Kumano faith - The Kumano region has been known as a sacred region since ancient times. The area has lush forests, mysteriously-shaped rock mountains, streams, falls and more. Ancient people believed these natural formations housed spirits, and they held them in awe and worshipped them as gods and goddesses. Kumano was said to be the entrance to Yomi which is the ‘other world’ in Japanese mythology. Therefore, Kumano earned a special place and meaning in Japanese religion. When a person died, their spirit would go to Kumano. Kumano is also a very large peaceful forest isolated from the rest of the world, and for these two reasons, it became a training ground for mountain ascetics who tried to gain magical power by wandering in the mountains and praying to the many gods of the area.