Destinations

Aussie woman dies while walking Japan’s Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail

A Melbourne woman has died after falling off a cliff while walking in the Wakayama Prefecture of Japan.

The woman, 66, was found unconscious 40 metres below a cliff on the Kumano Kodo trail near Tanabe, on the island of Honshu, about midday on Friday.

The Kumano Kodo is a network of routes visiting three sites – Yoshino and Omine, Kumano Sazan, and Koyasan – linked by pilgrimage routes to the ancient capital cities of Nara and Kyoto.

Japanese broadcaster NHK reported that passers-by called the fire department after reporting that a person had slipped from the cliff.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told the ABC it was providing consular assistance to the family of a woman who had died in Japan.

Police have said the woman was walking the UNESCO world-heritage listed pilgrimage trail with another Australian woman.

In July 2004, the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes were given UNESCO World Heritage listing as part of the “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range” property.

The Kumano Kodo is one of only two pilgrimage routes in the world listed as world heritage sites, along with the Camino de Santiago in Spain.

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