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Showing posts from June, 2011

Agent FAM for Carlson Wagonlit Travel in Kumano

From June 19~21, 2011 eleven people from Carlson Wagonlit Travel Canada visiting Kumano on an Agent FAM sponsored by JNTO and supported by the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau.  The group consisted of sales consultants and product development staff from across Canada.

The tour visited the main sites of the Kumano region including the Kumano Sanzan shrines.  A boat ride on the Kumano-gawa River was a little wet because of rain, but enjoyed by all.  The group stayed one night each in Kawayu Onsen and Yunomine Onsen to experience the local thermal culture.

Thank you Carlson Wagonlit Travel for visiting and we hope that this FAM trip will bring awareness of this beautiful region to more Canadian visitors.

Minshuku Tsugizakura has joined the Kumano Travel community!

Minshuku Tsugizakura has joined the Kumano Travel community!

Minshuku Tsugizakura is named after the nearby Tsugizakura-oji, an ancient shrine with centuries old trees along the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route.  The Nonaka-no-Shimizu spring, one of Japan’s 100 famous waters, is just around the corner.  Minshuku Tsugizakura is a simple home that was turned into a guesthouse at the beginning of 2011 by the Yuba family. Mr. Yuba is a professional chef and worked all over Japan before returning to his hometown in the mountains to open this minshuku - which is why the traditional Japanese meals here are so delicious!

Minshuku Tsugizakura reservations >>
About Kumano Travel >>

Travel Guys tour Kumano

From June 21~23, 2011 the Travel Guys, a Canadian travel TV show, visited the Kumano region.  The tour was sponsored by JNTO and support by the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau.  The show will be aired a few months time and will also include scenes from Osaka.

Sites that were filmed during the tour were the Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Hayatama Taisha, Kumano Nachi Taisha, Nachi Waterfall, Kawayu Onsen, and Katsuura Onsen.

It was a busy tour, but we hope that Jim Gordon, Darren Parkman, and the rest of the crew enjoyed their visit.  Thank you Travel Guys for visiting us here in Kumano!

Below is an excerpt from the Travel Guys website.
Who are the Travel Guys?

Well, basically they’re two wacky guys who like to travel, as the name would indicate. (Well, at least THEY think they’re wacky!)

The difference between these guys and most tacky tourists is, Jim Gordon and Darren Parkman seek far off adventure in front of the camera, for all to cringe at!  Be sure to catch all the fun and occasionally…

Kumano-gawa Onsen Satsuki has joined the Kumano Travel community!

Kumano-gawa Onsen Satsuki has joined the Kumano Travel community!

Kumanogawa Onsen Satsuki is a Japanese hot spring ryokan inn located at the confluence of the Akagi-gawa River and Kumano-gawa River, which the village is named after.  It is accessible to nearby Kumano Kodo sites including the Ogumotori-goe and Kogumotori-goe pilgrimage routes (~10 min by car), and the traditional boat tour on the Kumano-gawa River (~5 min by car).  This inn offers free pick-up/drop-off shuttle service to these sites.  Views from the guestrooms and baths are of rice fields onto the green mountains in the distance.

Kumanogawa Onsen Satsuki reservations >>
About Kumano Travel >>

The population of Tanabe City falls below 80,000

Tanabe City half the size compared to five decades ago

The census conducted in 2010 shows the population of Tanabe City fell below 80,000 people. There has been a decrease by over 4.1% compared to 5 years ago. Especially in the 4 mountainous villages (Ryujin-mura, Hongu-cho, Nakahechi-cho, and Oto-mura), the population decreased by half the size compared with fifty years ago. This is a very serious problem for Tanabe city.

The population is in a gradual decline, but as for mountainous area, it is decreasing sharply. 

For solutions to these problems, Mr. Manago, the mayor of Tanabe city, recommended the following:
Branding of the agriculture, forestry, and fisheries industry which are key to the city 
Increasing high quality tourism. 
The city government hopes that this will stimulate job growth.

To cope with the declining number of births, the city council will introduce more support programs for parents.

The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau is working hard in conjunction with city officia…

Japanese student studying in Spain interviews our bureau

On June 8, 2011 Ms.Hori, a Japanese woman studying in university in Santiago, Spain visited and interviewed the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau.

She majors in Tourism management at Santiago De Compostela University and is writing her thesis comparing the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes and the Route of Santiago de Compostela. These two are associated as the only two pilgrimage routes registered as UNESCO World Heritage.

In the interview, we discussed international tourism development and the effects of our initiatives on the region, including the new Kumano Travel Reservation System.

We hope academic interests about our joint promotion project between Santiago de Compostela and the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau, such as Ms. Hori, will increase the awareness of these sacred sites and the need to preserve them.

Business Meeting with Taiwanese Travel Agents

On June 9, 2011 the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau attended an business exchange evening with 6 tour companies from Taiwan at the Sanrakusou hotel in Shirahama Onsen.

Many of the tour agents were impress with the scenery and history of the Kii peninsula.  This FAM trip was sponsored by Wakayama Prefecture and some sites visited were Koyasan, Ryujin Onsen, and Shirahama Onsen.  

