• Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Self-Guided Walk Tour

  • 8 nights 9 days

Japan Package - Kumanokodo 8 Nights / 9 Days The Kii Peninsula points south away from the great cities of Kyoto and Osaka, and is one of the most remote and mystical areas of Japan, despite its proximity. Long a place of pilgrimage, it is the site of the three Grand Shrines of Kumano (Kumano Sanzan). From the 11th century successive emperors and their families made the long and difficult pilgrimage to Kumano from Kyoto. Several pilgrimage trails were established, and amongst them the Nakahechi-do, Kohechi-do and Ohechi-do, collectively known as the Kumano kodo (Old road of Kumano). Our walk focuses on part of the Nakahechi-do, which weaves its way through the forested mountains and small villages to the Grand Shrine of Hongu. You then transfer by bus and train to the Nachi Grand Shrine.

The walking is mostly paved village paths and unpaved mountains trails, with considerable ascent and descent on certain days. Though not 'technical', you will be need to be fit and well-prepared with adequate gear and clothing. This walk is highly customisable; there are 5 days of walking ranging from 2 to 7 hours, and we can advise on which days to leave out if you want a shorter or more gentle walk.
We also offer 4-day, 5-day and 6-day versions of this trip.

Price : From AUD2,695 (Per person twin share)
Tour Start : Kyoto Tour End : Osaka
Walking days : 9 days Departure Date : Daily (All Year)
Hotels : 3 nights Western & 5 nights Japanese-style hotel
Meals : 13 meals (8 breakfasts and 5 dinners)
Route : Kyoto ⇒ Takijiri ⇒ Takahara ⇒ Chikatsuyu ⇒ Hongu ⇒ Yunomine ⇒ Ukegawa ⇒ Koguchi ⇒ Nachi-san ⇒ Kii-Katsuura ⇒ Osaka
Include : ✔ 8 nights accommodation ✔ 8 Breakfast and 5 Dinner ✔ Train tickets (from / to Kyoto or Osaka) ✔ Detailed day-by-day itinerary and walking instructions ✔ Topographical map ✔ Local phone support ✔ English speaking guide (day 2)

Route Map :

Kumanokodo Self-guided Walking Route Map

Accommodation :

CityHotel NameRoom Type / Overview
[Day 1-2] Kyoto Hearton Hotel

Hearton Hotel Kyoto Hearton Hotel Kyoto

Western-style Room /
Clean, efficient, and with a good location. The Hearton hotel is popular hotel for tourists. Easy access from Kansai International Airport and there are trained English speaking staff. The front desk is open 24 hours, and the staff are only to happy to help you with tourist information, or choosing a great place to eat. Rooms are comfortable and modern, with western beds and bathrooms.
Address : 405 Funayacho, Higashi no Toin Dori Oike Agaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto (map)
[Day 3] Takahara Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato Takahara

Kiri-no-sato Takahara1 Kiri-no-sato Takahara2

Western-style room /
Run by local Jian Shino who speaks English, Spanish and Chinese (as well as his native Japanese), this welcoming ryokan / hotel has both western and Japanese style rooms, and wonderful organically-grown local food. If you are lucky, Shino-san may even serenade you with some flamenco guitar!
Address : 826 Takahara, Nakahechi-cho, Tanabe City, Wakayama (map)
[Day 4] Chikatsuyu Minshuku Chikatsuyu

Chikatsuyu1 Chikatsuyu2

Japanese-style room /
Minshuku Chikatsuyu is a small guesthouse located in the Chikatsuyu village along the Tonda River. The Hisui-no-yu onsen is a hot spring bath next to the inn. The water is famous for its smooth texture. One of their specialty dishes is ayu (sweet fish) rice. The view from the dining room opens onto the river and mountains beyond. This is a popular Minshuku because of its quiet and peaceful location.
Address : 401-12 Chikatsuyu, Nakahechi-cho, Tanabe City, Wakayama (map)
[Day 5] Yunomine Yoshinoya

Yoshinoya1 Yoshinoya2

Japanese-style room /
In the hot spring village of Yunomine, Yoshinoya has its own hot spring baths with a 'rotenburo' outside bath to enjoy after a day's hiking. Yoshinoya Ryokan is a family run inn located in the centre of Yunomine Onsen next to the World Heritage Tsuboyu bath. This two story facility features a lovely private outdoor hot spring bath in a garden-like setting. Views from the guestrooms overlook a small creek and the hot spring village.
Address : 359 Yunomine, Hongu-cho, Tanabe City, Wakayama (map)
[Day 6] Koguchi Momofuku

