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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) vegetarians (umeboshi pickled Japanese plum specialties) to flexitarians (yakitori grilled chicken restaurants where the meat is grilled over binchotan coals, the fuel of choice for grilling and a Wakayama specialty). Many of these recommended restaurants have English menus and allow you to tuck into authentic cuisine only available in these parts of Japan.

Asked for a recommendation, one local resident urged me not to miss a delicacy called utsubo. “It’s ugly to look at, but delicious to eat,” he said.

Read More>>
Kameya Ryokan>>
Kumano Kodo Bento>>
Kumano Kodo Nakahechi Pilgrimage Route>>

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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…