Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes
in the Kii Mountain Range
Located deep in the rugged mountains of the Kii-peninsula are three unique sacred sites:Kumano Sanzan, Koyasan and Yoshino & Omine.
These sacred sites, and the spectacular pilgrimage routes that connect them, were included onUNESCO's World Heritage list on July 7, 2004 and are known as the 'Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes of the Kii Mountain Range'.
This vast natural area with its formidable mountains, rugged coastline, gigantic old growth trees, abundance of waterfalls and scenic rivers, has been revered and worshiped since ancient times. Considered a sacred dwelling place of the gods, these sites became sanctuaries with Shinto Shrines.
The shrines gradually blended with the Buddhist traditions introduced from China and Korea, creating an original and mixed belief system.
The religious fusion and cultural development was shaped by the lush natural environmentsurrounding the shrines. With a history that spans thousands of years, the spiritual traditions of the Kii peninsula form an outstanding and unique cultural landscapethat blends nature and religion in a powerful sacredness.