Kumano Faces Kakkazan

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The most popular route is the Nakahechi, which runs from Takijiri-Oji to Hongu, and then from Hongu down to Nachi Falls. If you’re not a seasoned mountain-person, it’s advisable to begin with this route, as it has the best infrastructure, most available literature, and safest paths of the core Kumano walks.
Kumano was initially associated with nature worship and the ascetic practices of the Shugendo practitioners. Steeped in Old Shinto tradition this is where Susa-no-o, the Shinto God of Storms, came to rule the underworld. After the introduction of Buddhism in the 6th century the belief systems of Shugendo, Old Shinto and Buddhism combined and adapted and became highly syncretic in the Kumano region. Susa-no-o, the main deity at the Hongu Grand Shrine was seen as a manifestation of the Amidha Buddha. Kumano was the Amidha Buddha’s pure land where pilgrims could be reborn. Keep in mind that Hongu Shrine and the Nakahechi and Kohechi routes are fairly remote, and access from Tokyo is considerably more involved than, say, popping over to Kyoto on the shinkansen. The three sacred sites of Kumano Sanzan, Koya-san, and Jingu (Ise Grand Shrine) are at the heart of Japanese spiritual identity. All have been major pilgrimage destinations since ancient times. Kumano Sanzan is representative of the syncretic nature of Japanese religion, open to all, welcoming to women, oblivious to class, and with a strong background in Shungendo nature worship. Koya-san was a male-dominated centre of esoteric Buddhism, one of two of the most sacred Buddhist sites in Japan. And Jingu (Ise Grand Shrine) is the most important site in Shinto, with its enshrined deity being Amaterasu Omikami, the Sun Goddess and ancestral kami of the Imperial Family.

This site is in no way comprehensive, authoritative, or possibly even accurate! It was produced by Craig Mod as a way to “formalize” and “store” some of the data from his walks around the Kii Peninsula. The main purpose of this is, if anything, to point to other, more comprehensive, up-to-date, official resources.Kumano has been the main centre of Japanese pilgrimage for over 1000 years. The pilgrimage route is not an easy one through isolated mountains but it affords the pilgrim an opportunity to commune with nature, including large forests and clear rivers, and indeed many of the natural features along the way are considered to be deities. These are the locations where the deities descended and resided. The sacred mountains of Kumano were considered otherworldly. They were associated with death and afterlife, and a visit there was equated with one’s own death, then rebirth and renewal. Even today a walk through the Kumano mountains can revitalise and restore.

The full Nakahechi walk will take a good five days at a reasonable clip. If you want to spend a little more time exploring around Hongu and, for example, take a day off at Yunomine Onsen to bathe in their World Heritage bath, or pop over to Kawayu and take a bath in a river, you’d benefit from six days. The more time you have, the better. There’s always more to add on. One could easily spend a month and still not hit all the trails.
In 1868 the feudal system collapsed under the Meiji Restoration and strict measures were introduced to control religion. Syncretism was banned and the supernatural beliefs of Shugendo were banned altogether. Kumano chose to be Shinto and all Buddhist images in the Hongu Grand Shrine were destroyed. Later in the 20th century cultural protection laws assisted with protecting the cultural assets of Kumano. The area saw a drop in pilgrims before WWII but recently the UNESCO Heritage listing has ensured that interest has rekindled in pilgrimage to Kumano.

For the Nakahechi, we highly recommend Brad Towle’s Official Guide Book which you can have shipped to you in advance of your trip. (Sadly there isn’t a digital edition.)

