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Showing posts from July, 2017

Brad Towle (Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau) is selected as Cool Japan Ambassador

Brad Towle,  International Tourism Promotion & Development Director of the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau, has been registered as a Cool Japan Ambassador by the Japanese Government Cabinet Office.

Brad Towle is originally from Canada but has called Kumano home for almost 2 decades. 
He is currently the International Tourism Development and Promotion Director for the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau—the only non-Japanese person in a tourism director's position in Japan. 
After leaving his small hometown on the Manitoba prairies, he because enthralled with the mountain environments of the world, exploring the Canadian Rockies, Himalayas and sacred mountains of Japan. 
His first taste of Kumano came when he was employed on the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET) in the rural village of Hongu.  Like a mystical magnet these ancient pilgrimage routes and sacred sites keep drawing him back to Kumano, the cultural roots of Japan.
Before founding the tourism office in Tanabe, …

Gourmet Kumano Kodo featured in The Japan Times

"The Kumano Kodo: Hot spring-boiled eggs and ancient bento along the trail"
Text: Amy Chavez
Published by: The Japan Times
July 22, 2017



I alighted at Kii Tanabe Station to hike the Kumano Kodo, a wooded trail through Japan’s spiritual heartland in Wakayama Prefecture that leads to the Three Grand Shrines of Kumano: Hongu Taisha, Hayatama Taisha and Nachi Taisha.

My goal was grander than the hike, however. I was on a mission to carve out a culinary map and eat my way from the beginning of this World Heritage-designated pilgrimage to the end — 70 kilometers over four days on the Naka Hechi Trail — to Kii Katsuura. My experience with Japanese cuisine has taught me that the local pabulum can impart a great deal about the terrain and the culture.

The Tanabe City Gourmet Map lists an array of eateries to satisfy the palate of every epicure, from carnivores (Kumano beef so tender it melts in your mouth), pescitarians (whitebait sardines downed with a bit of local ume plum spirits…

Organic Farmhouse Tsukimiso has joined the Kumano Travel community!

Tsukimiso is a peaceful organic farmstay oasis in the mountains of the Kii peninsula run by the young Tokuyama family.  It is a 20~30 minute drive on a windy mountain road from Susami Station (Free pick-up from the Susami station, please request this when booking).  The guestroom is a small, renovated cottage next to the house.  Meals are served in the family’s dining room and the wooden bath is cleverly embedded into an old tool shed.  Meals are lovely made by the soft-spoken owner, who is passionate about food.  She grows and sources her ingredients locally.  Enjoy the evening drinking local beer/sake, or try one of their original cocktails like the Tsukimiso Sunrise (local cherries, ponkan orange juice and tequila).