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Showing posts from July, 2014

Tanabe Festival, Welcome Event at Information Center

July 24th and 25th is the Tanabe Festival, an historic event associated with the Tokei-jinja shrine.  Traditional floats are paraded through town, with the festivities taking place.

The staff at the Tanabe City Information Center next to the Kii-Tanabe station are welcoming visitors in yukata dresses, and offering free tea and ume boshi.

Please drop by for some refreshments if you are in the area.

More information about Tanabe Festival >>

Kumano Kodo Photo Gallery on BBC Mundo

El hermano japon├ęs del Camino de Santiago
Published by: BBC Mundo
July 21, 2014

Kumano Kodo is featured in a Photo Gallery on BBC Mundo.

See more >>

Kumano Kodo Prize Draw Winner

Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau, Turismo de Santiago de Compostela, and Turkish Airlines joined forces to create a Kumano Kodo package for two.

This prize was return flights for two people from Santiago de Compostela to Kansai Airport.  Plus three nights' accommodation in the Kumano region.

The draw was done on May 13, 2014 in Santiago de Compostela city.

The winners visited Kumano from July 19 to 22.

We hope they enjoyed their pilgrimage!

And thank you for participating in our prize draw!

Minshuku Yamamoto has joined the Kumano Travel community!

Minshuku Yamamoto is a friendly home stay in the Miura-guchi area.  It is ~2 km north-east on route 733 from the north trailhead of the Miura-toge pass trail head of the Kumano Kodo Koguchi route. The large wooden home is located in a small settlement of homes, a very scenic landscape in the steep mountains.  There is a small cabin next to the house that is sometimes used by guests.  The rooms are separated by fusuma sliding doors.  If you call from the pay phone near the toilet on the west side of the tunnel near the trailhead to the Obako-toge pass trailhead, they can pick you up in their car.

Book Minshuku Yamamoto online now >>
Kumano Travel community reservation system >>
About Kumano Travel >>

Minshuku Yamamizuki has joined the Kumano Travel community!

Minshuku Yamamizuki is a wonderful rental house in the village of Hongu.  It is an older home lovely renovated by the owner of the nearby Cafe Bonheur.  Opening a small, private guesthouse like this was a long-time dream for her.  The house itself has all of the amenities needed for a short or long-term stay, including kitchen, bath, toilet, sitting rooms, small garden, washing machine, etc.  It is located on a hill which offers a side-view of the giant Torii gateway leading to the spiritual Oyunohara.  Vegetarian meals are served at the cafe. Yukata’s to try on, traditional toys to play with, or a calligraphy set to compose your own poems; a diversity of cultural touches allows guests to discover, interact, and create with aspects of Japan in the relaxed atmosphere of their private residence.

Book Minshuku Yamamizuki online now >>
Kumano Travel community reservation system >>
About Kumano Travel >>

Hotel Nosegawa has joined the Kumano Travel community!

Hotel Nosegawa is located in a tiny settlement of houses next to Kawarabi-gawa River deep in the heart of the Kii mountains.  It is famous for its hot spring baths and isolated location, with all rooms facing onto the river.  Meals are made from local ingredients in the mountains, such as wild meats, and fish from the nearby river.

This mountain-side accommodation can be visited with a convenient shuttle service to/from Koyasan. It is also popular with hikers on the Kumano Kodo, Kohechi section, with Obakotoge-pass to the south and Koyasan to the north.  From the Oomata trailhead, Hotel Nosegawa is a 40 minute walk and a short drive by car.  You can call the hotel from the pay phone at the trailhead and they can pick you up with their shuttle bus.

Book Hotel Nosegawa online now >> Kumano Travel reservation system>>
About Kumano Travel >>

Tanabe and Santiago de Compostela sign Agreement Articles

On July 6th, 2014 Tanabe and Santiago de Compostela signed the articles of the historic "Tourism Partnership Cities" agreement at the Kumano Hongu Heritage Center.

The paper itself was made of local, handmade Otonashi washi Japanese paper, and was stamped with the sacred amulet of Kumano Hongu Taisha called a Goshinpu.

The day before the ceremony the mayor of Tanabe City and delegation from Santiago de Compostela participated in a Kumano Kodo pilgrimage maintenance project.

Later they walked a section of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route. Along route members or our Junior guide program, grade 6 students from the local Misato Elementary school, introduced sites along the way.

These experiences are directly related to the subject of the articles signed, which focuses on mutual exchange, sharing, and preservation- working together for a sustainable future.

Thank you very much to the Santiago de Compostela delegation and we look forward to our future partnership for the betterm…

Tourism Lecture in Gunma Prefecture

On June 19, 2014 the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau held a lecture for the Gunma Prefecture government officials in Maebashi city.

Gunma Prefecture is home to the recently registered UNESCO World Heritage site "Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites".

The focus of the talk was sharing our experiences of adapting to UNESCO World Heritage status, and the rapid, dramatic changes that take place once registered, and how we have made a positive impact with our unique approach to tourism development.

Tanabe city is home to large sections of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range".

It was a two hour session for around 70 people.

We were very happy to discuss our concepts and new models of community, grassroots tourism, specifically in regards to our vision of a sustainable tourism destination.

Good luck and congratulations to our new friends and colleagues in Gunma!

New Kumano Kodo Emergency Translation Service

The first priority for the Kumano region is the safety of our pilgrims and visitors.  This requires to adapt to the increase in people from around the globe to the region.

To meet these new needs the fire departments in Tanabe City and Shirahama have begun a 24 hour translation service for the 119 emergency hotline.

The system started July 1st, 2014 with translation service available in English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and Portuguese.

The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau is partners in this project offering support and consultation.

We are thrilled with this new service, and continue with our commitment to safety along the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route.

Kumano Hongu Okami Level Up Seminar

The pillar of culture at a traditional Japanese style inn is the Okami.  Okami is the not only the Japanese style version of a hotel manager, but the center of a long and rich tradition of hospitality.

The Okami-no-Kai association in Kumano Hongu, which focuses on the Yunomine Onsen and Kawayu Onsen, are working towards building skills, relationships and systems to further enhance, and facility an enjoyable and smooth stay for the increasing number of international visitors from around the globe.

On June 25th in Hongu, the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau in cooperation with Kumano Hongu Tourist Association held a "Level Up" seminar for the Kumano Hongu Okami-no-Kai.

The conversations were lively and constructive.  Topics included luggage storage, vegetarianism, cultural differences, communication tools, etc.

Thank you to all of the wonderful Okami that joined our seminar, and we look forward to continuing working together.

Description of Okami from the Japan Ryokan Associ…