Sacred Kumano Kodo Tour (5d/4n)
Have you always wanted to complete a part of a pilgrimage surrounded by forests and far away from the busy world? Our Sacred Kumano Kodo Tour offers an escape from daily life with a spiritual experience in the middle of nature.
Kumano Kodo Tour Description
Kumano is an isolated sacred site of healing and salvation. It embodies the spiritual origins of Japan and has been a pilgrimage destination for centuries. The steep, lush mountains of the Kii Peninsula are blessed with a rich cultural and natural heritage. Walking the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route will be an unforgettable experience for you. Here are the special features of the tour:
1. You will walk the main trail of Kumano Kodo connecting the two most important Kumano shrines; Kumano Hongu Taisha and Nachi Taisha.
2. You can enjoy hot spring baths on days 3 and 4. After a long walk, there is nothing like a hot spring to relax your body.
3. This is a self-guided tour* for groups of 2 or more. We will take care of the details of the tour such as accommodation and meals where necessary and prepare an English hiking map for you. It will be easy to follow the trail with this map.
*We also offer this tour with English speaking guide
Best Season for the Kumano Kodo Tour
Spring is a great season for walking the Kumano Kodo; most of the snow will have melted away, and temperatures will be milder than in winter. You will also be able to avoid the heat and humidity of summer, so you will have enough energy to walk the challenging route.
Fall is also a great season for walking the Kumano Kodo; the heat and humidity of summer will have disappeared, and temperatures will be very comfortable for strenuous hiking. There also won’t be any snowfall at all.
Please be informed that the Kumano Kodo is mainly a dirt road with a lot of inclines and declines. You will walk 14-20 km every day and on the last day, the total elevation gain is 1,260 meters. You need to be in reasonable shape to be able to complete the tour.
Kumano Kodo Tour Date and Price
Date of the Tour: as this is a private tour, you can set your own date
Tour Price: USD 550 (self-guided, includes accommodation and some meals)
For a guided tour, we can provide you with a private English speaking guide for the whole tour, the tour fee then becomes USD 1,980 per person (2 persons) or USD 1,380 per person (4 persons). The guide will pick you up at your hotel in Osaka and also drop you off in Osaka after the tour ends.
Your train fee, bus fee, and admission fee are included in the price.
Kumano Kodo Tour Highlights
Day 1: Shin Osaka – Kii Tanabe
Express Train Kuroshio
Day 2: Kii Tanabe – Kumano Kodo – Tsugizakura Oji
Plum Ice Cream
Day 3: Tsugizakura Oji – Kumano Kodo – Kumano Hongu Shrine – Kawayu
Kumano Hongu Taisha
Oyunohara, big torii
Day 4: Kawayu – Kumano Kodo – Natchi (Shrine & Waterfalls) – Nachi Katsuura
Funami-toge, Kumano Kodo
Nachi Taisha Shrine
Day 5: Nachi Katsuura – Ise Jingu Shrine – Nagoya
Katsuura Tuna auction
Day 1: Shin Osaka – Kii Tanabe
In the afternoon you will take the train from Shin-Osaka Station to Kii Tanabe Station. Please enjoy the two and half hour ride on the train. We can arrange a transfer from Kansai International Airport or a hotel in Osaka upon your request.
Kii Tanabe City Plaza Hotel or similar
Day 2: Kii Tanabe – Takijiri Oji – Kumano Kodo – Tsugizakura Oji
From today, you will walk on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route for three days. You will buy your lunch at the station and take the bus to Takijiri, from where you will start the walk in Takijiri Oji. Oji is a site of old shrines on the route. You will pass several Oji every day. How about trying some famous plum ice cream on the way? Today you will walk 17 km and the total elevation gain is 830 meters. The route is mostly dirt road, so please prepare comfortable trekking shoes.
You will stay at a small inn or Minshuku (family type accommodation).
