Thursday, December 24, 2020

Kumano Hongu Taisha


Kumano Hongu Taisha is one of the three shrines that form the Kumano Sanzan, the focus of the famous Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage routes that are now a World Heritage Site.

Though now a purely "shinto" site the Kumano region was home to the Shugendo cult which incorporated daoist and Buddhist elements with mountain worship and kami. 

I was here as the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage, probably the oldest pilgrimage route in Japan, now follows the same route s the Kumano Kodo in this section.

Hongu Taisha was moved to its current location on a hill overlooking the river in 1891 following a major flood 2 years previously that destroyed much of the shrine as it was located on a sandbank.

The original site of the shrine nearby is now marked by the tallest torii in the world.

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