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Showing posts from October, 2011

Marui Ryokan - Kumano Kodo Free Shuttle Service

The lovely Marui Ryokan in Ryujin Onsen has started a limited time only Free Kumano Kodo shuttle service.
Price Plan: Free Limited Time Kodo Kumano (Takijiri-oji) Shuttle, Supper & Breakfast

This plan is perfect for those wanting to visit Koyasan and walk the Kumano Kodo, with a night to enjoy Ryujin Onsen’s silky smooth hot springs on the way.  Busses run from Koyasan to right in front of the Ryokan. (bus timetable 7)  There is no direct public transit from Ryujin Onsen to Takijiri-oji, a popular trail route of the Kumano Kodo. 

Normally guests need to go to Tanabe on the coast and then change busses to head back into the mountains to Takijiri-oji, which makes this shuttle service extremely popular with walkers.  Please visit the Kumano Kodo Nakahechi Route Guide for more information on the pilgrimage route.

● Free shuttle to Takijiri-oji (~30 min drive), shuttle leaves at 8:00 am
● Valid until December 22, 2011
● Available Weekdays and Sundays
● 1 group per day (2~7 guests)
● I…

Kumano featured in the Sydney Morning Herald

Voices | Visitors Interview October 19, 2011

Nationality: American
Date questionnaire was written: October 19th, 2011

Q. Where did you go during your holiday to Japan?
A. Kyoto, Nara, Koyasan, Ryujin Onsen, Kawayu Onsen, Kumano Kodo (Hongu Taisha), Shirahama and Osaka.

Q. Why did you choose to visit the Kii-Hanto peninsula?
A. I read about the area and loved the depth of history, cultural significance and natural beauty it promised. I felt our group would gain a greater understanding of the Japanese arts and culture with a glimpse of an area rooted in its history far removed from the busting modern cities.

Q. Your visit was one month after the Typhoon Talas.  Did you feel like the area was safe for visitors?  Any other comments on the situation?
A. We felt very safe traveling around the region. We saw ruminants of the typhoon damage but what amazed us all was how quickly everything had been restored so businesses could function as normal again. We came away with great admiration for the Japanese people and their indomitable spir…

Kumano featured in the Guardian

"Japan's magical landscapes: there's noh place like it" By Tom Yarwood Published by: The Guardian

Beginning of article:
Noh is Japan's classical theatre, a living medieval tradition that has had many illustrious modern fans, from Yeats and Brecht to Britten and Kurosawa. It's the kind of thing one ought to know more about, and doubtless would if the words "medieval" and "tradition" did not instil ghastly foreboding. I finally overcame my resistance to it while working for Scottish Opera in Glasgow, when my curiosity about Japanese drama was piqued by a Zen-inspired piece we were producing.
Turns out Yeats and Britten knew best. I felt bashful about my former scepticism and, stirred by the poetry of the plays and their deep sense of place, decided to go to Japan to see them on stage. My favourite play, Matsukaze, conjures its setting, Suma beach, in moody autumnal images – the wind whistling above the shore, the silvery reflection of the moon in…

Kumano featured in the Focus Online

Kumano Kodo featured in Time magazine

"Divine Path: The Kumano Kodo Links Shrines, Hot Springs and Scenery" By C. James Dale Published by: Time Magazine
Beginning of article:
Fresh from a long hike through the lush hills and valleys of Japan's southwestern Kii Peninsula, Shugendo monks stand in their mud-splashed boots in front of the thatched-roof pavilions of the Kumano Hongu Taisha. Some chant and pray, others blow conch shells. The monks, whose spirituality mixes Shintoism, Buddhism, Taoism and animism, have arrived to worship after navigating the Kumano Kodo — a network of well-marked and well-maintained trails that winds through forests, fields, towns and villages nearly 600 km from Tokyo. It's a journey religious figures, royalty and regular folk have been making since the Heian period (794-1192).

The Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes and the sacred sites they connect have attracted more attention since making the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2004, taking their place alongside Spain's Camino de Santia…