The path (el camino)

We had a first go at the Kumano Kodo at the end of April. Enough to have the right of getting the official stamp.

But it was so great that we wanted more. So when we saw that there was a possible break to the rainy season we went for it. So on Sunday 3rd of July, off we went.

Early start, Korushio 3 train for Kii-Tanabe from Kyoto at 8-35. We got there at 11-15 and at 11-35 we jumped on the bus direction Shingu. Off at Gyuba-doji-mae, roughly at 12-40. There we found lunch. and walked to a place called Nonaka where giant cedars seem to be looking after a fantastic source of fresh water. The night at Minshuku Tsugizakura in Nonaka, held by a great couple… he has been a cook all over Japan, and the Kaiseki dinner was exceptional.

On Monday we walked from there to Hongu Taisha great shrine which is the key place of the Kumano Kodo. The day was very long. In theory, 21km of ups and downs. In practice we managed to get lost… We arrived in time to get our books stamped and go on to Kawayu Onsen where we booked a room at Sansuikan Kawayumatsuya. We met there Ann, from Australia: she has walked all over the world but was finding Kumano Kodo hardest of all. So this is encouraging!


Gyuba-doji statue


Gyuba is sitting on top of both animals


The cemetery of the Nonagase family


A wish tree in Chikatsuyu


Cemetery in Chikatsuyu

The massive cedars

The massive cedars of Ipposugi


At Ipposugi


Early morning in the Kumano Kodo mountains


If this is breakfast you can imagine what dinner was like


About to start a very long day…


Filling up with water at Nonaka-no-Shimizu springs, renown as one of Japan’s best 100 spring waters


On the road the locals decide to build their Manneken pis


One neighbour invited the pilgrims to hit a ball


An unprobable bridge

The detour... added more distance but also an enormous climb

The detour… added more distance but also an enormous climb

View from the top of the detour

View from the top of the detour


Resting. Heat and humidity are very complicated

No photoshop... But she did't look that well!

No photoshop… But she did’t look that well!


Tea fields getting close to the end

400 yards to go...

400 yards to go…

Next time?