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    • Day 83


      April 28 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

      Heute war wieder einmal Sonnenbrandwetter🙈
      Kii-Katsuura ist die Stadt vom Fischen. Heute sehen wir unzählige Fischer teils auf Klippen für ihren Fang. Der grösste Thunfisch, der hier gefischt wurde, war 450kg schwer und 2.75m lang😯

      Ganz spontan haben wir eine Ki-no-Matsushima Kreuzfahrt gemacht und dabei eine Delfin- und Walshow besucht. 😍🐬🐳 bei dieser Show jagte ein Highlight das nächste, wooowwwww!
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    • Day 82

      Ziel Kumano Kodo Tag 7

      April 27 in Japan ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

      Nach dem Frühstück starten wir auf unsere letzte Etappe von Koguchi nach Nachisan - zu einem der heiligsten Ziele auf dem Kumano Kodo. Wir haben Glück und die ersten zwei Stunden sind noch ohne Regen. Nach total 97km, und 12000 Höhenmeter ⬆️⬇️ sind wir froh, den Nachi Fall zu sehen - sehr imposant! 😊
      Zum Abendessen gibt es Thunfisch in allen Variationen. Sashimi, Salat, paniert... mit Reis und auch der Tofu in Misosuppe ist wieder am Start🥴
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    • Day 244

      Last shrine & fishermen town

      November 9, 2019 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

      One of the highlights of our walk was the shrine of Nachi Taisha, whose elegant wooden structures are enhanced by a beautiful natural scenery. The temple complex is perched on top a hill, next to some tall pristine waterfalls. Because we did not put much effort to reach this place (we came by bus from Shingu !), we decide to walk everything down, to the little town of Nachikatsuura. Another traditional lodging is waiting for us and we have the good surprise to discover that it also has a onsen.
      We give ourselves a suchi treat for dinner, but are disappointed by the lack of alternative options (Elodie is not a fan of raw fish...). But the sushi master takes good care of us : he kindly cooks a fish for Elodie and serves it...for free !

      The following morning we explore the town : from a tori lost on a little island to the tourist seaport where an old man is eager to talk and take selfies with us, to a picnic break in a children's park where even as adult we have fun...There is not much to see or to do here but we don't get bored when together. This little town's sleepy atmosphere was perfect to close up our pilgrimage days before going back to the big city.
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    • Day 7

      Kii Katsuura and the train to Koyasan

      March 27 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

      I've got a lot of catching up to do! Our first morning without rain treated us to a nice sunrise from our hotel room. We then stopped by to watch the tuna auction that happens here every morning. The number of fish was astounding! After going back for breakfast at our hotel, we rode the panda train along the coast to Wakayama. The views were much better today than on our way down! From Wakayama, we took a series of trains and cable cars to reach our next destination, Koyasan, a small but densely templed town, high in the Kii mountains.Read more

    • Day 9

      Große Steine, kleine Schritte

      July 30, 2023 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

      Der dritte Tag unserer Pilgerreise startete wie gehabt um 6:15 Uhr.
      Mit 1260 Höhenmetern stand uns der herausfordernste Teil der Nakahechi- Route bevor.
      Die ersten drei Stunden ging es nur bergauf. Dabei überwunden wir Steigungen von 30% und mehr.
      Am letzten Tag der Wanderung genossen wir trotzdem noch einmal alle Details von Japans schöner Natur. Umgestürtzte Bäume auf dem Weg, Moos das einen kleinen Wald bildet und ein 1 Meter großes, versteinertes Drachenei haben wir gesehen.
      Dabei haben wir auch fleißig unser Wander-Stempelbuch gefüllt. Wir sind nun inoffiziel Pilger des Kumano Kodo. Inoffiziel, weil wir die Bestätigung in Hongu abholen müssten. Dafür fehlt uns aber die Zeit und die Lust 😄

      Das Ziel der Wanderung und für mich ein Must-See auf dieser Reise war Nachisan. Die Pagode mit dem 133m hohen Wasserfall im Hintergrund ist für mich ein Symbolbild der von mir so geliebten japanischen Architektur.
      Der rote Shinto-Schrein bildet, zusammen mit dem benachbarten buddhistischen Schrein, den Hauptschrein der Kumano-Region. Da beide Glaubensrichtungen als sehr tolerant gelten, haben auch wir an den beiden Schreinen unser Gebet vollzogen.

