I have read many guide books in my walks and travels among 80 countries and this is as good as it gets The organization is excellent beginning with a clear and succinct map all the maps are terrific then brief introduction to the history, meaning, and layout then a lot of useful but basic information which you may skip over and come back to next effective looks at 8 key locations the 3 main shrines and their nearby towns That takes about 100 pages and provides a great foundation The next 120 pages cover all the routes, each with beautifully detailed and readable maps I have read other guides to Kumano Kodo and have lived and traveled in Japan for several years over many decades This is THE best guide Thanks Kat Guidebook To Japan S Kumano Kodo, A Series Of UNESCO Listed Pilgrimage Routes That Crisscross The Mountainous Kii Peninsula, South Of Osaka Centred On Three Shinto Buddhist Shrines Known As The Kumano Sanzan, The Ancient Trails Blend Great Hiking And Exceptional Natural Beauty With A Unique Insight Into Japan S Rich History, Culture And Spirituality The Guide Covers The Km Nakahechi And Km Kohechi Trails In Full, As Well As The Choishimichi Route To Koyasan Km , The Hongu Loop Km And Highlights Of The Iseji Trail It Can Be Used To Plan And Undertake An Independent Trek Or To Enrich An Organised Tour Clear Route Description And Mapping Is Accompanied By Comprehensive Details Of Accommodation And Facilities, As Well As Notes On Local Points Of Interest And Inspirational Colour Photography You Ll Find A Wealth Of Practical Information To Help With Planning, Covering Transport, Climate, Accommodation, Budgeting, Equipment And Safety, As Well As Fascinating Background Information On History, Religion And Wildlife There Is Also A Japanese Glossary And Helpful Advice On Japanese Customs And Etiquette The Kumano Kodo Offers A Different View Of Japan Far Removed From The Modern Cities, This Is A World Of Forested Slopes, Hidden Valleys, Waterfalls, Traditional Villages, Moss Covered Stone Deities And Tranquil Oji Shrines There Are Opportunities To Experience Hot Spring Bathing And To Sample Local Cuisine As You Follow In The Footsteps Of Emperors, Samurai, Priests And Ascetics Traversing Traditional Flagstone Paths And Forest Trails On a recent hiking trip to Japan, I hiked the Kohechi and the second half of the Nakahechi This book had just come out and helped me immensely to prepare for the hike The reason I subtract a star is that while I was on the trail, I mainly relied on the official brochures for free instead of this book, which proved to be sufficient But it is great for background information and preparation from oversees nonetheless Recommended Really great photos, maps and elevation profiles with symbols which help with planning Very clear and concise navigation instructions All round excellent book. Good book Nice maps Lots of useful trail information.