ON THE PILGRIM TRAIL IN THE SPIRITUAL HEART OF JAPAN
Sightseeing, Nature excursion, Lunch not included
The extraordinary Kumano region, cradle of the Shinto spirituality, opens up its gates to us with an enchanting walk along a stretch of the ancient pebble roads that have been accompanying pilgrims on their purification journey for centuries. Two amazing sanctuaries surrounded by thick forests with an enchanted atmosphere and offering breathtaking views from the tallest waterfall in Japan add a further touch of magic to this extraordinary tour.
What we will see
- Kumano region, the spiritual heart of Japan
- Walk along Daimon-zaka
- Visit of the Kumano Nachi Taisha shrine
- Enchanting Nachi no Taki waterfall
- Stop for shopping in a local souvenir shop
- Visit of the Kumano Hayatama Taisha shrine
What we will do
- We leave the port behind us and venture into the ancient region of Kumano, the spiritual heart of Japan characterised by lush wild forests crossed by winding cobbled streets taking pilgrims from one sacred place to the next named Kumano Kodo, a network of paths declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- We stop at the start of Daimon-zaka, a perfectly-preserved pebble path that climbs up to one of the most venerated sanctuaries in the region: we walk along the sacred path forming part of Kumano Kodo through a thick forest with an enchanted atmosphere.
- We then reach the*Kumano Nachi Taisha* Shinto shrine, a testimony to the Japanese religious syncretism where Shinto and Buddhist elements are combined to create a unique style. We admire the different buildings that make up part of the shrine with their bright vermilion shades of colour.
- Behind the temple, we remain overawed in front of the majestic Nachi no Taki waterfall dropping down 133 metres off a cliff. Venerated since ancient times, the waterfall stands out against the green mountain with its long white veil and it is no surprise that the shrine was built precisely here because of such an evocative scenario.
- Not far from the waterfall, we make a short stop for a spot of shopping in a local souvenir shop where we can buy something to remind us of this lovely experience.
- We head back to Shingu and, lastly, we stop off at another shrine, the Kumano Hayatama Taisha dedicated to the Shinto divinity of the life force. The ancient temple with its amazing vermilion shades of colour displays numerous votive objects and is considered the birthplace of Shintoism.
What you need to know
- There is limited availability of guides that speak English and other European languages.