Momofuku1 Momofuku2

Japanese-style room /
Minshuku Momofuku is run by a retired couple. This tiny guesthouse has only four rooms and is located in the isolated village of Koguchi in the mountains between Nachi and Hongu. The owner wishs that guests make themselves comfortable and feel like Minshuku Momofuku is their second home.
Address : 224-3 Nishi, Kumanogawa-cho, Shingu City, Wakayama (map)
[Day 8] Osaka Hotel Monterey Grasmere Osaka

Hotel Monterey Grasmere Osaka1 Hotel Monterey Grasmere Osaka2

Western-style room /
Directly connected to Namba Station, this hotel offers fantastic access to points throughout Osaka.
Address : 1-2-3 Minato-machi, Naniwa-ku, Osaka (map)

Tour Itinerary :

DayEvent / VisitHighlight
1 Kyoto
Your tour begins with your arrival at your hotel or ryokan in Kyoto. On our Standard tour, accommodation options include the Hearton Hotel or the Kyoto Royal Hotel – modern, western style hotels with private en-suite facilities. You can also opt for the informal, Japanese-style Yoshimizu Ryokan where you will sleep on futons in tatami-mat rooms ; as with the Japanese inns you will experience on the Kumano Kodo Trail, bathroom facilities are not attached to your room but 'along the hallway'. Or You can opt the Hearton Hotel or the Kyoto Royal Hotel – modern, western style hotels with private en-suite facilities.
Kyoto - Hearton Hotel
Meals : Breakfast : X / Lunch : X / Dinner : X
Hotel : Kyoto
2 Sightseeing in Kyoto
A day to explore Kyoto with your own personal guide. One of our knowledgeable, friendly and professional guides will meet you at your hotel after breakfast and lead you on a full-day tour of Kyoto. You can opt to travel by bus and subway, or by taxi – you pay for travel and entry fees on the spot. We have devised five different itineraries for you to choose from; we have included some of the most famous sights and some lesser-known spots. There are even options to join a Zen Meditation session or Tea Ceremony experience. We are proud of our guides – we engage them directly and not via agencies or other third parties. Your guide will return you to your hotel around 17:00 or, if you prefer, will leave you in an alternative location of your choosing.
Kyoto - Kinkaku-ji Temple Kyoto - Kiyomizu-dera Temple Sagano Bamboo Grove & Arashiyama Walking Tour
Meals : Breakfast : O / Lunch : X / Dinner : X
Hotel : Kyoto
3 Kumano Kodo Trail from Takijiri to Takahara

Walking distance : 4.5km
Elevation gain : 370m of ascent
Time required : About 2 hours

Send your main luggage ahead from your accommodation before the Kumano Kodo Trail to the ryokan in Yunomine where you will stay half-way along the trail. You can manage with your overnight essentials in your daypack for your nights in Takahara and Chikatsuyu. Alternatively, if you are accustomed to travelling light, you may prefer to send your main luggage from your accommodation before the Kumano Kodo Trail to wherever you are staying after the trail. You would then manage with overnight essentials in your daypack for all five nights on the trail. Use one of the wonderful Japanese luggage-forwarding services which are ultra-efficient and secure.
Kumanokodo - Kii Mountains Kumanokodo - Takijiri Shrine1 Kumanokodo - Takijiri Shrine2 Kumanokodo - Chichiiwa Kumanokodo - Takahara Shrine
Meals : Breakfast : O / Lunch : X / Dinner : O
Hotel : Takahara
4 Kumano Kodo Trail from Takahara to Chikatsuyu

Walking distance : 10km
Elevation gain : 480m of ascent and 520m of descent
Time required : About 4 - 5hours

After your Japanese breakfast you leave Takahara, climb through the village and continue on an undulating trail past several oji shrines before descending to the village of Chikatsuyu. The paths are clearly defined, and flagstones have been laid in some places to make the climbs easier. You arrive in the small village of Chikatsuyu in time to relax before dinner at a family-run minshuku (guesthouse).
Kumanokodo - Takahara Lake Kumanokodo - Nakahechi Kumanokodo - Daimonoji
Meals : Breakfast : O / Lunch : X / Dinner : O
Hotel : Chikatsuyu
5 Kumano Kodo Trail from Chikatsuyu to Hongu

Walking distance : 24km
Elevation gain : 820m of ascent and 1,140m of descent
Time required : About 8 - 9 hours (and requires a very early start)

We offer two shorter alternatives of 7 hours or 2 hours, using a local bus from Chikatsuyu to shorten the walk.

