Saturday, 28 January 2017

Kumano Ancient Trail

The Kumano Kodo, or Kumano Ancient Trail, is a pilgrimage route to Kumano, part of the mountainous Kii Peninsula which stretches south from the Kansai cities of Osaka, Nara and Kyoto. The well-maintained trail threads its way through deep valleys, mountains and small villages to offer a wonderfully-varied hike over four days. Stay at comfortable family-run inns with excellent food, soak in natural hot springs, and visit the shrines along the way. The pilgrimage routes to the three great Kumano Shrines – Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Nachi Taisha, and Hayatama Taisha – were popularized during and after the Heian Period (794-1185), when the Imperial family and nobility began to seek salvation in sangaku shinko (a belief in the supernatural power of mountains), rather than through common religious practices. Emperor Gotoba (1180-1239) made no less than thirty pilgrimages to Kumano, recording his thoughts and feelings in the Kumano poems.
For an in-depth experience of the Kumano Kodo region, please see the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X90Chg4hIEU&t=16s

Oku Japan's journey begins in the modern city of Kyoto. Guests travel then south by train along the coast and spend four days hiking the Nakahechi, one of the Kumano Kodo trails, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. There is a day mid-way to relax on a thrilling boat ride up the spectacular Doro Gorge. Oku Japan's guests cross the Kii Peninsula on foot to its eastern coast, and the fishing town of Katsuura, with two nights at a hot spring hotel, and finish by travelling on to Kyoto by train.
Here is the link to access the tour: http://www.okujapan.com/trips/kumano-ancient-trail-9

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