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Showing posts from May, 2011

Emperor visits Tanabe

Shokujusai (Tree-planting ceremony)

The Shokujusai was held at Shinjo-koen Park in Tanabe city Wakayama, on May 22th. The Emperor and Empress of Japan and approximately 7000 people attended the ceremony. It was the first time for the Emperor and Empress to attend a local ceremony since the March 11 earthquake in northern Japan.


Huyumi Sakamoto who is a famous singer born in Wakayama sang the Japanese national anthem, followed by a minute of silence.

The Emperor and Empress then planted 6 trees including a Hinoki cypress tree and Yamazakura mountain cherry tree. It was raining heavily in the morning but the weather changed for the better during  the ceremony.

*The Zenkoku shokujusai (National tree-planting ceremony) is held every year beginning in 1950, for rebirth of the land of Japan damaged by logging operations after the war.

Miyoshiya Ryokan has joined the Kumano Travel community!

Miyoshiya Ryokan has joined the Kumano Travel community!


Miyoshiya is a budget Japanese style Ryokan inn near the Kii-Tanabe Station.  A convenience store, grocery store, and Ajikoji, a collection of restaurants and bars, are close by.  Miyoshiya Ryokan is a relaxed, reasonable accommodation run by Ken, a third generation owner who spent many years studying in Canada.  In the courtyard of these older buildings is a small shrine.  It has a retro feel to the facilities and has a mixed clientele of businessmen, long term guests, students, groups, and both domestic and international tourists.


Miyoshiya Ryokan reservations >>
About Kumano Travel >>

Altier Hotel has joined the Kumano Travel community!

Altier Hotel has joined the Kumano Travel community!




Altier is a well managed hotel designed for ease of use with a "business resort" concept.  It is 250 meters from the Kii-Tanabe Station, a three minute walk.  The open-cafe like lobby has free internet, self-service coffee, and relaxing music.  A delicious continental style breakfast is served in the morning.  Rooms have views of Tanabe City and/or the Ocean.  The Ajikoji restaurant area is next door, offering a variety of dining options, many with English menus.  Altier Hotel was awarded a top business hotel visitor ranking in 2010 by a well-known Japanese magazine. 




Altier Hotel reservations >>
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Christina Oiticica Kumano art in UN New York

Christina Oiticica and Genevieve Maquinay will be holding an exhibition at the United Nations in New York City titled "Ways of the rising and setting sun".  The focus will be on art created and influenced by the Kumano Kodo and Way of St.James, the only two pilgrimage routes that are registered as UNESCO World Heritage.
Date: May 23 to June 3, 2011 Place: Exhibition Hall, General Assembly Building, United Nations Headquarters, Entrance on First Avenue (between 45th and 46th streets)

Christina Oiticica website >> Spiritual Pilgrimages >>
For more information on Christina's project in Kumano Kodo please visit our previous blog entries.
Christina Oiticica Kumano Kodo Project  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 Christina Oiticica Kumano Exhibition in Hongu

Osaka City University Interviews Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau

Osaka City University Interviews Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau


On May 18, members of the Osaka City University interviewed the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau.

They were specifically interested in the unique, progressive, and new approaches to creating a sustainable tourism destination --open to both domestic and international tourism-- focusing on quality and preservation of the local natural, cultural, and spiritual heritage.

Thank you very much for visiting us and we wish you good luck with your research on this valuable subject.

The Osaka City University is looking for people who have walked the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes to cooperate in filling out a questionnaire. Questionnaire link >>

Kumano Kodo gets Michelin's three star ranking

Kumano Kodo gets Michelin's three star ranking


The Michelin Green Guides released their second edition of Japan today.  There was a new chapter dedicated to the Kumano Kodo which was ranked three stars, making it one of the most recommended sites to visit in the country.

Other sites that received attention was Yunomine Onsen, Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Nachi Taisha, Kumano Hongu Heritage Center, Hosshinmon-oji, Daimon-zaka, and Katsuura Onsen.

Note: Ms Anne Teffo, Chief Editor of the Michelin Green Guide Collection, joined a press tour in April 2010 that was supported by the  Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau.

Restaurant Ipposugi has joined the Kumano Travel community!

Restaurant Ipposugi has joined the Kumano Travel community!


Ipposugi is a well respected, family run restaurant on highway 311 close to Tsugizakura-oji and the giant "Ipposugi" cedar trees that the establishment takes its name after.  The interior has a lofty ceiling with large wooden beams.  The delicious food, soft natural atmosphere, and friendly service makes Restaurant Ipposugi a favourite for both nearby villagers and visitors.  The diverse menu features dishes with local river fish and vegetables.  An English menu is also available.  Try the "Kumano Kodo Tokusai Koshiben", a local specialty.

Restaurant Ipposugi reservations >> About Kumano Travel >>

Kawayu Midoriya has joined the Kumano Travel community!

Kawayu Midoriya has joined the Kumano Travel community!




Kawayu Midoriya is one of the larger hotels in Kawayu Onsen and is located at the west end of the village.  There is a mixture of Japanese and Western style rooms.  Most Japanese style rooms look directly over the clear waters of the Oto River, which flows through the village.  Behind the hotel there are two mixed gender rock baths nestled in the river bank.  An evening soak, enjoying the natural surroundings, is a popular highlight for guests.




Kawayu Midoriya reservations >>
About Kumano Travel >>

Voices|Visitors Interview April 28, 2011

Nicholas & Kathryn (Nick and Kitty) Jospé Interview
April 28, 2011




Q. Where did you go during on your holiday to Japan?
A. We arrived in Tokyo, stayed one day, then took the bullet train to Osaka, with connections to Koyasan.  Kumano Travel gave perfect directions for making bus connections, arranged the following lodgings and suggestions for enjoying the following:
-- Koyasan 
-- Tanabe
-- Yunomine and Hongu
-- Guesthouse (Minshuku) in Koguchi, midpoint on the walk from Hongu to Nachi Falls
-- Kii-Katsuura
We also stayed 4 days in Kyoto.


Q. Why did you choose to visit the Kii-Hanto peninsula (Koyasan & Kumano)?
A. We discovered the Kumano Kodo 40 years ago in a used book sale!  We wanted to experience more fully the spiritual heart of Japan.  Our first trip to Japan (2005) involved hiking the beautiful Japanese Alps.  We thought this trip would be a way to enjoy the mountains of the Southwest,  learn more about both Buddhist and Shinto practice followed by a return to Kyoto to visit mor…