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Showing posts from June, 2015

Kumano featured on the French National Geographic Magazine Cover

Kumano was featured on cover of the  French National Geographic Magazine in the April 2015 edition.

Kumano is the sacred roots of Japanese spirituality.  It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage property 'Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range'.

These sacred sites are linked by the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes.  Recently there has been an sharp increase in interest in these off the beaten path historic trails, especially international.  The use of this image on the National Geographic magazine is evidence of this movement.

For those that are interested in exploring these sacred sites and isolated villages, please feel free to visit our Kumano Travel community reservation system to help you organize and book your travels.


Limited Access Bus (Koyasan, Kumano, Shirahama)

This is a limited campaign for an Express bus between Kii-Tanabe station, Shirahama, Koyasan and Kumano Hongu. Valid until the end of November 2015. Only on weekends and national holidays.

1 Day Pass, Unlimited ride is 4,000 yen.

Tickets for Sale at:

● Directly on bus
● At tourist information centers in Koyasan, Kumano Hongu Heritage Center and Tanabe (next to Kii-Tanabe station)

View more information on PDF >>

Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau longlisted for a World Responsible Tourism Award

The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau has been longlisted for a World Responsible Tourism Award 2015 in the category of Best Cultural Heritage Attraction.

About the Awards (excerpt from the Awards website)

Founded in 2004 by Responsible Travel, our Awards are a global search and celebration of the most inspiring and enduring responsible tourism experiences in the world. Now in their 12th year, our vision for the Awards, which are open to any organisation anywhere in the world, is to surprise and inspire tourists and the tourism industry by what it is possible to achieve with Responsible Tourism, and to shine a light on the best of the best.

Over the past 10 years we've received more than 14,500 nominations from the public, and after a rigorous Judging process Chaired by Professor Harold Goodwin, given Awards to 394 incredible people and organisations. Media partners have included the Metro, Times & Telegraph.

The winners of our Awar…

Minshuku Kosakaya has joined the Kumano Travel community!

Minshuku Kosakaya is a family-run minshuku in Katsuura Onsen near the Kii-Katsuura station.  The current owner is 4th generation, and it is the oldest running guesthouse in the village.  The current building opened in January 2015.  The facilities are new, but the atmosphere has an old-fashioned sense of rural hospitality. The owner is a charismatic character. His infectious smile and joking nature makes for a memorable stay.  In fact he loves interacting with guests and wants everyone to feel like friends.  The food is based on fresh, seasonal seafood and is well-liked for its local flare.

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

Delegation from Gunma visits Tanabe City to study tourism model

On June 6th an NPO delegation from Gunma Prefecture visited Tanabe City to study the local tourism model.

Recently the "Tomioka Silk Mill and Related Sites" were registered as UNESCO World Heritage.

The innovate, grass-roots community based model created by the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau has had great success with promoting, and at the same time protecting, the "Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range" in the Kumano region.

Subsequently the NPO delegation was interested to learn about how they too can apply this more holistic, responsible model of destination management.

Thank you for visiting and we hope that your World Heritage Site and projects benefits from our lively exchange of ideas and perspectives on cultural tourism in Japan.

Kumano DMO presentation in Hiroshima

On May 29, the Office Chief of the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau was a keynote speaker at a seminar in Hiroshima about the value of a local "Destination Management Organization" in Japan.

Tanabe City's responsible, sustainable approach to tourism development has become a rare model of success in Japan: a city transformed from a rural outpost to international tourism destination.

A major part of this inspirational story is the various, pioneering initiatives spear-headed by the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau and the vast network of stakeholders that they work with.

Thank you for inviting us and to all those that attended.  We hope that aspects of our projects can be useful to Hiroshima and their new destination management goals.

2nd Kumano Press Tour for Petit Fute French Guide Book

From May 25~27, a journalist from the French guide book Petite Fute visited the Kumano area.  This trip was supported by the Wakayama Prefecture government, and the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau.

The trip visited sites associated with the UNESCO World Heritage Property "Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range" such as the Kumano Sanzan, and Tsuboyu bath in Yunomine Onsen.

A traditional izakaya pub meal in the restaurant area called Ajikoji, in front of the Kii-Tanabe station was also a highlight of the trip.

We look forward to seeing more information in the Petite Fute guide book about Kumano in the next edition.

Ise-Kumano Area Tourist Pass

JR West has released a combination train/bus pass for the Ise and Kumano area.  It is 10,500 yen for adults, and 5,250 yen for children, and valid for 5 consecutive days.

Ready for use from July 1st, 2015.

More information >>

Voices: Walking the Kumano Kodo

Blog entry about the Kumano Kodo

Centuries pass by
On paths to enlightenment
Feet tread softly on

Kumano Kodo is the name of a network of pilgrimage routes from Kyoto and other places to the three sacred shrines of the Kii Mountains; Hongo Taisha, Nachi Taisha and Hayatama Taisha. For over a thousand years, emperors, lords, monks and simple followers have made this walk, undertaking rites of worship and purification as they went. In fact, this year is the 1200th anniversary of the Kumano Kodo.

The area has been world heritage listed since 2004 for its cultural and landscape values. In modern times, when people talk about Kumano Kodo, they usually mean one of the several possible paths, the Nakahechi. This path cuts across the mountains of the Kii Peninsula from the town of Kii-Tanabe on the west coast to Shingu on the east. The usual starting point is Takajiri-oji, a 40 minute bus trip inland from Kii-Tanabe and the point at which, traditionally, "the passage into the precinct o…

Kumano Kodo at American Trails: 2015 International Trails Symposium

The Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau attended the American Trails: 2015 International Trails Symposium representing the UNESCO World Heritage Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Route.

A booth, poster session, concurrent session, and trail talk were dedicated to the Kumano Kodo and Dual Pilgrim initiative with the Way of St. James.

Thank you to all of those that visited our booth, and attended our sessions.  We hope to see you in Kumano soon!