Exploring Kii Peninsula's Nature & Spirituality

The path to Kumano has been a lifelong story of destiny for Alena Eckelmann.  Originally from Germany she has lived in London and Tokyo before making the move to the mountains of Kumano.  Her portfolio of experiences is extensive but her passion for the spiritual landscape of Kumano is boundless.

She has lived and guided on the Kii Peninsula in English and in German since 2010 while working at a Kyoto-based tour operator full-time for 5 years in tour planning, coordination and guiding.

Her main interests for guiding are walks, hikes, experiences and retreats focused on nature and spirituality on the Kii Peninsula, covering all three sacred sites enlisted as the UNESCO Heritage property “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range”: Kumano, Koyasan and Yoshino, and the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trails that connect them.

Her special areas of expertise are:
•    Koyasan and Shingon Buddhism (Guide License by Kongobuji Temple 2019)
•    Yoshinoyama and Shugendo (Tokudo at Sakuramotobou Temple 2016)
•    Forest Therapy (Guide License by Japan’s Forest Therapy Society 2014)
•    Kumano Sanzan and Kumano Kodo (Guide License by Wakayama Prefecture 2013)

Please join Alena for an enjoyable and enriching journey through Japan’s spiritual heartland!

Full Name

Kii Monogatari
Kii Monogatari


Nachisan, Shingu, Hongu, Koyasan, Yoshino


Experience, Local Guides