From Yagio to Hongu in Kumano route

It's rainy every day in this autumn. On October 19th we headed to Kohechi route in Kumano Kodo from Wakayama city.

9: 30 am. eleven people started to walk from Yagio bus stop. The road is parallel to Route 168 and it is a gentle road. We can see Kumano river on our left side. It is about 1, 3km to road station Okukummano-Kodo-Hongu.

We also walk along line 168 to Hongu. From the HiraiwaGuchi bus stop enter the mountain on our right, and when you walk about 800 km on the climb, we have reached Sangenchaya(tea house) ruins. Here the road meets another road from the Hosinmon-Oji.
We also walk uphill. The old road in the cedar grove is a very nice atmosphere.
On the way to Hongu shrine , there is a place to see the nice scenery of Kumano river. We will see the land that the original main shrine was build there. But now we only see the torii gate.
It's about 1,9km. from Sangen-Chaya to Haraido-Oji, and from there, it's 0,2km to Hongu-Shrine.

# by wakayamakiga | 2017-10-20 00:05 | 小辺路/Kohechi | Comments(0)

From Chikatuyu-Oji to Kobiro-Oji

21st on September, we walked from Michi-no-eki in Chikatsuyu to Kobiro-Oji. It was beautiful day, so we enjoyed scenery of early autumn.
At first we climed onto Hashiore-hill. The Kumano roed goes on a grove of cedar trees.
The stone figure of Gyuba-doji standed on the hill. Gyu means cow and ba means horse, doji means child. Gyuba-doji is a kind of Buddhism statue.
It is said that this figure was made in Meiji era as the image of Kazan-houou. Houou is an abdicated emperor who has Joined a Buddhist order. The tragic story about Kazan is handed down through generations.

Gyuba-doji Statue
In Hashiori hill, there’s a small stone statue (about 50 cm tall)、called Gyuba-doji riding a horse and a cow、which was made in 1889 in memory of Kazan-in (968-1008).
This was his figure of 19 years old boy when he visited here.
He was unhappy emperor. Because he lost his emperor’s position by conspiracy.
After he became a monk, he visited many temples and shrines in Kumano and became one of emperors to make imperial pilgrimage to Kumano.
Many pilgrims in those days felt sorry for the lonely young emperor. That’s why he was loved by everybody. (Toshiko.S)

箸折峠には、牛と馬に乗った小さな石像(約50センチの高さ)があります。 1889年に花山院法皇(968-1008)供養の為に作られたものです。
当時の多くの巡礼者は、可哀想な孤独な天皇を気の毒に思いました。 だからこそ、花山院は、人々に愛されてきました。

Another stone monument that is called Hokyoin-to is standing behind the Gyuba-doji. Hokyoin-to is thought that written sutras had been in it.
This is a statue of Enno-ozunu who was a mountain priest.
The cluster amaryllis.(spider lilies)
CHikatuyu village
10 minutes’ walk from Gyuba―Doji statue, you cross the Hiki River.Beside the river, there is Chikatsuyu―Oji which is classified in the rank below the Gotai―Oji (the five most revered Oji shrines).
From ancient times pilgrims purified themselves in the river before they worshipped the Oji. The Retired Emperor, Go-Toba (1180-1239) held a poetry composing gathering here.
Chikatsuyu is located about half way from Tanabe where you start walking the Nakahechi route to Kumano Hongu, so it is said that Chikatsuyu was the important place and was prosperous as a station with many inns and stores. (Yumiko.S)

the remain of "Temma-sho"
"Temma-sho" was the "horse relay station" in Edo era, created by Tokugawa Ieyasu before the end of civil war( Sengoku era). He established Temma-sho network in whole Japan after he became shogunate.
There were 38 "Temma-sho"s in Kishu country or today's Wakayama prefecture. There are 125 railroad stations in the prefecture now. The number of "Temma-sho" indicate highly developed condition in Edo era compared to the number of the railroad stations today. Local people must maintain the Temma-sho with no salary. The horses at Temma-sho carried public resources and people to the next station, then horses were changed to new one. Kumano Kodo was the highway developed for strategic and economic purposes, rather than citizens.
In the area where we walked there were two stations. One was near Chikatsuyu-Oji and another one was at "Ippo-Sugi" in "Nonaka" about three km ahead. Next station was sixteen km to "Fushiogami-Oji".(Yasuo.H)

