Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Carpe Diem #1625 Kumano Kodo ... a new trail

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What an awesome pilgrimage this Kumano Kodo (ancient road) is. We are on our way through the Kii peninsula and are close to nature ... The Kumano Kodo is one of the most important Shinto pilgrimages and it's not a one trail pilgrimage. As I told you in an earlier episode ... the Kumano Kodo is a pilgrimage created out of five different trails. Until today we walked the Nakahechi Route, and today we will go further on one of the other trails ... the Iseji Route. Let me tell you a little bit more about this Kumano Kodo trail.

Iseji connects Kumano with Ise Shrine in Mie Prefecture. Like Ohechi, much of Iseji's coastal trail has been covered by paved roads and towns. Only short, isolated sections remain as stoned or earthen trails today. Among them, the Magose Pass in Owase City and Matsumoto Pass in Kumano City are some of the most picturesque.

Magose Pass

Magose-toge Pass forms the boundary between Miyamacho and Owase City. A moss covered stone path stretches about 2 Km into the beautiful cypress forest covered with ferns.
There are points of historical interest along the path which include a Haiku monument, 5-7-5 syllable poetry created by Karyoen Toitsu, Yonaki-jizo, a stone statue of the guardian deity of children and a Magose Milestone.
There is a hiking trail which leads to Tengura-san Mount overlooking Owase City on the east side of the pass. Magosekoen Park on the way down the pass is renowned for its cherry blossoms.

I ran through our rich history and surfed the WWW to find the haiku by Toitsu, but couldn't find it, but maybe one of you has more luck in finding that haiku. To give a haiku in the same sense I love to share one by myself:

on the mountain slopes
fragile cherry blossom petals fall
it seems to snow

© Chèvrefeuille

I think this one fits, because we are walking the Kumano Kodo straight through the Kii peninsula, a wonderful region in Japan with a lot of mountains.

cherry blossom on the mountain slope
Well ... a wonderful start of our new trail on the Kumano Kodo. I am looking forward to your responses.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until March 19th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode later on.


  1. Hello Kristjaan -

    Here is a link to the poem by Karyoen Toitsu: http://www.kodo.pref.mie.lg.jp/en/course/08.html

    According to the link the poem is translated as:

    blossoms of the night
    above a sound can be heard
    ahh, mountain water

    1. Thank you for this response. What a wonderful poem this is. I really couldn't find this poem ... so you have made my day.