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    • Day 34


      October 12, 2023 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

      Today would have been a long and tiring hike (1260m up and 960m down) with the possibility of arriving too late to see all the sights at Nachi. Instead, I was up early to catch the 07.00 bus from Koguchi to Kanmaru and then a bus to Shingu Station which followed the Kumano-gawa which as boat trips and forms part of the Kumano Kodo. The bus passengers included smartly-dressed children on their way to school in Shingu.
      From Shingu Station, I took another bus to Nachi Station and, from there, a bus to Daiman-zaka which was the name of the approach to Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine, one of the three most important shrines on the Kumano Kodo. The 600m walk to the shrine was up 267 steps lined with ancient cedar trees.
      I visited the shrine plus Nachisan Seiganto-ji, a Buddhist temple, and bought a small black cat, a sign of welcome which was at the entrance to many shops in Japan.
      I went in the lift up 25m to the top of the 3-storied Pagoda from where I saw the Pacific Ocean in the distance as well as the Nachi Falls, the highest in Japan at 133m, across the valley.
      This was my last day on the Kumano Kodo. My conclusions are as follows.
      Over the four days from the afternoon of the 8th until the afternoon of the 12th, I hiked about 65km across the hills and mountains with many steep ups and downs. Much of it was under cover along cedar and pine forest trails and staircases which were uneven at times with roots and rocks. Parts of the trail were tarmac. There was a range of accommodation including camping. The trail was well-signposted with markers every 500m. There was a lot of information in booklets, maps and timetables. There were also toilets on the trail and at the large sights such as shrines. There were some beautiful shrines and scenery. At this time of year, the trail wasn't busy. The locals were very helpful as were the staff at the accommodations. The meals, bento-boxes and facilities at the accommodations were good, and the luggage forwarding was perfect. The weather was kind except on the first afternoon.
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    • Day 34


      October 12, 2023 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

      I took the local bus from Nachison back to Kii-Katsuura Station and then walked to the fishing port where I ate my bento-box lunch and then an ice-cream. I walked to the Tourist Pier and took the shuttle bus to the Urashima Hotel which was on a promontory overlooking the bay.
      There were loudspeakers and notices about tsunami evacuation centres along the promenade here and in other coastal towns, and loudspeakers in case of earthquakes inland in places such as Takahara.
      Whilst waiting for my room, I went to Bokido, a 4-pool natural hot spring onsen in a grotto with waves lapping the rocks and concrete barrier at the entrance.
      The resort hotel consisted of four sections but some were closed. There were 600 bedrooms in total which could accommodate 3000 guests. Walking around, it was very quiet but 100-200 guests appeared from somewhere at the buffet dinner and breakfast.
      The hotel looked as though it had seen better days but it was in a great location with a view of the Pacific Ocean from my bedroom.
      My forwarded holdall had arrived as always.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Kiikatsuura-eki, きいかつうらえき

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