The Kumano Kodō is a more than 1000-year-old ancient pilgrimage trail in Japan, where people from all walks of life – imperial families, aristocrats, shoguns, samurais, and commoners – walked for spiritual cleansing and virtual rebirth. Today, the ancient trails are a registered UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site. In this seminar led by an expert guide who walked the trail more than 40 times, we will virtually walk the trail and discover the beautiful history, culture, and life in Kumano.
Walking mountain trails in Japan is one of the best ways to see "real" Japan, and together we will discover the unique, beautiful history and culture of Kumano doing this virtual walk. There are five routes for the Kumano Kodō, with the route that the Imperial family once walked (Nakahechi) as the most frequented. We will also take this route. We will visit the Kumano Sanzan, the 3 Grand Shrines of Kumano, walking from village to village. Yamabushi Shugendo, a Buddhist monk will join us for one section of the walk. We will also virtually experience Japanese traditional accommodation, wearing yukata cotton kimono for dinner, taking an onsen (hot spring bath), and sleeping on a futon.
Led by an expert guide who walked the trail more than 40 times, Kana Hattori, this interactive seminar will take you to a virtual walk of Kumano Kodō. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding and appreciation of Japanese traditions, history, philosophy, culture, and life found on the Kumano Kodō trail, without the blisters or aches.
Kana is a qualified tea master of Urasenke Tea Ceremony School and is an experienced national-licensed guide. She holds a BA in English from Doshisha University, Kyoto, and another BA in Japanese Classical and Traditional Arts from Kyoto University of Arts and Design. She enjoys playing the shamisen, a 3-stringed traditional music instrument that geisha ladies also play, and also performing Noh, 650-year-old Japanese classical theater. The Zen philosophy—to live in the moment—has always been a core tenet of her life.
This conversation is suitable for all ages.
90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.