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Kumano Kodo article in Afar magazine

Camino(s) past & future
Samos-Santiago (2015)
Samos-Santiago (May 2016
Porto-Santiago (May 2017)
Kumano Kodo (March 2018)
#1

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Camino(s) past & future
CF April/May (2016), starting in St. Palais, France
#2
Thank you for sharing this. I've been to Japan many times and have been thinking about doing one of the pilgrimages. I spent the summer of 1973 on Shikoku, home of the most famous pilgrimage, long before the bridge and influx of people.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Samos-Santiago (2015)
Samos-Santiago (May 2016
Porto-Santiago (May 2017)
Kumano Kodo (March 2018)
#3
Sounds memorable. I love Japan and have also been many times. Climbed Mt. Fuji at night and saw the sunrise from the summit in 1999. So many wonderful places to visit and not enough time!
 

julia-t

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015-17
Kumano Kodo March 2018
Camino Portuguese Valenca-SdC April 2018
#4
Thank you for posting this. I am so excited - I am walking this trail myself the week after next!

I've booked my accommodations through the tourist office in Tanabe rather than use a tour operator. It was more than a little confusing to start with, trying to work out the maps and where the villages with minshukus or ryokkans are. http://www.tb-kumano.jp/en/kumano-kodo/

I have set up a facebook page for friends and family to 'follow' me - do join me as I aim to become a Dual Pilgrim (as at 22 February when the 1000th Dual Pilgrim was celebrated, there were only 28 registered Dual Pilgrims from England).

https://www.facebook.com/juliawalksthekumanokodo/
 

LakeMcD

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015
Portuguese 2016
GR10/Norte/Primitivo 2017
Chemin LePuy: 2018
#5
Thanks for the post.
 

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LakeMcD

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015
Portuguese 2016
GR10/Norte/Primitivo 2017
Chemin LePuy: 2018
#6
Thank you for posting this. I am so excited - I am walking this trail myself the week after next!

I've booked my accommodations through the tourist office in Tanabe rather than use a tour operator. It was more than a little confusing to start with, trying to work out the maps and where the villages with minshukus or ryokkans are. http://www.tb-kumano.jp/en/kumano-kodo/

I have set up a facebook page for friends and family to 'follow' me - do join me as I aim to become a Dual Pilgrim (as at 22 February when the 1000th Dual Pilgrim was celebrated, there were only 28 registered Dual Pilgrims from England).

https://www.facebook.com/juliawalksthekumanokodo/

I look forward to hearing about your journey. Are you a Japanese speaker, curious about how much language might or might not be a barrier.
 

GuyA

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobi 13, Gebennensis 13, Le Puy 13, St. James 14, Finisterre 14, Kumano Kodo 15, Portuguese 18
#7
Brought back fond memories. In March 2015 I walked into the tourist office after completing the Kumano Kodo. I went to the counter and given that I could not speak Japanese simply said “Dual Pilgrim”

Well everyone in the office stopped working as the young lady at the counter yelled out something. Immediately people were excitedly mulling around me wanting to see my credential cards. Talk about 15 minutes of fleeting fame!

Turns out it was a novelty then and I was the 5th person to become a Dual Pilgrim! Pictures taken and I was paraded over to a glass case where 4 previous pilgrims had their pictures. I understood my picture was to be included in the glass case

I have no idea if that ever happened...doubt there would be 1,000 pictures in the case now

Anyone interested I blogged about the Kumano Kodo www.caminolongwalk.blogspot.ca
 
#8
This article appears in the current issue (Feb-Mar '18) of Afar magazine. The 1,000th Dual Pilgrim (program began in 2015) was recognized in February 2018. I imagine the number of foreigners undertaking this pilgrimage will only increase as the Kumano Kodo receives more international media coverage.

/QUOTE]

Is there a forum similar to this one allowing folks to share information / experience?

Thanks,
 

julia-t

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015-17
Kumano Kodo March 2018
Camino Portuguese Valenca-SdC April 2018
#9
I've not found a forum, but there are several groups on facebook. Members are from all over the world, and I've found them to be very helpful with advice, planning and general information.

