The guidance of "Kumano kodou" and "Iseji" for english

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The guidance of Kumano kodou and Iseji for english

Information for Kumanokodou Iseji route

Pilgrimage Road to the Three Grand Shrines of Kumano

Image of Kumano kodou   Kumano Kodo is the general name for the ancient pilgrimage trails linking Kumano Sanzan, the three grand shrines of Kumano: Hongu-taisha, Nachi-taisha and Hayatama-taisha. There were many routes starting from Ise, Yoshino, Koya-san, Kyoto and others, of which the two most popular trails were Kii-ji, the western route from the  Kii Peninsula, and Ise-ji, the eastern route in the Kii Peninsula.
  The Kii-ji Route was used by the Imperial family and noblemen, from the middle of the Heian Period (794-1192) to the Kamakura Period (1192-1333). The Ise-ji Route became popular among the common people in the Edo Period. Pilgrims who completed their visit to Ise-jingu, the Grand Shrines of Ise equipped themselves with the appropriate white robe for pilgrimage in Western Japan at the town of Tamaru, the starting point of the pilgrimage to Kumano. Those who did the 33-temple pilgrimage also headed for Nachi, where the first temple on the itinerary of the pilgrimage was located. In the Kii Peninsula where rugged mountains frame the coastline and there is much precipitation, stone paths were made along the steep parts of the pass to prevent disintegration due to heavy rainfall. Pilgrims walked over many steep passes to the venerated Kumano Sanzan. Pilgrims walking in a line along the narrow stone path was known as “pilgrimage of ants to Kumano”.
  Kumano Kodo survived development because of its steep slopes, and was revived into a pleasant hiking path. Walking on the moss covered stone path through thick forests, hikers can feel the atmosphere of the ancient pilgrimage, listen to the sound of crystal-clear streams, and view historical monuments and stone images of Buddha.

Kumano Sanzan

Hayatama-taisha   Kumano Sanzan, the three grand shrines of Hongu-taisha,
Hayatama-taisha and Nachi-taisha were founded at different times and enshrine different gods. However it was in the middle of the Heian Period (794-1192) that all three shrines were established and the pilgrimage to Kumano grew in popularity.
  The Japanese people believed in a pantheon of gods and goddesses. When Buddhism was first introduced to Japan, people assimilated the Buddhist images and ways of worship into their native Shinto practices. It was common for Shinto shrines to be dedicated to both Shinto Gods and Buddhist Boddhisattvas, such as Kumano Sanzan, also worshipped as Kumano Gongen, a manifestation of Amida Buddha.
  Kumano believed to be the Pure Land of this earth attracted Emperors, ex-Emperors and nobles in Kyoto, as well as warriors and common people. All people regardless of social rank, sex, and belief were allowed to make the pilgrimage to Kumano Sanzan. Worshippers made the pilgrimage yearning to live a peaceful life in this world, remove suffering after death and achieve“bliss in the Pure Land”.