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A Towering Torii Gate and The Grand Shrine: Day 3 of the Kumano Kodo Nakahechi Route

Tsugizakura oji to Kumano Hongu Taisha Day three. The big one. Tsugizakura oji to Kumano Hongu Taisha. From our accommodation in Nonaka, we were facing a 23km journey to Yunomine Onsen via Hongu. With...

Monkeys and Ancient Cedar Trees on the Kumano Kodo Nakahechi Route: Day 2

Takahara to Tsugizakura-oji The Takahara to Tsugizakura-oji day is the first real taste of the Kumano Kodo Nakahechi Route hike. This stretch is around 13km with a total elevation gain of 830m and total...

First Steps of the Kumano Kodo Nakahechi Route: Day 1

Of the many routes of the Kumano Kodo trail, the Nakahechi Route is by far the most popular. This path, dating back to the 10th century, was once travelled by Japan’s imperial family on their way from Kyoto to the venerable Kumano...

Hiking the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage

The Kii Mountains of Wakayama prefecture, blanketed in dense, silent forests, tell a spiritual tale. For many centuries, as the trees reached skyward, religious devotees traversed a series of steep and winding paths in order to worship at the area’s Kumano sanzan...