We think that Wakayama prefecture is one of the best tour spots in Japan as theme park of both mountain worship sacred places and magnificent nature landscape which was created by enormous rising of the land caused by the earthquakes occurred in ancient period of 15million years ago with excellent hot spring resorts thanks to the nature history.
Kii mountains located in the prefecture of Wakayama, Nara and Mie has been the objects of the nature worship sacred places and the mountain ascetic practices from ancient period.
The mountain worship sacred places consists of three which are Mt.Koya, Kumano-Sanzan and Yoshino-Oomine.
Those were registered as World cultural Heritage registered as “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range”.
1) The place where you can experience:
(About Kumano Sanzan):
Kumano Sanzan consist of three shrines named Kumano-Hongu Taisha, Kumano-Hayatama Taisha and Kumano-Nachi Taisha whose main enshrined deities are the ones described as mythology in “Nihonshoki” as the oldest Japanese history book finished in 720. According to this “Nihon Shoki”, two gods named Izanami-no-Mikoto and Izanagi-no-Mikoto were the wife and husband who had created islands in Japan at the first time and Susano-no-Mikoto was the son of them who created actual country on earthly world in Japan.
These three gods are enshrined in three shrine buildings (from 1st to 3rd) each for Kumano Sanzan.
God named Amaterasu-Oomikami who was the daughter of Izanami-no-Mikoto and Izanagi-no-Mikoto is enshrined in the fourth shrine of Kumano-Hongu-Taish. Amaterasu-Oomikami (the Sun of Goddess) is the female god who is the Imperial ancestor and this god has been also enshrined in Ise Jingu shrine which is the headquarter of all 80 thousand Shrine in Japan.
There are several arguments if these historical descriptions of deities are true or not, however, thanks to this mythology of Gods, Japan has kept Imperial Household of same family on more than 1400 years without be killed or ruined by any Samurai worriers who had dominated Japan.
(a) Kamikura shrine:
Kamikura mountain is located in Shingu city of Wakayama prefecture by 15 minutes walking from Kumano Hayatama Taisha.
Kamikura shrine is located on half way up Kamikura mountain and this shrine is the Auxiliary shrine of Kumano Hayatama Taisha. The 538 stone steps toward Kamikura shrine were made by Yoritomo Minamoto in 1193 who was the top Samurai worriers established Kamakura period (1192 – 1333).
This stone steps were built up by unprocessed nature stones and very steep on some portions that has let this path as the most famous and tough Kodo (old path).
After climbing up these stone steps by using maximum physical strength and mental power, we found at first the Torii gate on the summit of the mountain with several big rocks on a giant monolith.
This monolith is the sacred object of Kamikura shrine named “Gotobiki-Iwa” because this rock looks like toad. This sacred place is said to be the one where Gods deified in Kumano Sanzan for the first time had descend.
(b) Kumano Hayatama Taisha:
Total twelves numbers of Gods including Izanagi-no-Mikoto, Izanami-no-Mikoto and Susano-no-Mikoto are enshrined in Kumano Hayatama Taisha.
(c) Hananoiwaya shrine:
This shrine made by the rock cave is said to be the oldest shrine where Izamani-no Mikoto who was the mother of all gods was buried after her death due to being burned when she bear her son named a fire god. There have been festivals held named “Reitaisai” twice a year from ancient period where dancing offered to the god is held and a big rope of 170 meter length are connected from the sacred object on the rock cave as 45 meter height to a sacred pine tree in the precinct.
The landscape along by the beach of Kii peninsula and the mechanism how this geography has been created:
About 18 million years – 15 million years ago, the depression looks like a tray on underground layer of 1500 km depth from sea surface, sands and mud flew out from the land had been accumulated and formed as the sedimentary formations as the base of the land. After the occurrence, about 15 million years – 14 million years ago, enormous magma had appeared on underground and those magma had pushed up to the original formations. Then, those magma had become the solid-state by being cooled and the igneous rocks had been created.
As such, Kii peninsula consists of various type pf land layers mixed that has let this Kii peninsula created beautiful landscape, various plants & animals, various onsen/hot springs and special culture related with the belief in Kumano.
(a) Onigashiro/stone wall:
Onigashiro/stone wall is located in the south of Kii peninsula of Mie prefecture. The igneous rock on Kumano made by Acidid rock had rushed into the sedimentary rocks in Kumano land layer that had caused the rising of the land. After the occurrence, due to the erosion by winds and waves attacked there, only the igneous rocks has been remained that has created the nature art of Onigashiro. This stone wall continue with about 1km along by Kumano-nada sea.
(b) Hashikui-Iwa rocks:
Enormous magma had appeared on underground and those magma had pushed up to the original sedimentary formations. Then, those magma had become the solid-state by being cooled and the igneous rocks had been created. It is considered that the sedimentary rock layer had been disappeared by the sea water erosion with only the igneous rock layer has been remained that has created
(c) Open-air bath of Nanki-Katsuura onsen:
You can enjoy open-air bath of Nanki-Katsuura Onsen in early morning, for example from 5am.
In the bath, you can see Pacific Ocean through forests spreading out right front of you with dark sky upward. You may be able to feel mysterious and sacred atmosphere after you had experience of sacred tour in Kumano related with Gods of mythology.
Japan Van prepares various tour itineraries for you to enjoy the view in Japan.
The minimum itinerary days is more than 5 days.
Contents of our service: We can arrange a car and a National Government Licensed Guide Interpreter for your trip.
|Car charter and a guide condition|
|1||Number of tourists: 2pax – 12pax|
|2||Charter time and guide condition: 12 hours (including 4 hours resting time)|