Trekking with an experienced local JMGA guide in Kumano, through the famous ancient pilgrimage route, Oomine Okugake-michi, of the Shugendo monks.
Oomine Mountain Range
May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep
The originator of Shugendo, En-no-Ozuno, had opened Oomine Okugake-michi as a religious training route for Shugendo monks in the 7th century. The pilgrimage route runs from Yoshino to Kumano area, visiting the numerous worshipped peaks through the sacred mountains of Oomine Mountain Range.
The route is divided into two sections by the point of Shaka-ga-take, the 40th Nabiki, which means the learning place of the ascetic monks. It is also said that two areas depict the Mandala of the Two Realms. North side is Kongo Area (Diamond Realm), and South side is Taizou Area (Womb Realm).
Our tour takes you through Oomine Okugake-michi, the World Heritage of pilgrimage route from Doro-gawa to Zenki in Diamond Realm in 4 days. There will be a couple of nights where we will be staying overnight at a ‘Shukubou‘, which is a lodging inside a temple. There, you will be able to experience the way of monks and experience the monks’ cuisine – ‘Shojin Ryori’.
I am a local JMGA guide as well as a Shugendo monk. With me, let’s enjoy walking and feeling the syncretization of Shinto and Buddhism in the ancient forest of Kumano!
This tour is for male only, because we will visit areas that prohibit women’s entry due to religious reasons.
High school student and older
Guide Ratio – Minimum 2 people Up to 4 people
You must be prepared to walk and respect the religious route.
*Please let me know if you require accommodations. I can make reservations for you and the cost will be approximately JPY 9,000 per night per person with 2 meals.
Suitable trekking / mountaineer walking clothes (cotton is not good)
Hiking boots (sneakers are not good)
Water bottle, etc.
*We will send you the detailed itinerary with the information on kit list, and accommodation after tour reservation.
- Guiding fee
- Personal insurance
We will meet at Dorogawa Onsen Bus Stop at 11:00 a.m. And we will arrive at Seijyou Oohashi (no women admitted from this gate) around noon. At about 3:00 p.m., we will visit Sanjyo-ga-dake(1,719m), which is the mountain no women can enter due to religious reasons. At the end of the day, we will stay at a ‘Shukubou’ (temple lodging) for the night.
We will start today’s walk at 6:00 a.m. Around 11:00, we will reach Dai-fugen-dake(1,780m), which is the mountain for Shugendo monks’ training. We will travel further to Gyojya-gaeri-dake (1,546m), a sacred mountain through Tenkawa-tsuji. Then, we will arrive at Mt. Misen (1,895m) at 4:00 p.m. On this night, we will stay at Misen mountain hut.
Again, we will start our day at 6:00 a.m. and will head to Hakkyo-ga-take (1,915m) at 6:30 a.m. After that, we will go to Shaka-ga-take (1,800m), where there is a statue of Buddha enshrined in 1924. Then, we go to Taiko-no-tsuji (1,450m) and end at Mt. Zenki at 4:00 p.m. Zenki is the husband of a couple, who were teachers of originator of Shugendo. And we will stay at a ‘Shukubou’ (temple lodging) for the night.
We will leave the Shukubou at 6:30 a.m., and arrive at Zenki-guchi Bus Stop at 8:00 a.m. and our tour finish here. We will take Nara-Kotsu Bus at 8:59 a.m. to Yamato-Yagi Station at 11:54 a.m. and dismiss.
Sakura-moto-bou Misen mountain hut Onaka-bou
Dorogawa Onsen Bus Stop at 11:00 a.m. Access map: http://www.vill.tenkawa.nara.jp/tourism/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/20160317140615703_0001.pdf *You can take Nara-Kotsu Bus at 9:20 a.m. from Shimo-ichi-guchi Station of Kintetsu Yoshino Line. (Meet at the station at 9:10 a.m.)
I am a local guide in Kumano and also a certified JMGA mountain guide. Being in the mountains and in the nature has always been my passion - trekking in the hills and mountains of the Kansai region in my childhood, riding bikes around Australia for 3 years in my youth, and am very passionate about different activities related to the mountains such as kayaking, rafting, backcountry skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, mountaineering and rock climbing. I’ve done numerous white water river kayaking and sea kayaking in New Zealand and in the US, and have done some first descents too.
I started my mountain career at a Japanese outdoors gear company, Montbell, then started my own outdoors gear brand called Finetrack in 2004. But I then wanted to become the actual connection between people and the nature, and also through my experiences abroad, I wanted to be able to communicate the wonders of Japanese nature to the world directly and thus became a mountain guide myself.
Japan is bombarded by the rigor of the nature. We have volcanoes, are right in the middle of the paths of numerous hurricanes, and rugged mountains forming at the edges of tectonic plates. These have been treated as sacred places in Japanese ancient beliefs and religions.
I am also a practitioner of Buddhism “Shugendo” (ancient mountain worship) and am a certified “Sendatsu” - trainer of Shugendo (aka mountain priest). I’d like to be able to tell you these stories so that you can better understand and ‘feel' the Japanese nature through history and culture.
It interesting to me that these mountains, rivers and the sea is not just a part of the nature but has always been the subject of faith.
Contact me if you’re interested in learning more about the mountain worship culture and to join me on a trek of Kumano with a lot of background stories!
Japanese | English
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