Tanabe, Wakayama

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Tanabe city hall
Tanabe city hall
Flag of Tanabe
Official seal of Tanabe
Location of Tanabe in Wakayama Prefecture
Location of Tanabe in Wakayama Prefecture
Tanabe is located in Japan
Location in Japan
Coordinates: 33°44′N 135°23′E / 33.733°N 135.383°E / 33.733; 135.383Coordinates: 33°44′N 135°23′E / 33.733°N 135.383°E / 33.733; 135.383
PrefectureWakayama Prefecture
 • MayorMitsutoshi Manago
 • Total1,026.91 km2 (396.49 sq mi)
 (October 1, 2019)
 • Total70,410
 • Density69/km2 (180/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+09:00 (JST)
City hall address1 Shin'yashikimachi, Tanabe-shi, Wakayama-ken
BirdJapanese white-eye
TreeUbamegashi (Quercus phillyraeoides)

Tanabe (田辺市, Tanabe-shi) is the second biggest city located in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan. The city was founded on May 20, 1942.

As of 1 October 2019 (after consolidating the old Tanabe City with several smaller villages including Hongū, Ryūjin, Nakahechi and Ōtō), the city had an estimated population of 70,410 and a population density of 68.6 persons per km². The total area is 1,026.91 km².

Tanabe is on the coast and surrounded by mountains. Tanabe is the point at which the Kumano Kodō (熊野古道) ancient pilgrimage road turns inland from the coast. There is a district with many bars in front of JR Kii-Tanabe (紀伊田辺) train station. There is a bridge to a nearby island called Motoshima. Kashima Island, off the coast of Tanabe, is closed to the general public.

Fishing is a major industry, particularly small minnow-like fish called shirasu. Citrus fruits and umeboshi (pickled ume fruit) are also important to the local economy.

A major attraction is Ogigahama beach, which has recently been expanded. A nearby city, Shirahama, is famous for its artificial white beach, and Tanabe has now constructed a beach of its own in hopes of drawing more tourists. The beachfront area is the site of the Benkei Matsuri (a Yosakoi dance festival that takes place in October).

Another beach in the main city is Tenjinzaki Cape, a preserved beach made of layered slabs of rock formation. The beach is submerged with water during high tides and revealed during low tides. It is also known as the birthplace of the Japan National Trust movement. Tenjinzaki Cape serves as a place of recreation and relaxation for citizens. People also enjoy fishing and shellfish gathering.

Within Tanabe City, there are many famous sites on the Kumano Kodō ancient pilgrimage road, particularly in the Nakahechi and Hongu districts. Famous sites include Kumano Hongū Taisha (熊野本宮大社), one of the three major Kumano Shrines in Wakayama prefecture, numerous small Ōji shrines, and the Nakahechi Route of the Kumano Kodō, approximately 65 kilometers in length Kumano Kodō and covering a variety of terrain.

Tanabe City also hosts many unique hot springs. Kawayu Onsen, a hot spring in the Kumano River in the Hongu district, is one example. Tourists can dig their own bathtubs next to the river during regular seasons. Between November and February, part of the river is blocked off to make a giant bathtub that can fit hundreds of guests at once. The Ryujin district is home to Ryūjin Onsen, accessible by bus from JR Kii-Tanabe station.

Takaoyama mountain overlooks the area. From the top of this mountain, you can see the cities of Minabe, Tanabe and Shirahama. Between Tanabe and Shirahama is a little-known temple called Kinkakuji (not to be confused with the famous Kinkakuji in Kyoto). Located near Takaoyama mountain is Kisetsukyo Gorge, and in the Ryujin district is Hyakkenzan Gorge, both of which feature waterfalls and walking courses.

On May 1, 2005, the village of Ryūjin, (from Hidaka District), the town of Nakahechi, the village of Ōtō (both from Nishimuro District), and the town of Hongū (from Higashimuro District) were merged into Tanabe.


  • Benkei Matsuri, a Yosakoi dance festival, featuring fireworks and dance performances by employees of local businesses as well as traveling dance groups, held in October.
  • Tanabe Matsuri, a festival held at Tanabe's Tokei jinja shrine (闘鶏神社) in July.
  • Ya-Ya Matsuri (August 8 Festival), a festival held to promote local shopping districts in downtown Tanabe City in August.

Famous people[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

In Red Alert 3, Yuriko Omega (named Yuriko Matsui) said that was born and grown here, according to intel.

Sister cities[edit]


  1. ^ Wyong Shire Council (14 January 2010). "Councillors aren't flippant when it comes to expenses". Archived from the original on March 30, 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2012.

External links[edit]