Ancient Pilgrimage Route
Once a sacred pilgrimage trail reserved for emperors and samurai, the Kumano Kodo is a beautiful hiking route that should be on every adventurers’ bucket list.
For over 1000 years, people from all levels of society, including retired emperors and aristocrats, have made the arduous pilgrimage to Kumano. These pilgrims used a network of routes, now called the Kumano Kodo, which stretched across the mountainous Kii Peninsula.
The walk itself was an integral part of the pilgrimage process as they undertook rigorous religious rites of worship and purification. Walking the ancient Kumano Kodo is a fantastic way to experience the unique cultural landscape of Kumano’s spiritual countryside.
Over the years Buddhist temples and shrines of Shintō, Japan’s native religion, have been built along this network of trails.
In July 2004, the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes were registered as UNESCO World Heritage as part of the “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range” property.
Kumano Kodo offers the chance to imagine what it was like to pilgrimage to Kumano long ago, absorb the history of Kumano and pass it down to future generations.
After the hard and painstaking journey, you’ll feel purified inside as you climb to Kumano Hongu Taisha.
Come make your journey of faith to Kumano.