Kumano Kodo Nature Hiking & Ise Grand Shrine Trip: Part 1


Taking the night bus to Mie (approximately 400 miles away from Tokyo), those attending this TUJ trip awoke in the morning to find a lovely beach!


Even though it was around 5:30AM, the sun and sea was refreshing and energizing (not to say we all didn’t nap after getting back on the coach).


  After a bit of driving, we arrived at our first hiking site. It was a short trek up the mountain, very enjoyable for an early morning walk.


  The trees were absolutely incredible, rising far above us but still allowing sun to dance around.


  We discovered that the cedars were sacred objects themselves, most over 800 years old!


  As we went further on, we found many other people making the pilgrimage up to the shrine at the peak. White is a traditional color to wear when making this pilgrimage.


  The weather was perfect for hiking with a cool breeze and warm sun all day.


  The peak offered a beautiful view of the valley, with cherry blossoms blooming and blue mountains fading into the horizon.


  There were a surprising amount of people at the peak’s temple! Everyone was thankful to have completed the numerous amount of stairs leading up.


  Each temple offers a stream of fresh water accompanied with a series of bamboo ladles to cleanse the hands and the spirit. There is a particular ritual of scooping and rinsing the mouth, which left me feeling cool and refreshed.



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