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Showing posts from 2009

TV Tokyo “Lady’s 4” location hunting in Tanabe City

From December 24th to 26th TV Tokyo’s program “Lady’s 4” visited TanabeCity and Totsukawa-muraVillage to prepare for their TV program. TanabeCity Kumano Tourism Bureau supported their location hunting.

“Lady’s 4” is a life & culture TV show which targets middle-aged ladies in their 40’s and up.

The tentative show title is “World Heritage Kumano Kodo at New Years.”

In Tanabe they visited Hosshinmon-oji & Fushiogami-oji along the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route, Kumano Hongu Taisha and Kawayu Onsen & Yunomine Onsen.

In Totsukawa-muraVillage, Nara prefecture, they inspected Tamaki-jinja Shrine, a suspension bridge in Tanise and a human-powered ropeway called “Yaen.” They were very surprised that this Yaen is still in active service for local communities.

“A laid-back style outing/travel, like taking a walk” is their program concept.
TV show will be aired nationwide on 16 broadcast stations, including TV Tokyo on January 8th (16:00~16:55).

Mainichi Daily News - Spiritual life on the road at Kumano Kodo

“Spiritual life on the road at Kumano Kodo” by Tetsuko Yoshida
Published by The Mainichi Daily News
December 25, 2009

Amid the booming popularity of visiting shrines and other ancient sanctuaries that the Japanese love to call "power spots," from Ise and Izumo shrines to Mount Fuji, perhaps a visit to the pilgrimage routes of Kumano Kodo seems a bit challenging. Nestled among the steep mountain ranges of the Kii Peninsula, Kumano Kodo -- one of the world's only two pilgrimage routes designated as World Heritage sites, along with Spain's Santiago de Compostela -- is a 307.6-kilometer network of routes straddling Wakayama, Mie and Nara prefectures in western Japan.

Full article online >>

Tetsuko Yoshida was a member of the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureaujoint press tour with Totsukawa village.

Caras- Christina Oiticica – Kumano Kodo(Brazil)

“O reencontro de Christina com as suas telas”

Published by Caras
December 2009

Caras website >>
Article PDF >>

Please refer to the following articles concerning Christina Oiticica’s visit to Kumano.
Christina Oiticica Kumano Exhibition in Hongu
Christina Oiticica’s Art Project in Kumano Kodo 1
Christina Oiticica’s Art Project in Kumano Kodo 2
Christina Oiticica’s Art Project in Kumano Kodo 3
Christina Oiticica’s Art Project in Kumano Kodo 4

Nikkei Japan Report covers Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau

On December 21st to 22nd the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau was filmed for the Nikkei Japan Report.  The coverage will focus on local grassroots development projects initiated by the above bureau to increase international tourism in a sustainable and positive way.

The program (broadcast in English) is 30 minutes long, with a five minute feature on Tanabe City.

Broadcast times begin on April 24th, 2010 on Japan International Broadcasting Inc. (JIB) six times a day for a yet unannounced period.

CNBC Asia broadcasting will begin on April 26, 2010.

Nikkei CNBC (Japanese site) will air the program on the April 25th, 2010 (9:00am) and April 26th, 2010 (10:00pm).

eo Hikari Cable TV “Machikado Treasure Hunting”

From December 15th to 16th a crew from the Japanese cable TV eo Hikari visited the Tanabe city and Kumano area.

On the first day they filmed sightseeing spots in Tanabe city such as Tokei-jinja Shrine, Kamaboko street and Akitsuno Garden. Afterwards they filmed restaurants that feature special lunch menu as part of the project “Kishu Tanabe Agara Don” (Rice bowl).  Tanabe’s mayor was able to spare some time for the interview for them, which was something special.

On the second day their focus was on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes and associated sightseeing spots. Our staff Brad supported them as a Kumano Kodo Guide and explained historical and cultural details about Takijiri-oji and Gyuba-doji. Filming was also done at Hosshinmon-oji, Fushiogami-oji, and Kumano Hongu Taisha as well as Kawayu onsen’s Senninburo.

The film footage gathered in this visit will be edited into a 28 minute program, and it will be on the air twice a day from January 1st to 15th 2010.  After January 15th the pr…

Press Tour: ANA Wingspan Inflight Magazine

From December 10th to 12th, Eugene Tarshis (Editor of Winspan Magazine) and Hans Sautter (Photographer) joined the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau’s press tour.  

Wingspan has a monthly print run of 300,000 with over 840,000 readers (through successive readings of one issue), along with 20,000 subscribers.

The tour focused on the Kumano region included theKumano Sanzan shrines, Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes, Kawayu Onsen, Yunomine Onsenand Katsuura Onsen. 

 Photography was a large portion of the tour, waking up early to catch views of the sacred Kumano Mountains wrapped in mist.  

An improvised visit to a local craftsman’s workshop was also a highlight of the tour.

Thank you to Wingspan Magazine for taking the time to visit us here in the Kumano Region.

