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Kumano trip Part1 June 2nd Meeting with the chief priest of Nachi Taisha Shrine

Starting on June 2nd, we took a five-hour trip from Kyoto one way, to visit the sacred sites of the Kumano Sanzan on the Kii Peninsula.

We stopped off at the old stone pavement of the Kumano Kodo. This pilgrimage route dates back 2000 years and apparently has 800 stone steps. During the Heian period, members of the imperial family and aristocrats would visit the Kumano Sanzan, and in the Edo period, common people also began to visit.

Even today, it is a mysterious place with a spiritual aura.

Next, we will pass the first entrance to the Shugendo trail on Mount Nachi.

Nachi Falls is a majestic sight, and as you approach it you can sense the purity of this sacred place.

The Shrine office is located further up and overlooks Nachi Falls.

Shiozawa greeted the chief priest, Otonari, and proposed to paint Nachi Falls in the near future, and to convey through his painting the greatness of Japanese religious faith and spirituality to Japanese young generation.

Both parties shared the concern of where to exhibit the works, as their work would be meaningless if they were not seen by visitors and promised to meet again. 

Seigantoji Temple is located on the same premises. We met with the head priest Takagi, who revived the Kumano Shugenja-do, a path that had fallen into disuse since the Meiji era, and heard about the history of Kumano as a Shinto and Buddhism are syncretized, and learned by the profound faith of the people.