Tuesday, May 9, 2017

11/15 DAY 1: Discovering the fantastic Shingu, prefecture of Wakayama.

Have you ever visited the cities of Kumano and Shingu, in the prefecture of Wakayama?

Recently, an Australian girl originally from Taiwan and I, have had the chance to participate in a project aiming at conveying the power and the importance of that region abroad. The first step was to discover the region ourselves! 
we started off with the city of Shingu, where temples are closely linked to the city and are part of everyone's lives.

We first had to take the plane from Haneda airport, Tokyo, to Nanki-shirahama airport in Wakayama. No need to say I've had to run the marathon to catch up my plane at 8am at Haneda airport when the day before it took me until late in the evening to be able to leave work. Good thing we were all travelling light! For the anecdote, I wasn't even aware at that time, but I was already 2 months pregnant... :o) And you'll see that running all the way from my bed to the plane's gate wasn't the only adventurous move we made through the trip! 

On the way to Shingu, beautiful and promising sceneries.  
After arriving to Wakayama by plane, we rode a car until our final destination: Shingu.

The tourist office of Shigu
Our very first step! A very friendly staff who will help you with almost anything! :)
Find them here: 
6 Ukijima, Shingū-shi, Wakayama-ken 647-0014, Japan

 A break in the middle of our ascension to Kamikura-jinja Shrine
We've got a very friendly guide following us through the 538 (nobody knows) steps to Kamikura-jinja Shrine. Luckily nobody felt off the stairs! (We heard that it happened a few times in the past...)

Kamikura-jinja Shrine and the Gotobiki-iwa Rock

Up the stairs, you'll reach the imposing Gotobiki-iwa Rock, where the Gods of Kumano are supposed to have first stepped.

Amazing view on Wakayama from Kamikura-jinja Shrine

Going down, surprisingly harder than going up! (well, not this flat part, the sloped next part!)

Praying at the Kumano Hayatama-taisha Grand Shrine

We then reached our second destination, the Kumano Hayatama-taisha Grand Shrine, which was Grand indeed! The place was beautiful and so relaxing.  
In front of the Asuka-jinja Shrine
We then went on to visit the Asuka-jinja Shrine. On of the smallest shrines but also one of the most important one! I was the very first temple in the region linking all the others together. It also newly , in 2016, became part of the World Heritage 'Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range'. It's particularity is that you don't need to wander the mountain to find, it's right there, in the middle of the city!

If you're interested about the Shrines and how to access them, find all the information about the Shrines described above in French at :

We helped translate and write the above website with the team in charge of Kumano's tourism, so don't hesitate to check it out!

The restaurant Nomikuidokoro Kichi
And as we did nothing but eat, we ended up here first: At the restaurant Nomikuidokoro Kichi. We were so tired we just eat all that delicious food in no time.

The delicious mix of Japanese food, Occidental food, and the chef's specials!
With the owner and chef of Nagomiba Kuishinbo
We then went on to the restaurant Nagomiba Kuishinbo, which owner was extremely knowledgeable about alcohols and their mariage with different food. More info about Kuishinbo at https://www.shinguu.jp/fr/spots/detail/C0036

With the lovely couple managing the DAYZYLAW CAFÉ
We finally finished our evening at the DAYZYLAW CAFÉ, managed by a very nice couple who used to live in Australia. The restaurant is an original and stylish mix of Japanese and Australian dished. The whole in restaurant with a very pop and natural atmosphere! More info about DAYZYLAW CAFÉ at https://www.shinguu.jp/fr/spots/detail/C0042

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