Kumano Kodo

Fully Guided Hiking Tours

Fully Guided 6 Day Hiking Tour

For over 1,000 years people from all levels of society, including retired emperors and aristocrats, have made the pilgrimage to Kumano. These pilgrims used a network of routes, now called the Kumano Kodo, which stretches across the mountainous Kii Peninsula.

The walk itself was an integral part of the pilgrimage process as they undertook religious rites of worship and purification. Walking the ancient Kumano Kodo is a fantastic way to experience the unique cultural landscape of Kumano’s spiritual countryside.

In July 2004, the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes were registered as UNESCO World Heritage sites. This walk is a sister walk of the Camino Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage in Southern Europe.

Come and join me on this amazing hike across the Kii Peninsula and experience ancient culture and architecture, delicious Japanese food, traditional accommodation, warm onsens and friendly Japanese hospitality!

Trip dates

Departure Date Tour Duration Price Spots remaining
Fri, 2 Oct 2020 Kumano Kodo 6 days 5 nights $US1,290 6 plus
Fri, 9 Oct 2020 Kumano Kodo 6 days 5 nights $US1,290 6 plus
Thu, 15 Oct 2020 Kumano Kodo 6 days 5 nights $US1,290 6 plus
Mon, 5 Apr 2021 Kumano Kodo 6 days 5 nights $US1,290 6 plus
Sun, 11 Apr 2021 Kumano Kodo 6 days 5 nights $US1,290 6 plus
Mon, 25 Oct 2021 Kumano Kodo 6 days 5 nights $US1,290 6 plus
Sun, 31 Oct 2021 Kumano Kodo 6 days 5 nights $US1,290 6 plus

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Frequently asked questions

The tour is 6 days and 5 nights and the cost is $US1,290 per person. For Australian customers the final $AU price will be converted based on the mid rate on https://www.xe.com, two months before departure date. For example, if the mid rate on https://www.xe.com shows as $AU1 = $US0.68, the the final $AU price will be $AU1,897.

Included

  •  All accommodation
  • 5 breakfasts and 4 dinners
  • luggage transfers while hiking
  • Train, boat and bus fares
  • A guide for the six days

Not included

  • Airfares
  • 5 lunches and 1 dinners
  • Passport, visa (if applicable) and travel insurance
Minimum group size is 6 guests and maximum is 12 guests plus the guide

Day 1

  • Arrive at Osaka KIX airport. Flight arrival time should be no later than 12.30pm, Japanese time.
  • Train from Osaka KIX to Kii Tanabe departs around 2.00pm (Japanese time), or make your own way to Kii Tanabe.
  • Accommodation at Kii Tanabe. Arrive around 4.30pm. Briefing will be held at 5.30pm
  • There are over 70 restaurants and bars in Kii Tanabe, for dinner

Day 2

  • Bus (40mins) to Takajiri trail head
  • Walk 13.5km to Chikatsuyu. Total ascent is 900m. Rated Moderate to Hard. Note: The start of this walk is quite steep with 500m ascent over 4km. It is hard for inexperienced hikers but we take it nice and slow. There are two opportunities to leave the trail if you find it too difficult. The first is after 6km, and the second after 12km.
  • Traditional Japanese accommodation, including dinner and breakfast, at Chikatsuyu

Day 3

  • Bus to Hosshinmon Oji
  • Walk 7.5km to Kumano Hongu Taisha. Explore the shrines and surrounding area and architecture
  • Lunch at Hongu
  • Walk 3km to Yunomine Onsen. Rating for day 3 is Easy to Moderate
  • Accommodation including dinner and breakfast at Kawayu Onsen

Day 4

  • Walk 14.6km to Koguchi. Great scenic views today! Rated Moderate
  • Traditional Japanese accommodation, including dinner and breakfast, at Takada or Koguchi

Day 5

  • After breakfast we take a 2 hour jet boat ride along the Kumanogawa River
  • Lunch at Shingu – Explore the Hayatama and Kamikura shrines and the Castle ruins at Shingu. Total walking about 5km, rated Easy
  • Local train to our accommodation at Kii Katsuura. Dinner & breakfast provided.

Day 6

  • Visit the early morning Tuna market (if open)
  • After breakfast take the bus to Kumano Nachi Taisha
  • Spend time exploring the beautiful Kumano Nachi Taisha area. It has the tallest waterfall in Japan, glorious paths and gardens and amazing architecture. Total walking about 5km, rated Easy
  • After lunch we take the train to Osaka KIX Airport. The train journey takes 3.5 hours, and follows the coast of the Kii Peninsula
  • Arrive at Osaka KIX airport at 5.00pm for our flights (6.30pm onwards), or continue your holiday in Japan.

Bookings can be made online or manually. Click the ‘Book online’ button for online bookings. A deposit of $300 per person will secure your booking.

