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Kumano Kodo: Hosshinmon-Fushiogami

Exploring Japan's countryside and ancient past

1. Keep routes clean 2. Protect the local flora and fauna 3. Stay on routes 4. Be careful with fire 5. Respect the faith of past and present worshippers 6. Greet others with a smile and a warm heart - these are the rules to be followed when walking along the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trails that connect many sacred places in the Kii Mountain Range.

For over 1,000 years people have made this pilgrimage from Kyoto to Kumano and the trip usually lasted for 30 days. During my stay in Kumano I walked only part of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route. My journey lasted just 2 hours during which I only encountered one car and one pilgrim. The trail I walked connects Hosshinmon-oji, which marks the entrance to the Hongu Taisha's sacred precincts, to Fushiogami-oji. In between there are only forest and small villages, and quietness.

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Find out more about Kumano Kodo.