Minshuku Tsugizakura or similar
B / – / D
Day 3: Tsugizakura Oji – Kumano Hongu Shrine – Kawayu
Today’s walking distance is the longest as you will walk 20 km today. The elevation gain is 970 meters. Please enjoy the bento box lunch prepared by the minshuku on the way. In the afternoon, you will reach the Kumano Hongu Taisha Shrine, the most important shrine in the Kumano area. The huge torii gate (shrine gate) shows the former shrine site which was destroyed by the flood in the late 19th century.
You will stay at a hot spring hotel in Kawayu. Kawayu literally means hot spring river, if you dig the gravel along the river, hot spring water will gush out. Relax at the hot spring in the hotel or you can try the public riverside open-air bath wearing swimsuits.
Kawayu Midoriya or similar
B / L / D
Day 4: Kawayu – Kumano Kodo – Nachi (Shrine & Waterfalls) – Nachi Katsuura
Today’s hike is the last, but it will be the toughest one. Today’s route, called Ogumotori-goe, is 14 km long making it shorter than the previous day, but the total elevation gain is 1,260 meters. After the long walk, you will reach the final destination of Kumano Kodo, the Nachi Taisha Shrine which is an important shrine of Kumano. You can also appreciate the great view of Nachi Waterfalls, one of the top three waterfalls in Japan.
Then you will take a bus to the fisherman’s port town of Nachi Katsuura and stay at another hot spring hotel.
B / L / D
Day 5: Nachi Katsuura – Shin Osaka
Today will be an early morning so you can attend the famous tuna auction at the fish market. You can have breakfast at your hotel afterward. Then it is time to take the train back to Shin-Osaka where you will arrive around 3 pm. This is the end of the tour, but if you are not flying on the same evening you can enjoy Osaka’s bustling evening food scene. We can arrange your hotel in Osaka or airport transfer if you’d like that.
Thank you very much for coming to Japan and sayonara!
B / – /-
Kumano Koto Tour Map
- 1 night Western-style accommodation, 3 nights Japanese style accommodation (*hotel type is subject to change)
- Meals as described in the itinerary (4 breakfasts, 2 lunch, and 3 dinners). We will provide bento boxes for lunch on days 3 and 4.
- International airfares
- Transportation to Osaka
- Meals that are not included in the itinerary
- Travel insurance
- Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks
- Personal expenses such as telephone and laundry bills
You can extend your vacation before/after the tour in Osaka, Tokyo, or other areas of Japan. Please contact us for more details.
Arrival/Departure: The tour starts and ends at Shin-Osaka Station. If you need a hotel and transfer, we can arrange them upon request.
Meal Requests: Vegetarian, halal or special meals can be arranged
*Please note that the tour schedule and prices are subject to change without notice
>46 days prior to arrival date in Japan: no penalty
45-31 days prior to arrival date in Japan: 10% of the tour fee
30-15 days prior to arrival date in Japan: 20% of the tour fee
14- 8 days prior to arrival date in Japan: 30% of the tour fee
7 – 3 days prior to arrival date in Japan: 50% of the tour fee
<3 days prior to arrival date in Japan: 100% of the tour fee
Feedback From Clients (for other tours)
Marcel – 2019 Summer –
- Highly recommended!
The guide didn’t only tell us a lot about the history of Japan but she also told us a lot about Japanese customs and culture. We used the knowledge we gained during the tour throughout the rest of our trip in Japan, it is very useful to do a private tour at the start of your holiday so that the rest of your trip becomes a lot smoother.
L. I. – 2019 Autumn –
- Very interesting bicycle tour through Tokyo
The day after we arrived we did a bicycle tour through Tokyo with a very pleasant guide. She told us a lot during the tour and was very helpful in giving tips for the rest of the day. The tour was varied, with a bunch of different sights in a short period of time. It was also interesting to receive background explanation from someone with a non-Japanese background in addition to the Japanese guides we had during the rest of our stay as it gave a different perspective on past and current events. This was a great tour!