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Trilha de peregrinação Kumano Kodo
Trilha de peregrinação Kumano Kodo

Trilha de peregrinação Kumano Kodo

A antiga peregrinação aos Três Grandes Santuários de Kumano remonta a 1.000 anos atrás e continua até hoje. As rotas de peregrinação que cruzam Kii, a maior península do Japão, ficaram conhecidas como a Trilha de Peregrinação Kumano Kodo. Peregrinos e turistas, igualmente, fazem a rota para chegar a Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Nachi Taisha e Kumano Hayatama Taisha. Ao longo da história, imperadores aposentados, funcionários de alto escalão e outros peregrinos determinados completaram a peregrinação.

Hoje, a trilha de peregrinação de Kumano Kodo é considerada Patrimônio Mundial da UNESCO. O percurso atravessa a cordilheira Kii, tornando a jornada árdua. Embora desafiadores, os caminhos serpenteiam por florestas verdejantes e passam por cascatas e riachos. Além de fornecer um caminho entre os santuários, o Kumano Kodo liga Kyoto à região montanhosa de Kii.

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Nakahechicho / Hongucho /Nachikatsuuracho, Japan

The basics

There are five distinct trails on the Kumano Kodo: Nakahechi, Kohechi, Ohechi, Iseji, and Omine Okugake. The trails can be walked independently or linked together to complete the pilgrimage. The full route spans the Kii Mountains on the Kii Peninsula, making for an arduous journey. Though challenging, the paths wind through lush forests and pass by and over cascading waterfalls and streams. As well as providing a path between the shrines of Hongu Taisha, Hayatama Taisha, and Nachi Taisha (collectively known as Kumano Sanzan), the Kumano Kodo links Kyoto to the Kii region.

If you’d rather not tackle the journey alone, trek on a tour. Such tours typically include lodging and meals so all you have to worry about is putting one foot in front of the other.

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Things to know before you go

  • The Kumano Kodo is a historically significant pilgrimage trail and ideal for those who want to deepen their knowledge of Japanese culture.
  • The trail is not accessible for wheelchair users.
  • There are several traditional accommodations around the trail, most with hot springs.
  • A pilgrimage map and audio guide are downloadable from Kumano’s official website.
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How to get there

The express Kuroshio train from Shin-Osaka can get you to Kii-Tanabe in two hours. From Kyoto the same train takes around 2.5 hours. From there you can take the 84 Kumano Hongu Line bus to Takijiri, a trailhead that serves as the main entry point for the Kumano Kodo.

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When to get there

The trails can be walked year-round but the best times to visit the pilgrimage site are either in spring (March/April) or autumn (September-November). Visiting at those times lets you avoid the crowds and heat of summer, as well as the cold of the winter months. Golden Week (late May) should be avoided: a series of national holidays over several days sees all major tourist attractions fill up and accommodation hard to come by.

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Trail Etiquette

There are several guidelines that walkers are requested to abide by while enjoying the Kumano Kodo. These include respecting the faith of worshipers, keeping the routes clean, carrying out all waste, not removing or introducing animals or vegetation, staying on the routes, and greeting others “with a smile and warm heart.”

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