Kumano Vacation

March 23, 2009

Originally uploaded by angrydicemoose

Had been planning this trip for several years now, it had been ten years since I had been to the Kumano region of Japan. Since I had last went the area had been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but I was mostly interested in meeting relatives whom I had not seen the beginning of the century. My maternal grandfather was from the area (he moved to and stayed in Tokyo) and I have a lot of fond memories of the great times that my relatives showed me and the overwhelming beauty of the nature in the region. Over the three day weekend I met up with two current/former colleagues and we made our ways over to Kii Peninsula (Pictures). On Day one two of us met up in Matusaka and had some beef, we then drove our rental car down the cost into Wakayama Prefecture and Shingu. Dinner was spent with cousins, their children and their children's children, four different generations were present at the dinner. One of my cousins has grandchildren now. . .which is kind of like having granchildren myself, isn't it?


Day two started with going to a family grave to pay my respects. Yu-Ching joined us before noon and the heavy rains in the morning melted away. We went to Jofuku Koen, and then went to the Kumano Shrines of Kumano Hayatama, Kamikura and Nachi. My cousin was kind enough to arrange for us to get a guided tour at Hayatama and I both learned a lot and spared my two companions from my mistaken knowledge. Thanks to the amazing detective work of my friends we found another family grave. We then went to some hot springs; hot springs in a cave with a view of the Pacific Ocean, it was as amazing as it sounds.


We woke up early on Day three and traveled inland across the peninsula and visited the last of the three major Kumano Shrines, Hongu. We made our way to Shirahama on the other side of the peninsula, dropped off our car and grabbed the train to Osaka. At Osaka we parted ways, I was left with fond memories and hopes for another trip with the same people in the near future. And of course, great thanks to my relatives for yet again making this trip to the region a memorable and wonderful one.


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