Overview of the Group
Purpose“Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range” has won high praise for sacred sites and pilgrimage routes set against the backdrop of the natural beauty of the Kii region’s mountainous terrain; for the mountains, rivers, ocean, waterfalls, and hot springs that they encompass; and for the cultural landscape that includes the area’s human residents and their lifestyles. The site was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site in July 2004.
Koyasan, a timeless sacred site located in Wakayama and Kumano, a sacred site associated with the worship of nature, have accepted large numbers of people while carrying on a spirit of tolerance and open-mindedness as holy places since ancient times.
They have grown in international renown in recent years and continue to move and inspire people from Japan and around the world.
It is against this backdrop that the 15th anniversary of their registration as a World Heritage site was commemorated in July 2019. The Group of 100 Devotees of Koyasan and Kumano was founded with a membership of prominent individuals on the occasion of that anniversary to pass down the value of “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range” and to communicate the site’s appeal in Japan and overseas.