Shimenawa (Sacred Rope) Exchange on Top of Nachi Waterfall(Nachi-otaki-no Shimenawa Harikae)


Exchange of a shimenawa (sacred rope) hung across the top of the fall

A shimenawa (a sacred straw rope traditionally used in Japan to demarcate a sacred area) suspended across the top of Nachi Waterfall is replaced with a new one twice every year: a few days before New Year’s Day and several days prior to the date (July 14) for Nachi-no-Ogi Matsuri (Nachi Fire Festival), the major festival of Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine. In this biannual event, a special team of Shinto priests dressed in white carry a new shimenawa and climb to the top of Nachi Waterfall to replace the old one hung there. Twice each year, tension builds up on top of the fall, which is 133 m high. (This event can be observed from Nachi Waterfall Viewing Spot, located in front of Nachisan Seiganto-ji Temple.)


Nachikatsuura Town
Nachisan, Nachi-Katsuura Town
Season / Time zone
Summer Winter(July,December) / Daytime
Weather conditions
Sunny Cloudy Others
Frequency of appearance
According to seasons


Get on the Kumano Kotsu Bus at JR Kii-Katsuura Station or at JR Nachi Station, and get off at “Nachisan”[那智山] stop.From the stop, walk 10 minutes to Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine or Nachisan Seiganto-ji Temple. (Ordinary visitors are not allowed to climb to the top of the fall.)

Recommended spot

JR Nachi Station > Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine