4-Day Walking Tour of Kumano Kodo
Located in the Kansai region of western Japan, the Kumano Kodo has been considered a spiritual place, protected by the gods and associated with nature worship since prehistoric times. People of all classes from commoners to Emperors, headed to the Kumano Kodo looking for spiritual retreat in the Kii Mountains. And did you know that the Kumano Kodo trail has a sister pilgrimage to the Camino de Santiago in Spain? Both routes have been important pilgrimage destinations for many centuries and the two trails are officially twinned, as the only two pilgrimages in the world that have achieved UNESCO World Heritage status.
The best thing about the Kumano Kodo trail is that it is so flexible. You can walk as little or as much as you would like each day. You can also choose which section to walk, and where to stay. Let us know what your preferences are and we will plan the perfect trip plan for you.
Important notes about our model itineraries:
Our model itineraries are developed to show viewers the ideas for an itinerary and price guide. The itineraries can be further customized, and the accommodation and guide time can be adjusted to suit you. The number of people in your group will affect the price, too. We will give you more firm quotation once we develop your personal itinerary.
Day 1: Kii-Tanabe to Takahara
Take an express train from JR Shin-Osaka Station to Kii-Tanabe in the morning (2.5 hours). You will meet your guide at Kii-Tanabe Station. After lunch, take a local bus (or taxi) to Takijiri. Takijiri-oji is a starting point of Nakahechi trail of the Kumano Kodo where you can get information about the Kumano Kodo at the tourist information centre. You will start walking from here to Takahara (4 km) or Chikatsuyu (13.3 km). You will stay at a local guest house with shared bathroom.
Day 2: Takahara to Yunomine Onsen
After a hearty breakfast, take a short walk to the bus station and take a bus to today's starting point. Again you can walk as long or as short as you like (between 7 and 34 km), but today's goal is the Kumano Hongu Grand Shrine. Take time and absorb the divine atmosphere of this place. Have a guided tour of this grand shrine with so much history and religious significance, you can walk, or take bus or taxi to tonight's accommodation. You will stay at an onsen ryokan with hot spring spa and kaiseki dinner tonight.
Day 3: Yunomine Onsen to Nachi
After breakfast, take a bus to today's starting point. Today’s highlights are definitely the Nachi Grand Shrine and wonderfully photogenic Nachi Falls. It is possible to complete your Kumano Kodo trip here and head either to Nagoya or back to Osaka, however, we strongly recommend you stay another night at the coastal town of Kii-Katsuura and experience the coastal culture of the Kii Peninsula.
Day 4: Kii-Katsuura to Shingu
Kii-Katsuura is well-known for the biggest catch of fresh coastal tuna in Japan. Here you can visit the morning market and watch the live auction before breakfast. You can take an express train from here to Nagoya or Osaka, or even further if you need to, however, if you have time we highly recommend to drop by nearby Shingu. At Shingu, you can visit the Hayatama Shrine and the Kamikura Taisha, both are easy to reach from JR Shingu Station, and well worth the detour. From Shingu, it is about 3 hours to Nagoya, and 5 hours to Tokyo by express trains.
- 3 nights accommodation with daily breakfast
- Meals as specified
- All the train transport where indicated (up to Shingu on Day 4)
- Locally licensed English speaking tour guides where specified
- International and domestic airfare (unless otherwise stated)
- Entrance fees to attractions
- Travel insurance
- Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
- Tips and gratuities (not routinely expected in Japan)
- Personal expenses (laundry, internet, telephone, coin lockers etc.)
- Visa (if required)