Kumano Kodo


As we wanted to experience the Kumano Kodo (the old-times pilgrim path) a bit more we stayed in the mountains in a classical ryokan. These Japanese houses are in principle hotels and offer tatami (the floor mat) rooms of different size. In older times (and even nowadays in simpler establishments, very often they are called minshuku) the toilets and showers are shared, which might be very authentic, but not really our cup of tea…

So, our ryokan of choice was next to a river in a valley

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Very peaceful and silent water

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And in winter outside pools are made which fill with the hot water rising from the bottom in some hotspots. You can dig your own pool as well – as those two are trying to demonstrate… Zwinkerndes Smiley

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Really large (for Japan…) and not too comfortable you can be assured. It is one thing to see and walk on these floors – another one to lie on them with just a futon (un-squeezed something like 5 cm thickness) between you and the mat. Just imagine camping in tents; got the idea… Well, it is similar… Fledermaus

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And picturesque with the seating area facing the stream (unfortunately a street was in between as well).

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You can see that it is old-fashioned; but that is Japan for you (very, very often!). They like it this way and most Japanese guests (which in the main season would be the absolute majority) are old themselves so it matches…

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Getting around is unreal for Japan – narrow, winding roads and always passing places. It’s a bit stressy but works out fine…

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One more thing to mention is that in a ryokan you usually get your food in the room or a dining place in the ryokan as such. They praise themselves for providing excellent food so we gave it a try.

Our table was laid out with tools by the waiter (in our room as a large group occupied the dining hall)

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And then you start to find a comfortable seating position Zwinkerndes Smiley Fortunately they had half-chairs (so the backside and legs chopped off Smiley) which made the ordeal easier for us used to tables and chairs…

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Hotpots are nice inventions Smiley

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And the grilled trout was an absolute treat

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Next morning I organized breakfast in the room for Ursi and the way to make eggs is just unique Smiley

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Being filled up we headed for the main temple in the area. Unfortunately it was raining hard all the time so we had to really convince ourselves… Well, first a coffee to get you going…

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Lovely Smiley

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Water everywhere…

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The way up to the temple is as usual a long stairway

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Funny to see the banners fading out in the rain

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Glimpsing back gives you an even better impression…

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And it rained, rained, rained…

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Cleaning your face and hands before prayers

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is Buddhist ritual

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The main hall had many beautiful details

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Like these mythic elephants

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or beautiful lamps

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The side-shrine was just stunning

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Covered in a mossy fur

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The foul weather didn’t prevent prayer and the spiritual experience might be even stronger

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A bit too organized for my liking…

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The main hall…

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Very nice Smiley

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Impressions of rain…

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Play of colours

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Dissolving

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Spiritual experience

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Ghost-houses

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And the usual sale of everything superstitious

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Moods…

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Looks more like a grumpy cat with water…

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Wet bamboo

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Due to the torrential rain all day the river swelled excessively and by evening you couldn’t see the bed anymore

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So we opted to retire and enjoy our delicious meal once more

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Sashimi

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Something new for us – roe on a kelp leaf. Looks artificial but is natural – 80% of the world production is from Canada where the 1st people chase swarms of herring into bays where there is kelp so that they lay their eggs there…

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Crunchy, yummy and delicious – hopefully not too bad for the eco-system as the eggs should develop sometimes Trauriges Smiley

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Burp… All eaten up – too much Smiley

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Just a final walk in the village to the other hotel where they have a hot spring where you can take a sip

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Loads of sediment

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And somehow corrosive Zwinkerndes Smiley

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We just found this one as well – absolutely cool. A flexible garden hose

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Kategorien:Japan

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