October 24th 2015 Day 13 Nachi Taisha
After breakfast prepared by Sanada-San we were popped in the car and whisked off the the entrance to the Nachi Taisha one of the shrines which forms part of the UNESCO-designated World Heritage Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range of Japan.
The entrance includes the Daimon-zaka a cobblestone staircase we had seen photos of and were keen to walk. Steadily climbing over 500 meters, there are 267 wonderfully irregular cobbled stairs. This is also another small part of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route.
The walk is lined with beautiful old trees and markers taking you from the valley where we were dropped off up to the Nachi Taisha shrine sanctuary. Along the way we saw pilgrims, visitors, people who struggled to walk up and people who bounded up athletically. One particular older Japanese woman struggled each step – not wishing to use my stick to help. Slowly with many pauses along the way the woman made it to the top.
Once at the top the entrance to the Nachi Taisha shrine with the ritual washing wells. We walked the area which included the shrine, a Pagoda, the Nachi waterfall and other sacred sites. Again – a photographers dream it was beautiful. The mass of vermillion buildings surrounded by lush green hills.
After meeting up at the designated spot Sanada-san took us to a restaurant close by for lunch and then on a tour of Kitsuura. This included the harbour, Nachi beach complete with surfers, though minus waves. The tuna market (fortunately not in operation for our visit) and finally a public foot bath in the main square.
For dinner that night we opted for ‘Tomato and Onion‘ – it looked cute from the outside and Sanada explained it was a ‘diner’ but good. We were ready for a bit of America come to town. The menu was in Japanese so we tried our Translator app for the final time – the translation displayed: “chicken clitoris”. We gave up and pointed to pictures. In doing so we got beer and chicken dinners.
More From Our Day at Nachi Taisha