Kii Monogatari is a transformational travel project in the mountains and forests, rivers and waterfalls, temples and shrines, villages and communities of the Kii Peninsula where the ancient Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trails connect the Buddhist monastery of Koyasan, the Shugendo center of Yoshinoyama and the Grand Shrines of Kumano.

My Latest Published Articles about Places and People on the Kii Peninsula:

  • Alternative Paths in Wakayama: Foreigners Making Homes in Rural Japan
    The south of the Kii Peninsula, three hours or more by train from Osaka or Nagoya, is considered remote by Japanese standards. This region, famous for the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trails, is a paradise for holiday-makers but not an easy place to live. Young Japanese people leave in droves for the city searching for attractive jobs, a convenient lifestyle and … Continue reading
  • Giving back: Recycling abandoned homes in rural Japan
    The abundance of akiya (vacant houses) dotted all over the Japanese countryside has hit the headlines in recent years. While some of these empty houses make it into the municipalities’ Akiya Banks, many are already uninhabitable. Despite Japan’s zero waste policy, the idea of salvaging lumber and other materials from these old houses has not caught on … Continue reading
  • In search of forest medicine in Japan
    Forest therapy, a guided outdoor practice, can benefit our well-being and give us more grounding. A licensed guide helps those who join a session to rediscover the joy of wandering and wondering in the forest or another natural environment. Beyond relaxation and the connection with nature , there are numerous health benefits that have been … Continue reading

Photo credit: Alena Eckelmann