Kumano Kodo: Nakahechi Route
April 5 - April 10, 2020
April 12 - April 17, 2020
You sense it already; and your sense is right. There is a deep wisdom in this wood.
The Kumano Kodo is little known in our bustling western world, and yet it stands - deeply and surely - despite our lack of acknowledgment. It is a quiet region; a humble region. It does not boast nor call out for affirmation. The dirt, rocks, and trees hold the memories of those who have passed by on their way to the Grand Shrines since the 10th century. Hundreds and hundreds of years. Thousands and thousands of pilgrims. This land begets reverence. A sacred place, no doubt, and one that calls her travelers into their own still holiness, as well.
The Kii Peninsula is a raw land. It is no stranger to earthquakes, tsunamis, high rains, typhoons, landslides. The route can be impassable at times; detours forged through rough terrain. The heat and humidity can be debilitating. And yes, I'll say it: snakes, centipedes, and hornets. The area is raw - the threat of danger is real - but those who seek to learn from the resilience, the stillness, and the power of the Deep Unshakable will not be deterred.
The path is raw, yes, and the path is good.
We will walk through cedar and blooming cherry blossom trees and be rewarded by a peace deeper than we've felt in a very long time. We will be greeted warmly upon arrival into town and ushered into local luxury by innkeepers who may or may not know a word of English. We will bathe and soak and release the day in natural Japanese onsens: mineral hot spring baths thought to bring healing to all who rest there. We will enjoy a full spread of cuisine native to the area, prepared by our hosts, often using vegetables from their own gardens or fish caught in their own river. We will laugh together - earnestly - and forge friendships deeper than time and space. We will sleep soundly on mattresses rolled out on the tatami mat floor and awaken by sunlight and birdsong each morning.
This is not a vacation. this is a quest.
Two Spring 2020 trips will be offered, each trip limited to 5 guests
We will meet in Kii-Tanabe, Japan and walk together from Takijiri-oji to Nachisan
Holy route passing through Buddhist Temples, Shinto Grand Shrines, Toriis, and Pagodas
Total distance ~ 40 miles
6 days, 5 nights (including one rest day in Hongu)
Pilgrim credentials upon completion (Dual Pilgrim credentials if prior completion of Camino de Santiago)
Kumano Kodo Cost: $2075.00
Includes: 5 nights shared accommodations, 6 evening meals, 2 lunches, and 4 breakfasts
Kumano Kodo Plus Cost: $2275.00
Includes: 5 nights shared accommodations, 6 evening meals, 2 lunches, 4 breakfasts, monthly informational newsletters, and unlimited access to me for personalized questions and accountability on gear, training, travel planning, and any additional questions that may arise in trip planning.
*Kumano Kodo Plus strongly recommended for those with no prior long distance walking experience
*Payment plans are available for either package