Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Luggage Shuttle Service Torii has joined the Kumano Travel community!

Torii-no-Mise is a luggage shuttle service, luggage storage, and shop, which specializes in supporting pilgrims and trekkers on the World Heritage Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route.  The shop is run by the friendly and knowledgable Mr. Torii is passionate about helping visitors to fully enjoy the area.  Torii-no-Mise offers pick-up and delivery to accommodations, with the exception of the convenient pick-up option at Hosshinmon-oji and the Torii-no-Mise in the Zuihoden building at the base of the stairs to the Kumano Hongu Taisha.  Please enjoy your journey to Kumano!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

New Kumano Kodo Hongu Area Maps

The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau has just released new maps of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes in the Hongu area.

More Kumano Kodo Maps >>

Asariya Guest House has joined the Kumano Travel community!

Asariya Guest House is a lovely traditional Japanese home in a quiet residential area near the Ogigahama beach in Tanabe City.  The house was built in the mid-1930 by the progressive Asari family after returning from working in the United States.  The western influence can be seen in the sitting area near the entrance.  It was left vacant for a time until the visionary and passionate Ms. Kawafuji transformed the vintage home into a multi-purpose community development mini-venture.  During the day the house is a share-shop with different people using the space. In the evenings (after 16:00) it transforms into a guesthouse with private use for one booking a day.  Guests staying overnight therefore need to clear the main area of the house from 10:00 to 16:00, but there is a small room where guests staying multi-nights can store their things.  Note: the share shop staff use the main entrance to access the kitchen from 8:00 to prepare for their work day, but do not enter the living area of the house until later in the day.

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.


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”.