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Nanki-Kumano Tourism Seminar Presentation

On December 17, Brad Towle, the International Tourism Promotion and Development Director of the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau, was the keynote speaker at the Nanki-Kumano Tourism Seminar series sponsored by the Wakayama University.



The presentation's theme was Kumano through the eyes of a non-Japanese.  Topics such as the unique initiatives of the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau, and the value of the international award winning Kumano Travel community reservation system were discussed.

After the presentation the members broke into groups to discuss what kind of tours and activities could be created in the region for an international audience.

Hoso University Presentation

The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau was invited to speak at a Hoso University seminar on Dec 7, at the Prefectural library in Wakayama City.  The focus of the presentation was the unique, grassroots projects and initiatives of Tanabe City in regards to international tourism.   There were many questions and comments during the question period.



Thank you very much for all who attended the talk.  It was very enjoyable to speak with you.

Japanese Pilgrimage, NHK World

Japan's national TV broadcaster NHK featured Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Routes and Brad Towle, the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau's International Tourism Promotion and Development Director.



View online >>
NHK World >>

JTB Malaysia Agent FAM in Tanabe City

On December 8, 2013, JTB Malaysia joined a one day FAM trip to Tanabe City, run by the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau.  The focus was to seek out now possibilities for unique and enjoyable school visits in the region.



Kumano booth at Travel Mart 2013

From November 27 to 30, 2013 members from the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau joined the Travel Mart in Yokoyama.

We were thrilled to speak with so many travel agents interested in introducing guests to the Kumano region.


We are looking forward to working together to create positive experiences for all visitors to these sacred sites and pilgrimage routes in the Kii mountain range.

Butterfield and Robinson Agent FAM in Koyasan

Butterfield and Robinson travel agency from Canada joined a two day familiarization tour of Koyasan, the Buddhist sactuary in northern Wakayama Prefecture, sponsored by the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau.

The tour visited sites such as the Okunoin cemetary, Daimon gate, and the Kongobuji complex.

HIS Paris Agent FAM in Kumano

HIS Paris office joined a familiarization tour sponsored the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau from November 20 to 23, 2013.  The focus was the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes and Kumano Sanzan shrines.  The tour also visited Yunomine Onsen, Kawayu Onsen, and Katsuura Onsen.

Qantas In-flight Magazine Kumano Press Tour

From November 14~18, 2013 freelance writer, Alistair Jones joined a press tour sponsored by the Wakayama Prefecture government and supported by the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau.

The press tour was for a future publication of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route in the Qantas in-flight magazine.


It was our pleasure showing Alistair the region and we look forward to seeing the article in print.

GET Tours Agent FAM in Tanabe City

On November 19, 2013, GET Tours from Australia joined a one day FAM trip to Tanabe City, run by the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau.  The focus was to seek out now possibilities for unique and enjoyable school visits in the region.

South China Morning Post, 48 hours magazine features Kumano region

Hot springs and heavenly hikes inJapan's Kumano region
Text and Photo: Daniel Allen Published by: South China Morning News, 48hours
October, 2013

Kumano Kodo and Way of St. James Exhibition in Santiago de Compostela

From October 30, 2013 to April 11, 2014 a photo exhibition titled: "Santiago-Kumano, World Heritage Pilgrimage Routes" is on display at the Pilgrimage and Santiago Museum in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.



The Kumano Kodo and the Way of St.James are the only two major pilgrimages routes designated at UNESCO World Heritage.

http://www.spiritual-pilgrimages.com/

Yamato Transport (Luggage Shuttle) has joined the Kumano Travel community!

Need some freedom from heavy bags?  Kumano Travel and Yamato Transport (Japan’s largest door-to-door delivery service company) has joined forces to create some original same-day services to destinations within the Kumano region, specifically the Hongu area (Kawayu Onsen, Yunomine Onsen, etc), Koguchi, and the Nachi-Katsuura area; including the Kogumotori-goe and Ogumotori-goe sections of the Kumano Kodo Nakahechi pilgrimage route.  Normally the quickest delivery service is next day, but as a team we are able to deliver a convenient same-day service.  This luggage shuttle service is only available through the Kumano Travel community reservation system; Yamato Transport and Kumano Travel, the perfect combination to lighten your load!



Yamato Transport (Luggage Shuttle) reservations >>
Kumano Travel reservation system >>
About Kumano Travel >>

Voices: Walk like a pilgrim - hiking the Kumano Kodo

Blog entry about the Kumano Kodo by Lindsay Lafreniere

It’s difficult coming from a country like Canada, only 146 years young, to really understand how extensive the history of some cultures are. While the aboriginal culture of Canada is strong and fascinating, Japan’s lengthy history of traditions and culture is very much a part of everyday life here.