The Kohechi is an excellent, much more difficult route but carries the advantage of connecting directly with Koyasan, the home of Shingon Buddhism. It has the least infrastructure, fewest inns, biggest climbs, and is more remote and therefore difficult to get help if something happens mid-walk. Advisable only for seasoned walkers.
During the 11th Century, a time of “Mappo”, “the Age of Dharma Decline” or the third “degenerate” stage of Buddhism, pilgrimage became popular among the Imperial courtiers. Indeed the world was coming to an end for the aristocrats of Kyoto and they would soon cede power to the warrior class who would rule for the next 650 years. Over the next 200 years there would be over 100 Imperial visits to Kumano. The roads and facilities on the Kumano pilgrimage route improved accordingly. And then at the end of the 12th Century authority was rested from the court in Kyoto and assumed by feudal authority in Kamakura. Imperial pilgrimages ceased.

In the 14th and 15th centuries courtiers were replaced by warrior pilgrims. As the country descended into civil war in the 15th and 16th centuries victorious warriors would visit Kumano to make donations. As the country was consolidated under the peaceful Edo Shogunate in 1603, interest in pilgrimage to Jingu (the Ise Grand Shrine) increased. In response to its declining popularity, the Kumano Shrines dispatched nuns (bikuni) to travel the country popularising the Kumano pilgrimage. This spread interest in Kumano from the samurai to the general public including farmers, merchants and artisans.
Tanabe City runs an excellent website which we recommend for all non-Japanese speakers to book their accommodation. As it stands, because of the increase in popularity on the Kumano, finding last minute accommodations during spring and fall can be exceedingly difficult. The sooner you can book, the better. Folks often book six months or even a year in advance during high season (March, April, May; September, October, November).The Ise-ji is also a superb option, significantly less crowded than the Nakahechi, and more easily accessible with cute little train stations tucked into coves at almost every section. It allows you to combine a visit to Ise Grand Shrine with UNESCO certified mountain paths and coastal views. I published a 15,000 word digital book about the route in 2020.

That said, perhaps of most interest are the .gpx route files down at the bottom of this page. They sketch out several potential Kumano hikes. Feel free to download them and load them into your map apps bearing in mind they may not 100% reflect official routes.This site is meant to provide a clear and simple — but extremely general — overview for folks looking to walk the various UNESCO recognized pilgrimage paths of the Kumano Kodo. Obviously there are countless options of places to stay at along the Kumano Kodo trail. These are a mixture of Japanese-style lodges and Western B&Bs/hotels. We’re planning on running the Imperial Route…I see that there are guided runs, but want to be sure it would be culturally appropriate to run the trails. Your thoughts?It all depends on where you stay, but if you’re in simple accommodation I would say it costs approximately around $200 for a self-guided 5-day trip. It can be done cheaper for sure – it all depends on your style of travel!

One of the best things about this pilgrimage is its self-guided. There are lots of signposts all along the route in Japanese and English pointing you in the right direction.
However, I had a guide (Waka from Mi Kumano Guides) for the last section and she was brilliant at pointing out things I would’ve missed myself; she really brought the history of the area to life.

What is Kumano Kodo pilgrimage to power spots?
Kumano Kodo is a journey into the hallucinogenic power of pilgrimage. Part travelogue, part speculative fiction, part scholarly history, this book speaks to the universal human impulse to explore the sacred through travel.
Hi travellers! I’m Macca & I run the multiple award-winning blog An Adventurous World. Nothing makes me happier than capturing the world one destination at a time so make sure you follow me on my adventures!

By the 12th century, the Kumano Sanzan were well known shrines all over Japan pulling in people from all over the country, and the route eventually became a religious pilgrimage for all those who walked it.
If you head to the visitors center before you start the Kumano Kodo walk then you’ll be given a passport book which you can stamp at a number of places along the route.

Is Kumano Kodo expensive?
Kumano Kodo accommodation Prices vary massively from as little as 2,500 yen (£18) per night all the way up to 25,000 yen (£180) per night for an uber lux place.
It’s a really good question Kyle and thanks for asking it. You’ll be absolutely fine running the trails. As long as you’re respect of other hikers when passing by it won’t be a problem at all. Maybe pack a spare pair of socks and shoes for the temples though!

