Located in the northern part of Wakayama Prefecture is Kinokawa City – Fruit Kingdom”, since it is famous as a fruit-producing district with its rich natural environment, warm climate and a class A river, Kinokawa River. Wakayama Prefecture is also called “Wakayama – Cycling Kingdom”, it has recommended cycling routes across the prefecture and the total length is 800 km.
People visit Kinokawa City on weekends, not only from Wakayama Prefecture but also quite a few people come from Osaka with their road bike.
Surrounded by beautiful nature, I’m starting my trip from “Nate” in Kinokawa City with my road bike.
“Seishu no sato (Seishu’s home town)” is a facility to praise Hanaoka Seishu, who was the first to perform mastectomy using general anaesthesia. You can see reproduced “Shunrinken”, Seishu’s home clinic. You can also find local products in the museum.
“Seishu no sato” is one of the places for renting / returning bicycle in “Kinokawa area, Kanko Renta Cycle (Rental bicycle for sightseeing)”. Book online at least 2 days before the day you will be using them. You can choose from options starting at half day use. Please see Wakayama Prefecture website for detail. (All places shown in this article are accessible with this “Kinokawa area, Kanko Renta Cycle”.)
Firstly, I visited “Kokawa dera” temple. The temple is about 800 m north of “Kokawa” station, which is the next station (3 minute train ride) of JR Wakayama Line’s “Nate” station (the nearest station of “Seishu no sato”).
The road to the next place “Kannonyama Fruit Garden / Fruit Parlour” has slopes like a roller coaster. Try this route and enjoy ups and downs!
Another favourite place to visit. The place is run by “Kannonyama Fruit Garden”, fruit growers lasting for 6 generation. The first floor is a shop selling fruit and the 2nd floor is a café called “Fruit Parlour”. “You cannot call it a fruit unless it is safe and tasty.”, they say. They use minimum amount of agricultural chemicals, and use homemade compost and organic fertilizers.
Menus vary depending on the season (I suggest you ask them over the phone before you go.), but I introduce you those three shown in the picture above.
Left: Kannonyama mandarin parfait
Fully ripened sweeeet Kannonyama mandarin boosts your immune system with its vitamins while citric acid is good to reduce fatigue. This cute parfait with nutrient-rich mandarin is popular among road bikers. An iconic animal of Wakayama, Panda is made by ice cream.
Middle: Farmer’s parfait with spring strawberries and a Kishu dog decoration
Knnonyama’s original parfait with plenty of freshly picked strawberries from the local farmers around Kinokawa City. Pistachio flavoured ice cream inside is tasty as well as strawberries. This parfait is popular, too, since strawberries are rich in vitamin C and amino acid.
Right: Farmer’s parfait with seasonal fruits grown in Wakayama Prefecture
Parfait with plenty of seasonal fruits such as strawberries, kiwi fruits, apples, citrus fruits. How about treating yourself?
On weekends, people go camping on the west side of “Takebusabashi”, the bridge over a class A river, Kinokawa River. There is a convenience store nearby, so if you just bring a tent and a camping light, you can go camping without carrying a lot of stuff. (There is no facility such as tap, toilet, or waste disposal. Please take your rubbish with you when you leave.)
Set up a tent and have a little break. When you look up the southern sky, you can see paragliders flying from “Yuriyama” mountain to the east of “Takebusabashi” bridge, just in front of you.
Flying alone looks nice and refreshing. And the people flying with paragliders of various colours look like “petals playing in the sky”, and I feel grateful. In May, people connect “Koinobori (carp streamer)” to their paraglider and fly, which looks like people and carp are swimming in the sky. The view of paragliders at sunset is breathtaking.
The place around “Kishigawa” in Kinokawa City is getting attention as a “holy place of love”. A character from a popular anime, “Damon Slayer (Kimetsu no yaiba)” has the same name as the temple here, “Kanroji”, and there were many people dressed up as the characters when I visited there in November 2020. The pink shutter in the picture was there until 13th December 2020, but it is said that you attract good luck in matchmaking if you visit this temple, so if you are interested, please pop in. I hope that you enjoy wonderful views and delicious fruits while you are in Wakayama.
In “Hiraike ryokuchi” park near the temple, there is the biggest pond in Wakayama Prefecture. You can find the symbol of this holy place of love, “Pillar of love”. (You can see this throughout the year)
The final destination for this article is Wakayama electric railway’s “Kishi” station.
If you came all the way from “Place 01. Seishu no sato” with the bike of “Kinokawa area, Kanko Renta Cycle (Rental bicycle for sightseeing)”, please return the bike at Café Sion in front of “Kishi” station.
The station, the terminal of Kishigawa Line, is designed by Mr. Eiji Mitooka under the theme of cats. Station masters Nitama and Yontama are on duty at office, and there is “Tama shrine” on platform.
In Kinokawa City, you can enjoy nature like mountain, sky, river, fruits. The local government and the residents collaborate to make new attractions, which many people visit. If you still have some energy left, please head for Wakayama City.
After you returned the rental bicycle, please take a train at “Kishi” station. You will enjoy cute trains under the theme of strawberries, toys, Tama, Nankou ume (plum produced mainly in Wakayama)