One specific Taiwan agent was impressed with the possibility for FIT travelers to the area wanting to explore Japan's onsen and pilgrimage routes.

Highlights of the tour for another agent was Koyasan, tracing sutras and staying in a temple- plus the wonderful views from the Koya-Ryujin skyline, which connects Koyasan and Ryujin Onsen.

Japan Women National Soccer Team visits Kumano

Eiji Ueda, the president of Japan Women’s Soccer organization visited Kumano Hongu Taisha on May 28, to pray for their victory at the Women's Soccer World Cup being held in German this summer.

On May 27th they visited the other two Kumano grand shrines.

The symbol of the Japan national soccer association is the sacred Yatagarasu, a three legged crow, which is also the symbol of Kumano.

The soccer association has been praying at the Kumano Sanzan every year since the World Cup was held in France in 1998.

We wish the Japan National Women's Soccer team good luck at the upcoming tournament!

Ryokan Sakai has joined the Kumano Travel community!

Ryokan Sakai  has joined the Kumano Travel community!

Ryokan Sakai is on the northern edge of Ryujin Onsen on the west side of the river.  A suspension bridge connects the property to the main road.  Behind Ryokan Sakai are terraced vegetable fields which quickly give way to thick forest.  There are a mixture of western and Japanese style rooms.  The annex by the river is perfect for larger groups.  This accommodation is pet and family friendly.  The dining room looks onto the Hidaka-gawa River.  The hot spring bath is filled with thermal water as smooth as silk.

Ryokan Sakai reservations >>
About Kumano Travel >>

Minshuku Sasayuri has joined the Kumano Travel community!

Minshuku Sasayuri  has joined the Kumano Travel community!

Minshuku Sasayuri is a friendly guesthouse in Ryujin Onsen across from the crystal clear Hidaka-gawa River.  The hot spring bath is filled with thermal waters famous for their beautifying effects.  Meals are made with local, organic ingredients, many of which are grown by the owner.  Seasonal meals are an excellent way to taste some of the unique mountain flavors.  Ikebana flower arrangements welcome guests in the foyer.  The four Japanese style rooms are spotless.  Sasayuri is often featured in Japanese travel magazines as a high value inn with hospitable character and great food.

Minshuku Sasayuri reservations >>
About Kumano Travel >>

Canadian Freelance journalists Kumano Press Tour

On June 4~6, 2011 two Canadian freelance journalists visited Kumano on a Press Tour.  This tour was part of the national tourism recovery program put in place by the Japanese Ministry of Tourism, to help inform visitors about the areas that were not affected by the March 11, 2011 earthquake.  The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau was in involved with the organization and guiding of the tour.

The tour focused on the sacred sites and pilgrimage routes in Kumano.  We visited sites along the world heritage Kumano Kodo including Takijiri-oji, Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Center, the village of Takahara, Kiri-no-Sato Takahara Lodge, Tsugizakura-oji, Kumano Hongu Heritage Center, and Yunomine Onsen.  All three of the Kumano Sanzan shrines were visited.  The Nachi waterfall was framed by mist in the light rain and made for excellent photography opportunities.  

The tour spent two nights in the area.  One at Fujiya Ryokan in Kawayu Onsen and the other at Nakanoshima in Katsuura Onsen.

Two short walks o…

Daiwa Roynet Hotel Wakayama has joined the Kumano Travel community!

Daiwa Roynet Hotel Wakayama has joined the Kumano Travel community!

The Daiwa Ryonet Hotel Wakayama is centrally located across from the Wakayama Castle.  The spacious guestrooms offer panoramic vistas of the castle and surrounding city.  The views of the evening light-up of the castle grounds is a highlight of a stay here.  The Daiwa Ryonet is a national chain which aspires to add benefits and services designed from a guest’s point of view, such as free internet and a variety of pillows to choose from. Guestroom designs employ soft colors to create a bright, soothing atmosphere.  The lower levels have shops, restaurants, bank, convenience store, and convention space.  The JR Wakayama station is a short bus or taxi ride away and busses leave for, and arrive from, the Kansai International Airport in front of the hotel, making this an excellent base for visiting other parts of Wakayama.

Daiwa Roynet Hotel Wakayama reservations >>
About Kumano Travel >>

Tourism Merit Award for Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau

Brad Towle, the international tourism promotion and development director of the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau, was chosen as the sole individual recipient of the 2011 "Person of Tourism Merit" award by the Wakayama Prefectural Tourist Federation on May 30th, 2011. His outstanding achievements in promotion and tourism development for the region were commended and appraised.  Three other groups and companies also received this honor.

Brad Towle is a Canadian and has been working in the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau since 2006.

Excerpt from Person of Tourism Merit award certificate.
(He [Brad Towle] goes out of his way to establish “tourism information for foreigners by foreigners”. He has overhauled the local tourism infrastructure systems to make travel easier for international visitors, providing quality information about Wakayama. His initiatives are proactive and have had a broad and positive impact on the region.)

G'day Japan Australia Kumano page online

New Kumano section included on G'day Japan website.  An Australian based website on Japan.
Published by Jams TV
Posted May 26, 2011