Tucked halfway up Mt. Gongenyama, the original site of Kumano Hayatama Taisha still retains a strong spiritual aura. While the grand shrine may be more imposing, the smaller Kamikura-jinja Shrine is home to an event of extreme spiritual significance. It is on the hulking boulder that sits adjacent to the shrine where the Kumano deities were said to have descended to earth.
The Oto Matsuri fire festival is held here every February
There are 538 stone steps up to the shrine
The shrine is accessible by train.
The area around Kamikura-jinja Shrine is located 15 minutes on foot from JR Shingu Station.
Perhaps somewhat appropriately, access to an area of such godly importance is no easy task. A steep staircase of over 500 stone steps stand between visitors and the shrine. The course starts at the bottom of the mountain and winds its way up, under a canopy of ancient trees. While not an easy climb, the views from the top outweigh sore calves.