From Chikatsuyu, the trail continues through the mountains to Hongu. The trail passes through small villages and forest trails over the Kii Mountains to the Kumano shrine at Hongu, one of the three 'Grand Shrines of Kumano'. At the heart of these sacred mountains, Kumano was said to be the entrance to the land of Yomi , the 'other world' which spirits travelled to in Japanese mythology. From the Kumano shrine at Hongu, a short bus ride brings you to Yunomine Onsen, one of the oldest natural hot spring onsen villages in Japan, and your ryokan with its wonderful outdoor bath. Enjoy a relaxing soak before or after your delicious, multi-course dinner.

If you sent luggage ahead to Yunomine Onsen, it will be waiting for you at your inn when you arrive. Your hosts will assist you to send it onwards tomorrow morning to wherever you are staying after the Kumano Kodo.

Kumanokodo - Kumano Hongu Shrine1 Kumanokodo - Kumano Hongu Shrine2 Kumanokodo - Kumano Hongu Shrine3 Kumanokodo - Yunomine Onsen
Meals : Breakfast : O / Lunch : X / Dinner : O
Hotel : Yunomine
6 Kumano Kodo Trail from Ukegawa to Koguchi

Walking distance : 12.4 km
Elevation gain : 520m of ascent and 500m of descent
Time required : About 4 hours

Before or after breakfast, take time to explore the atmospheric village of Yunomine Onsen. Today's journey begins with a short bus ride from Yunomine Onsen to Ukegawa on the banks of the Kumano River. From there, you start on the Kogumotorigoe path, which heads up to Kogumotorigoe pass before descending to the remote village of Koguchi. The trail is not difficult and today's hike should take you about 4 hours. A warm welcome and good food await you at our small inn, run by a charming retired couple. Explore along the river and have a swim if the weather is warm.
Kumanokodo - Kogumotorigoe Kumanokodo - Hyakkangura
Meals : Breakfast : O / Lunch : X / Dinner : O
Hotel : Koguchi
7 Kumano Kodo Trail from Koguchi to Nachi-san

Walking distance : 15.1 km
Elevation gain : 980m of ascent and 920m of descent
Time required : About 6 - 7 hours

Today you will have an early breakfast and then travel to the remote village of Koguchi, where you start the walk on the Ogumotorigoe Path to Nachi-san. The final section of the trail takes you over the Ogumotorigoe Pass with a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean. It then descends to Nachi-san, the location of Nachi Taisha (Grand Shrine), one of the three 'Grand Shrines of Kumano' and Nachi-taki (waterfall). Stay overnight either in the small village of Nachi-san close to the shrine, or take a local bus for the twenty-minute ride to the port town of Kii-Katsuura with wonderful views over the bay. Enjoy dinner and breakfast served by your hosts at your accommodation.
Kumanokodo - Waroudaishi Kumanokodo - Ogumotorigoe Kumanokodo - Daimonzaka Kumanokodo - Nachi Shrine1 Kumanokodo - Nachi Shrine2
Meals : Breakfast : O / Lunch : X / Dinner : O
Hotel : Nachi-san
8 Kii-Katsuura and onwards by train to Osaka
Kii-Katsuura is an active fishing port and has a lively early-morning fish market. Enjoy the views out over the island-studded bay. There are intriguing backstreets to explore, too. We provide train tickets for you to board a train at lunchtime, travelling back around the Kii Peninsula and arriving in Osaka mid-afternoon. Check in to your hotel in central Osaka and enjoy a night in the neon-bright streets of Japan's food capital. Our standard tour hotel options include the Hotel Monterey Grasmere Osaka – ideally located for easy access to Kansai Airport in a building above Osaka City Air Terminal.
Kii Katsuura - Fish market
Meals : Breakfast : O / Lunch : X / Dinner : X
Hotel : Osaka
9 Trip ends
Your trip ends this morning. Fly out from nearby Kansai Airport, or extend your trip with one of suggestions below.
Osaka - Kansai Airport
Meals : Breakfast : O / Lunch : X / Dinner : X
Hotel : N/A

Travel Condition :

Tour Operator :
Accommodation :
Meal :
Minimum participants :
Single Room Supplement :
Type and level of walking :
Walking Season :
Departures :
International Flight :
Optional extra days :

Page Top