Sunday, 5th November 2017
Today we headed to Nachi and the temples around Nachi-no-taki Falls. We walked to Shingu station and caught the train to Nachi station, then we caught a bus to take us up the mountains to the falls.
There were a lot of steps down to the falls from the bus stop.
But then the trees part, and you can see the waterfall ahead of you; with the shrine buildings at the base.
Drinking the water of the waterfalls is meant to bring long life.
Ben saw a larger version of the fortune shaker that we tried in Tokyo, and he wanted a go.
We weren't entirely sure what fortune he got this time, since it was only in Japanese (the Tokyo one had some parts in English as well).
We asked one of the monks and she said that it wasn't good or bad, but more so-so. Good fortunes you keep and take with you, but bad fortunes you tie to a railing at the temple, so we added this one to those already there.
We also collected the shrine's calligraphy and stamp.
We left the foot of the waterfall and walked up the road towards the temples. The road was quite steep and curved around the side of the mountain. It was lined with tourist shops selling souvenirs and boxes of local delicacies to take home as gifts. Every shop or cafe had someone outside the door calling out to people walking past and fishing for trade. We were getting thirsty so we stopped for a rest in a little cafe.
Happily, though we'd only stopped for a drink, we found this cafe served pancakes. The owner was very kind and gave us a photo he had taken of the falls. His cafe had lots of prints on the walls with prices.
Kumano Nachi Taisha
We reached the top of the hill and found the second of the three Grand Shrines of Kumano; Kumano Nachi Taisha. Like Kumano Hongu Taisha, this was very busy.
We collected our Kumano Kodo stamp as proof of our visit.
Further around the mountain there is a 3-storied pagoda which is popular for its own view of the falls from the top, and also because people like to take pictures of it and the falls together.
It was starting to get dark. The tourist shops were shutting, the shrines were closing, and all the tour coaches were leaving. We caught the next bus back to Shingu.
For dinner we found a Yakiniku place, which is where you order raw meat and vegetables and cook them yourself on a grill. It has evolved from Korean Barbeque and so there are things like Kimchee on the side dishes menu.
We chose chicken, beef, pork, and a sausage selection and had great fun accidentally burning each piece. They came with a BBQ dipping sauce to dip in before you eat.