Nikkei Ryutsu Shimbun’s “Nikkei MJ” Magazine

On December 9th, a journalist from the Nikkei Ryutsu Shimbun Company visited the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau for an article for the Magazine “Nikkei MJ.”
“Nikkei MJ” specializes in the latest news in the marketing field such as current consumptions and distributions in Japan, which is sold nationwide.
The reporter came to feature our Bureau’s contributions toward establishing a local tourism destination management company and area revitalization projects. He interviewed Urano, our Bureau chief, and Brad, our International Tourism Promotion and Development Director.

Afterwards they visited a restaurant in Tanabe which was part of the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau’s English Menu translation project.

The article will be featured in their January 2010 issue. 

Sydney Morning Herald - The rocky path to enlightenment

"The rocky path to enlightenment" by Melanie Ball
Published by Sydney Morning Herald
November 28th, 2009

Melanie Ball visited Kumano with the Japan Holidays tour earlier this year.

Christina Oiticica’s Art Project in Kumano Kodo 4

On December 5th the Brazilian artist Christina Oiticica’s Art Exhibition opened. 
We were glad to see that many visitors came to see her art exhibition.

The Way of Saint James in Spain and Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Routes here in Kumano are the only two “UNESCO World Heritage registered pilgrimage routes” in the world.

Christina offered one of her pieces that she created here in Kumano to Kumano Hongu Taisha. The offering ritual was held in the afternoon.

Christina was very happy with the dedication and talked with the chief priest of the Kumano Hongu Taisha afterwards.

NHK TV covered the morning events which will be aired on December 7th on the NHK Evening News.

Christina dropped a postcard written to her husband Paulo Coelho into the “Yata-post,” which was recently installed in the compound of the Kumano Hongu Taisha.

Christina Oiticica’s Art Project in Kumano Kodo 3

On the previous day of the opening of Brazilian artist Christina Oiticica’s Exhibition in Kumano Hongu Heritage Center, Christina supported by the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureauentered the final stage of preparations.

With the hearty cooperation of the Kumano Hongu Heritage Center’s staff, we all worked on the preparations at a feverish pitch.

Her art works which had gone through finalizing process were brought to the photographed by a pro-cameraman in the morning. 
As soon as the photo shoot was completed, her works were carefully moved to the Kumano Hongu Heritage Center.

Christina is meticulously precise on displaying her works as well as caption boards and light settings. She designs the art presentation space imagining how viewers will see them. It is important for her to design the whole space so that people can encounter with her art comfortably. She has done exhibitions in various galleries around the world. 
Preparations continued into the early hours of the morning.

Christina Oiticica’s Art Project in Kumano Kodo 2

On December 3rd the Brazilian artist Christina Oiticia started preparing her works. NHK TV came to cover her art projects in Kumano. 

Some of the excavated art works were decomposed into pieces like a puzzle. The canvases were dried out on a table and Christina attached them onto special custom made frames.  Merged with Kumano’s nature, Christina’s art will soon be ready.  

We are looking forward to seeing the final results.

Lonely Planet TV Nachi Fire Festival, Japan-On the Road with Ray Bartlett

Lonely Planet TV  Nachi Fire Festival, Japan - On the Road with Ray Bartlett

Lonely Planet Author and fearless festival hunter, Ray Bartlett experiences the Nachi Fire festival held at the Kumano Nachi Taisha in the Kumano region of Japan. Dating back almost 1700 years ago this cleansing ritual is a symbol of burning away the sins and mistakes of the past year. Even for an agnostic like Ray, this spiritual celebration left him feeling humbled, introspective and in awe. Filmed by Hunsoo Kim and Ray Bartlett.

Signature Magazine-Kumano Travel Article–(Australia)

KTX Magazine-Koyasan and Kumano (Korea)

Article featuring Kumano and Koyasan
Published by KTX Magazine, Travel Culture and Lifestyle
December 2009

 KTX Magazine is a monthly in-train magazine on Korea’s famous bullet train with a circulation of 70,000 copies a month.  The article covers Koyasan, the World Heritage Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage routes, Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Nachi Taisha, Kumano Hayatama Taisha, Yunomine Onsen and Kawayu Onsen.

Beetlemap Travel-Land of the Sacred, Wakayama (Korea)

“Land of the Sacred, Wakayama”
Published by The Beetlemap Travel
December 2009

The Beetlemap website (English) >>

Korean magazine article covering Koyasan, the World Heritage Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage routes, Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Nachi Taisha, Yunomine Onsen (pictured above) and Kawayu Onsen

Christina Oiticica’s Art Project in Kumano Kodo 1

Brazilian artist Christina Oiticica buried her art works along the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes in February of this year. She arrived in Japan on November 28th to complete her Kumano art project.

In the morning of the 29th staff from the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau, Wakayama Prefectural officials and Tanabe City officials gathered to support Christina’s excavation activity.

