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12Matsumoto-toge Pass

Matsumoto-toge Pass

For beginners

Walking time
About 1 hour and 45 minutes

Distance
Around 4.1km (Kumano City)

sea level
135m

Route features

The stone path is still intact for most of this route. A life-size Jizo statue welcomes you at the pass, which is surrounded by a bamboo forest. After this pass, it is a straight route along the beach all the way to Shingu, with no more mountain passes to cross. Pilgrims who once journeyed along this path would have been excited to see their goal in sight: the first of the Three Grand Shrines of Kumano, Kumano Hayatama Taisha, located at Shingu - just across Shichiri Mihama Beach. You can take the path down from Onigajo to the Onigajo Center for a shorter route back to Odomari Station.

Route highlights

Edo Period Stone Path

Edo Period Stone Path

This stone path, which red crabs scuttle across occasionally, is covered in moss. The stone path is reinforced by stately stone walls.

Matsumoto-toge Pass

Matsumoto-toge Pass

On the day that this statue was erected, someone mistook it for a demon and fired at it. You can still see where the bullet grazed this statue.

Pavillion View

Pavillion View

About a ten-minute walk east from the pass, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the mountains and Shichiri Mihama Beach (which stretches 25km to Shingu, where Hayatama Grand Shrine is located).

Meiji Period Stone Path

Meiji Period Stone Path

In 1868, the fishermen in this area were arrested after getting into a fight over tuna fishing. Their punishment was to build this path as community service.

Onigajo

Onigajo

Onigajo has been designated as a National Natural Treasure for its scenic beauty. This tuff, formed from hardened volcanic ash was elevated by earthquakes and then eroded by the sea and wind to form this magnificent rock formation that stretches for 1km. Legend has it that a general, Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, was sent here to drive out the pirates that terrorized this region, and that he shot an arrow from an island just off the coast to slay their leader. This is registered as part of the UNESCO World Heritage of the Kii mountain range.

Hananoiwaya

Hananoiwaya

This is said to be the resting place of Izanami, the goddess of creation. The 45 meter high rock here is said to house her spirit, and there is no shrine building. This site shows how people back then used to worship objects in nature. This is also registered as part of the Kii Mountain Range, as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Lion Rock

Lion Rock

This huge 25m high rock called "Shishi Iwa" (Lion Rock) is a designated National Natural Treasure for its scenic beauty and is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage site. They say that this, along with another rock are the guardians of Kumano's Oma Shrine up in the mountains.

Ubuta Shrine

Ubuta Shrine

Ubuta Shrine is said to have been where the goddess Izanami gave birth to the god Kaguchi. This shrine offers services to pray for safe childbirth and the health of children.

Route map

Route map

Day trip to Kumano Kodo by trains and buses

Day trip to Kumano Kodo by trains and buses

Other routes on the Kumano Kodo Iseji Trail

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