紀州、今日の和歌山県には38ヵ所の伝馬所があった。地元の住民は無償で伝馬所を維持しなければならなかった。伝馬所の馬は公共の物資や人員を次の中継点まで運び、新しい馬に引き継いだ。 割らした智が歩いた所には2つの伝馬所があり、ひとつは近露王子のそば、もう一つはの中の一方杉にあり、距離は約3mである。
次の伝馬所はもっと遠くて、伏拝王子にあり、距離は16kmである。 例えば野中の伝馬所では11頭の馬と人夫が常駐し、現在の消防署のようにいつでも出発できるように維持されていた。

white cluster amaryllis.
Tomb of the Nonagase Clan
After Chikatsuyu-Oji, you walk through Chikatsuyu village houses, take the left pass when you come to the intersection.
Follow a narrow slope lane beside small houses, you can find the tomb stones of the Nonagase Clan on the hill.
They are the stone stupa such as Gorin-tou and Hokyo-in-tou, and tomb stones which are said to be from 15th century (Muromachi era)
The Nonagase Clan had governed this Chikatsuyu area as the ruler of the manor owned by the noble class of Kyoto Imperial families.
The graves of Nonagase clan.
There had been about 60 year’s war in 14th century among the Kyoto Imperial families for the power, the two factions (North families and South families) battled each other supported by samurai warrior groups.
The Nonagase Clan supported the South, through the marriage of their several daughters with the imperial family of the South.
The Nonagase Clan was given the family name “Yokoya”(side arrow)as the reward for their protection of Ohto-miya (an imperial prince of the South) when he was attacked in 1332.
The name of the local Clan in such mountainous district was highlighted through their active role in the history of the Kyoto Imperial families in 14th century.
You can find many “Yokoya” family tombs in the cametry. (Haruo.S)


The sky was blue and it became a nice weather. we looked at Chiikano Elementary school on our left side, we had lunch at the yard of Chikano Shrine. After lunch we walkd again Kumano kodo , past Chikano Junir high school and went up the slope to the left. There was a small stone Budhha.
Kodo meet to wide and gentle road. we can enjoy nature view of the mountains. this mountain celled " Otome no negao". Otome means maiden, negao means sleeping face.
We can see a pointed mountain in the far away, it is called "Mikamori-yama". Mika means three days. It is said that Ogurihangan and his wife Terutehime passed this mountain. they had taken three days to pass there.
The monument of Hisohara-Oji
What is this flower's name? Bush clover?
Nonaka no Ipousugi
Tsugizakura-OJi (Torii gate)
Tsugizakura-Oji Shrine
another Ipou-sugi
Toganoki-chaya(tea house)

Map (From Chikatuyu-oji to Kobiro-oji )

# by wakayamakiga | 2017-09-27 22:36 | Nakahichi route/中辺路 | Comments(0)

From Takijiri-oji to Osakamoto-oji /滝尻王子~大阪本王子へ


 On July 20 (Thursday), 14 members of KIGA walked Kumano Kodo from Takijiri-oji of Nakahechii. 
 9:30 am, we got off two cars. At first , we visited to Takijiri-oji, and worshipped it. It was hot day, so we walked from the Hari-jizo(needle Jizo) in the middle point of this course, avoiding the steep road of the Turugi-yama( sword mountain) in the back.


  ここが熊野三山の神域の入口と言われています。 滝尻王子は富田川(旧岩田川)に沿って建ち、参詣の人々は川で身を清める垢離を行い、そうすることによって滅罪ができると信じられていました。  
  平安時代(約800年前) 藤原秀衡(東北の覇者)が、滝尻王子に来た時、側室が男子を出産しました。(当時、出産は不浄とされ、神社仏閣への参詣はできませんでした。)しかし、秀衡の夢枕に熊野の神が現れ、「参詣を続けよ」とのお告げがありました。  

