Japan's Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage

Japan's Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage : The UNESCO World Heritage trek

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Guidebook to Japan's Kumano Kodo, a series of UNESCO-listed pilgrimage routes that crisscross the mountainous Kii peninsula, south of Osaka. Centred on three Shinto-Buddhist shrines known as the Kumano Sanzan, the ancient trails blend great hiking and exceptional natural beauty with a unique insight into Japan's rich history, culture and spirituality. The guide covers the 64km Nakahechi and 63km Kohechi trails in full, as well as the Choishimichi route to Koyasan (20km), the Hongu loop (17km) and highlights of the Iseji trail. It can be used to plan and undertake an independent trek or to enrich an organised tour.

Clear route description and mapping is accompanied by comprehensive details of accommodation and facilities, as well as notes on local points of interest and inspirational colour photography. You'll find a wealth of practical information to help with planning, covering transport, climate, accommodation, budgeting, equipment and safety, as well as fascinating background information on history, religion and wildlife. There is also a Japanese glossary and helpful advice on Japanese customs and etiquette.

The Kumano Kodo offers a different view of Japan: far removed from the modern cities, this is a world of forested slopes, hidden valleys, waterfalls, traditional villages, moss-covered stone deities and tranquil oji shrines. There are opportunities to experience hot-spring bathing and to sample local cuisine as you follow in the footsteps of emperors, samurai, priests and ascetics traversing traditional flagstone paths and forest trails.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 116 x 172 x 14mm | 270g
  • Kendal, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 5 overview maps, 12 route maps, 23 town maps, 12 route elevation profiles
  • 185284972X
  • 9781852849726
  • 116,629

Table of contents

Overview maps
Map key
Route summary tables

Japanese spirituality
The pilgrimage trails
Dual Pilgrim status
Group travel or independent?
Getting there
Getting around
When to go
Food and drink
Post, phones and internet
Cultural etiquette
Hiking in Japan
What to take
Luggage transfers
Maps and GPS
Staying healthy and safe
Using this guide

The three grand shrines and Koyasan
Kumano Hongu Taisha
Kumano Hayatama Taisha
Kumano Nachi Taisha

Hongu and surrounding area
Route 1 Hongu loop walk (including Dainichi-goe and Akagi-goe)

Nakahechi ???
Route 2 Nakahechi route
Stage 1 Takijiri to Nonaka
Stage 2 Nonaka to Kumano Hongu Taisha
Stage 3 Kogumotori-goe route: Ukegawa to Koguchi
Stage 4 Ogumotori-goe route: Koguchi to Kumano Nachi Taisha

Koyasan ??? - Choishimichi ???
Route 3 Choishimichi route

Kohechi ???
Route 4 Kohechi route
Stage 1 Koyasan to Omata
Stage 2 Omata to Miura-guchi
Stage 3 Miura-guchi to Yanagimoto-bashi suspension bridge
Stage 4 Yanagimoto-bashi suspension bridge to Kumano Hongu Taisha

Iseji highlights ???
Route 5 Magose-toge Pass
Route 6 Matsumoto-toge Pass

Appendix A Facilities tables
Appendix B Glossary
Appendix C Useful contacts
Appendix D Further reading
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About Kat Davis

Originally from Melbourne, after graduating from university Kat moved to Japan, where she worked as an adventure tour guide. She quit her office job in 2013 to walk the Camino de Santiago and has since walked over 10,000km in England, Europe, Japan and America. Kat now lives in London.
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