Friday, January 22, 2021

The world's natural heritage in Wakayama

Koya mountain, the pilgrimage ancient road Kumano Kodo Nakahechi are the world's natural heritages in Wakayama, Kansai region, Japan. 

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Wakayama province of Kansai region, Japan is favored by nature. Surrounding here is sea and mountain. It has many cherry blossoms, traditional cultural characteristics, and attractive cuisine. These the world's nature heritages have been preserved over thousands of years.

Koya mountain

Koya mountain is one of the important Buddhist pagoda complexes in Japan. The heritage complex of Koyasan includes 117 temples of the Shingon sect found by Kobo Daishi. In 806 AD, Kobo Daishi returned from China. 10 years later, he gets permission from mikado to found the Koyasan, building a temple to develop a sect (The Buddhist of Shingon) in the Koya mountain. 

Danjo Garan pagoda. Photo: JTICC

The holiest precincts of the temple complex are Danjo Garan and Okuno-in. Danjo Garan, the center of the Shingon Tantric Buddhist, marked the first temple build up in 817 AD. This is a combination of many towers, palaces, and halls as Fudodo, Kondo... which exhibits many Buddhist statues and valuable cultural assets, in which there is a copy of a piece of blood Datura, partly drawn by blood getting from the forehead of General Taira no Kiyomori. 

Okuno-in entrance.

In the east of Danjo Garan is Okuno-in where places the tomb of the monk Kobo Daishi. Inside the Okuno-in has many bridges spanning to reach the monk's tomb. Here there are monuments of popular figures such as Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Uesugi Kenshin... along with many tombs of military leaders during the time of warring states.

Shukubo is a type of staying overnight at pagoda that 52 among 117 temples of the complex allow tourists to use this service. Despite existing over thousands of years, Koyasan still a wonderful place to admire and find a relaxing and purity from daily life. 

The pilgrimage ancient road Kumano Kodo Nakahechi

Kumano Kodo Nakahechi is an ancient road with a 170km length, connecting Kumano Sanzan (the combination of 3 temples: Kumano-Hongu-taisha, Kumano-Hayatama-taisha, and Kumano-Nachi-taisha) with the temple Ise-Jingu. This is the road of mikado and the king's father in Tokyo during the reign of Heian (794 - 1.185) going. In 2004, it is recognized by Unesco as the world's heritage. Besides a holy place to adore, it is also very suitable for sightseeing and hiking.

A festival on the Kumano pilgrimage route. Photo: JTICC

Humano-Hongu-taisha temple located in the center of the Kumano Sanzan, worshiping 12 deities of Kumano Juniso Gongen. When entering through the largest Torii gate in Japan, you will see the temple with the roof cover by the bark of cypresses. 

The temple of Kumano Hayatama Taisha located in the estuary of Kumano-gawa where the water flow of Kii mountain pours into the Pacific ocean. At present, the temple still preserves about 1.200 national treasures. In addition, inside the temple has an ancient Nagi tree with an age of over 1.000 years, considered the sacred tree to help for "safe trips".

The Kumano-Nachi-taisha temple includes 6 shrines, built in the Kumano-gongegn-zukuri architecture style, each shrine has its own deity. Within the temple complex, there is a Nachi waterfall 133 m hight and 13 m wide, voted as a national scenic place, one of 100 famed water sources of Japan.

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