A "Dual Pilgrim" is someone who has walked both the Kumano Kodo and the Way of St.James (Camino de Santiago).
This program was developed to celebrate, honor, and share the stories of those who have completed both of these UNESCO World Heritage pilgrimage routes.
Dual Pilgrims receive a limited edition "DUAL PILGRIM" pin badge and are featured on the Dual Pilgrim page of spiritual-pilgrimages.com. (Inclusion on the website is optional).
The Dual Pilgrim logo is a combination of a shell and a three-legged crow. The colors are shades of orange, often seen in beautiful sunrises and sunsets.
To receive the Dual Pilgrim status, pilgrims must complete one of the options for the Way of St. James, and one of the options for the Kumano Kodo, then register at a designated site.
● at least the last 100 km on foot or by horse, or
● at least the last 200 km by bicycle
● Takijiri-oji to Kumano Hongu Taisha on foot (~38 km) or
● Kumano Nachi Taisha to/from Kumano Hongu Taisha on foot (~30 km) or
● Hosshinmon-oji to Kumano Hongu Taisha on foot (~7 km) plus a visit to Kumano Hayatama Taisha and Kumano Nachi Taisha or
● Koyasan to Kumano Hongu Taisha on foot (~70 km)
※ Only walking is allowed on the Kumano Kodo. No bicycles or horses.
The Dual Pilgrim Credential is a type of passport for pilgrims. It is used to collect stamps along the trail as a record of the walk. There are two sides, one for the Kumano Kodo and one for the Way of St. James.
To complete the walk in Santiago you need to go to the pilgrim's office to receive the stamp from the cathedral. The completion stamp for the Kumano Kodo is located at the Kumano Hongu Taisha.
The Dual Pilgrim Credential is free of charge.
In Japan the credential is available at:
● Tanabe Tourist Information Center (next to the JR Kii-Tanabe station)
● KUMANO TRAVEL Support Center (near JR Kii-Tanabe station)
● Kumano Hongu Heritage Center (near the Kumano Hongu Taisha)
● Kumano Kodo Kan Pilgrimage Center (next to Takijiri-oji)
In Spain the credential is available at:
● Turismo de Santiago Information Center (near the Santiago Cathedral)
Order Online from the Kumano Travel Community Reservation System.
※ The Credential can also be picked-up at accommodations in Tanabe City, etc. depending on availability.
Stamps are located in wooden stands at most sites.
After use please close the ink pad so that it does not dry out for the next pilgrims.
The Kumano Kodo completion stamp is the Kumano Hongu Taisha one, so please remember to stamp this on the first page of the Kumano Kodo side of the credential under the heading "COMPLETION OF PILGRIMAGE".
NOTE: Stamps at sacred sites sometimes change locations. Please ask at each shrine or temple if you are not able to locate the stamps.
You can register for "Dual Pilgrim" status after you have completed the second route in either Santiago de Compostela or Tanabe City.
Santiago de Compostela
Please register at the Turismo de Santiago de Compostela, located near the Cathedral and Pilgrims Office.
Place: Turismo de Santiago Information Center
Address: Rúa do Vilar 63, Santiago de Compostela , Galicia, Spain
Hours: Open all year. Winter: Mon-Fri 9:00 ~ 19:00 / Sat, Sun, Holy Days. 9:00 ~ 14:00 and 16:00 ~ 19:00. Easter and high season: every day from 9:00 ~ 21:00.
Please register at the Kumano Hongu Heritage Center in Hongu near the Kumano Hongu Taisha, or at the Tanabe Tourist Information Center.
Place: Kumano Hongu Heritage Center
Address: 1110 Hongu-cho Hongu, Tanabe City , Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, 647-1731
Hours: Open all year: 9:00 ~ 17:00
Place: Tanabe Tourist Information Center
Address: 1-20 Minato, Tanabe City, Wakayama Prefecture Japan, 646-0031
Telephone: +81-(0)739-26-9025 or +81-(0)739-34-5599
Hours: 9:00 ~ 18:00
For registered Dual Pilgrims, Kumano Hongu Taisha has a special "Dual Pilgrim Taiko Ceremony".