Now ranked as one of favourite places visited in Japan, this past September I hiked the ancient pilgrimage route of the Kumano Kodo, in Wakayama Prefecture. Along paths trodden for over a thousand years, through dense forest, my mother and I hiked.

Read more >>

The Mail Press Tour in Kumano

From November 4~6, 2013, the Wakayama Prefecture government and the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau held a press tour for The Mail on Sunday.


The press tour visited sites associated with the Kumano Pilgrimage, and included walks on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route.

Thank you for joining our press tour, it was a pleasure showing you around.

Onsen, Ryokan, Kumano Kodo - The Gurus Explore

From November 3~5, 2013, the Gurus explore team visited the Wakayama, Kumano Kodo area.

They were here to film episodes for the Gurus explore Japan series.

One episode is to focus on onsen and ryokan.  Ryujin Onsen, Kamigoten Ryokan, Kawayu Onsen and Yunomine Onsen.

The other episode is to cover the Kumano Kodo World Heritage Pilgrimage Route.




Gurus Explore >>

Kumano Kodo and Santiago de Compostela Joint Gallery

From November 1, 2013 to the end of April, 2014, a joint photo gallery of the Kumano Kodo and Santiago de Compostela will be on display in the Pilgrimage Museum in Santiago de Compostela city, Spain.


Canada Promotion Trip

From October 18~28, 2013 a member for the Wakayama Prefecture government and the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau made a promotion trip to Canada, including stops in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal.


We also joined the Japan booth at the Salon International Tourisme Voyages in Montreal.

Thank you to all of the agents who took the time to meet with us, as well as JNTO who took so very good care of us during our trip.

Rough Guide Press Tour in Kumano

From October 7~9, 2013, the Rough Guide made a visit to the Kumano region to gather information for their update on the Japan guide book.

The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau supported their visited.

Religious Tourism as an Element of Intercultural Integration, Krakow, Poland

From October 8 to 10, 2013 a conference concerning "Religious tourism as an element of intercultural integration" was held in Krakow, Poland.


Turismo de Santiago de Compostela attended the conference where they featured a joint panel about the Way of St.James and the Kumano Kodo.

The conference was a success and we thank our partners and friends in Santiago de Compostela for all of their hard work.

Dual Pilgrims: Way of St.James and the Kumano Kodo

The Way of St.James in Spain and the Kumano Kodo in Japan, are the only two major pilgrimage routes registered as UNESCO World Heritage.

There have been more people making the journey to walk both of these historic and sacred routes:  A new global trend for pilgrims.



One example is Mr. Gennaro from Italy.

Thank you so much Gennaro to be one of the "Pioneer Pilgrims" of the two Caminos!

If there others of you out there, please let us know, so that we can celebrate and share your achievements together.

Santiago de Compostela Photo Exhibition in Hongu

From September 1st to 30th, 2013 there was a photo exhibition of Santiago de Compostela on display in the Kumano Hongu Heritage Center in Hongu.



There were 36 images of local landmarks, festivals, architecture, cuisine, and daily life.

Santiago de Compostela is the goal of the famous Way of St. James pilgrimage route.  Along with the Kumano Kodo they are the only two major pilgrimage routes registered as UNESCO World Heritage.

The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau and Turismo de Santiago de Compostela have been working together on a joint promotion project since 2008.  Next year marks the 400 year of relations between Spain and Japan, and to celebrate this Tanabe City and Santiago de Compostela are working towards at "Tourism Partnership Cities" relationship.

We look forward to working more with Santiago de Compostela in the future.

Minshuku Sumiya has joined the Kumano Travel community!

Minshuku Sumiya is a small, casual, laid-back guesthouse run by the Kobuchi family.  It is situated in the middle of Kawayu Onsen, where hot spring water bubbles to the surface of the river. A staircase in the center of building is the entrance, which leads to the second floor.  Here is the dining room, hot spring baths, and some guestrooms.  Further up on the third floor are more guestrooms.  Dishes sometimes include local produce such as local mountain vegetables, ayu fish, and Mehari-zushi, a rice ball wrapped in pickled Takana mustard leaves.

Minshuku Sumiya reservations >>
Kumano Travel reservation system>>
About Kumano Travel >>

New Tanabe Tourist Information Center

Today (September 28th) we opened a new Tourist Information Center next to the JR Kii-Tanabe station.  It is a two story building with an information center and public toilets on the 1st floor and office space on the second floor.



The information center has English speaking staff and numerous maps and pamphlets, it is a great new asset for travelers visiting the area, and perfect starting point for a visit to the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes.



It is open from 9:00 to 18:00 daily all year round.

The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau has their office on the second floor.

We look forward to helping and support visitors as best as we can.

Welcome!



View Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau's office in a larger map

Kohechi video

David Gonzalez from Spain shared his journey along the Kumano Kodo Kohechi route with an online video.  We were very happy to support him during his once in a lifetime adventure.



Watch the video >>

Thank you David and Yolanda!

