Tagged shrines

Return to Mount Kumotori

Having immensely enjoyed the same trail in 2017, in early February this year, I embarked on the overnight hike from Mitsumine Shrine (三峯神社), up to Mt. Kumotori (雲取山), and down to Kamosawa (鴨沢) for the second year running. This time I did it alone and, with snow up to my knees at some points, it was a bit of an invigorating ordeal. Read more

Mt. Kumotori Snow Hike

In recent years I’ve discovered the joys of hiking in Japan, where all levels of experience are catered for with well-maintained trails and some of the best mountain huts in the world. Up until this January, I’d never ventured out during the winter and, as this trip proved, I was missing out! Read more

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 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

Kotohira-gū Shrine

During my final weekend in Shikoku, one of the places I visited was Kotohira-gū (金刀比羅宮), a huge Shinto shrine that sits halfway up Mount Zōzu and is said to have been founded during the 1st century. Read more

Day 30: The Present Moment

It started raining early this morning and didn’t let up for the rest of the day. I walked a modest 20km, visiting three temples along the way before retiring to another Business Hotel. Read more

Day 26: The Long Way Round

Being a sucker for following the “scenic route” I had chosen to take the longest trail (E) between Kongōfuku-ji (金剛福寺 – 38) and Enkō-ji (延光寺 – 39) which is around 20km further than the shortest. Read more