By Sandra Isaka
The San-dan-beki Cliffs, located along the southeast shore of the Kii Peninsula (Wakayama Prefecture), are exceedingly steep. One thousand year ago, Kumano pirates hid their ships in this deep cove. In a sense, they are local folk hereos: They bravely fought in battles of the Genpei War (civil war 1180-1185) and eventually made a great contribution to the victory of the Genji clan.
It takes 24 seconds to access this cave, 36 meters below the cliffs. There is a small shrine and a hut for guards at the entrance. I walked through the cave and stood at the edge of the cove. It resonated with the violent sound of the booming of breakers.
The top of the cliff is within a stone’s throw from the “San-dan-beki” bus stop. I enjoyed a commanding view of the Pacific Ocean and had a pleasant hot footbath here. In those days, at this same spot, guards kept watch over the sea, and fishermen searched for schools of fish. As I enjoyed the footbath and fine view, I was very happy.
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