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Showing posts from February 25, 2018

Hike a Forested Pilgrimage Trail and Escape to a Hidden Shrine in Japan’s Mie Prefecture

I’ve been writing a lot about the Japan I have come to love, the Japan outside of Tokyo and Kyoto, the Japan of the heartland prefectures. For my latest trip, I visited the Shoryudo Region of Honshū , Japan’s main island. Made up of nine prefectures stretching between the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean , Shoryudo is known for its rich agricultural land, spiritual landscapes and majestic mountains, including the iconic Mt. Fuji . I explored  Mie Prefecture  on the eastern edge of the region . Bordering the Pacific Ocean and Ise Bay, the prefecture is home to pilgrimage trails that cut through ancient forests and lead to the most famous Shinto shrines in Japan. The Route Magose-toge Pass on the Kumano Kodo Iseji Route Trucks and cars jockeyed for position as they sped up the steep hill on busy Route 42 ( Kumano Kaido ). We pulled off the highway as quickly as we could to avoid the traffic and parked at a trailhead where there was room for about a dozen cars.