Hiking Camino de Santiago and then the World
Kumano Kodo ↔️ Santiago De Compostela - The Dual UNESCO Pilgrimage Routes
Kumano Kodo Planning
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014)
Via Francigena - Lucca to Rome (2017)
Kumano Kodo (October/November 2018)
#10
This article appears in the current issue (Feb-Mar '18) of Afar magazine. The 1,000th Dual Pilgrim (program began in 2015) was recognized in February 2018. I imagine the number of foreigners undertaking this pilgrimage will only increase as the Kumano Kodo receives more international media coverage.

https://www.afar.com/magazine/disconnect-from-the-modern-world-on-a-pilgrims-path-through-japan?category=overview&guide=14&email=c2FyYWdyYWRAaXgubmV0Y29tLmNvbQ==&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=hike in japan&utm_content=Final&utm_term=Daily Wander Newsletter
Thank you for posting this article - I’ll be going to Japan to walk the Kumano Kodo in October and I’m reading any articles I can find on it. It will be interesting to see how many other Camino veterans I run into while I’m walking!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Samos-Santiago (2015)
Samos-Santiago (May 2016
Porto-Santiago (May 2017)
Kumano Kodo (March 2018)
#11
I booked through the local Tanabe travel as well. I took some Japanese classes in university 25 years ago but am not proficient at all. Throughout my many other visits to Japan I have always made it past the language barrier with smiles and friendliness (they are universal). I'll make a post recapping the Kumano Kodo with suggestions for future pilgrims.

How does one say “Buen Camino” in Japanese?

I look forward to hearing about your journey. Are you a Japanese speaker, curious about how much language might or might not be a barrier.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Samos-Santiago (2015)
Samos-Santiago (May 2016
Porto-Santiago (May 2017)
Kumano Kodo (March 2018)
#12
Just back from the Kumano Kodo, walked from Takijiri-oji to Kumano Hongu Taisha, as well as visited the other grand shrines of Hayatama Taisha and Nachi Taisha. Everything worked out great! Staff at Tanabe Tourisn office are so very helpful with bus schedules, accommodation, luggage shuttle (you really do not want to carry anything bigger than a day pack on the Kumano Kodo), and more. Once you finish as a Dual Pilgrim, be sure to inquire about the taiko drum use at the temple. That was truly memorable for me!

A word about the language barrier: I took a semester of Japanese at University 20+ years ago and have used some on subsequent visits over the last 22 years. I’m still a beginner but with a few key phrases, important nouns, and gestures, a smile, a positive attitude, and willingness to be outside your comfort zone and try new things (like the food and Japanese communal hot spring baths-onsens) you’ll have a great adventure! Google Translate app works very well. I had cell service all over Wakayama (better coverage than at home).

If anyone has any questions, I’m happy to help. Highly recommended.
 

Attachments

Camino(s) past & future
Samos-Santiago (2015)
Samos-Santiago (May 2016
Porto-Santiago (May 2017)
Kumano Kodo (March 2018)
#13
Thank you for posting this article - I’ll be going to Japan to walk the Kumano Kodo in October and I’m reading any articles I can find on it. It will be interesting to see how many other Camino veterans I run into while I’m walking!
We didn’t meet any other Camino veterans and only encountered 5 people over three days of walking: four were Japanese retirees walking the opposite direction on day 1, and one Japanese solo walker about our age on day 3. We did see a lot of day trippers on day 3, mainly from Australia. As the Kumano Kodo gains exposure, more people are taking their first pilgrimage. I expect over the next few years to see more Dual Pilgrims showing up in Santiago after getting a taste of walking from the Kumano Kodo.

There's definitely not the spirit of camaraderie of the Camino here with communal meals and shared vino, but the hosts at our lodgings do share the same hospitality, even with the language barrier.

Still don't know if there's a Japanese equivalent of “Buen Camino,” but saying “Konnichi-wa” will work well!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Samos-Santiago (2015)
Samos-Santiago (May 2016
Porto-Santiago (May 2017)
Kumano Kodo (March 2018)
#15
A Dual Pilgrim is someone recognized for having walked both the Camino de Santiago and the Kumano Kodo. You get a nice certificate to show for your efforts.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
CF 13
VdlP 14
LePuy 15
Invierno DosFaros CP 16
The 88, Japan 17
Sicily. Arles-Santiago Fall 18
#17
Are you a dual pilgrim if you do the 88 temples route?
Elizabeth, if you walk the 88 Temple Henro and a European camino then I'm sure that you can consider yourself to be a 'Dual Pilgrim' no matter what a piece of paper says. Both are excellent pilgrimage experiences and very memorable! At the end of the day, isn't it really about how you feel inside and what you've learned from your pilgrimages that truly matters?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Samos-Santiago (2015)
Samos-Santiago (May 2016
Porto-Santiago (May 2017)
Kumano Kodo (March 2018)
#18
High Endeavors makes a valid point, but if it’s the paper you want the 88 Temples route does’t qualify, only the two UNESCO World Heritage Pilgrimage Routes.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Santiago
#19
I was just curious. I never heard of the term "dual pilgrim". Geez people! Calm down on the assumption that every walk a person does is for stamps or a sheet of paper.
 

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