Takijiri Oji 
 Takijiri Oji is one of the five most important ojis of the Kumano pilgrimage road.  It is said to be the entrance of the sacred area of Kumano Sanzan(three grand shrines) 
Takijiri Oji is located along the Tonda River(formerly Iwata River) 
 Pilgrims purify in this river. Ancient pilgrims believed that they could erase their sins.  
 In the Heian era (about 800 years ago), when Fijiwara Hidehira (Lord of north-east Japan) came to Takijiri Oji, his concubine gave birth to a boy. Considered that after childbirth, the mother was impure, so she couldn't visit shrines and temples for a while. 
 However, the daity of kumano appeared to Hidehira in a dream and told him to continue their pilgrimage.  They left the baby by a rock in a cave and continued. 
 When they returned, they found the baby in good health, having been protected by wolves and fed on water (milk) flowing a rock in gratitude. 
  Hidehira offered a sword for the birth and protection here of his child. This shrine is also called Tachi-no miya meaning, shrine of the sword. (Michiko)
A steep slope continues. We can feel the atmosphere of Kumano Kodo at this road.
We arrived at takahara Kumano Shrine. This shrine is founded in the Muromachi period.
Three large old trees grow on the backyard of the shrine. It's 600 to 700 years old.
   There is a Koshinzuka near the entrance of the shrine. The monkey's picture is drawn on the pedestal because People worshiped on the day of Koshin's day(Kanoe-saru), saru is monkey, so monkeys were drawn in later times.


A wonderful view is spreading. I will be touched whenever I come. There is a 'Takahara Mist no Sato' near the shrine, there is a rest area and a toilet. There is no toilet until Kamita after this. There is no house, there is no store for drinks and food. I recommend you to have lunch here.


  Although the slope will be a little gentle from the plateau, the climb continues. Who picked it There are several miniature towers piled stones on the street

   We arrived at Takahara pond. The climbing slope still continues. On the way, let's walk while taking a break. It seems that there used to be a water drink tea house near here.



We arrived at Daimonji. Once there was a big gate here, it was called Daimon


There is a small shrine and it is preserved. 


  We find a Neko-chan (cat) at Daimon-Oji. I met her early June at Takahara-Lake. She moved 0.5km toword Kumano the destination of Kumano pilgrimage.She find a excellent strategy to survive. She calls travelers "meow, meow" and gets some foods. There are few dangers, walking people are warm hearted and there are no predators like hawks. At Daimon-Oji there is mini-shrine building about 1m by 1m and it become the umbrella for Neko-chan.
  She was very clean and seemed not hungry. She was very friendly. "Neko" is a cat in Japanese and "Chan" means pet name for children, but today, even 70 years old "Oba-chan" (aunty) is called "--- Chan". (Yasuo)


Kumano Kodo goes on. Here is a little flat road, but soon we must walk uphill.

   Once upon a time a big man lived here. His name was Aku Siro. Aku means evil, but he was not bad ,so people called him this name as his nickname..

   The legend of "three moon" is transmitted at Uwadawa of Nakahechi. It is said that three moons will appear on November 23 of the lunar calendar.


  Charcoal Kiln
  We found three charcoal kiln remains within 8km long pass. The size of them are about 2 meters in diameter and 1.5m in height.  
  Until 1960s there were many charcoal kilns, but then LPG became the most popular fuel and need of charcoal declined dramatically. In those days carrying woods and shipment of charcoal were done by human power. So charcoal kiln was located the bottom of wood harvest area. Logging in one area was completed then moved to next area and built new kiln. 
  Today transportation is done by tracks in long distance. One charcoal kiln is used in long period. Demand of charcoal is very limited but "Bincho-tan" made in Wakayama is very famous and high quality. It is made from "Ubame-gashi" oak tree.  
  Best material of charcoal is oak trees, especially "Ubame-gashi", then acorns are excellent. Around the kiln remains most trees are cypress and cedar. They are not suitable for charcoal.
  It means forest changed naturally grown forest to manmade cypress and cedar forest in a half century. (Yasuo)


We walked pretty well. Ten kilometers of climbing will respond to my feet. We rested a bit and walked again. After passing Uwadawa, the road has come downhill.

  After crossing the side road of concrete, we walked on a steep downhill. It is a stoney road called Kuzure-ishi( collapsed stone). The road seemed to slip, so we walked slowly.

  It is Osaka-moto-0ji. There are many rivers around here, we walked across several bridges.



