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BACK TO BASICS, ACCJ Journal features Kumano

BACK TO BASICS, ACCJ Journal features Kumano
Text: Jonathan DeHart
December, 2012

On the southern tip of the rugged Kii Peninsula, about 100km south of Osaka, all roads lead to the sacred region of Kumano.

Winding through the Kii Mountains – a dramatic landscape dotted with rivers and waterfalls cascading on gnarled rocks – the Kumano Kodo has been a pilgrimage route for followers of a syncretistic Buddhist-Shinto mix for more than 1,000 years.

Fervent pilgrims once endured painstaking religious rites of worship and purification as they trudged along the rocky path, at the heart of a region said to be where Japan’s first legendary emperor Jimmu unified the nation.

And if the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau realizes its ambitious vision today, the trail will soon be known to pilgrims of every creed. “Community-based, grassroots, sustainable: these are the words to describe what Tanabe is doing,” says Brad Towle, a Canadian who works for the Tanabe office.

Note: The Tanabe City Kumano TourismBureau's International Tourism Promotion and Development Director Brad Towle was interviewed by the Jonathan DeHart for this article.

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NEW Ise-Kumano-Wakayama Area Tourist Pass

NEW Ise-Kumano-Wakayama Area Tourist Pass
This is an easy way to do a loop of the Kii Peninsula.

From July 15, 2016 (Friday)
PRICE Adult 11,000 yen Children 5,500 yen (Children 6 to 11 years old)
NOTE: This pass is not available for purchase in Japan.
VALIDITY PERIOD Five consecutive days
AREA ●JR conventional lines: Nagoya-Shingu-within Osaka City (via lse Tetsudo Line or Kameyama, via Kisei Main Line/Hanwa Line) ●Nagoya-Kameyama-Nara-within Osaka City (via Kansai Main Line) Taki Toba (Sangu Line) ●Kansai International Airport-Hineno (Kansai Airport Line) ●Bus routes for accessing Kumano Kodo, Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Nachi Taisha (Only Kumano Kotsu Bus); and Select bus routes
TRAIN TYPES ●Unlimited use of non-reserved seats on ordinary cars on all JR conventional line trains in the subject section. ●Reserved seats can be used up to four times on ordinary cars of limited express and rapid trains. ●Only non-reserved seats can be used on the limited express "Haruka' between the Kansai Inte…