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Camino Podcast Episode 38 - The Kumano Kodo

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
We're off to Japan in the latest episode of the Camino Podcast...

Episode 38 - The Kumano Kodo

There are two UNESCO World Heritage pilgrimage routes--Spain's Camino de Santiago, of course, and Japan's Kumano Kodo. The latter's long and storied history rival's the former's, but it has only really appeared on the radars of Western pilgrims over the last decade or so. Like the Camino, the Kumano Kodo is really a series of connected routes, oriented in this case towards several prominent shrines, most notably Kumano Hongu Taisha. This episode offers an introduction to the Kumano Kodo, thanks to the insights of Mike Rhodes, the Destination Manager & Guide for the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau, and Greg Ng, a recent pilgrim.

https://soundcloud.com/user-939742370%2Fepisode-38-the-kumano-kodo
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
We're off to Japan in the latest episode of the Camino Podcast...

Episode 38 - The Kumano Kodo

There are two UNESCO World Heritage pilgrimage routes--Spain's Camino de Santiago, of course, and Japan's Kumano Kodo. The latter's long and storied history rival's the former's, but it has only really appeared on the radars of Western pilgrims over the last decade or so. Like the Camino, the Kumano Kodo is really a series of connected routes, oriented in this case towards several prominent shrines, most notably Kumano Hongu Taisha. This episode offers an introduction to the Kumano Kodo, thanks to the insights of Mike Rhodes, the Destination Manager & Guide for the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau, and Greg Ng, a recent pilgrim.

https://soundcloud.com/user-939742370%2Fepisode-38-the-kumano-kodo
Excellent Dave 🤗 Will watch/read with great interest...the KK & an attempt at ascending Mt Fuji on the cards for 2021.
Gambatte!
👣 🌏
 

Hugh Larkin

Perpetual Wanderer
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2014
Sanabria 2018
Pieterpad 2018
Kumano Kodo (202??)
Nice podcast! We are booked for walking in March 2020. Your guests' commentary further confirms our decision to go after completing 2 Caminos in Spain and walking the Dutch Pieterpad.
 

Adhemar78

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014)
Via Francigena (2017)
Kumano Kodo (2018)
Portuguese Coastal Camino (2020)
We're off to Japan in the latest episode of the Camino Podcast...

Episode 38 - The Kumano Kodo

There are two UNESCO World Heritage pilgrimage routes--Spain's Camino de Santiago, of course, and Japan's Kumano Kodo. The latter's long and storied history rival's the former's, but it has only really appeared on the radars of Western pilgrims over the last decade or so. Like the Camino, the Kumano Kodo is really a series of connected routes, oriented in this case towards several prominent shrines, most notably Kumano Hongu Taisha. This episode offers an introduction to the Kumano Kodo, thanks to the insights of Mike Rhodes, the Destination Manager & Guide for the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau, and Greg Ng, a recent pilgrim.

https://soundcloud.com/user-939742370%2Fepisode-38-the-kumano-kodo
Did this last year - great little walk. I’ll definitely give this a listen!
 

caminoagogo

http://camino-a-go-go.blogspot.com/
Camino(s) past & future
Francés from Leon(2014)
Frances & Sanabres from Ourense (2018)
Portugués (2020)
I've just started looking into this route so I'm keen to give this a listen. Thanks, @Dave!
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
It was a great episode. But one thing that wasn't covered in comparing the Kumano Kodo to the Camino was how much to budget. Of course, the Camino can be done in quite a range of budgets and I expect there is a range for the Kumano Kodo as well. But if I am doing the Camino in "typical pilgrim" fashion (sleeping in albergues, eating the pilgrims menu, etc.) I have a fairly good idea of what I expect to budget. If I'm staying in typical pilgrims accommodation on the Kumano Kodo and eating typical pilgrims fare, I'm not sure what my budget would be (although I expect it is considerably more than on Camino).
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
A fair point, David! It's definitely pricier than Spain. Here's what I paid a few years ago for an assortment of stops:
  • Bed, dinner, breakfast, and a boxed lunch in a traveler's inn on the Kohechi: $80
  • A hotel room (no meals) in Tanabe: $32
  • A whole house in Chikatsuyu: $70
  • Bed & breakfast in Hongu Taisha: $75
  • River pilgrimage boat trip: $35
I generally didn't pay for meals, as I'm vegetarian and most of the available options in my price range didn't offer that (lots of seafood or food cooked in fish oil). There were enough grocery stores and the occasional supermarket to get me through. I also met a few people who were camping along the way. So, it's possible to do it on the cheap.

Dave
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
It was a great episode. But one thing that wasn't covered in comparing the Kumano Kodo to the Camino was how much to budget.
We walked a couple of days on the Kumano Kodo last month. Accommodation is not cheap, even by Japanese standards. We chose the cheapest accommodation offered by Kumano Travel (a community-based booking service) and still paid 9,800 yen (about €81) on each of the two nights for two people for a basic tatami mat room with mattresses (without food for the same reason as Dave). That's nearly double what we paid for similar rooms elsewhere in Japan. We also met a couple who were camping, but IIRC, they had paid AUD$50 (about €31) the night before just to be able to pitch their tent.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
I generally didn't pay for meals, as I'm vegetarian and most of the available options in my price range didn't offer that (lots of seafood or food cooked in fish oil). There were enough grocery stores and the occasional supermarket to get me through.
We walked a couple of days on the Kumano Kodo last month.
(without food for the same reason as Dave).
Thanks @Dave & @jungleboy ...this information is very helpful. I'm not vegetarian but I am allergic to fish/seafood which effectively wipes out a good percentage of the Japanese diet.
My survival tactic when booking accom on the Way of 88 Temples was to say 'sudomari desu' (without meals). Although often met with puzzlement, some hosts/establishments were relieved not to have to cook for a gaijin with our strange ideas about food! 😉
I loved Japan, with all it's challenges (don't get me started on the slippers thing...) & can't wait to return to tackle the Kumano Kodo.
👣 🌏
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
Thanks @Dave & @jungleboy ...this information is very helpful. I'm not vegetarian but I am allergic to fish/seafood which effectively wipes out a good percentage of the Japanese diet.
When you make it to Hongu Taisha, check out Cafe Bonheur, a vegan restaurant with a lovely set meal for dinner. And, if you make it to the Kochechi, you can get vegan dinners from some of the monasteries in Koyasan if you stay with them.

Almost every FamilyMart and supermarket has inari, which makes for good pack food.
 

Les Stewart

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Francigena, KumanoKodo,Benedetto, Iseji, Assisi, Kunisaki, Shikoku 88 (1~24), Kohechi,Dajia Mazu
The Kumano Kodo is a great little hike but Camino veterans would be shocked at the cost compared to what they're used to in Spain. That's also the case with all the pilgrimages in Japan.
 

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