This guidebook from UK based publisher Cicerone is all about Japan’s Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage trek. This series of trails was included on the World Heritage List in 2004 and is centred on three Shinto-Buddhist shrines. The various pilgrimage routes through the mountainous Kii peninsula, south of Osaka provide ample opportunity to visit the major and secondary shrines, to take in Japanese culture, and last but not least enjoy the amazing scenery on offer.
This guide book is typical of others by Cicerone – publisher of a huge range of guidebooks from around the world – it has the system down pat.
First up ithe book s the compact in size. The small format is so easy to throw into a pack or a small bag and at 270 grams it isn’t going to weigh you down. Clear route descriptions and mapping (not topographic) are provided as well as comprehensive information on history, culture and accomodation. In addition, the lay out of book has been well thought thru making it easy to follow. This book provides all the relevant information for foreign hikers to work out what experience they want given this trail can be walked either as a guided or non guided option.
For me there were only a couple of shortcomings with this book. The first being a lack of an index which seems to be something that Cicerone doesn’t include. Maybe this is just me but sometimes I find it easier to negotiate a book when I can go to a specific piece of information that doesn’t quite fit into a specific category. The second negative is the limited information on flora and fauna, and considering the importance of both to the Autumn foliage season and the Cherry Blossom season, a greater emphasis seems a reasonable expectation.
Having said that, this is a great guidebook for those considering walking this unique trail and is essential to getting the best out of this walk.
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$44.99 AUD RRP
Japan’s Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage front cover
Japan’s Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage back cover
Japan’s Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Route summary table
Japan’s Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Koechi Route
Part of the Nakahechi route map
Part of the Nakahechi route map close up
Town map and information for Hongu
This review was done with product provided for review by the publisher