Owase City is located in southern Mie prefecture and is 90% mountainous forest. With its rias coastline on one side facing the Kumano Sea and its Kuroshio Current, and enveloped by mountains on the other, the region sees warm air blow in from the south amid humid conditions. These conditions cause more rain to fall here than most other areas of Japan, especially between Spring and Autumn. Owase sees as much as 3,848.8 mm precipitation fall on average each year. On the flipside, the region is a forestry powerhouse and is known for Owase Hinoki – a variety of cypress known for its durability and red tint.
The Magose Pass, Yakiyama Pass, Miki Pass, Hago Pass and Sonejirozaka-Tarozaka Climb are all well preserved along the Ise Route of Kumano Kodo.
Sugari is a small fishing village with just 165 households and a population of 276 people (as of 2013). During the Edo period it flourished as a port for cargo vessels, waiting for the wind to turn on their way to and from Osaka and Edo (the old name for Tokyo). The rows of houses and streets here make for great photo opportunities.
Tours in the Kumano Region
Heartland Japan offers the following tours inside the Kumano Region. Please have a look!