Kumano Kodo, Day 4

There’s a soft glow emanating from the window. Can it be…? No sun today but the fog has lifted. There’s still hope for today.

Here is breakfast:

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My backpack is staying behind at the hotel for a couple hours while I look around. Then it’s a long train ride back to Osaka. I find it hard to believe that there’s no bus or train to get to Koyasan from here. Anyway…

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First spot is the sacred Nachi Falls. It’s down the street from the hotel. At the entrance you walk down the stairs to the base. There’s an option to pay for using a viewing platform but I can see just fine from here. The sound of rushing water is soothing.

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I like how sacred natural objects are in Japan. It’s not usual to find a rock, tree or in this case, a waterfall marked by rope (yorishiro or is it shimenawa?). Between traveling and watching my favorites, Spirited Away and Natsume’s Book of Friends, I’m curious about Japanese folklore and Shinto religion. I’ll have to find a few books when I get home.

Back up the stairs, I climb another set of stairs to the three story pagoda. This is where you get the famous side by side shot of the waterfall and pagoda. It’s here that the sun finally begins to peek through the clouds.

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nice view too

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Another short walk takes me to Nachisan Seigantoji Temple and connects to Kumano Nachi Grand Shrine.

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The large tree in the shinto shrine has a hollow section that you can walk into. It’s closed off today though.

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I walk down the stairs of the shrine’s main entrance. There’s some shops along the way of course and then this guy.

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The last part to visit is the final section of the Kumano Kodo trail. It’s called Daimonzaka Hill, a stone staircase lined with cedar trees. It’s a lovely section but I don’t want to walk all the way down and then back up again to the hotel. So lazy, I know.

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I gather my things and board the bus near the Nachi Falls. I rarely feel ready to leave places. I’d like to stop somewhere on the way back to Osaka but didn’t come up with much. The beach towns that surfaced in my search are only active in July and August. It’ll probably be almost dark at arrival anyway so I stick with the plan.

I get stuck in Katsuura waiting for the train. I think about walking around here but there’s my backpack and not much else… and I’m getting grumpy and is it raining…? Overall I’m tired.

The train schedule is off. I can wait around and spend a lot of time train hopping or spend more for a faster route. I give in to a simpler return.

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The clouds open up more and more as the train wraps around Wakayama. I have a better seat this time so… photos!

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My timing was off but this is the most scenic Family Mart parking lot I have ever seen. The shop is out of frame on the right.

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view from Family Mart

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Lovely free wifi in Osaka, I book a hostel last minute. It’s a different neighborhood from before as I’d like to be near the train station. There is difficulty finding it, but once you’ve been it’s not a problem. I have my own tiny Japanese style room this time but the bathrooms are shared.

Now that the room is taken care of, I go searching for dinner. I don’t really know what I want and a few places are closing. It is a weekday. I end up with a chicken kebob of all things. The owners (?) were friendly. I also spotted a 100 yen convenience store so I gab a few snacks, some for today, some for tomorrow.

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I go back to my room to eat and overall have an uneventful night.

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