On February 6th and 7th, six journalists from Germany representing a variety of media including newspapers, magazines and radio visited the Kumano region on a JNTO press tour.
The tour spent one day exploring the sites and shrines along the Nakahechi section of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route including Takijri-oji, Tsugizakura-oji (and the giant cedar trees), Kumano Hongu Heritage Center, and the Kumano Hongu Taisha. After having lunch at a nearby Michi-no-Eki rest stop, we spent the afternoon walking the pilgrimage route from Hosshinmon-oji to Kumano Hongu Taisha. On the way to our accommodations at Kawayu Onsen, we made a brief stop at Yunomine Onsen. The journalists commented that the “sennin-buro” hot spring bath in the Oto River at Kawayu Onsen was a definite highlight of their trip to Japan.
The second day we visited the Kumano Hayatama Taisha and the Kumano Nachi Taisha, including a visit to Seiganto-ji Temple and the Nachi falls. The group returned to Osaka by train after eating lunch in Katsuura.
Thank you very much to JNTO Germany, JNTO Tokyo, Wakayama Prefecture and everyone else who helped out to make this a successful press tour. And of course thank you to the journalists who took time out of their busy schedules to visit our isolated part of the planet. We hope that you will be able to return someday soon.