Japan's Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage (Paperback)
Cicerone Press Limited, 9781852849726, 176pp.
Publication Date: July 31, 2019
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.
To celebrate both the trails and those who travel them, the Kumano Kodo and Spain's Camino de Santiago were twinned: if you complete both you can register as a 'dual pilgrim'.
About the Author
Originally from Melbourne, after graduating from university, Katrina Davis moved to Japan. Working as an adventure tour guide in Japan helped Kat develop her skills to seek out the local hotspots and also develop a love for hiking. ‘A wise man climbs Mt Fuji, a fool climbs it twice’ is a popular Japanese saying, so Kat climbed it 7 times. From Japan to Canada to London where Kat is now based, she quit her office job in 2013 to walk the Camino de Santiago and has never looked back. She has since completed seven Caminos and walked over 10,000km in Spain, Portugal, England, Italy, Japan and America, including the 4240km Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada.