Visitors to Hongu Town in the Kumano area will notice a bare-looking mountain slope. This is Dainichi Mountain; walkers of the Kumano Kodo trails will cross it on the Dainichi-goe trail. The trail is in the forest and walkers do not see this empty lot, but it is very visible from the main street of Hongu.
A local NPO set out to do something about this eye sore. They were lucky to receive a donation for buying tree seedlings from a large supermarket chain.
The actual planting of the young trees was done by volunteers from the local communities in the Kumano area.
Usually it is not possible to drive up to this mountain site but on the tree-planting day, the road blockage was lifted and we could drive up.
On the way up I noticed a neglected state of Jizo, a Buddhist deity. Clearly, this road is not much traveled these days.
The mountain slope were the reforestation project took place offers some spectacular views of Hongu Town, the Kumano River and of Oyunohara, the sandbank in the Kumano River where the Hongu Grand Shrine originally stood.
One can also see environmental damage on the mountain sites and on river banks; the dry Kumano River does not look very healthy.
Today it is February and we have come up here to cut weeds to give the young trees some breathing space.
After the work is done, everyone gathered for a hardy meal.
Community spirit, community action!