Kumano 熊野 紀伊半島

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Take a look at our travel tips for Kumano and its surroundings

In the south of Kansai, the mountainous Kii peninsula has been visited by pilgrims since the 12th century. A sacred and UNESCO-listed region offers great hiking and hot springs.


The Shishiiwa, the rock in the shape of a lion roaring towards the sea

しらたきあおい さん

A network of local buses connects Tanabe and Shirahama to the sites on the east coast, including the three must-see shrines. The Kumano Nachi Taisha is accessible from the town of Kii-Katsuura, a syncretic place of worship perched in the mountains, sometimes lost in the mist, which is home to the Buddhist temple of Seiganto-ji, the Shinto shrine of Nachi, and the waterfall of the same name (Nachi no Taki).

Heading north, the Kumano Hayatama Taisha site has been located just a stone's throw from downtown Shingu and the banks of the Kumano-gawa since the 12th century. Don't miss its museum, a repository of pilgrimage artifacts. 

You will have to go deep into the cedar forests, climb the cobbled paths of Kumano, or take a 1 to 2-hour bus ride (from Tanabe, Shirahama, or Shingu) to reach the Kumano Hongu Taisha, located at the heart of the pilgrimage path network, a short distance from Mount Kôya. In this sanctuary, the most prestigious of the three, the faithful honor the spirit of Amaterasu, goddess of light. 

Finally, pilgrims can relax in the many onsen in the region: Kawayu, where you can bathe in the bed of the Oto River; Yunomine, a hot spring several hundred years old; or Totsukawa and Ryûjin.

 Le sanctuaire Kumano Nachi Taisha

Le sanctuaire Kumano Nachi Taisha

Tom Vining on Unsplash

Our tours in Kumano

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