of American merchant ships in 1791 and the rescue of Turkish sailors in 1890.
In a striking and little-known historical incident, two American merchant ships, the Lady Washington and the Grace, anchored off Oshima Island on April 29, 1791 and spent about six days in Japanese territory. Accounts say that at first the Japanese were suspicious, but soon after they boarded the ships and enjoyed food and drink with the multicultural crew (White and Black Americans, Hawaiians, and Chinese). It is believed to be the very first contact between Japanese and Americans and an informative bilingual museum celebrates the encounter. The story is told in detail here with numerous historical documents and artefacts.
Another maritime incident that puts Kushimoto on the map occurred in 1890. The Turkish ship Ertugrul had made a friendship trip to Japan, moored near Tokyo, and then sailed south. On the night of September 16, 1890, a storm pushed it close to shore and it struck rocks just 30 meters off the island of Oshima. Some of the crew went to the nearby Kashinozaki Lighthouse (which happens to be the first stone lighthouse in Japan) and enlisted the help of the townspeople, who rushed into the ocean and pulled out more. of 60 Turkish sailors from the rough waters. This heroic action led to a lasting friendship between the two countries and to a museum, memorial and statue of Kamal Ataturk to commemorate the incident.
Another museum is well worth a visit in Kushimoto. Inside the peaceful and picturesque Muryo-ji Temple is the Kushimoto Okyo Rosetsu Art Museum. This small museum houses works by two famous artists of the Edo era (1603-1868), Okyo Maruyama and Rosetsu Nagasawa. The shrine buildings also feature priceless works of art on fusuma (Japanese sliding doors) made by Okyo Maruyama.
Temple: Kushimoto Tourism
Just around the corner from the museum, in the old part of Kushimoto town, is the most charming place to spend the night in Kushimoto. Hotel Nipponia is a spectacular structure renovated from an ancient Japanese Minka, or traditional house of an aristocrat. The building and grounds retain all the charm of old Japan with luxurious touches like a huge tub and comfy lounge chairs.
Hotel: Kushimoto Tourism
All of these many attractions, from monoliths to beaches, museums to rocket launch sites, make Kushimoto a destination like no other.
Kushimoto City Tourism Association
Yohino-Kumano National Park
Japan-Turkish Friendship Museum
Kushimoto Okyo Rosetsu Art Museum
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1 (212) -256-0315
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