  While watching the valley and the river from the Osaka-moto-oji, we went to the Michi-no-eki of Nakahechi It was 3:30 pm. We were able to arrive on schedule. Someone said that this world is hot.
It was good that everyone was able to walk safely . I am a little tired but feeling refreshing. The photo took at near Uwadawa.(Michi)

171.png 澤田さんから投稿をいただきました。171.png

 皆さん こんにちは。 
  熊野古道の滝尻王子から大坂本王子までの感想をお話したいと思います。距離は約10キロ、標高は、平均500メートルです。約6時間のハイキングでした。 13人の参加者達と共に思った以上の楽しい時間を過ごせました。 殆どの道が木陰で快適なハイキングでした。青空の美しい晴れのお天気で蒸し暑かったです。 
 しばらく汗をかきながら息もあえぎながら険しい坂道を登っていくと、さわやかな風が吹いてきて身体を元気づけてくれます。自然の最高の贈り物です。山道を歩いていると山の自然の生き物に気がつきます。ウグイス、ホトトギス そして夏の定番の蝉ですが、特にヒグラシの鳴き声は、味わいがあります。 

高原の美しい山々――山の麓からの雄大な景色。 山々のグラデーションが魅力的です。

  巡礼者達は、旅で亡くなることを覚悟していたのです。私たちは、古の巡礼者達が坂道を上ったり下ったりした同じ体験が出来ます。その後は、温泉で入浴は、いかがですか? きっと、気分サッパリと元気が出てきますよ!!(澤田トシ子)                

 Hello everyone,  
 Here I would like to tell you my impression about Ancient Pilgrimage Route fromTakijiri Oji to Osakamoto Oji which extends about 10 kilometers and its altitude is 500meters on the average. And it takes about 6 hours.    I had a wonderful time with 13 participants and I could hike pleasantly because most of paths were in the shade of trees.   
 It was sunny day with beautiful blue sky. But it’s hot and humid. As I climbed up steep slope sweating and panting for a while, I got the biggest gift from nature, a gentle breeze, which made my body cooler and encouraged me. While hiking the path, I noticed living things in mountains such as bush warblers, little cuckoos and one of typical insets in summer cicadas, especially sound of evening cicadas was attractive. I heard nice concert there.   
 Well, I’d like to recommend you some spots that I like.

Beautiful mountains in Takahara
.   Views of the mountains looking down at the foot of mountain are spectacular.I was fascinated by subtle gradations of colors.

Giant camphor trees in Takahara Kumano Shrine.   There stand outstanding giant camphor trees behind the shrine. I recommend you gazing and touching them directly. I bet you may feel something immeasurable in your heart.

Koban Jizo.
   Here were many pilgrims who died of sickness or hunger. It is said that there was a traveler who died with Koban(gold coin used in olden times) in his mouth.Local people in this area gave him condolences and a burial. Pilgrims were prepared for the possibility they might die on the journey.   
 Visitors can climb up and down the ragged path as pilgrims in olden time did.After that, how about bathing in hot spring? You feel refreshed and revived.

Map (From Takijiri-oji to Chikatuyu-oji )

# by wakayamakiga | 2017-07-26 01:24 | Nakahichi route/中辺路 | Comments(0)

From Ichinose Oji to Takijiri Oji/一之瀬王子~鮎川王子~滝尻へ

Kozenji temple / 興禅寺
The biggest statue of Bodhidharma at Kozenji temple/ 興禅寺の達磨像
 Kozenji temple is called "Daruma dera" or Daruma temple. There is a giant Daruma statue which is the biggest one in Japan.
Bodhidharma is the founder of Zen sect Buddhism and called Daruma in japan. Another meaning of Dharma is the "theory" of Buddhism.
 This Daruma statue was built by Mr.Yoshida former priest of this temple in 1974. He felt great sorrow about dead soldiers in the WWⅡ. He gathered the sand of South Pacific Islands and South East Asian countries where cruel fighting happened. The places he went to and gathered dead bone and sand count 120places. He mixed that sand and built a Daruma statue by himself with praying for peace.
 This temple stands at the foothill of the mountain range at south of Tonda-gawa river. In this area there are many rice paddys and ancient Japanese landscape remains. Soon the chorus of many frogs will begin.
 In the well maintained garden there are many trees and floweres. In the bright June sun light, garden were filled fresh green and was very beautiful. Some of floweres were full bloom. Two gardeners were working for pruning the garden trees.(Yasuo.H.)

