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
Sun, 27 Mar 2022 Kumano Kodo 6 days 5 nights $US1,350 6 plus
Sun, 23rd Oct 2022 Kumano Kodo 6 days 5 nights $US1,350 6 plus
Sun, 30th Oct 2022 Kumano Kodo 6 days 5 nights $US1,350 6 plus

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Frequently asked questions

The tour is 6 days and 5 nights and the cost is $US1,350 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 = $US0.75, the the final $AU price will be $AU1,800. 

Included

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

Not included

  • Airfares
  • 5 lunches and 1 dinners
  • Public bus fares on the Kii Peninsula
  • 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 or Covid 19 travel restrictions, we will refund your deposit in full.

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. If the trip is cancelled by us due to Covid 19 travel restrictions, then we will refund your payment in full, or provide you with a credit to use on our other hikes.

There are no refunds, due to cancellation by you, unless a replacement hiker is introduced by you (the person cancelling), to replace you. If a replacement is introduced in this manner, we will refund 75% of the total paid by you.

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

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            [post_content] => This episode provides an introduction to the Japanese Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Trails. This episode contains a series of three interviews including with an Australian based hiking company as well as with hikers who have done this trip in the past two years:

Check out the episode here!
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            [post_content] => Yuraygir Coastal Walk has been featured in a number of walking magazines with emphasis on the opportunity to explore long stretches of unspoiled NSW coastline and, considering the rapid encroachment of developments in its many forms on natural environments everywhere, we are so lucky that this area has been preserved. Pam Dawes' invitation to join her on a supported walk was too good to pass up: guides, bag transport, estuary crossings and a comfortable bed. Pam, a keen walker and environmental champion, was part of my Tour du Mont Blanc group in August 2017. TMB was a truly great walk with very like-minded people so I didn't think too long about the offer to join Pam for the Yuraygir Coastal Walk:



 

Day 0, 7 September 2019

The drive to Red Rock was an easy 5 hour trip with little Saturday traffic and no road works. As we neared Red Rock, the fires to the east looked serious and aircraft were water-bombing. There was plenty of smoke.

Red Rock is a tiny coastal village with one busy shop and caravan park the only retail establishments. There are however new subdivisions to the south. The group assembled and we were bused to Yamba, the driver a cheery 82 yo lady. The Yamba Hotel looked familiar and a call to Graham confirmed that we had attended Gerry Ryan's wedding there in the '80s sometime. It was in the same dilapidated state but the view could not be faulted: gorgeous.

Our accommodation was on the second floor and our room had a huge sliding window that opened at waist height with a drop to the cement many metres below. An OH&S disaster waiting to happen! The place was thumping, literally, as it was Saturday night with a band and lots of backpackers and locals enjoying the entertainment. Pam and I searched out some food in town for the next day, and later, wished that we had bought/brought more. Even at 5.00 pm, there was not much open. The bus trip and dinner provided an opportunity to glean some first impressions of our walking companions and they were all positive: a very nice bunch. As well as Pam Dawes from Manly, there was Sarah, Steve and Claudia from Port Macquarie, Tony from Byron Bay, Derek from Mosman, plus Marcus and his wife Marika, their daughter Monica with husband Dave and daughter little, 12 months old, Ashlin. Steve had camping gear and used it for some of the nights. Home Comforts Hiking proved to be a well-organised and friendly crew.  

SMOKE Day 1, 8 September 2019 - Angourie to Brooms Head - 17 km - 4 hours walking - 226m elevation gain - 183m elevation loss - av temp 27 deg C

Mara Creek Campsite is the starting point for the Yuraygir Coastal Walk and this site is historically-significance as it was a source of fresh water and fish for the local Goorie (Aboriginal) people. A natural fish trap on the rock platform below the Shelley Beach path is clearly visible. So it is with an appreciation of the timelessness of this stunningly beautiful area that we set off, a family of sorts. A group photo is taken. Little Ashlin is strapped into her carrier and Monica steps out strongly with tales of her walk along the Pacific Crest Trail (4,270 km) that makes our 65 km effort over 4 days seem insignificant. But it is good to chat about ultra trail events and great walks and to hear Monica describe her new interest: trail running, her long legs perfectly built for that. The walk to Lake Arragan via Shelley Headland is varied, with the beach and sand dune trails offering views of ochre-coloured rock platforms and coffee rock sand cliffs to the south. Whales and dolphins are spotted by some of the group but I'm not quick enough to focus. We follow the coastal emu footprint signs and although we come upon wallaby or kangaroo footprints in the sand, we see no emus. Heath and woodland vegetation is diverse and we enjoy a springtime flush of flowers - flannel flowers, orchids, boronias. Coastal banksias, pandanus palms and paperbarks (complete with a native beehive) shade the trails. By midday, the air became quite smoky from the fires to the north-west of Lake Arragan and as we walk on, we speak with locals who have packed up their pets and driven to Plumbago Headland to be well away from the fires. Later we are told that the picnic area near the lake where some of the group enjoyed a bracing swim was burnt out the next day and National Parks closed the section of the walk from Angourie to Laka Arragan until further notice. We end the day with views of Red Cliff and Grey Cliff Headlands and drop down to the beach via stairs - newly repaired. We walk briskly along the beautiful beach to Brooms Head with its stately Norfolk Island pines but as we a glance northward, we are reminded that the fire situation is worsening. Devastating for so many. Our accommodation is adequate - spacious and clean, the only problem being that the bathroom door doesn't close but we aren't too fussed and manage. The bathroom light globe pops but is replaced promptly. The shop is run down as is the owner, the shelves barely stocked and the food is outrageously expensive eg 50g of coffee $12.95! Dinner at the Bowling Club is pleasant and we finish the day with a lively game of BOMB.  

