One of the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau's jobs is to create maps and pamphlets for the area.
Our bureau's maps for the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route are very popular because they cover well over 100 km of trails including the UNESCO World Heritage sections. All of our Kumano Kodo maps are available for download on our website.
Our goal is to create easy-to-use, up-to-date maps so visitors can get the most out of their trip. Everytime we do a reprinting we walk the routes to see if anything has changed or needs to be added or deleted.
Today we walked the Shiomi-toge Pass starting from the Kii-Tanabe station and finishing in Nakahechi on the Tonda-gawa River just up stream from Takijiri-oji, the entrance into the sacred realm of Kumano.
This is one of two routes that you can walk from the Kii-Tanabe station to Nakahechi, the other follows the Tonda-gawa River.
The Shiomi-toge Pass route leaves the coastal city of Tanabe making its way through neighborhoods, ume & orange orchards, rice paddies and fields. Gradually human habitation disappears as you start to climb into the mountains.
The views from the lookout points along the way offer panoramic vistas onto the Tanabe Bay with Shirahama in the distance. Once up top, a forested trail skirts the side of the mountain before reaching the pass. From this vantage point you can see the Takahara settlement high on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route across the valley. A descent on a forestry road leads to the valley bottom.
The map for this section is currently only available in Japanese but we are hoping to make the next edition with English names of important information.