Written for: Carpe Diem #1619 Kumano Kodo … Nakahechi route (aka the Imperial Route)
The Kumano Kodo or “ancient road” is one of Japan’s most gorgeous pilgrims routes … it’s by the way not just one pilgrimage. The Kumano Kodo is a collection of five routes all through the Kii Peninsula.
climbing the mountain
together with the smiling Buddha
embraced by nature
© Chèvrefeuille (our host)
The Kumano Kodō is actually not one route but a network of trails through the deeply forested mountains, with no official start and end point and no prescribed order for approaching a hike. There are moderate to strenuous hiking options lasting a few hours to several days, taking in some of Japan’s top ‘power spots’ – temples, forests and waterfalls thought to enrich the soul.
Historically, pilgrims would visit the Kumano Sanzan – the three grand shrines of Kumano – which are the cornerstones of the Nakahechi route (aka the Imperial Route), the most action-packed route through the region.
five sacred routes
in praise of nature’s spirits
thin mountain air
surrounds this old mountain cabin –
I hear the stream
Here is my attempt:
we climb through lush green
breathing in mountain air
feel mist of waterfalls