The Kamiakizu area on the fringes of the provincial seaside town of Tanabe in the Kumano region is surrounded by mountains, and full of orchards where Mikan (mandarin oranges), Ume (Japanese plums) and other fruits grow.
The former elementary school of Kamiakizu, an atmospheric building made of cedar and cypress, was renovated to serve as an education and experience center with a focus on sustainable tourism, established as a collaborative project by local farmers to support the revitalization of this rural community. A wooden lodge was added later to offer accommodation for overnight visitors. There is also a slowfood restaurant on site, where local farmers' wives come together to cook delicious meals using vegetables grown locally. Here you can try your hand at various agricultural experiences: fruit picking, vegetable harvesting and cooking with friendly locals.
Enjoy strolling or cycling around this peaceful community, and visit a local farmers cafe and market selling fresh produce. You can also join an early morning meditation session at the nearby Senko-ji temple, before heading onwards to walk the Shiomi-toge Pass, a section of the Kumano Kodo trail not featured on our regular tours.
This experience is an Add-on package
Include this experience in your own custom tour or self-guided Kumano Kodo tour
Travel by morning train to the seaside town of Kii-Tanabe and travel by bus to the lodge, where you can leave your luggage before being transferred to a mountainside Mikan orange orchard to pick fruit. After gathering and tasting various varieties of Mikan oranges, head onwards to the lodge where you spend the night. Later in the afternoon stroll or cycle around Kamiakizu, perhaps visiting the local farmers market, which sells a whole array of fresh fruit and other local produce. Enjoy dinner made with vegetables grown on-site.
Accommodation: Japanese farmstay
Head to the nearby Sensoji-temple for an early-morning Zazen meditation session. Return to the lodge to have breakfast, after which you have the option to make your own Bento lunch box. The lodge staff drive you to Nejiki-no-Sugi for your walk on the Shiomi-toge Pass, a section of the Kumano Kodo trail not featured on our other tours. After arriving at Takijiri-oji, return to the lodge for a second night or continue onwards to Takahara on the Kumano Kodo trail.