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!
|Departure Date||Tour||Duration||Price||Spots remaining|
|Sun, 22nd Oct 2023||Kumano Kodo||6 days 5 nights||$AU1,950||Fully Booked|
|Sun, 29th Oct 2023||Kumano Kodo||6 days 5 nights||$AU1,950||Fully Booked|
|Sun, 24th Mar 2024||Kumano Kodo||6 days 5 nights||$AU2,390||Expression of Interest|
|Sun, 31st Mar 2024||Kumano Kodo||6 days 5 nights||$AU2,390||Fully Booked|
|Sun, 7th Apr 2024||Kumano Kodo||6 days 5 nights||$AU2,390||8|
|Sun, 27th Oct 2024||Kumano Kodo||6 days 5 nights||$AU2,390||3|
|Sun, 3rd Nov 2024||Kumano Kodo||6 days 5 nights||$AU2,390||12|
Frequently asked questions
The standard tour is 6 days and 5 nights and the cost is $AU2,390 per person, twin share.
Please see “What are the accommodation arrangements” below for single supplement information.
Included on all 2024 tours
- All accommodations
- 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches and 5 dinners
- luggage transfers while hiking
- Private Taxi or bus on Day 3
- Public bus fares while on tour
- A guide for the six days
- Interpretive guided tours 2-3 days
- Traditional Riverboat Tour
- Train fares to Kii Tanabe and from Kii Katsuura
- 1 lunch
- Drinks, snacks and incidentals
- Passport, visa (if applicable) and travel insurance
Minimum group size is 10 guests and maximum is 14 guests plus the guides.
Private groups may be larger, up to 18, and an additional guide will be added to assist with logistics.
We do not walk the entire Nakahechi Trail with guided groups. Total walking is about 50km. Guided groups experience the highlights of the Nakahechi including the 3 Kumano Taishas (main shrine areas), as well as receiving information about the history and culture of the area. If you prefer to do more walking, or the entire Nakahechi route, then the self guided option would be better for you. See our Self guided Kumano Kodo page.
- Arrive at Osaka KIX airport, or by other means.
- Train from Osaka KIX to Kii Tanabe departs hourly
- Accommodation at Kii Tanabe. Arrive before 4.45pm. Briefing will be held at 5.30pm. Hotel check-in from 4.00pm
- Dinner at one of the fabulous restaurants in Kii Tanabe.
- Breakfast at Hotel, lunch pack provided.
- Bus (40mins) to Takajiri trail head
- Walk 15km to Chikatsuyu. Total ascent is 1,050m. Rated Hard. Note: The start of this walk is quite steep with 400m ascent over 1.1km. It is difficult for inexperienced hikers but we take it nice and slow.
- Thereafter there are 4 further ascents of varying difficulty, totalling 650m over 11km.
- Traditional Japanese accommodation, including onsen, dinner and breakfast, at Chikatsuyu
- Bus or taxi to Hosshinmon Oji
- Our English speaking Japanese guide joins us for the day.
- Walk 7.5km to Kumano Hongu Taisha. rated Easy to Moderate. Explore the shrines and architecture of the surrounding area
- Lunch at Hongu
- Walk 3km to Yunomine Onsen. The 3km section to Yunomine Onsen is hard. One km flat, one km ascent 300m, one km descent 200m.
- Accommodation including onsen, dinner and breakfast at Kawayu Onsen
- Breakfast and lunchbox provided by our Minshuku
- Walk 14km from Kawayu Onsen to Koguchi. Great scenic views today! Rated Moderate
- Accommodation, including onsen, dinner and breakfast, at Takata.
- Riverboat tour to Shingu. (If Riverboat tour is not available, we will take the bus to Shingu)
- Spend time exploring the beautiful Hayatama and Kamikura shrines, with our local English speaking Japanese guide. Total walking 4-5km.
- Lunch at a local restaurant
- Visit the Castle Ruins
- Purchase train tickets for your onward journey tomorrow
- Local train to Kii Katsuura
- Accommodation at Kii Katsuura. Dinner & breakfast provided.
