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Asia's unseen UNESCO World Heritage sites, CNN Travel

Asia's unseen UNESCO World Heritage sites, CNN Travel

"Asia's unseen UNESCO World Heritage sites
10 awe-inspiring locations you'veprobably never heard of "
Text: Winnie So Published by CNN Travel April 21, 2010

Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes of Kii Mountain Range is one of Asia's off-the-beaten track World Heritage sites, a hidden jewel.
"Asia’s long history and rich cultures have produced nearly 150 UNESCO World Heritage sites, with a long list of monuments waiting to join them in the application pipeline. “Once a site is on the list, it's important. 172 out of 192 countries have signed an international treaty to protect these sites. Individual countries are obliged to answer to the international community on how its sights are managed. These sites are the responsibility of everybody; they are important to the whole of humanity,” says Timothy Curtis, program specialist for culture in UNESCO’s Bangkok office.
Everybody knows the Great Wall or the Taj Mah…

Ai Sugiyama visits Kumano

On April 15th and 16th,Ms. Ai Sugiyama, a former professional tennis star, visited Tanabe City for a feature article on Kumano to be included in the July edition of Biteki magazine. The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau and Wakayama Prefectural officials supported them in Tanabe City.

Biteki” magazine (Japanese site) is a monthly beauty magazine published by Shogakukan (Japanese site).
Despite slightly rainy weather, filming went well and they enjoyed the spiritual Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Routes and Onsen in the area.
Ms. Ai Sugiyama’s official blog (Japanese site).

Swedish Press Tour in Tanabe City

From April 10-16, Cenneth Sparby, a freelance writer from Sweden, joined the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau’s Press Tour.He was here to prepare a feature story for the Travel Section of the Sunday edition of the Svenska Dagbladet, Sweden’s second largest newspaper with a readership of 500,000 people.
The story will focus on hiking the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route, the Kumano Hongu Taisha annual festival, Onsen, and local cuisine.Also coverage of Aikido in Shingu and Tanabe will be included.
It was an intense and immersive press tour that allowed Cenneth to experience the area’s spiritual culture.He not only watched the festival, but was a participant in the procession being one of the lucky members to carry the sacred mikoshi portable shrine.
Thanks Cenneth for the visit.We hope that it was not only a great press tour, but an experience that will last with you forever.

Lonely Planet Magazine visits Kumano

From April 10th to 12th, writer Wendy Yanagihara and photographer Lottie Davies visited Kumano for the Lonely Planet Magazine.The Wakayama section of the tour was supported by WakayamaPrefecture and the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau.

The focus of the visit was on Yunomine Onsen and the outdoor possibilities of the area with the spiritual culture of Kumano as the backdrop.We walked and photographed the section of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes from Hosshinmon-oji to Kumano Hongu Taisha.This route is very popular as a half-day to full day walk.
A soak in Kawayu Onsen, a tour to the Dorokyo Gorge, a traditional boat ride on the KumanoRiver, and a visit to the Kumano Hayatama Taisha and Kumano Nachi Taishawere also included in the tour.
The Kumano Hongu Heritage Center was much appreciated as a good source of information.An afternoon visit with Katsu Ueno, at Kumano Experience discussing Kayaking possibilities on the KumanoRiver also took place.
Everyone here is excited about seeing th…

Michelin Green Guide visits Kumano

From April 5 to 7, Ms Anne Teffo, Chief Editor of the Michelin Green Guide Collection, visited the Kumano area to research for the next edition of the Japan Green Guide.  The Kumano area is an off-the-beaten-path destination popular with visitors looking to relax and enjoy Japan’s spiritual countryside.


The visit was a busy one focusing the UNESCO World Heritage Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Routes in the area.  The recent infrastructure improvements for foreigner visitors, including new signs and the Kumano Hongu Heritage Center,were keenly investigated as these are important factors for the rating of the area.
Other sites visited were the Kumano Hongu Taisha, Yunomine Onsen, Kumano Hayatama Taisha, Kumano Nachi Taisha, and Katsuura Onsen
Thank you for the visit and we are looking forward to the next edition of the Japan Green Guide.