SAND and FLIES Day 2, 9 September 2019 - Brooms Head to Minnie Waters - 20 km - 6 hours walking - 228m elevation gain, 208m elevation loss

A day of two extremes: a delightful 8 km walk along the hard sand of the beach in the morning to Sandon and a horrible 10 km walk on a 4 wheel drive soft-sand track in the afternoon, fighting the flies all the way. But the sun shone, the crossing with Lance in "the BOBSTA" at Sandon was efficient and the wildflowers were gorgeous. Interpretive signs alerted us to the possibility of seeing white-bellied sea eagles (yes) and humpback whales (no), but we did see lots of pelicans at Sandon and yellow-tailed black cockatoos in the coastal cypress thickets in the afternoon. They were magnificent. Sandon is a pretty place with an estuary separating the camping ground and the renovated beach shacks; some are pretty flash. Life is in the slow lane here as access is limited. There is a clear message in the lack of garbage bins - take care of this special place. There was time to have a swim but the wind was cold so a sit in the sun, lunch and a wander around the camping area and along the inlet filled in the time nicely. The break provided an opportunity to read the information signs and appreciate that this stretch of coast is protected by Sanctuary Zones and Commonwealth Marine Reserves. The environmental campaigns of the '80s and '90s are to be applauded. There could not have been a greater contrast to the Brooms Head shop in the Minnie Waters shop: pleasant people run it, well-stocked shelves, pricey...yes but good quality. I eyed off the cheeses... not this time. The sign on the window said it all: Kitchen and Coffee close by 4 (or earlier if there are waves or we just wanna) and the local facilities indicate a community at work here. And what a peaceful end to the day's walk through the Angophoras for the last kilometre to the comfortable cabins at the caravan park. The late afternoon light was magical. We were all feeling a little worn out after the soft-sand slog in the afternoon but showers and pre-dinner drinks followed by a hearty barbeque dinner prepared by Marcus and the family is just what we needed. I need to add that when we left Brooms Head in the morning, there was a possibility that the road would be closed due to the fires and Dave and the trailer would not make it to Minnie Waters. All was well however and Dave was able to bring the gear through as well as the BBQ makings.  

WIND Day 3 - 10 September 2019 - Minnie Waters to Wooli - 16 km - 3.5 hours - 335m elevation gain, 364m elevation loss - av temp 24 deg C

This was to be an easier day of just 16 km and it started well with walking conditions in the morning perfect. There were some rock platforms to pick our way across but overall just more gorgeous beaches. We had morning tea at Diggers Camp Back Beach then walked onto Boorkoom Camping Area and Wilsons Headland for lunch before setting off along Wooli Beach. Unfortunately. a cool southerly wind had sprung up and battered us for 6.5 km. We were pleased to arrive at Wooli River Lodges mid-afternoon. What a nice place. Shady, well-maintained gardens; lodges with good linen; an outdoor fully equipped kitchen; and just 5 minutes to the local store and hotel. We enjoyed dinner at the hotel and this was followed by a gathering in the outdoor kitchen to wish Dave a happy birthday with party hats and cake. It seemed like a long day and I headed back to our lodge while most stayed to play 31. I was surprised to find it was only 7.30 pm but the opportunity for an early night was too good to pass up.  

ROCKS Day 4, 11 September 2019 - Wooli to Red Rock - 15.1 km - 3.5 hours walking time - 335 m elevation gain, 364 m elevation loss - av temp 25 deg C

As he had each morning, Marcus delivered a delicious freshly-brewed coffee and it was a greatly appreciated start to the day. A Wooli Wooli River crossing had been organised for 8.30 am and we were transported to the boat by the proprietor of Wooli River Lodges. Low tide was essential for this section of the walk as off and on for the first 6.5 km there was some rock scrambling. After lunch, we crossed Station Creek estuary easily as it was only wading depth. Then there was another beautiful beach walk to Red Rock River and our final boat crossing to Red Rock. Press play on the following link: https://www.relive.cc/view/v1vjpeABDY6 Pam and I had intended to spend the night at Nambucca Heads but as it was only 2.00 pm when we arrived at Red Rock, we canceled our motel booking, thanked and fare welled our walking family and drove home to Caves Beach. What a wonderful walk along a beautiful, pristine coastline in good company, thanks to Home Comforts Hiking – we couldn’t ask for a better few days! [post_title] => Yuraygir Coastal Walk 7 – 11 September, 2019 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => yuraygir-coastal-walk-7 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-04-07 03:15:51 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-04-07 03:15:51 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://homecomfortshiking.launchingsoon.com.au/?p=538 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) )