Buddhist monks and other religious pilgrims have walked the roads of the Kumano Kodo for over 1,000 years to reach some of Japan’s most sacred shrines and temples. Also known as the Kumano Old Road, the Kumano Kodo is a collection of interconnecting ancient trails in western Japan.
Connecting modern-day prefectures like Osaka, Nara, Wakayama, and Mie to Mount Koya, Ise Grand Shrine, and other spiritual sites, the Kumano Kodo takes hikers through breathtaking landscapes, rural villages, and relaxing onsen.
All of the Kumano Kodo routes eventually lead to Kumano Sanzan (The Three Grand Shrines of Kumano) in the mountains of southeastern Wakayama. The Kumano area is often thought of as the “Land of the Gods” where you can commune with the divine. Though modern infrastructure now provides easy access to these places by car or train, the preserved trails are great for hiking.
This ancient holy road holds such cultural significance it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. The only other pilgrimage route holding such a distinction is the Camino de Santiago in Spain. Hikers who have completed both legendary trails are known as “Dual Pilgrims.”
Click here to read more.
- External Link