course guide

23

Hama-kaido Route(North)

Hama-kaido Route(North)

From the city of Kumano, along the Shichiri Mihama Beach, pilgrims made their way towards Hayatama Shrine in Shingu. There are no passes to cross on this flat stretch of road, but many pilgrims lost their lives on the treacherous river crossings on the beach. The distance is long, so it requires a degree of physical strength.

The signpost in Arima
The signpost in Arima

There is a signpost here marking the fork in the road from Ise, "left for the Beach Route
to Shingu, right on the Hongu Route, but the road is hard going up to Konogi."

Gravestones of fallen pilgrims
Gravestones of fallen pilgrims

In the old days there were no bridges across the rivers flowing into the Sea of Kumano,
so pilgrims had to dash across the shallows at the river mouth between waves.
Here at Shiwara Gawajiri there stands a memorial monument to those who didn't make
it across and were swallowed by the sea.

The Water Deity monument near the beach
The Water Deity monument near the beach

This area was very susceptible to the sea water flooding into the town and fields.
To protect themselves from these natural disasters, they put up this monument honoring
the Deity of Water. Later, floodgates were built for added security.

The milestone of Ichigi
The milestone of Ichigi

There used to be one of these milestones on each side of the path,
but one of them went missing during the road construction in 1962.

Distance Approx. 12.2Km from Kumano-shi Station to Atawa Station
Walking time 4hrs.
Level ★★

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