 興禅寺は、「だるま寺」と言われています。日本で最大の巨像である達磨の像があります。Bodhidharmaは禅宗の仏教の創始者であり、日本ではDarumaと呼ばれています。Dharma の別の意味は、仏教の「理論」です。
 Iwata River/岩田川(現富田川)

 Ancient people thought the Iwata River was the most Important river for Mizu-Gori. The reason is that Iwata River is the closest one to the sacred Hongu Shrine. Once you enter the river, you will be instantly purified,
  People used to try to get rid of filthiness such as worldy desire, vices and the burdeds they had accumulated while alive. They often took religious acts such as Mizu-Gori. Mizu means water, Gori means an action of removal from the filth.
  By soaking one's body in the cold water of river, one can feel as if the bad things one had were washed away. People imposed a hard spiritual Journey on themselves to restart a new life. (Teruko)

古代の人々は岩田川を渡ることにより、自身を清めることができる最も重要な場所だと考えていた。  なぜならば、岩田川は本宮から直接流れている神聖な川なのだから。一度、岩田川に浸ると悪行や罪やら、自身がためこんだものは直ちに消えて流れ去ると考えていた。
  当時の人々は、生きている間にためこんだ現世の欲望や、悪行などのような汚れを取り除こうとしていた。 そのため、彼らは水垢離のような宗教的行動をよく行った。
 垢離とは穢れを除去する行動を意味する。 人は冷たい川の水に身体を浸すことで、自身がもっている悪いものが洗い流させるこのように感じたのである。人々は新しい人生を再スタートさせるために、自分自身に、大変な修行の旅を課したのであった。(森)

Ichinose Oji / 一之瀬王子


 Ichinose Oji is 15 minutes’ walk from Kozenji temple. A big camphor tree led us to the Oji. Ichinose Oji is also called Yabunaka Oji.
 It was originally at the crossing of the Iwata River, and the name comes from the Ichi-no-se, Ni-no-se, and San-no-se place names. It also derives from the old village name of Ichi-no-se.
 Long time ago the river was narrow and pilgrims crossed the river and purified themselves and worshipped the gods of Kumano. 
 In Chuyuki, Munetada Fujiwara wrote he crossed the river 19 times. On the bank of the river, I thought about ancient times when ex-emperors and court ladies had crossed the river on foot. (Yumiko.S)

川を渡る、上皇や女院達に想いを馳せました。 岩田川の沿岸を歩きます。(須川)


 藤原定家の歌が刻まれています。「そめし秋を くれぬとたれかいはた河 またなみこゆる 山姫のそで」 山姫とはだれのことを想って歌ったのでしょうか?清姫か、あるいは地元の娘さんか?







Map (From Inabane Oji to Takijiri Oji)

# by wakayamakiga | 2017-06-25 15:25 | Kii route /紀伊路 | Comments(0)

潮見峠のひるね王子で・Hirune Oji in Shiomi pass


 On May 15th, we walked the Shiomi pass. The following sentences are written by KIGA members. 
  After we got off a taxi, we started walking along the winding path leading up to the depths of the mountains. Spotting unfamiliar tiny flowers on the way, we enjoyed the refreshing smell of May breeze.
  We hiked about 2 hours and then finally found a suitable place for lunch.  
  It was an old building called a “cha-ya , or a teahouse in English. At the place, we happened to meet an elderly man, who is the owner of it and used to run.  
  We understood he seemed to be proud of being the land owner there. He said he would still like to entertain whoever drops by. He showed me his small pond full of red fish and his cage with two cute hamsters in. And he told me that he enshrines one of the sacred deities called “Hirune Oji” right next to the pond.
Furthermore, he proudly said that there is ground nearby spacious enough for a helicopter to land on. One thing you shouldn’t miss is a view, if you come, you can enjoy the panorama of the city of Tanabe and the Pacific Ocean because the cha-ya stands almost near the mountaintop.
  While we sat on logs eating lunch, we were greatly healed by the whisper of green leaves of tall trees rustling in the breeze and the cha-ya owner’s friendly face full of good intentions.