      Als uns auf den letzten Kilometern so langsam bewusst wurde, dass dieser Abschnitt unserer Japanreise nun bald sein Ende nimmt, waren wir schon etwas wehmütig. Mit mehr Zeit hätten wir diese Reise gern noch etwas ausgedehnt.

      Nach einer weiteren Nacht in einem klassischen Ryokan sind wir jetzt auf dem Weg nach Hiroshima.
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    • Day 6

      Kumano Sanzan Day 2

      March 26 in Japan ⋅ 🌬 19 °C

      We awoke to heavier and more persistent rain than the past few days, with thunderstorms in the forecast as well. I guess we used up all of our good weather luck in New Zealand last year... Since I'm not crazy, despite what Keanan might think, and don't think that voluntarily hiking through a storm, on slippery rocks, with no views, while soaking wet sounds at all enjoyable, we decided to amend our plans.

      Instead of hiking, we hopped on a bus to Shingu and the Kumano Hayatama Taisha, another of the Kumano Sanzan. When we got off the bus, the rain was coming down in buckets and we were both instantly drenched. We explored the shrine, ducking under cover whenever we had the chance, and then grabbed breakfast on a covered street.

      From there, we took the train to Kii Katsuura, hoping that we'd be able to seek shelter in our next hotel even if we weren't able to check in. By lunchtime, it seemed like the end of the storm was in sight! We got a variety of tuna dishes (Kii Katsuura's specialty) for lunch before hopping on the very crowded bus to Nachisan. We got off before the top in order to climb a portion of the Kumano Kodo, Daimonzaka, to at least get in a little hiking and approach the shrine as the pilgrims. We saw the first blue sky of our trip as we arrived at the top of the stairs to the Kumano Nachi Taisha, the last of the Kumano Sanzan. We explored the grounds of the shrine and temple before going to get a closer look at Nachi falls, the tallest single drop waterfall in Japan.

      By the time we made it back to Kii Katsuura, the sun was fully out, and we were able to check into our hotel room with an incredible view of the ocean! Neither of us slept very well on our traditional Japanese beds last night, but these seem to be thicker mattresses and more comfortable. We enjoyed sampling a bunch of different foods at our hotel's dinner buffet, and I tried my first public onsen experience. It was quite overwhelming, and I feel confident that I prefer hot tub/ hot spring experiences where I'm not naked in front of a bunch of strangers!
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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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    • Day 9

      Kii- Katsuura

      May 23 in Japan ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

      Hier auf dem Bild von links Nancy Fischer-Kroll, Barbara Christof, Elke Franke, Norbert Ludwig A, Klaus, Alexandra Sinzinger A, Simeon Peter, ich, Berta Boknik, Heinz Ludwig Vater, Thomas Franke, Jürgen Christof und nicht zu sehen Andre Kroll.
      Abends kommen wir mit dem Zug in Kii- Katsura an. Es ist auch ein traditionelles Riokan mit einem Thermal Onsen, allerdings ist der Damen Onsen sehr klein. Das Abendessen war traditionell und sehr reichhaltig. Am nächsten Morgen starten wir erst gemeinsam mit dem Bus zum Tempel des großen Wasserfalls und seiner Gottheit. Die andern starten dann den Pilgerweg KumanoKodo, Klaus und ich machen zuerst noch eine Bootstour, sind in einem netten Cafe un d reisen dann mit Zug und 3 mal bus zur Pilgerherberge, wo wir wieder auf die anderen treffen.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Nachikatsuura-chō, Nachikatsuura-cho, 那智勝浦町

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