Thursday, January 12, 2017

Tanabe's Ume Culture featured in Kansai Scene

 "Shake Off Winter with the First Blossoms of Spring"
Text: Alena Eckelmann
Published by the Kansai Scene
Jan, 2017

An ocean of plum blossoms heralds the beginning of spring. Time to get ready for your first picnic of the year. ...

In February, plum blossoms are in full bloom at the Kishu Ishigami Tanabe Ume Orchards in Wakayama. More than 300,000 ume trees cover the hillsides that stretch out right to the Pacific Ocean in the distance. The view is breathtaking.

The best way to celebrate this beautiful season at Kansai’s top ume-blossom viewing spot is to rug up, get your bento, and join the locals under the trees.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Traditional Kimono Experience at Koguchi Shizen-no-Ie

Have you ever dreamed of being a member of the Japanese imperial family?

Well this is your chance!

Traditional Kimonos from ancient Japan are available for rental at Koguchi Shizen-no-Ie Lodging.

These clothes are the symbol of the Kumano Kodo because the pilgrimage began with the nobles of Kyoto during the period that these elaborate clothes were worn in the ancient imperial court. This is a fun way to spend your evening in Koguchi!

Learn more >>

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Kumano Kodo featured in the Irish Times

 "Kumano Kodo: walking Japan’s ancient Camino"
Text: Dan McLaughlin
Published by the Irish Times
Nov 12, 2016

Autumn colours, hot springs, outstanding food and Japan's tallest waterfall make this ideal trekking season in Japan

At the end of Kumano Kodo, a 1,000-year-old pilgrimage trail through the Kii mountains of Japan, travellers are urged to step inside a huge camphor tree that the centuries have hollowed out and turned into a symbol of eternal renewal.

Locals believe that climbing through this sacred, moss-furred giant will revitalise anyone wearied in body or spirit by their journey. But for even the most jaded visitors, the view that lies ahead will do just as well.

Beyond Buddhist and Shinto temples that hug this hillside together, a vermillion pagoda soars above the trees, and high over its shoulder a ribbon of white water unfurls from the forest to a rocky pool far below; when the traveller finally turns – there is the Pacific Ocean gleaming at the other end of the valley.

The tallest waterfall in Japan, 133-metre-high Nachi-no-Otaki has been a place of nature worship since antiquity, and provides a fitting climax to a journey first undertaken by emperors, aristocrats seeking spiritual purification.

Over the centuries, Japanese commoners and then foreigners also took to Kumano Kodo, and word of its beauty and cultural richness spread until it became one of only two pilgrimage routes to be enshrined in Unesco’s list of world heritage sites.

The other is the Camino de Santiago ending near Spain’s Atlantic coast, and now tourism chiefs in Europe’s far west and Asia’s far east are working together to protect and promote these “pilgrimages of the rising and setting sun”.


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Manseiro Ryokan has joined the Kumano Travel community!

Manseiro Ryokan is a located on the edge of Katsuura Bay across from the tourist pier, within walking distance of the Kii-Katsuura station.  The building itself is older but the atmosphere is friendly and comfortable.  The traditional Japanese Kaiseki meals, with a focus on fresh local products, is a highlight of a stay at Manseiro.  There are both Japanese and Western style rooms.  There are hot spring baths in the facility, but guests can also take the ferry across to the neighboring Hotel Urashima and soak there for free, including the famous Bokido onsen cave bath overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

300 Dual Pilgrim milestone reached

Over 300 Dual Pilgrims have been registered from 34 countries across the planet!

Congratulations to our Dual Pilgrims!

A "Dual Pilgrim" is someone who has walked both the Kumano Kodo and the Way of St.James (Camino de Santiago).

This program was developed to celebrate, honor, and share the stories of those who have completed both of these UNESCO World Heritage pilgrimage routes.

More about Dual Pilgrim Program >>

Dual Pilgrim online list >>

PDF data of 300 DUAL PILGRIMS >>