Kumano Vacation

March 23, 2009

那智の滝
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?

ここ数年戻りたいと思いながら行けていなかった、熊野地方。最後に行ったときから世界遺産に登録されたのですが、一番行きたかった理由は10年近く会えていなかった親戚に会うため。母側の祖父が熊野地方出身であり(東京に移ったが)、子供の頃から遊びに行くと親戚のみんなのおかげで本当に良い思い出ばかりがある心から愛している場所である。3連休に現・元同僚とともに紀伊半島に向かった(画像)。初日は一人と松阪で合流して、回転焼き肉に挑戦、肉は回転していなかったが美味しかった。そして、新宮に向かって、紀伊半島の山中と海沿いの道を南下。晩ご飯ははとこなどを含めた親戚4代と。はとこには今孫がいる、僕に孫がいるようなもんだよね?

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.

二日目にはモーニング食べてからお墓参り。昼前に毓青が合流してその瞬間に激しかった雨も曇り空も晴天に、天気は東京に帰るまでは晴れのまま。すぐに徐福公園に行く。荷物をおろしてから、熊野神社の速玉大社、神倉神社、那智大社(那智の大滝)を見る。速玉大社でははとこのおかげで、神社のの方から説明を受けることが出来て、また大変勉強になった。その後、同僚二人の協力もあって、家族のお墓が見つかりまたお墓参り。しめに、温泉に入る。洞窟の中の露天風呂から太平洋を眺める、最高。一日歩いた疲れが全部消えた。

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.

三日目は早く起きて、半島を車で横断、本宮大社で参拝、そして白浜に向かい、車と別れる。白浜でご飯すませて、電車で大阪に向かい解散。最高の旅行を満喫。一緒にいった友だち、そしてまた今回も素晴らしい思い出を提供した親戚のみんなにとにかく感謝。来年は20+年ぶりにお燈祭りに参加するか。。。

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