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Showing posts from March, 2008

Press Tour: Kansai & Chukyo

On March 27th and 28th, a Press Tour was held in Tanabe by the Wakayama Tourism Association and association with the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau.

The theme of the tour was “Food”; “Delicious Kumano Kodo and new sites in Wakayama”. A total 10 people from 7 media companies from Japan participated.

In Nakahechi, the tour visited the Bocu restaurant which embraces Macrobiotics food. In Kawayu Onsen the tour visited “Kameya Ryokan” that offers “Kumano Medicinal Meals”.

Photo; Kataribe guide Yujiro Komatsu is presenting a little story at Takahara Kumano-jinja Shrine

Kumano Kodo English Audio Guide Monitoring Walk

The Kumano Kodo English Audio Guide is completed!  On March 15th we invited foreign residents to join a monitoring walk.

This audio guide was produced to help foreign visitors decipher this sacred landscape.  It is presented in a form accessible to first timers to Japan, as well as including more detailed information for those familiar with Japanese culture.

Some of the contents covered include:
-Spiritual Culture
-Mountain Lifestyle
-Shrine Architecture
-Natural History
-Pilgrimage Routes
-Famous Historical Figures
-Buddhist-Shinto Syncretism
-Forestry and Agriculture
-And more!

There were many positive feedbacks such as “with this it is easier to understand the complicated Kumano History” and “It would be a great tool for foreign tourists”.

A participant who has lived in Tanabe for more than 10 years commented, “I’ve walked the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route several times before, but after listening to the commentaries in this audio guide, I realized that there were still …

Press Tour: English Media in Japan

The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau held a press tour for English media in Japan for two days from March 13th.  Seven companies from Nagoya, Tokyo, Kobe and Osaka participated.

On the 14th it was a rainy day for the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route walk experience, but everyone enjoyed the mystic views of the forest in the fog.

The tour stayed at Kawayu Onsen. The participants had a great time in the Onsen and enjoyed the traditional Japanese style supper party: Enkai.

Thank you to all who attended!!

Outdoor Festival in Osaka

On March 8th and 9th the Osaka Outdoor Festival was held at Index Osaka. The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau, Kushimoto Tourism Associations and Kozagawa City Office had a joint booth at the event.

This is a very large outdoor event in Japan.  Various outdoor goods such as camping cars, canoeing related goods, Marine sports, motorbikes, bikes and 4WD&SUV were on display.

At the booth we had pamphlets and staff dressed in traditional costumes.  Families loved our “feel and touch the baby sea turtles” corner.

Kumano is an excellent area for outdoor enthusiasts and we were happy to teach future guests about recreation possibilities.

French Travel Agents FAM Trip in Kumano

From March 1st to 7th, a familiarization tour for French travel agencies was held by the Wakayama Prefectural Tourism Associations and Kyoto City. 
Nine travel planners participated in this FAM tour to inspect tourism destinations in Wakayama and Kyoto.

In Tanabe, the tour covered the UNESCO World Heritage sites in the property “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range” andOnsen (hot springs). The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau was in charge of guiding during the Tanabe City portion of the tour.

On day one, they transferred directly to Koyasan from the Kansai International Airport. The tour visited the main sites in Koyasan such as Okunoin and Kongobuji Temple. Afterwards they stayed at a temple lodging. In Koyasan they experienced the Shingon school of Esoteric Buddhism such as Gongyo (Buddhist ritual) and Yakuzenn Ryouri (Herbal medicine dishes).

On their second day they visited Tanabe City. They arrived at Ryujin Onsen via the scenic Koya-Ryujin Skyline highway.…