Authored by Kat Davis, Japan’s Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage is another book from Cicerone. This particular guide details the country’s most popular and historically rich hike. People from all levels of society, including retired emperors and aristocrats, have made the pilgrimage to Kumano for more than 1000 years, which covers a network of ancient trails on the Kii Peninsula, south of Osaka. Detailing the Nakahechi, Kohechi and Iseji trails, as well as Koyasan and the Choishimichi route, the guide has all the practical information needed, along with notes on the routes’ rich history and culture.

Clear route description and mapping is accompanied by comprehensive details of accommodation and facilities, as well as notes on local points of interest and inspirational colour photography. You’ll find a wealth of practical information to help plan your trip, covering transport, climate, accommodation, budgeting, equipment and safety, as well as fascinating background information on history, religion and wildlife. There is also a Japanese glossary and helpful advice on Japanese customs and etiquette.

Japan’s Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage offers a different view of Japan; far removed from the modern cities, this is a world of forested slopes, hidden valleys, waterfalls, traditional villages, moss-covered stone deities and tranquil oji shrines. There are opportunities to experience hot-spring bathing and to sample local cuisine as you follow in the footsteps of emperors, samurai, priests and ascetics traversing traditional flagstone paths and forest trails.

In 1998 the Kumano Kodo was twinned with the Camino de Santiago, meaning walkers who complete both can register as ‘dual pilgrims‘. This program was developed to celebrate, honor, and share the stories of those who have completed both of these UNESCO World Heritage pilgrimage routes.

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