Shingu is a port city in Japan's Wakayama Prefecture (Honshu island's southeast corner) with a population of around 30,000. As a cruise port, Shingu is most visited by ships operated by Costa Asia (a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation). Today, Port Shingu is a large cargo seaport that serves 3 prefectures (Wakayama, Mie, Nara) and is the gateway for tourists to the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes (designated as UNESCO Site in 2004).
As a tourism travel destination, the town is best known for its Shinto shrine Kumano Hayatama Taisha - an ancient Japanese temple, one of the three sacred Kumano Sanzan shrines (together with Hongu and Nachi) on the pilgrimage route Kumano Kodo. Another popular (worldwide-known) tourist attractions are the Tankaku Castle ruins (foundations), Kumanogawa (scenic river with length 183 km / 114 mi) and Narezushi - an original sushi type (predecessor of the current-day Japanese sushi) imported from Southeast Asia first to China and then to Japan.
The list of popular among tourists attractions that can be enjoyed on cruise shore excursions in Shingu also includes Maguro Tuna (fresh/live catch daily delivered via Katsuura Fishing Port), Kumanoushi (Kumano Beef raised only in Wakayama), Meharizushi (large sushi lunchtime dish), Nachi-Gurosuzuri (black inkstone purchased mainly by the Kumano pilgrims), Yatagarasu (3-legged raven from the ancient Japanese myths, which image is represented on many local goods), Hashigui-Iwa Rocks (~40 rocks lined up as bridge posts and surrounded by seawater / visible only during low tide), Doro-Haccho Gorge (on Kitayama River/boat tours).
In 2020, the cruise port had scheduled (as booked berths) 2 visits by Costa Asia-managed ships - Costa neoRomantica (May 5) and Sun Princess (August 17), as well as 4 visits by the superyacht Star Breeze (September 12 and 29, October 3 and 19).
Shingu cruise terminal
Port Shingu's facilities were extensively renovated and expanded in the 60s-70s, mainly to allow larger vessels serving the timber import shipping. To allow access and docking of even larger cargo ships, the port started dredging and infrastructure upgrades and since 2006 provides deepwater quays with max draught 11 m (36 ft).