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Showing posts from March, 2012

2012 Wakayama Tourism Advisory Meeting

2012 Wakayama Tourism Advisory Meeting

The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau, serves as tourism advisor to the Wakayama Prefecture.
Two members from our bureau are advisors the only association with two voices, Tada Noriko, Bureau Director and Brad Towle, International Tourism Promotion and Development Director.
This year's meeting took place on March 3, 2012 in Wakayama City at the Hotel Granvia.
We are happy to have the opportunity to voice the opinions of our community and visitors to help with the positive tourism planning for the region.

Daniel Allen Kumano Kodo Press Tour

Daniel Allen Kumano Kodo Press Tour

From March 8 to 12, 2012 Wakayama Prefecture and the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau ran a press tour for freelance photographer and journalist Daniel Allen.  This tour was overseen by the JNTO London office.
It was a fully packed tour with many improvised photo shoots.  The tour visited sites along the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route and the Kumano Sanzan shrines; Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Nachi Taisha, and Kumano Hayatama Taisha.
The tour was people based with interviews with young entrepreneurs who are making their living along the Kumano Kodo.
The Yunomine Onsen, Kawayu Onsen, and Katsuura Onsen were also visited.
Thank you very much to everyone involved in this successful press tour.

New! Kansai Wakayama Pass (W-PASS) has joined the Kumano Travel Community!

New! Kansai Wakayama Pass (W-PASS) has joined the Kumano Travel Community!
The Kansai Wakayama Pass (W-PASS) is a transportation pass for use on busses and trains (excluding JR train lines) in the lower Kansai area of Osaka and Wakayama Prefecture, the first and only of its kind!  It was developed for foreign travelers to discover freely and economically areas that were not covered by other passes, the more off-the-beaten path destinations, such as Koyasan, Ryujin Onsen, the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes, Yunomine Onsen, Kawayu Onsen, Shirahama Onsen, Kushimoto, and Nachi falls. Transportation to some of the more remote areas requires planning and bilingual bus timetables are available online to help you organize your journey.  
Types of Pass
2 Day: 3,500 yen
3 Day: 5,500 yen
※ One price for all.  Children are the same price as adults.
Who can use the Pass?
You will need to meet one of the following requirements to purchase a Pass.
1. Holder of a non-Japanese passport
2. Japanese…

CNNGo, Kumano Kodo pilgrimage ranked a one of Japan's 6 must see destinations

CNNGo, Kumano Kodo pilgrimage ranked a one of Japan's 6 must see destination


"Ultimate Japan: 6 must-see destinations" When in Japan, make like a local and headstraight for these "pure Japan" spots" Text: C.James Dale Published by: CNNGo March 6, 2012
Kumano Kodo pilgrimage
Why: It’s a side of Japan not many tourists see. Monks, retired emperors, aristocrats and regular folk have been hiking this pilgrimage route since the Heian period (794-1192).
The Kumano Kodo, on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 2004, is a network of well-marked (in both Japanese and English) and well-maintained trails winding through the forests and fields, villages and towns that stretch across the southwestern Kii Peninsula in the Kansai region.
“It’s not like Kyoto or Nara -- it’s a little off the beaten path,” says Brad Towle of the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau.
“The routes lead to inspiring natural sacred sites, and along the way visitors can find isolated hot springs, delicious …

NPO Mi-Kumano, English Speaking Guides has joined the Kumano Travel Community!

NPO Mi-Kumano, English Speaking Guides has joined the Kumano Travel Community!

Mi-Kumano is a local NPO founded in 2006 with the goal to introduce both Japanese and Non-Japanese alike to the Kumano region.  Mi-Kumano has registered licensed English speaking guides well versed in the history and culture of the area.  Using a local guide makes a visit to the area richer and more fulfilling.  It is also a great way to travel responsibly by supporting the local community.  Be open to the feeling of Kumano, through the eyes of local with a passion for their home!  Please contact us for more information about arranging guide services.

NPO Mi-Kumano, English Speaking Guides reservations>> About Kumano Travel >>

JR West Japan Rental Car & Lease has joined the Kumano Travel Community!

JR West Japan Rental Car & Lease has joined the Kumano Travel Community!


Freedom to explore!  That is one of the positive points of renting a car from the JR West Rental-car and Lease company.  All offices are located at major train stations making rental very convenient for travelers. Sometimes public transport is limited in the rural mountains of the southern Kii Peninsula and a rental car can really expand the range of places to visit.  There is a wide variety of vehicles and length of rental price plans to choose from.  Returning a vehicle to a different train station is also possible which expands travel routes. Have fun!

JR WestJapan Rental Car & Lease reservations >> About Kumano Travel >>

Nara Vision forum interviews our bureau

On March 6 a delegation from the NaraVision Forum visited our office to interview us regarding our grassroots tourism initiatives.
Most of the interview involved questions on how the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau works together with a variety of stakeholders.  It seems that Nara has a very difficult time bringing different levels of government and private business working together in harmony for a variety of issues.
The bureau's diverse network both private and public: municipal, regional, national and international has become has model of success, working smoothly and efficiently to create a sustainable high quality tourism destination. The Nara Vision Forum was very interested to know how we make it work so well.
We were very happy to speak frankly with the Nara Vision Forum about the important issues and philosophies regarding coordination and cooperation among a variety of diverse stakeholders.
Thank you very much for your visit and we wish you luck with all of your programs,…

The Monitor tour about a farm stay program featured in Kansai Scene

The Monitor tour about a farm stay program featured in Kansai Scene

 “Getaway on a farm stay” Text: Sally Mclaren Photos: Albie Sharpe Published by: Kansai Scene March, 2012

The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau ran a monitor tour featuring a farm stay in January 2012. 20 visitors from Belgium, Iran, Australia, Sweden, UK, Indonesia, US, China, and Canada joined the tour. It was a great opportunity to experience the local culture in Japan.
Read more >> About monitor tour featuring farm stay >>

Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau featured in Kansai Scene

Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau featured in Kansai Scene

"Tourism for tomorrow" Published by: Kansai Scene March 1, 2012

Kansai's own Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau (TCKTB) has been nominated for the World Travel and Tourism Council's 2012 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards in the Destination Stewardship category. The other three categories are Global Tourism Business, Conservation, and Community Benefit. This prestigious award is often referred to as the Academy Awards of Tourism. Three finalists for each category were chosen from over 140 entries from five continents. The TCKTB's nomination is the first for any Japanese organization in the history of the awards. The winners will be announced on 17 April at this year's WTTC Global Summit in Tokyo from April 16th to 19th, 2012. The thorough judging is a rigorous three-step process including an on-site evaluation, which took place in Tanabe at the beginning of February by a sustainable tourism expert. During an inte…