Kumano-gawa River Pilgrimage Route
The Kumano-gawa River is a dominate landmark in the Kumano region running from North to South down the center of the Kii Peninsula. It served as a vital transportation link for the communities in the mountains and pilgrims past. Traditionally pilgrims travelled by boat from Kumano Hongu Taisha to Kumano Hayatama Taisha at the mouth of the river.
This sacred waterway is also considered an object of worship. Because of its spiritual aspects and use as part of the Nakahechi section of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route, it was included as UNESCO World Heritage in the property "Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountains Range".
The Kumano-gawa River and its tributaries are beautiful to look at and offer variety of activities for a diversity of people. Getting out on the river is a fantastic way to experience the Kumano area from a unique perspective.
Kayaking | This is an active way to be on the water for beginners up to advanced paddlers.
Flat Bottom Boat | It is possible to ride down the river in a traditional wooden flat bottom boat as pilgrims did centuries ago.
The route of the boat trip is outlined on the map to the right.
Jet Boat | Jet boat tours run up the Kumano-gawa and Kitayama-gawa Rivers to the Dorokyo Gorge.
Length: 183 km
Source: The Omine Mountain Range with heights of up to 1,780 m
Average Flow Rate: 119 cubic meters/second
Watershed: 2,360 square km
Major Tributary: Kitayama-gawa River