Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Trails

Kumano Kodo Trails

The Kumano Kodo is a network of ancient pilgrimage trails on the Kii peninsula, the largest peninsula in Japan. These sacred routes were used, and still are in fact, by pilgrims travelling to sacred sites like the Three Grand Shrines of Kumano: Hongu Taisha, Nachi Taisha and Hayatama Taisha.

Earliest records of these trails date back to the beginning of 10th century although they can be even older than that. Although today some parts of the trails aren’t running through the forests as they originally did, large part of the trail network is really well preserved and since 2004 the trails are registered as UNESCO World Heritage as Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range.

Most tourists making a trip to Japan don’t visit Kumano Kodo during their first trip there. My girlfriend and I, however, felt in love with it since we first read about it in the Lonely Planet guide about Japan. Cedar trees, mystical atmosphere, long history… it all sounded too good not to see it. And even though we have just seen a few kilometers from the network that has several hundreds of them we weren’t disappointed! The place feels really magical! And for me it was one of the highlights of my 3-weeks trip to Japan.


Today I would like to share one of the photos from Kumano Kodo, from the rather short trail known as Daimon-zaka, which is basically impressive cobblestone staircase surrounded by ancient cedar trees and which is believed to be one of the most beautiful and picturesque trails of Kumano Kodo. The photo shows a tourist dressed in a traditional Heian era kimono. These kimonos started to appear around 10th century and were particularly popular among court ladies. Nowadays no one wears them anymore of course but you can rent one if you wish to experience how the pilgrims in 10th century travelled.

Pilgrimage on the Kumano Kodo TrailAnd finally here’s EXIF info for this image:

Technical details:
Camera: Canon 5D MK III (read my review)
Lens: Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS USM
Focal length: 24 mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure time: 1/30 s
ISO: 400
Number of exposures: 1
E.V. Step: n/a
Flash used: no
Tripod: no
Filters: no
Technique: n/a
Software: Magic Lantern, Capture One 9, Photoshop CC 2015, ON1 Effects 10

2017-01-17T19:42:27+00:00 April 18th, 2016|Posted in: Japan|