Alena describes her path into Shugendo and her training and experiences as a Shugendo practitioner
Alena Eckelmann is from east of the Wall and south of Berlin, in Germany. She holds an MA in Asian Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and an MA from Passau University in Germany. In 2005, Alena traveled to Tokyo under the EU-sponsored Executive Training Program and worked as assistant director for the Japan Market Expansion Competition. She has been writing about Japan since her days in Tokyo. In 2011, she moved to Kumano in the south of the Kii Peninsula to begin training with a Shugendo monk. In 2016, she received tokudo from Sakuramotobou Temple in Yoshino, where she continues her Shugendo training. She qualified as a licensed guide for the Kumano Kodo and Koyasan, and is a licensed forest therapy guide. Alena has a deep interest in the spirituality and nature of Japan, which she would like to share with the world. The Shugendo Diaries is published bimonthly.