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The Pure Land, Kumano

Kumano Kodo
Kumano Kodo

The World Heritage Site, Kumano

One of the most spiritual places in Japan, the World Heritage Site called the Kumano region is home to the Kumano Sanzan, which are the three sites of the nation’s most sacred shrines and temples. These are linked by a network of ancient pilgrimage routes. The five main routes are known as the Kumano Kodo. The Nakahechi route, running from Tanabe to Kumano Hongu Taisha and the other grand shrines, is the most popular.

The Highest Waterfall in Japan

Nachi Waterfalls
Nachi Waterfall

Nachi Waterfall (Nachi no Taki) at 133m is the highest waterfall cascade in Japan, and is revered as the embodiment of a Shinto deity. Like all designated sacred Shinto sites, it is marked by shide, the lightning-bolt shaped paper hangings.

The Nakahechi Pilgrimage Route

Daimon-zaka Slope
Daimon-zaka Slope

Heading to the Nachi Waterfalls, prepare to enter a towering world of 800-year-old cedars trees lining the cobblestone sloping path called Daimon-zaka. If you need a break, why not step back in time and try on a Heian period costume reminiscent of the first pilgrims – members of the imperial Heian court some 1,000 years ago.

The Entrance to a Sacred Area

Oyunohara Gate
Oyunohara Gate

Located on a delta between mountain ranges is Oyunohara. All of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes lead to this towhead, where the Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine once stood. Measuring 33.9 meters high and 42 meters wide, stands the world’s largest Torii shrine gate.
This monolithic structure symbolizes the division between the secular and spiritual worlds; it is the entrance to a sacred place.

Photo Spot

Hyakken-gura
Hyakken-gura

Hyakken-gura is a great photo spot on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes. You can overlook the mountain of Kumano. The majestic scenery in this area is excellent.

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