I'll show you some of Kihoku's special scenery.

"As soon as [farmer] Gonbei sows seeds,
crows dig them up."

Tanemaki Gonbei

Undefeated by rain or wind or crows … Despite his kind and gentle personality, Tanemaki Gonbei has a tenacious spirit. He is a man of his word—once he decides to take action, he will see it through to the end. He is also a bit of a clown who puts the other villagers at ease with his jokes and antics.

Legends of Higashikishu

Born into a samurai family, Gonbei followed his father's wishes and became a farmer. Since he was unaccustomed to farm work, whenever he plowed the fields and sowed seeds, crows and small birds would immediately eat the seeds. People laughed at him, but he never gave up; he kept trying. Eventually he became the best farmer in the village. Gonbei is also known to have been a crack shot with a gun, and to the delight of the other villagers, famously shooting the wild beasts that destroyed the crops.

One day, Gonbei heard of a large snake attacking people near Magose-toge Pass, and so he decided to get rid of it.

Entering the mountains, he concealed his body with fern leaves and waited. Suddenly, a huge snake with its mouth agape came straight to attack Gonbei. He quickly prayed to the Zumbera Stone, which grew enormous, and Gonbei hid behind it. He fired three shots into the vital areas of the snake's body and killed it. Tragically, however, Gonbei died from the snake's venom despite the villagers' efforts to nurse him back to health. Nevertheless, having battled the snake on behalf of the villagers, Gonbei is remembered as a village hero, and even today the Tanemaki Gonbei Matsuri (Festival) is celebrated in his memory at Gonbei's family temple, Hosen-ji in the Binnoyama District of Kihoku Town.

Places where you can meet Tanemaki Gonbei!AR Spot Introduction

Magose-toge Pass on the Kumano Kodo Iseji

Of all the sections along the Kumano Kodo Iseji, Magose-toge Pass is said to have the most beautiful cobblestones. The path weaves through Owase Hinoki (Japanese Cypress) and fern leaves and is dotted with the historic sites of the Yonaki Jizo (Guardian Statue for Crying Children) where travelers pray for a safe journey. From Magose-toge Pass, you can access the hiking courses to Mt. Tengurasan and Mt. Binshiyama.

Gonbei is likely to have traveled through Magose-toge Pass on his way to kill the snake.

Magose-toge Pass on the Kumano Kodo Iseji

QR code locations

Commemorative stamp stand located near the pass (near the cabin).

Access to Magose-toge Pass

To the Kihoku Town-side trailhead

Public transportation
  • From the Owase-eki-guchi bus stop (3-minute walk from JR Owase Station) take the Mie Kotsu bus and get off at the Washige bus stop (the trailhead is very close to the bus stop).
  • About a 30-minute walk from JR Aiga Station
  • From the Aiga-eki-mae bus stop (outside JR Aiga Station) take the Mie Kotsu bus and get off at the Washige bus stop (the trailhead is very close to the bus stop).
By car

About a 5-minute drive from the Miyama Interchange in the direction of Owase City


Space in front of the trailhead/ Michi-no-Eki Miyama

From the trailhead
to the AR spots

About a 70-minute walk