For manual bookings the bank details for the deposit are:
Home Comforts Hiking
BSB 932000
Account 500196069

Bookings can be made online or manually. Click the ‘Book online’ button for online bookings. The cost of the trip will be in $US. A deposit of $US300 will secure your booking. If less than 2 months before the start date of the trip, then payment in full will be required. For manual bookings, I will send you a PayPal invoice. You do not need a PayPal account to make the payment. You just need a Visa or Mastercard to make the payment. Alternatively, you can pay in $AU through a money transfer company such as OFX or your bank, if it is cheaper. In that case use the bank details above.
If we cancel the trip due to lack of numbers, we will refund your deposit. If you cancel more than 6 months prior to the trip start date we will refund 75% of your deposit. There are no refunds of the deposit(s) if you cancel less than 6 months from the trip start date.
The balance is due 2 months prior to the trip start date. There are no refunds, due to cancellation, unless a replacement hiker is introduced by the person cancelling, to replace the person cancelling. If a replacement is introduced in this manner, we will refund 75% of the total paid.
Book your flights once you have paid for the trip in full, or make sure the trip has sufficient numbers before booking your flights.
We recommend that you take out travel insurance that covers cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances, medical costs, and your valuables.
For some people, yes it is! If you do very little physical activity or carry an injury or have health issues that affect your ability to hike, then maybe this is not the trip for you. A good test is to find a bush track in your area that climbs about 500m over 5km. If you can do that in under 3 hours, then you can do the Kumano Kodo. Overall the hike is rated moderate. There are some steep and hilly sections to navigate, especially on the first and second hiking day. For inexperienced and less fit hikers, the first day is rated moderate to hard. The total distance walked over 5 days of hiking is 50km. We walk at a slow to moderate pace with plenty of breaks and opportunities to enjoy the sights, culture, villages, views and flora. On Day 5 there is a jet boat ride down the Kumano River. If conditions are not suitable for this jet boat ride, then a harbour cruise at Katsuura will substitute.

As we stay in small villages during the hike, and we only require one night’s accommodation at each village, the options available are very limited. The pricing is based on 2 people sharing a room. If you are single, you will be paired with someone of the same sex. Single supplement may not be available each night, but upon request the following may be able to be arranged:

  • Night 1 at Kii Tanabe – If you book single, you will get your own room. There is an extra charge of $AU60 (US$40) for single accommodation at Kii Tanabe.
  • Nights 2, 3,4 and 5 at a village on the hike – We stay at Minshukus, which are traditional Japanese, family run guesthouses. The rooms are predominately traditional Japanese with tatami mats and futons. Breakfast and dinner are included each day. The rooms are all twin share, and the number of rooms are limited. If the Guesthouse has enough rooms (most of the time they do not), a single room may be available for a surcharge of $AU60 ($US40).

Note that bedding linen and towels are provided at every accommodation we stay at. Also, the pillows provided are sometimes quite hard, so you may want to bring your own pillow.

Most accommodations have onsite onsens and some also have fantastic public onsens nearby, which are worth visiting for the experience. If you need help with how to use the onsens, ask the guide.

Most meals are included in the cost of the trip:

  • On day 1 at Kii Tanabe, dinner is not included. There are over 70 restaurants in Kii Tanabe. Dinner is included all other nights, and the meals are of a very high Japanese standard. The meals are a highlight of the trip.
  • Breakfast is included each morning. Usually it is Japanese, but sometimes a western option is available.
  • Lunch and snacks are not included. There are shops or cafes each day where you can purchase your own lunch and snacks
The water in the Kumano area is of very high quality from the tap. I recommend you bring your own bottles and refill each morning.

Luggage transfer is included for all Kumano Kodo Hikes. Each guest is allowed one bag up to 20kg. Bags are left at reception each morning by about 8.30am, then picked up and taken to our next accommodation. You only need to carry a day pack while hiking.

NOTE: Only 1 bag per person is allowed!

  • Small backpack with waterproof cover
  • One bag for luggage transfer
  • Shirts, pants, shorts, underwear, socks
  • Hiking shoes (slippers are available at accommodation)
  • Hiking Pole(s)
  • Rainproof jacket
  • Swimsuit
  • Your own pillow if you don’t like hard pillows
  • Money and/or Debit/Credit Card
  • Passport, Visa (if applicable), Travel Insurance docs
  • Phone and/or tablet, camera and chargers
  • Toiletries and medication

We meet just outside the JR West (Japan Rail West) ticket office at Osaka Kansai International Airport. Follow the signs to the trains after you clear customs. The JR West ticket office is located opposite the train station entry. We meet at 1.30 to 1.45pm on the first day of the trip. Please advise us whether you will be meeting the guide at the airport, or making your own way to Kii Tanabe. Note that the check in time for the hotel is after 4.00pm.

Alternatively, you may arrive earlier or after our meeting time. In this case you need to buy your own train ticket to Kii Tanabe station. (Note that it is Kii Tanabe in Wakayama Prefecture, not to be confused with Tanabe in Osaka). Your goal should be to arrive at our accommodation (most likely Hotel Hanaya, 400m from the station) by 5.00pm, as the trip briefing will be held at 5.30pm. If you use this option, you can claim the KIX to Kii Tanabe cost of your ticket from the guide once you arrive. If you arrive after the briefing, the guide will give you a separate briefing before the hiking commences.

At the end of the hike, at Katsuura, we will take a train to Osaka Kansai Airport. We arrive at the airport at about 5.00pm. If you prefer to continue to another station, we can arrange that at the end of the hike.

Please contact Marcus Ludriks. Contact details are:

E: homecomfortshiking@gmail.com
M: 0490 454220
WhatsApp: +61 490 454220