All of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes lead to this sacred site and I had one of my best days in Japan here. There are a number of market stalls selling ice-cold water and snacks if you need to pick anything up.
This trip was in association with the Japanese National Tourist Office (JNTO), and with Explore Shizuoka, Hot Ishikawa and Visit Wakayama showcasing some of the different peninsulas in Japan. As always, all views and opinions are my own.Even though it was a little gimmicky, I really like that stamping was encouraged and the passport book actually became a nice souvenir at the end of the trek.

This means you can start at different points, some trails taking 30 days and some taking just a few hours. It all depends how much time you have and how much of the Kumano Kodo trail you want to do.
This is where I finished my Kumano Kodo trek and it was the perfect place to pause and reflect on the beauty of the area. Honestly, this is what the Kumano is all about, views like this. This is an incredibly holy place and there’s another beautiful shrine to take in at the bottom of the falls.Hey Macca, I only have 3 days to do some of the trek. I was wondering if it was possible to start the hike at Hosshinmon-oji and finish at Nachi Taisha? Or is it recommended to start the hike at Takijiri and finish at Hongu Taisha?The photos says it all, but this is a bright orange temple overlooking Nachi Falls, the tallest waterfall in Japan standing at 133m. I mean, look how beautiful it is!?At the very centre of this religious area are the three Kumano shrines: Hongu Taisha, Hayatama Taisha and Nachi Taisha. Collectively they are known as Kumano Sanzan.

What does etching of Kumano do?
I — Kumano Faces Kakkazan deals 1 damage to each opponent and each planeswalker they control. II — When you cast your next creature spell this turn, that creature enters the battlefield with an additional +1/+1 counter on it. III — Exile this Saga, then return it to the battlefield transformed under your control.
Once emperors walked the Kumano Kodo searching for peace and enlightenment, the route was secured as one of the most popular pilgrimages in Japan. This is something that hasn’t changed for the centuries since.Legend has it that the Kumano gods, in the form of three moons, descended into the branches of a giant oak tree in this clearing and laid to rest forever. Today, each of the three temples is said to have the spirit of the gods, and people prayer to the different temples for safe passage in life.

How long does etching stay on?
Finally, you want to make sure you leave the etching cream on the glass for a few minutes. Armor Etch’s directions say 1 minute, but I have found that a thick layer of etching cream left on for 4-5 minutes gives a better, deeper, and more defined etch.
There’s also a museum here with dozens of national treasures including offerings brought from pilgrims from all around the world which is well worth seeing. Don’t forget, if you want to complete the Kumano Kodo you need to visit all three of these holy shrines. When it comes to what to do in Kumano, visiting Hayatama Taisha is right up there.

How difficult is the Kumano Kodo?
Difficulty level: Difficult. This route is not recommended for novice hikers as parts of the trail run along high mountain ridges with rough and uneven paths underfoot. As you walk the trail, visit the three sacred shrines in Wakayama including the Okunoin Temple, Kumano Nachi Taisha, and the Kongobuji Temple!
However, historically pilgrims would visit the three main shrines of the Kumano Sanzan which are the three cornerstones of the Nakahechi route (the Imperial Route), the most popular and action-packed route through Wakayama.I’m excited to hike this. I’m wondering if anyone has any thoughts on doing the Nakahechi and then turning North to the Kohechi after all the cultural stops are done?It depends on what you mean by book ahead. For accommodation I’d use booking.com (that’s my preferred booking site), and for everything else I’d do it a few days beforehand.

The Nakahechi pilgrimage route starts from Tanabe on the western coast of the Kii-Peninsula and works its way east across the mountains towards the Kumano grand shrines at Hongu and then Nachisan.
You can do the first one! I really recommend finishing at Nachi Taisha as it’s such a spectacular spot. Hopefully you can find a route that works for you though!The Kumano Kodō is the holiest and most sacred pilgrimage in Japan. This route used to be only reserved for emperors and samurai. Being a bit of a history buff, I loved that I actually walked the same route as the old Japanese emperors centuries before me.

Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of the Kumano Kodō before – I hadn’t either before I trekked it. However, it is old. The history of this route dates back over 1,000 years. And urban legends in this area date back even further.
Hayatama Taisha is located at the mouth of the Kumano-gawa River and it is another incredibly beautiful temple in Wakayama. One of the main pulls to Hayatama Taisha is Nagi-no-Ki tree, an ancient tree that’s said to be over 800-years-old and is considered a scared site.

So, if you’re thinking of doing the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage yourself, this is the post for you – from the history of the area to which is the best route to take, this is everything you need to know about hiking the Kumano Kodo!
I’ve always been drawn to the mountains. There’s some so ethereally beautiful about hiking in this part of Japan. It gets to you, gets to your soul. After doing the Kumano Kodo trek myself, I can see why this is so high up on people’s bucket list. I really can’t recommend it enough. With gorgeous rolling mountains, mist rising in the morning, tea houses along the route, traditional temples to stop off at – the Kumano Kodo trail has all of this and more. Also, where else in the world can you walk in the footsteps of Japanese emperors and samurai? Because of this, these two routes are linked together. If you complete the Kumano Kodo walk and the Camino de Santiago then you can officially refer to yourself as a ‘dual pilgrim’ – how cool is that? You even get your own certificate and everything.I recently visited Japan for the first time, and one of the things I was most looking forward to doing was hiking the Kumano Kodo. In the hiking world, this is up there as one of the most popular hikes you can do. Well, it certainly didn’t disappoint.

One of the things I loved about the Kumano Kodo trek is you really get a sense of the importance and history of it. Add in the mountains and forest, and it’s hard not to get caught up in the moment yourself. I know I certainly did!
I would really recommend making all reservations beforehand. Speaking to a few homestay owners, they said they’re usually booked up 4-6 weeks in advanced, so try to book everything before this.

I didn’t realise this before I trekked the Kumano Kodo myself, but there are only two hiking routes that have UNESCO World Heritage status – this one and the Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) in Spain.

If you really want to learn the history of the Kumano Kodo and all about the temples along the way, it’s recommended you hire a guide. You can find out some more information about the guides at the Kumano Kodo information centre (which is here).
This trail has traditional lodgings in small, isolated villages along the route and is a trail very well suited for those of you looking at doing it on your own. That’s one of the best things about this route – it’s really friendly for all types of hikers.Unlike the Camino de Santiago that has a clear start point and end point, the Kumano Kodo is not one route but a network of routes all linking together.You can also use this passport book on the Camino de Santiago to show you’ve done both pilgrimages. That’s when you get a special certificate saying you’ve completed both pilgrimages.Monastery Swiftspear is probably one of the best red 1-drops ever, and pretty cheap with the BRO reprint. Soul-Scar Mage is pretty similar, no haste, but a chance to progressively kill problematic creatures or mess up combat math with the -1/-1 counters is great.

Is Kumano faces Kakkazan good?
Kumano Faces Kakkazan is not exactly a two-drop creature that can attack for two the turn after you play it, but it’s useful in more different ways. The first chapter deals one damage to your opponent, which is not the most exciting, but every damage counts and it gives your deck a little bit more reach.
(As this Saga enters the battlefield and after your draw step, put a lore counter on this and activate and/or enable the ability of the saga tied to the required number of counters.)

The back of Kumano Faces Kakkazan  has the clause “this turn”. How is that functionally different from “dealt damage by a source you control”, because it seems really bizarre to word a creature that way.For situations where the board is crowded, ways to transform your token creation into damage. Cards such as Impact Tremors, Electropotence, Raid Bombardment, Cavalcade of Calamity, Goblin Bombardment, Makeshift Munitions, Barrage of Expendables, Weaponize the Monsters and other similar cards seem very useful for that.

