69 Days – Hiking the Nakahechi (Day 1)

The Nakahechi route is one of the main pilgrimage routes of the Kumano Kodo, a network of ancient trails that cross the Kii Peninsula in Japan. The Nakahechi route is the most popular of the trails and is known for its beautiful forests and mountain scenery. It is a long-distance walking trail that starts at the Hongu Taisha shrine in the town of Tanabe and ends at the Nachi Taisha shrine in the town of Nachikatsuura. Along the way, the trail passes through the towns of Takijiri, Koguchi, and Tsugizakura, among others. The Nakahechi route is about 70 kilometers long and takes about four to five days to complete on foot. It is one of the most beautiful and challenging of the trails on the Kumano Kodo, and it is popular with both pilgrims and nature enthusiasts.

We have a few options of getting from Koyasan to Takijiri to start the walk:

  1. By bus: From Koyasan, take a bus to the town of Tanabe. From there, transfer to another bus that goes to Takijiri. The entire journey takes about 2 hours and costs around 4000 yen.
  2. By train: From Koyasan, take the Nankai Koya Line to the town of Hashimoto. From there, transfer to the Kisei Main Line and take it to the Takijiri Station. The journey takes about 2 hours and costs around 4000 yen.
  3. By car: From Koyasan, head south on National Route 169 and then turn onto National Route 42. This route takes about 1.5 hours and is the quickest way to get to Takijiri.

After we arrive, we will walk from Takijiri to Tsugizakura on the first day.

The distance from Takijiri to Tsugizakura along the Nakahechi route of the Kumano Kodo is about 14 kilometers. It is a beautiful walk through the mountains and forests of the Kii Peninsula, and it takes about 5 to 6 hours to complete. The trail is mostly flat, with some gentle ups and downs, and it follows a mostly clear and well-maintained path. Along the way, you will pass through small villages, shrines, and temples, and you will have the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings of the area. It is a challenging but rewarding walk, and it is a great way to experience the beauty and spiritual significance of the Kumano Kodo.

Phrases of the Day:

  1. お降りですか? (おおりですか?) – “O-oride suka?” (Do you want to get off?)
  2. ここで降ります。 (ここでおります。) – “Koko de orimasu.” (I will get off here.)
  3. どこまで行きますか? (どこまでいきますか?) – “Doko made ikimasu ka?” (Where does this bus go?)
  4. このバスはどこまで行きますか? (このバスはどこまでいきますか?) – “Kono basu wa doko made ikimasu ka?” (Where does this bus go?)
  5. いくらですか? (いくらですか?) – “Ikura desu ka?” (How much is the fare?)
  6. 切符はありますか? (きっぷはありますか?) – “Kippu wa arimasu ka?” (Do you have a ticket?)
  7. これはいくらですか? (これはいくらですか?) – “Kore wa ikura desu ka?” (How much is this?)

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