During this short ceremony you can drum on the sacred Taiko to express your feelings, emotions and thoughts—an experience of the body, to complete your spiritual journey.
Please visit the Kumano Hongu Taisha shrine office to register for the ceremony.
NOTE: The ceremony may not be available on all days, in those instances something else will be substituted.
For Dual Pilgrims registereing at either Kumano Hongu Heritage Center or the Information Center next to the Kii-Tanabe station, a completion certificate is presented.
This certificate is from the Head Priest of the Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine to offer gratitude and congratulations to Dual Pilgrims.
The certificate is made from local Washi Japanese handmade paper and features the character for "Way" in the background. This character has written by the Head Priest personally.
This is a great memoento to remember pilgrims incredible journeys on the Way of St.James and the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route.
For those Dual Pilgrims that wish to share their experiences, voluntary inclusion on our Dual Pilgrim website is possible.
Thank you Dual Pilgrims!
You are what make our pilgrimage routes alive!
First Dual Pilgrim
Feb 5, 2015: American
First Registered Dual Pilgrim in Santiago de Compostela
Nicholas & Madeleine Newman
Aug 24, 2015: Australian, New Zealand
1000th Dual Pilgrim
Feb 21, 2018: American
First to Complete Both Sides of Official Dual Pilgrim Credential
May 27, 2015: Japanese
500th Dual Pilgrim
Mar 30, 2017: American
▶ Do I need to complete both sides of the credential or is it OK if I have already completed the Way of St. James with a different style of passport?
You do not have to complete both sides of the Dual Pilgrim credential. It is OK if you use another form of credential or stamp book. For example:
1. Dual Pilgrim Credential for Kumano Kodo and Santiago Cathedral Credential for Way of St. James (or other certified Credential for the Way of St. James)
2. Tourist association passport for Kumano Kodo and Dual Pilgrim Credential for Way of St. James
3. Tourist association passport for Kumano Kodo and Santiago Cathedral Credential for Way of St. James (or other certified Credential for the Way of St. James)
It is preferred if you have walked both routes recently and use the Dual Pilgrim passport for both, but it is not obligatory.
▶ Which route do I need to do first?
It doesn't matter which order you do them, as long as you have completed both you are a Dual Pilgrim.
▶ Where are the stamps on the Kumano Kodo?
The stamps are mostly located in small wooden stands at oji shrines and other historical spots. Ask at the Grand Shrines for the location of these stamps. More info >>
▶ Is it OK if I take a bus part-way on the Kumano Kodo?
For the Kumano Kodo, yes it is OK to use the bus if needed.
▶ What if I finish my walk in Katsuura? Where do I go to register?
The easiest way is to take the train to the Kii-Tanabe station, and register at the Tanabe Tourist Information Center next to the station.
▶ Can the pin badge be mailed to me if I have walked both routes?
No, you must go to one of the registration sites to register and receive the pin.
▶ I walked the Way of St. James many years ago. If I walk the Kumano Kodo now, am I still eligible for Dual Pilgrim status?
Yes, if you have walked it in the past that is OK. As long as you can prove or state that you have done both when you register that is no problem.
▶ Do I have to have my completed Way of St. James Credential with me when I register to be a Dual Pilgrim after I walk the Kumano Kodo?
It is preferred if you did to prove that you have walked the Way of St. James, but not necessary.
▶ Do I need to register for the Dual Pilgrim after I do each one of the pilgrimage routes.
No, you only register for Dual Pilgrim status when you have completed the second of the two routes.
▶ What does Credential mean?
The Credential is often used for the Way of St. James booklet for collecting stamps along the route. This attests to the authenticity and validity of the document.
▶ On the Santiago de Compostela side of the Credential sheet is says "Official Credential" but on the Kumano Kodo side it doesn't. Why?
The Dual Pilgrim passport has been officially accepted by the Santiago Cathedral as a valid document to use along the Way of St. James. The Kumano Grand Shrines do not have this structure of documentation, so the term official isn't used on the Kumano Kodo side.
▶ Why is there a sun on the front of the credential?
Santiago is in the far West where the sun sets, and Kumano is in the far East where the sun rises. They are connected by the sun.