Kumano Kodo sights
Nakahechi Art Museum
The Nakahechi Art Museum contains painting by the Japanese style painter Nonagase Banka (1889-1964) and the Southern Chinese style painter Watarase Ryoun (1904-1980). The glass building also houses temporary galleries regularly.
Kumano Hayatama Taisha Shrine
Together with Hongu Taisha shrine and Nachi Taisha shrine, the Kumano Hayatama Taisha shrine is one of Kumano´s three important shrines. Although the current buildings date from 1951, the location of the shrine can be dated to at least the 12th century. The leaves of the sacret 800-year-old Nagi-no-Ki tree are a symbol of the faith of Kumano, and It is said that messages from the deities can be seen in them.
Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine
Next to Nachi-no-Otaki, the tallest waterfall in Japan, lies the Kumano Nachi Taisha shrine. The origin of the shrine is the worship of the waterfall and it is regarded as one of the three important shrines of Kumano along with Hongu Taisha shrine and Hayatama Taisha shrine. The shrine is a perfect example of the fusion between Shinto and Buddhism often seen across Japan. The holy sites of Shintoism long predate the introduction of Buddhism, but rather than destroying one to make room for the other, the two believes harmoniously merged together. A result of this can be seen at the Nachi Taisha shrine and the surrounding area where the Buddhist temple Seigantoji lies. One of the symbols of this area is a beautiful pagoda located next to the waterfall.
5.8.2 Kumano Kodo activities
Traditional Boat Ride (Kawabune)
The Kumano traditional flat boats take visitors down the river just like they have been doing for hundreds of years as the Kumano River has served as a vital section of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route between Kumano Hongu Taisha shrine in Hongu, and Kumano Hayatama Taisha shrine in Shingu. The boat ride is a unique and fun way to get a river view perspective of Kumano’s spiritual landscape.
Kumano Kodo events
Kumano Kodo picture scroll procession
Kumano Kodo picture scroll procession, known as “Kumano Kodo Emaki Gyoretsu”, originally means a scroll picture which depicted the pilgrimage of the nobles in Heian Period from 10th century. Kumano Kodo is a religious place where Japanese people’s faith centered. Nowadays people will wear the Heian period costume, walk in the Takahara area every year in the beginning of November, to reproduce the atmosphere of the pilgrimage thousand years ago.