  We even had fun riding on a handmade swing hanging from a sturdy branch. Can’t this place be called a kind of “heaven”, which contains scenic beauty, a cozy atmosphere nature creates and the welcoming warmth coming from the old man.

 Oh, I almost forgot that we were on the way to Kumano Shrine, which people believe is a place where they can revive. These places must be real heaven.
 By sipping a cup of free coffee he offered, we recharged our batteries. Of course we thanked the man for his hospitality, and also were thankful for the abundance of nature and our country’s long history.
 Then we departed for the “Shiomi Toge” (Teruko)

そこで私たちは一人のご老人にたまたまでくわした。彼は昔、その茶屋を本格的に営んでいたが、今はもう閉めているという。 どうやら彼はその土地に結構、誇りをお持ちのようだ。彼いわく、立ち寄られる方どなたでももてなしてあげたいと。 
 旅人の私を彼が造ったと自慢げに、優雅に泳ぐ小さな緋鯉がたくさんいる小池に案内してくれたり、彼がかっている本当にかわいいハムスターも見せてくれた。 彼は小池のそばに、彼の先祖が大切にしていた”ひるね王子”という小さな祠を造り、日々お参りしているとのこと。


  無料のコーヒーを頂き、再びエネルギーを充電した私たちは、ご老人のもてなしに感謝をして、古の昔から残る長いこの国の歴史や自然にも心から頭を垂れつつ、潮見峠へ向かった。(森 照子)
Nejiki-no-sugi in Siomi-toge-pass ねじ木の杉と清姫伝説

 There is a historecal big cedar tree called Nejiki-no-sugi. It's about 20 meters hight and 6 meters in circumference.
 Looking up the tree, I'm overwhelmed by the odd. Shaper branches. 
There is a story of this tree.
 In the Heian era, there was a young monk called Anchin. 
 When he visited Kumano, he stayed a house. There was a young owner's daughter called Kiyohime.
  Anchin was very handsome, therefore she fell in love with him and asked him to marry her. But he didn't answer about it and said "I'll come back to see you again." Then he left for Kumano.
She had been waiting for his return. But he didn't come back. He took another way. He ran a way from her. As soon as she knew the truth, she chased and ran up to Siomi-toge pass, climed up the big cedar tree.
Finally she found him, and screamed "I'm annoyed, come back , please!"
At the end, the cedar tree twisted by her anger.
This story is a little defferent from the Dojoji-temple version. But it has been passed down since old days in this area.  (Michiko)

  平安時代、安珍という若い僧がいました。彼が熊野詣をした時、ある家に宿を借りました。その宿には清姫という若い娘がいました。安珍は大変ハンサムだったので、清姫は気に入り、「私をお嫁さんにして下さい」と言いました。 しかし、彼は熊野詣での途中であったので、すぐに返事をしませんでした。
  清姫は安珍の言葉を信じて、彼の帰りをずっと待ち続けました。けれども、いつまで待っても彼は帰ってきません。 彼は別の道を通って帰ったことを、旅の人 から聞いた時、清姫は彼を追いかけて走りはじめました。
  ある時、真砂庄の庄司が蛇を助けた所、美しい女性が現れ、嫁になって住みつき、清姫が生まれました。 安珍の鏡に映った清姫は蛇の姿であったので、驚いて逃げ出したという話も伝わっています。(山本美知子)

Siomi-Toge pass
  Sio means sea, Mi means view, Toge means hill.   
  Since Ancient times Kumano pilgrims pass from the Siomi Toge they can view Tnabe bay for the last time, the Tanabe area and going to Hongu.
  Early Showa era there were only two tea shops, but now instead of tea shops there is a rest house with a clean toilet.
  It's a great place to take a short break.
 From here on, it's all dawn hill.
  Going up hill the road is tough, so hikers think that going dawn hill will also be difficult, however the road down hill is paved in good condetion. Going dawn hill is like a walk in the park.
   I recommend to hiking in Shiomi Toge pass if you want to see the same view that the ancient people saw. (Ayumi)


# by wakayamakiga | 2017-06-08 23:57 | Kii route /紀伊路 | Comments(0)

KIGA 熊野・高野国際語り部の会のブログです

by 熊野小僧(kumano kozo)