“Outdoor Japan” magazine toured Kumano the first week in July for an article concerning the Kumano Kodo World Heritage Pilgrimage Routes. Brad Bennett (Photographer & Contributor to OJ) and Irwin Wong (Photographer & Photographer Teacher) were guided throughout the area by Brad Towle, (Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau’s International Tourism Promotion and Development Director).
The tour included hiking and a kayaking on the pilgrimage route. The hikes were done on the Nakahechi section starting at Takijiri-oji (as seen in photo) as well as from Hosshinmon-oji to Kumano Hongu Taisha. The Kumano-gawa River is also registered as part of the Kumano Kodo World Heritage Pilgrimage routes as a sacred waterway. Historically pilgrimages boated down this river from Kumano Hongu Taisha to Kumano Hayatama Taisha. The tour included a half day kayaking trip guided by Katsu Ueno at Kumano Experience.
During the tour there were interviews with local spiritual leaders, including the Yamabushi leader of the Kumano Shugen group based at Seiganto-ji Temple.
The hot springs in the area were also highlighted during their visit: Kawayu Onsen, Yunomine Onsen and Katsuura Onsen.
Thank you OJ for joining our intense but hopefully very enjoyable press tour in Kumano.