The Kumano region, in the south of the rugged Kii Peninsula, has been a sacred site since prehistoric times and pilgrimage destination for over 1000 years. It is a lush natural area with a rich spiritual culture. Deep in the heart of these holy mountains lies the village of Hongu and the Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine. All of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes lead to this isolated community on the banks of the Kumano-gawa River. The Kumano Hongu Heritage Center is the focal point for information about the area and the UNESCO World Heritage property "Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range", and a must see for those interested in learning more about this fascinating region.