From Kumano Kodō

The Kumano Kodō (熊野古道) is a series of ancient pilgrimage routes that crisscross the Kii Hantō, the largest Peninsula of Japan.

Kumano Kodō Day 6: Shingū

My final day on the Kumano Kodō was spent travelling down to Shingū (新宮市), a small city on the southern coast of Wakayama. Instead of hiking, I took a traditional boat down the Kumano-gawa River as pilgrims have been doing for centuries. Read more

Kumano Kodō Day 5: Hongū

A gloriously bright morning greeted me on Day 5, the Kumano-gawa River acting as a perfect mirror to the mountains and sky above. Leaving the ryokan just before 8 am, I walked back to the Hatenashi-toge pass trailhead by way of Yanagimoto-bashi bridge. Read more

Kumano Kodō Day 4: Totsukawa Onsen

It rained hard overnight and the valley was shrouded in mist when I awoke at 5 am to the sound of breakfast cooking in the adjacent kitchen. I dozed off till breakfast at 7 am, another feast of local ingredients. Read more

Kumano Kodō Day 3: Miura-guchi

After a fitful nights sleep, I awoke early on Day 3 and had a healthy breakfast of fish, rice and salad before heading out the door at 8.30am. My legs were starting to feel the strain but I was in high spirits. Read more

Kumano Kodō Day 2: Omata

After a good nights sleep at Sekisho-in temple, I got up early to attend the 7 am morning prayer service. It was cold to the bone in the main hall which I was surprised to find packed to overflowing with adherents and curious bystanders like myself. I sat next to a mother with her disabled son who had a special prayer said for him. Read more

Kumano Kodō Day 1: Kōya-san

On my return trip to Shikoku in late October, I alluded to an upcoming expedition. I spent six days walking the Kohechi route of the Kumano Kodō pilgrimage and now, as 2016 comes to a close, I’ve managed to pull together a full report. Read more