Saturday, August 9, 2008

Kumano Kodo - Episode 1 Aug 9th, 2008

Kumano Kodo (熊野古道-伊勢路) is an old pilgrimage road that leads to Kumano Sanzan (the three grand shrines of Kumano: Hongu-taisha, Hayatama-taisha, Nachi-taisha). It is marked as the UNESCO World Heritage Site and the shrines were built as early as the 9th century.

More information can be found at http://www.kumadoco.net/kodo_eng/about/index.html

Today, we tried the Magose-toge Pass trail (馬越峠コース), which is a beginner's trail and well, we're g0nna wait for autumn to try the other trails.


Our guide for today's hike was Yabunaka sensei. Joining us was a guest visitor from Gunma who works with a non-profit organisation. Cool.

The whole trail comprised of stone paths and proved tough for Mr & Mrs Tan Tan, since in Singapore we were used to taking lifts and escalators to higher grounds. Today we had to hike all the way up (You know what I mean). The stones are covered with algae and hence, very slippery. And both Mr & Mrs Tan Tan were not really 100% prepared with proper trekking shoes, thus, we took a longer than expected time to reach the top (or I would say 3/4 of the trail).

The view was great and we could see our home as well as the whole Owase town from there.

The way down was better although we took a long route using the vehicle track due to the slippery stones. Believe we walked for 2-3hrs under the sun in order to reach the rest-point in where we had lunch.

Thereafter, we went to this river where the water is so clear and the locals are just enjoying themselves BBQ-ing ... how I wish I could just jump in and join in the fun with them.



We also got ourselves a chopping board, made from the famous Owase cypress trees, at only 1,000 yen. The kanji on the right side of the pix reads Owase hinoki (ie Owase cypress).

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