The excavation activities were done in four places; the field in front of restaurant Bocu in Chikatsuyu, near the Kumano Kodo Nakahechi Art Museum, on a ridge overlooking Oyunohara and the Nanakoshimine Ridge along the Omine Okugake route.

After exhuming her art she continues to prepare the works for the exhibition at the Kumano Hongu Heritage Center.

We wonder how her art works will be transformed by the energy of Kumano.

We are all looking forward to seeing her art exhibition.

Kumano Symposium

On the 15th of November the Kumano Symposium ~Sharing Kumano with the World~ was held by the Tanabe City ATA Association as a part of their Kumano International Destination Guide Project.

Tanabe City ATA Association will offer 7 training sessions from December 2009 to March 2010 for those who are interested in becoming an English guide for foreign tourists.

ATA stands for “Area Tourism Agency,” which is a Japanese comparable institution to DMC “Destination Management Company.”

Tanabe City ATA Association was established in August 2008 with Wakayama prefecture, Tanabe City, Tanabe Chamber of Commerce and Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau under the common purpose to develop Kumano as an International Tourism Destination.

The symposium started off with the Tanabe City mayor’s greeting speech, and then Brad Towle, Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau’s International Tourism Promotion and Development Director, made a presentation titled “Kumano, an International Perspective—the Importance and V…

Kumano Kodo Press Tour with Totsukawa-mura

For 2 days, from November 19th, a Kumano Kodo Press Tour was held for domestic Japanese media (8 people from 7 companies) with the cooperation of TM office. City tourism officials from both Tanabe City and Totsukawa-mura Village along with theTanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau’s staff supported this tour.

The theme of this press tour was “A tour from the secret region of Totsukawa-mura “a village in the sky” to the sacred place “Kumano Hongu” , A healing trip to the hidden Onsen ~get away from everyday life and be healed in an outside Onsen bath, illuminated by lamplight~”

On the 19th the tour visited Tanabe city’s Kumano Hongu Heritage Center to learn about theKumano Kodo pilgrimage routes. Afterwards, the tour moved to Totsukawa-mura, Nara prefecture, to visit Tamaki-jinja Shrine. Tamaki-jinja Shrine has been said to be the oldest shrine in the Japan. Tamaki-jinja’s Shinto priest spoke about the Mountain faith developed along the Omine Okugake-michi, which had a huge influence on the …

US Travel Agent Kansai FAM Trip

The 2009 US Travel Agent Kansai FAM Trip, sponsored by Kansai Unity, took place from November 16~27. This FAM trip was a part of our two year Kansai promotion project, which includes a variety of groups both public and private groups throughout the Kansai region. Three tour companies from California joined this inspection visit.
The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau planned and led the Kumano portion of the tour. It was a busy schedule but went smoothly, and the response from the agents was extremely positive. They were very interested to obtain high quality information about off the beaten track areas of Japan.

Day 1:
l Bocu restaurant in Nakahechi for a delicious Macrobiotic lunch.
lKumano Hongu Heritage Center

lHosshinmon-oji along the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route

lKumano Hongu Taisha


lKawayu Onsen

lOvernight at Yunomine Onsen

Day 2:
lKumano River boating experienced
lKumano Hayatama Taisha

lDaimonzaka section of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route

lKumano Nachi Tais

Christina Oiticica Kumano Exhibition in Hongu

Christina Oiticica(wife of the famous author Paulo Coelho)will be exhibiting works from her Kumano pilgrimage project this winter in Hongu.
The original artistic technique used by Oiticica –a world-famous artist- is the transformation of what is known as “ecoart” or “land art” combined with painting, and is based on allowing nature to exercise an aesthetic effect on her works.
She buried 11 pieces of her works along the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routein the spring 2009, which will be exhumed the fall of 2009.
During her career of 20 years, she has exhibited in over 60 galleries from 12 countries.

Kumano Exhibition

When: December 5, 2009 to January 11, 2010

9:00~17:00 everyday

Where: Kumano Hongu Heritage Center

Price: Free admission

Press Release PDF>>

Wakayama Promotion Tour in Europe

From October 19th to 25th, Wakayama prefecture including Mr. Nisaka (the governor of Wakayama), Wakayama assembly members, representatives from private businesses and Ms. Tada (the director of the Tanabe City Kumano tourism Bureau) travelled to Paris, Milan and Rome. The goal was to promote Wakayama as a unique tourism destination.
In Paris the delegation visited 5 different tourism related companies, such as the famous guide book company “Michelin” and “Hachette”, along with the tour company “ASIA” (which specializes in Asia).

According to Ms. Tada,
“Wherever we went, it was very clear that Koyasan is an extremely popular place among the French. Carrying 3 stars in the Michelin guide book is convincing evidence to it. Kumano is also a valuable tourist area with 2 stars. From the information exchanges at the meeting with Michelin, I realized the missing link to receive one more star for Kumano: to establish better infrastructure and information to receive tourists from foreign countries…