Thursday, September 8, 2022

Chikatsuyu to Takahara on the Nakahechi

 


The Kumano Kodo are hundreds of kilometers of routes that converge on the sacred sites of three shrine-temple complexes in southern Wakayama. The Nakahechi is certainly the most traveled of these routes nowadays, and it seems like this section is the busiest of them all with many visitors who just do a one day or one night "experience".


This was day 4 of my walk along the Saigoku Kannon pilgrimage that for the first week also follows the same route as the Kumano Kodo, but I was walking against the flow as most people are walking west to east


From Chikatsuyu, where the trail drops down and a fairly large settlement with many guesthouses provide a convenient stopping point, the trail once again heads up into the mountains and over several passes.


Most of the route is just mountain trail and passes several oji, wayside shrines.


The bulk of the forest is sugi, Japanese Cedar, planted fairly recently, though there are glimpses of remains of old growth. Like so much of the mountainsides of Japan that have been clearcut and monocultured with tree farms, landslides are now common....


By late morning I had reached Takahara, a mountaintop settlement that has benefited by the surge of tourism since the Kumano Kodo was made a World Heritage site.  I will cover Takahara in the next post in the series. previous posts can be found here.


2 comments:

  1. Beautiful, interesting, and informative! Which is what I always think after reading the posts...

    ReplyDelete