1. jún – Kumano, Nachi Taisha, Katsuura

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EN: Kumano is the region south from Osaka, which is not entirely popular amongst foreign tourists. Japanese people know it mainly because of its important Shintoist temples and shrines, which together with other sights belong to UNESCO’s cultural heritage list. The most recognized is the Nachi Taisha shrine, which can be found in an attractive mountainous area with the tallest waterfall in Japan Nachi no Taki in a close vicinity (I am aware that Hannoki Falls is much taller, but it’s not a permanent waterfall and it can be only seen in one part of the year). Even here you need to prepare yourself to climb up numerous steps, which wasn’t really nice in this heat, but it was well worth it. Some people actually take the pilgrimage from the bottom of the mountain and even if I like to do those things (it’s a great opportunity to find nice spots for pictures), I just refused this idea because of +33 degrees out there. It would be a suffering, maybe next time. I just took the bus from Kii-Katsuura station straight under the shrine. You can get return ticket for reasonable price (1000 yen), the buses depart approximately every 45 minutes or so.

SK: Kumano je región nachádzajúci sa na poloostrove južne od Osaky, ktorý nie je veľmi populárny medzi zahraničnými turistami. Domáci ho poznajú hlavne vďaka významným šintoistickým chrámom a kaplnkám, ktoré spoločne s inými pamiatkami v tejto časti krajiny patria taktiež do zoznamu UNESCO. Najslávnejšou a najznámejšou zo svätýň je Nachi Taisha, ktorá sa nachádza v atraktívnom horskom prostredí a neďaleko najvyššieho vodopádu v Japonsku – Nachi no Taki. Návštevníci sa môžu aj v tomto prípade naladiť na tému schodov, tých je tam požehnane a v horúcom počasí nikoho nepotešili. Tí bláznivejší sa dokonca vydali po pútnickej trase a pekne si cestu vyšľapali až hore – hoci som ochotný takéto myšlienky realizovať, v tropických horúčavách, počas ktorých som mokol už pri nevinnej chôdzi, som to proste odmietol a vyviezol sa na autobuse zo stanice Kii-Katsuura až skoro hore. Schodom som sa ale samozrejme úplne vyhol.

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EN: The whole area and it surroundings look very nice, the shrine has interesting design and the waterfall in the background makes it even more unique. As I mentioned, the round trip on the bus from Kii-Katsuura station costs 1000 yen, which is not bad at all, considering the distance and the climb up to the mountains from the sea level. The best and the easiest way to visit the shrine is to take the bus straight to its final station, get out, climb up the remaining steps to the Shrine, walk down to the pagoda and have a look around or pay the entry fee and get up to the third floor (there is a nice view of the waterfall from over there), walk down to the waterfall itself, enjoy it and go back to the bus stop, take the bus back to Katsuura.

The evening and night spent in Katsuura were once again special. It was incredibly relaxing little village, there are two public foot baths (or foot onsen), where you can rest and enjoy the hot spring with your feet or feet and hands. One of the public houses is located just next to the harbor, in a close vicinity to the fish market. I actually went outside for a walk around the village, then I ended up in the bath, just sitting there, enjoying the port view, watching the fishing ships getting ready and just sipping up the beer. This was one of the most unique experiences in Japan, at least as relaxing as the visit of Miyajima. The interesting fact is that I never expected it, I just found the Katsuura as the entry gate to Nachi Taisha and I never thought it would be so cozy and calm. If I can recommend a hotel, it’s called Hotel Charmant and it has really reasonable prices, with a welcoming soup in the evening and very friendly staff. They don’t speak English, but they are trying to make you feel at home anyway. Katsuura is well-known as a fishing village, local market is a small version of Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market, you can visit it in the early morning as well, which I did, but I didn’t take my camera with me. Unfortunately for some people, Katsuura and the neighbor town Shingu are infamous for dolphin and whale hunting, so some people should rather stay away from the market. But the most famous product is definitely a tuna fish. There are plenty of restaurants offering the tuna in various styles and tastes, I picked one (honestly, I have no idea what it was exactly), but it was very tasty. My trip to Kumano and Katsuura was like a dip into the calm part of the ocean, out of the large city of Osaka and I can recommend it to everyone.

SK: Celé prostredie vyzerá unikátne, vodopád ho iba dopĺňa. Autobus nebol drahý, za 1000 yenov je priamo na stanici v akcii spiatočný lístok, s ktorým dokonca môžete na niektorých zastávkach využiť autobus viackrát na nástup a výstup, najlepšie je ale vyviezť sa až úplne hore, vyškriabať sa k svätyni, zojsť dole k pagode, potom k vodopádu a od neho späť do Katsuury. Tam bol môj hotel s názvom Charmant, krásny hotelík asi tri minúty chôdze od stanice, ktorý ponúka všetko, čo má hotel mať a hlavne v západnom štýle. Samotná Katsuura je rybárskym mestečkom, ktoré sa pýši najvyšším množstvom vylovených tuniakov v Japonsku, patrí medzi top producentov tohto mäsa na svete a vie sa pochváliť aj delfínmi, či neďalekým lovom veľrýb. V roku 2011 ale kvôli zosuvom pôdy spôsobených tajfúnom mestečko mnoho ľudí opustilo, no aj naďalej si drží perfektnú atmosféru a to aj vďaka tomu, že má k dispozícii kúpele. Tie sa nachádzajú hlavne v megahoteloch, no “foot bath”, v ktorých si máčate nohy, sú v mestečku všade otvorené pre verejnosť a priznám, že to bol skvelý relax večer v teple s výhľadom na pripravujúci sa prístav, s nohami v teplej vode, pripojený na Internet…Katsuura má samozrjeme k dispozícii mnoho reštaurácií, ktoré tuniaka pripravujú na viacero spôsobov, ja som si dal tiež povedať a bola to lahôdka. Výlet na juh do oblasti Kumano bol skvelý, hlavne preto, lebo to bol akýsi únik z veľkých miest…

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