Kumano Kodo Highlights

Self Guided - 4 Days/3 Nights

This pilgrimage trail in Southern Japan has existed for over 1,000 years where pilgrims from all levels of society have trod their way to the Grand Shrines of Kumano. The entire weeklong route is a challenging trail that is steeped in a rich cultural and natural heritage. Walking can be tailored to cover the highlights of the route to suit a walker’s level of fitness for 3 days and longer. The Kumano Kodo is an immersion into the Japanese way of life far from the large cities.

Accommodations along the way are mostly Japanese traditional style inns and guesthouses with tatami mat flooring in the guest and dining rooms and futon mattresses to sleep on. Meals are included which is an adventure into typical Japanese cuisine. Hot springs are common on the route and baths with mineral waters (called ‘onsen’) are very soothing at the end of a day’s walk.

The Kumano Kodo in the Southern Kii peninsula (Wakayama Prefecture) of Japan, can be accessed by train from Osaka or Kyoto to Kii-Tanabe station (approx. 2.5 hours). The first day is guided so you get to “know the ropes”. Public transport is planned into the itinerary and guides can be hired for extra days.

Your Journey

Day 1 Kii-Tanabe – Takijiri-Oji - Takahara

Train from Kyoto or Osaka to Kii-Tanabe. Orientation meeting then go by bus to the village of Kawayu.

Day 2 Kawayu – Hosshinmon Oji – Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine – Katsura

Transfer to Hosshinmon Oji from where you walk a mix of forested trails past mountain top villages, immersed in the Japanese countryside till you reach the spectacular Grand Shrine, Kumano Hongu Taisha. Descend by an impressive multi flight set of steps the bus to Katsura.

Day 3 Katsura – Nachi – Daimon Zaka Slope – Katsura

The Daimon-zaka is an ancient 600m long stone staircase ascending between columns of trees to Kumano Nachi Taisha shrine. The descent is to a view point at the foot of a beautiful waterfall. Return to Katsura.

Day 4

Arrangements end or you can extend your walk.

Terrain

Energetic – the full trail is overall demanding with steep climbs, descents and long stone staircases. A shorter moderate graded itinerary can be offered of days that are easier with public transport in between.

Meals

Full board.

Price

Please note that pricing is per person in Japanese Yen

2019: 66,375 Per Person, Twin Share.

Schedule

2019: Start any day year round.

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A Walker’s World has been offering walking holidays in Europe and around the world since 1991.

  • Our experts Jill, Therese and Michele have over 65 years combined experience working within the travel industry.
  • Our team can advise and coordinate your travel arrangements to your personal requirements.