How does Kumano faces Kakkazan work?
I — Kumano Faces Kakkazan deals 1 damage to each opponent and each planeswalker they control. II — When you cast your next creature spell this turn, that creature enters the battlefield with an additional +1/+1 counter on it. III — Exile this Saga, then return it to the battlefield transformed under your control.
Sulfuric Vortex is a card I loosely bundle in with the group slug stuff I tried to avoid when building this deck. Compared to Manabarbs its nothing too mean, but it kinda rides that line. It’s definitely something I would consider if my main playgroup played more life gain strategies.That’s a neat idea! As your plan basically is creating lots of red tokens and having them deal damage. To make this more effective, you should consider including damage-increasers. Torbran, Thane of Red Fell and cards such as Dictate of the Twin Gods would allow you to maximize your damage, resulting in making your commander more impactful earlier in its growth.

You could look up some lists on MTGGoldfish or MTGTop8 to see what’s generally played in the mono red decks, and work your way there bit by bit. I think my suggestions should give you plenty inspiration to get started though.Eidolon of the Great Revel is the most expensive card that mono red plays in pioneer right now, that might be a step too far if you’re worrying about the budget. But that’s probably where you’d want to end up being serious about the deck. In the meantime you could consider cards like Khenra Spellspear  , Kari Zev, Skyship Raider or Bloodfeather Phoenix to make sure chapter 2 of Kumano Faces Kakkazan  goes to use. Magic the Gathering, FNM is TM and copyright Wizards of the Coast, Inc, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All rights reserved. This site is unaffiliated. Articles and comments are user-submitted and do not represent official endorsements of this site. As for lands, I try to avoid colorless lands because Torbran costs three red pips. Out of those three, I would consider running Scavenger Grounds for the graveyard hate. In general I don’t want to spend a turn exiling graveyards rather than playing an aggressive card though. Thats why Anger of the Gods and Kumano Faces Kakkazan  are nice. The other two lands don’t get their damage boosted by Torbrans effect, so I don’t think they make the cut.The network of Kumano Kodo trails is quite extensive and you’ll find many different Kumano Kodo hikes to enjoy, each varying in duration and difficulty. Below we’ve listed the most popular routes, with a brief description of each trail along with the highlights and lowlights, to help you pick the best route.

What is the best section of Kumano Kodo?
The most popular route is the Nakahechi, which runs from Takijiri-Oji to Hongu, and then from Hongu down to Nachi Falls. If you’re not a seasoned mountain-person, it’s advisable to begin with this route, as it has the best infrastructure, most available literature, and safest paths of the core Kumano walks.
Demanding. You’ll climb through rugged forest and up steep mountain passes gaining a maximum altitude of 1,719 m. It’s considered one of the toughest trails of Kumano Kodo for its incline and duration.

The Ochechi trail follows the coast from Tanabe to Nachi Taisha and was once walked by over 30,000 people each year! Today the path is the most popular way to visit the Nachi Taisha shrine. As the walk is along the coast, it is particularly enjoyable in the summer months with the cooling sea breeze.March and April are popular months to visit due to the cherry blossoms flowering, however, it can be quite busy so make sure you book your accommodation well in advance. If you can handle the heat and the crowds from May to September, you’ll be rewarded with golden lighting and extra daylight for more hiking!

Is Kumano Kodo difficult?
Among various trekking trails in Japan, the Kumano Kodo trail is one of the most challenging, but it is also very rewarding.
Connecting Kumano with Yoshino, the Omine Okugake route is a challenging pilgrimage up mountains and along remote stretches of forest. The route was primarily used by followers of the Shugendo mountain worshipers.

The Kohechi trail connects Kumano with Koyasan and was used largely by Buddhist monks traveling from the temple complex of Mount Koya. Today the route is tackled by well-seasoned hikers who are familiar with rough and isolated terrain.Among various trekking trails in Japan, the Kumano Kodo trail is one of the most challenging, but it is also very rewarding. Whichever trail you choose, get ready to enjoy the ultimate outdoor Japan tour as you immerse yourself in rural life and culture, and soak up the very best of Kii Hanto peninsula!