People leave little knitted hats and scarves on the statues in the town’s splendidly eerie cemetery.
Touted as one of Japan’s best kept secrets, discover seven ways to experience the spiritually rich and breathtaking Wakyama.
Source: Wakayama: Make It Happen
Wakayama Prefecture is located on the southernmost part of Japan’s Kii Peninsula. This corner of Honshu Island also snagged the 5th slot on the Lonely…
Charleston aside, few cities nail the spooky-beautiful-charming Southern vibe like Savannah, Georgia. Nowhere is this more evident than in the city’s Bonaventure Cemetery. Stands of massive, centuries-old live oak trees draped in Spanish moss canopy the historic burial grounds which are perched on a scenic bluff overlooking the Wilmington River. The 100 acres here include significant tombstones, sculpture gardens, and Southern Gothic monuments. Plus, the cemetery has appeared in numerous Hollywood flicks including Clint Eastwood’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. If you’re into that sort of thing …
PANTEÓN ANTIGUO DE XOXOCOTLÁN
Read more from source: The World’s Most Beautiful Cemeteries Worth Traveling to See (Seriously)
My concentration is completely focused on footfalls, specifically where my feet are landing among the cedar roots that form a natural staircase. I’m ascending Mount Tsurugi, on the Kii Peninsula, from the Takijiri-oji Shrine, on an 11-day trip thats covers the famous Kumano Kodo trail.
When I first set out on this pilgrimage, my goal was to escape the inescapable — a never-ending stream of U.S. political updates and urban clatter. The first Japanese emperor to hike the trail did so in the 11th century, after his retirement — possibly to seek absolution for his courtly life and imperial decisions.
I was invited by REI Adventures to hike the Kumano Kodo and Nakasendo trails with five other hikers, to experience this new trip. It’s part of their level-two offerings, which are designed for leisurely hikers — those who prefer no pre-trip calisthenics and like to conclude a few mellow hours on the trail with a soft bed and warm, multicourse meal.
Read more from source: Hiking the sacred Kumano Kodo route in Japan with a backpack and a “no Trump talk” pact
These powerful images show both struggle and strength.
A daring sea rescue saved the lives of more than 100 refugees and migrants off the coast of Libya. Hawaii residents watched molten lava overtake their cars and homes. And flooding in Kenya killed more than 40 people. Meanwhile, signs of hope popped up in Iraq, India, and Turkey, as people celebrated the return of nice weather.
Global Citizen is bringing you these photos, and more, from around the world this week.
1. Migrant Crisis: Refugees and migrants were rescued by members of the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms on May 6, after leaving Libya trying to reach European soil aboard an overcrowded rubber boat. In total, 105 refugees and migrants from various countries — including Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, Ghana, Pakistan, Sudan, Libya, Eritrea, and Senegal — were rescued north of the Libyan coast.
2. Hawaii Volcano: This photo, provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, shows a lava lake at the summit of Kilauea near Pahoa, Hawaii, on May 6.
Read more from source: 14 Photos of Tragedy and Resilience From Around the World This Week
From a Norwegian shrine for a Viking king to the healing waters of mystical lagoons in Peru, these sacred paths will have you lacing up your boots and strapping on a pack.
Ready for your next big slow-travel adventure? Try these pilgrimages on for size. These ancient routes are a literal trek through history and cultural heritage, with stunning natural and architectural wonders along the way. And don’t worry: You won’t need a month of vacation time or marathon-level fitness to tackle these famous paths, either.
Hidden in the misty mountains near Huancabamba, this complex of 14 sacred lagoons sits at an altitude of over 13,000 feet above sea level. Too far from Lima or Cusco to be on the beaten path for most visitors to Peru, locals come here to be healed in the holy but ice-cold lagoons with the help of curanderos, or medicine men. Start your route in Salalá.
Read more from source: 7 Famous Pilgrimages Around the World That You Can Walk or Cycle
Cherry blossom season is rapidly approaching and it will soon be time for hanami (cherry blossom viewing) across the country. Hanami is a tradition that is hundreds of years old and is enormously popular to this day. Here are 20 spots The Japan Times recommends for viewing sakura (cherry blossoms) across Japan in 2018, starting in Hokkaido in the far north of the country, and moving through Honshu and onward to Kyushu in the south.
We’ve provided the forecasted blossoming times for each spot, but for more detailed and up-to-date predictions, visit the map on the Tenki Navigator website.
Goryokaku Park (Hokkaido Prefecture)
Goryokaku Park is iconic not only for its unusual star shape, but also for the 1,600 cherry trees that bloom during spring. Visitors can rent a boat and row the moat surrounding the park to see the cherry blossoms from below.
- Blossoms from late April to early May
- Sakura Festival: none
- Admission: free
- Map link: https://goo.gl/maps/5bysNe73KxD2
Hirosaki Park (Aomori Prefecture)
Hirosaki Park in Aomori Prefecture has 2,600 cherry trees, comprised of 50 different varieties.
The Kii Peninsula is a land of ancient spiritual paths and holy mountains. Until the Meiji Era (1868-1912), the peninsula was the site of the Kii Province. Now, a part of Wakayama Prefecture, the area is famous for onsen (hot springs), fish and produce like mikan (mandarin oranges) and ume (plums), and is home to temperate rainforests, mountains and a beautiful coastline. The prefecture is known as a place of rich cultural heritage, in part because of its connection to the Kii Province and the Kumano Kodo trail, but also because of the many traditional arts that are practiced there, including aikido, which was founded by Morihei Ueshiba in Wakayama.
For thousands of years, the Kii Peninsula was a site of worship for both Buddhism and Shintoism, thanks to shinbutsu shūgō, the pre-Meiji Era syncretic practice of the two beliefs. Though Shintoism and Buddhism are now separated into their present-day, distinct forms, the peninsula is considered to be holy by members of both religions.
Follow in the footsteps of 10th-century emperors.
An ancient pilgrimage trail winds through the mountains of Japan’s Kii Peninsula, a densely forested region south of Osaka and Kyoto. It is the Kumano Kodo, a sacred passage of immense natural beauty that has been in use since the 10th century and yet is remote enough that it stays off the beaten path.
That is one of the reasons the trek feels otherworldly—you might walk through the woods for an entire day without seeing another person. It is a stark contrast from the crowds of tourists hiking Mount Fuji, nearly 300 miles away.
It’s impossible to forget the Shinto origins of this route when every couple hundred yards is another crumbling stone deity or Oji shrine. From moss-covered stones forming makeshift stairs on the mountainside to wooden bridges smooth with decades of use, not much has changed on the trail. There are early recorded visits to this region by Emperor Uda (907) and Emperor Kazan (986 and 987) but the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage became more broadly popular in the 11th century.