Kumano featured in Sydney Morning Herald

Santiago de Compostela Mayor visits Tanabe City

For three days from September 14~16, 2013, the mayor of Santiago de Compostela visited Tanabe City.  The goal of the trip was to work towards creating at Tourism Partnership Cities Agreement.


Thank you so much for visiting us here in Tanabe City!

Santiago de Compostela exchange staff in Tanabe

For just over three weeks from the end of August 2013, an exchange staff from Turismo de Santiago de Compostela worked in the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau.


It was a pleasure to have her here with us and the experience was very positive for all of those involved.

Thank you so much!

TIC Tokyo Event

On September 11, 2013 the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau, the municipalities representing the Kumano Sanzan grand shrines, and Turismo de Santiago de Compostela held a joint promotion event at the TIC Tokyo center next to the Tokyo station.


It was a great success, and thank you to all of those who helped and participated!

Kumano featured in Air Canada's in-flight magazine enRoute

Kumano front cover of National Geographic Traveler Japan guide book

" National Geographic Traveler Japan Guide Book, Fourth Edition"
By: Nicholas Bornoff & Perrin Lindelauf
National Geographic
September, 2013



Japan's sacred waterfall, Nachi-no-Otaki, is the cover photo of the new National Geographic Traveler Japan guide book.  There is also expanded coverage of the Kumano region.

NOTE: In March 2013, the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau sponsored a press tour for Perrin Lindelauf.

Minachi gasa, last hat standing, ANA inflight magazine.

"Last hat standing"
Text: Michael Rhodes Published by ANA inflight magazine,WINGSPAN August, 2013, No. 530


This is an article about an master craftsman in the Hongu area, who makes cypress bark crafts including hats.

ASEANTA holds meeting in Wakayama at Shirahama Onsen

JAPAN'S Wakayama Prefecture hosted the second edition of the ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA) Board Members Meeting from July 29th to August 1st in Shirahama Onsen.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations' (ASEAN) main purpose is to accelerate the economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region through joint endeavors in the spirit of equality and partnership in order to strengthen the foundation for a prosperous and peaceful community of Southeast Asian Nations.
The ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA) is a non-profit tourism association comprising both public and private tourism sector organizations from ASEAN. It´s goal is to promote tourism through close cooperation and assistance of ASEAN countries.
Around 30 members from the 10 ASEAN countries attending this meeting.
In addition to the board meetings, there was also a Gala dinner, business matching meetings, and explore Wakayama tour.
Members from the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau attended man…

BBC - Travel - Slideshow - Japan's ancient Kumano Kodo pilgrimage

Star Gate Hotel Kansai Airport has joined the Kumano Travel community!

Star Gate Hotel Kansai Airport is the iconic landmark in Rinku Town, at the entrance to the bridge connecting Kansai Airport (KIX) island to the mainland.The 54 story building towers into the sky offering panoramic scenes from every window. There are a diversity of restaurants: Shabu-shabu, Japanese, Chinese, and Izakaya pub.The well-loved breakfast buffet is served on the top floor, a great selection with a top-of-the-world perspective.It is walking distance to the nearby Factory Outlet shopping mall, featuring many brand stores and electronics shop.With its brilliant location, excellent rooms, reasonable rates, awesome views, and close proximity to KIX and shopping, it is well deserving of its statues as the premier airport hotel for Osaka.

Star Gate Hotel Kansai Airportreservations >> Kumano Travel reservation system>> About Kumano Travel >>

Fire & Water, Outdoor Japan Traveler Magazine features Wakayama's summer spotlights

Workshop: Japan Travel Bureau Foundation.

Brad Towle, the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau's International Tourism Promotion and Development Director, was invited to be the main speaker at the annual Japan Travel Bureau Foundation's workshop on June 26th and 27th.
This seminar covered many subjects, but focused on the techniques, philosophies, and way of thinking in regards to tourism development, especially at the community level.
There was much interest in the Kumano Travel local travel agency projects.
The workshop was attended by over 20 people from all across Japan, from Hokkaido to Okinawa.
Thank you very much for inviting us and we wish all of the participants good luck with their future endeavors.

Ryokan Tabanakan has joined the Kumano Travel community!

Tabanakan is a family-run Ryokan inn located in the central settlement of Totsukawa Onsen.It was the first accommodation in the area with a history of over 100 years, the currently owners being the 4th generation.The facility has been rebuilt and modified over time but retains the atmosphere of a welcoming, well-managed, highly-respected establishment.Meals highlight the regional culture and ingredients are sourced locally whenever possible; dishes such as mountain vegetables, river fish, wild boar, and deer reflect this culinary ethic—source local, eat local. The baths are 100% non-circulating high quality hot spring water, including one for private use open to the sky.

Ryokan Tabanakan reservations >> Kumano Travel reservation system>> About Kumano Travel >>