It crosses many rugged passes and walks silently along the mountain road where massed trees grow. If you are a Japanese, there are many people who hold such images in pilgrimage to Kumano. But Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes have another important face. Kumano River running like sewing mountains along Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes. It was also named as the “Pilgrimage Pathway of the River” which boats Kumano-hayatama-taisha Shrine from Kumano-hongu-taisha Shrine.
At that time, the ship “Sandanbo” carried travelers. It is a so-called sailing boat with three sails, and it captures the river’s wind and moves forward. It worked as a boat peculiar to the Kumano River with many shallow waterfalls.
“Pilgrimage Pathway of the River” was registered as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range” and became the world’s first “world heritage of the river” at that time.
Sandanbo (sailboat) is a traditional river boat which continues from the Heian era, carrying travelers and living goods without losing the rapidity of the Kumano River called “Rampage River”. It is a distinctive boat that sails three sails on the mast and catches the wind. You can still experience river descent in Sandanbo at “Kumanogawa River Experience School”. The relaxing river journey while enjoying magnificent landscapes on both sides and birds’ voices is a pleasant feeling that is going to be a habit.
The tradition from the Heian era has been inherited as the experience menu which “Kumanogawa River Experience School” carries out. Take the old-fashioned wooden boat and go down the Kumano river with guidance of the boat headers. The natural beauty of the mountains and the river wind are comfortable, which makes you realize the other attraction of Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes.
In addition to this, beautiful water sights such as Choshi River which is a clear stream of Kihoku Town and a famous waterfall seen in each area are scattered around.
It seems that you can spend a refreshingly cool time here while walking on the pilgrimage route.
The Kumanogawa river registered into world heritage as only “the worship way of a river” in the world. The tour using “Sandanbo” (three sails boat) used traditionally in the Kumanogawa river is “Kumanogawa River Experience School”. The old worship way can be enjoyed feeling the Nature of Kumano.
The barge for people who live in Kumano was indispensable to the life as carrying supplies and catching a fish and a shrimp, but with the passage of times, the traditional living and barge traffic are going to become outdated.
In Kitahizue Kihocho, Mie along the Kumanogawa river, there is the ship carpenter who continues making traditional barge “Sandanbo”. He would like you to experience the local culture which has lived with Kumanogawa river, and started “Kumanogawa River Experience School” which performs sight-seeing experience of Sandanbo boat.
It is the Kumanogawa river experience tour including downstream with Sandanbo boat and offers lunch using seasonal local ingredients, and ancient road walk etc.
The barge of the Kumanogawa river is called “Danbeibune”. This ship is 8.6 meters in full length, and 1.6 meters in width, and gets down the Kumanogawa river by Sandanbo built with Tenjiku-Momen (a type of cotton fabric from India). Since an outboard motor is not used, the little stream of the river and bird watching can be enjoyed. Here, the natural figure of wild birds, such as egret, kingfisher, mallard duck, and herons, is observable.
Moreover, near the campsite, you can played in the river, and catch fish, such as ayu (sweetfish), eel, carp, and sea bass.
The downstream can be enjoyed from March to November. Please experience it once. If you try experiencing it once, you will become addicted
|Name:||Kumanogawa River Experience School|
|Address:||Kitahizue 203 Minamimurogun Kihocho, Mie 519-5716 Japan|
|Access:||JR Kisei-honsen Line “Shingu-eki” station (15 minutes by car)|
5,000 yen (with meals)
Please refer the official web page.