Surrounded by beautiful nature, the south part of the Kii Peninsula has the UNESCO World Heritage sites; the Kumano Sanzan (Three Shrines) and the ancient Kumano kodo Pilgrimage route.
The Kumano Sanzan are,
Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine,
Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine,
and Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine.
Kumano kodo is a series of five ancient pilgrimage routes, which has a long history since the early 10th century. The old paved-stone road still remains.
As a result of the local people’s tourism promotion led by a nongovernment organization Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau, the number of young tourists from America and Europe has been increasing.
In 2006, the organization employed Brad Towle from Canada as International Tourism Promotion and Development Director, who translated the website and signs into English. Because literal translation can be really confusing in this field, Mr. Towle tries to understand the history and the cult of Kumano well before he starts translating.
Bureau has helped to make English-Japanese conversation book for local accommodations and bus companies, and gave them training to host international tourists.
Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau website (English)
Source: Yomiuri Online Sept/6/2010
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