- If the Riverboat Tour is closed due to adverse conditions we offer an optional visit to Urashima Cave Onsen facing the Pacific Ocean, instead.
- Visit the early morning Tuna market (Monday to Friday only)
- Bus to Nachisan
- Walk the stunning Diamonzaka Slope
- 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 4-5km
- Bus back to Kii Katsuura in time to get lunch and take the train to Osaka KIX Airport or to your ongoing destination. The train journey takes 3.5 hours to KIX Airport, and follows the coast of the Kii Peninsula
- Arrive at Osaka KIX airport at 5.30pm for your flights (8.00pm onwards), or continue your holiday in Japan.
NOTE: Itinerary subject to change due to weather conditions and group requests. If a change is made, it will be discussed at the daily briefings.
Bookings can be made online or by contacting us. Click the ‘Book online’ button for online bookings. A deposit of $AU300 per person will secure your booking.
The bank details for the deposit are:
Home Comforts Hiking
Bookings can be made online or by contacting us. Click the ‘Book online’ button for online bookings. The cost of the trip will be in the currency of your choice (if available through Wise or PayPal). A deposit of $AU300 will secure your booking. If less than 1 months before the start date of the trip, then payment in full will be required.
We will send a PayPal invoice for all bookings from overseas customers. 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 Wise or your bank, if that suits you better. Bank account details are:
Home Comforts Hiking
Please see our full cancellation and refunds policy on the “Bookings” Page
The balance is due one month prior to the trip start date.
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 need a minimum of 10 hikers for the trip to proceed.
We strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance that covers cancellation due to Covid or other 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 difficult sections to navigate. For inexperienced and less fit hikers the hikes are rated hard. The total distance walked over 5 days of hiking is 50km.
We walk at a slow to moderate pace (Average pace is 2.5km/hour) with plenty of breaks and opportunities to enjoy the sights, culture, villages, views and flora.
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 $AU80 for single accommodation at Kii Tanabe.
- Nights 2, 3 and 4 are 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 (sometimes they do not), a single room may be available for a surcharge of $AU80.
- Night 5 at Kii Katsuura – If you book single, you will get your own room. There is an extra charge of $AU80 for single accommodation at Kii Katsuura.
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
- Breakfast is included each morning. Usually it is Japanese, but sometimes a western option is available.
- Lunch packs are included on 3 days. Lunch is also included at Shingu.
- Dinner is included at the minshukus each night. A welcome dinner is included at Kii Tanabe on the first night.
- Snacks and drinks are not included. There are shops or cafes each day where you can purchase your own snacks every day.
The tap water in the Kumano area is of very high quality. We recommend you bring your own bottles or bladder 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 for the luggage transfer! All items including pillows must be contained in one bag.
- Small backpack with waterproof cover
- One bag for luggage transfer
- Shirts, pants, shorts, underwear, socks, hat
- Hiking shoes (If you have not worn them for a while, take them for a walk!! We have had guests arrive with boots that are falling apart!)
- Slippers are available at accommodation
- Hiking Pole(s) are a must!
- Rainproof jacket
- 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, masks and medication
We meet at our hotel at Kii-Tanabe. To buy train tickets go to the JR (Japan Rail) ticket office at Osaka Kansai International Airport. Follow the signs to the trains after you clear customs. The JR ticket office is located opposite the train station entry.
Ensure your train ticket is for Kii Tanabe station. (Note: 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 arrive after the briefing, the guide will give you a separate briefing before the hiking commences.
Note that check in is from 4.00pm. Your guide will arrive by 4.30pm, at the latest.
The hike ends at Kii Katsuura at about 12.30pm. From there, you can take a train to Osaka Kansai Airport, departing at about 1.40pm. It arrives at the airport at about 5.30pm. If you prefer to continue to another station, or need help buying your train ticket, we can assist you. If you want the full experience, make sure your flight home does not leave till after 8.00pm.
Please contact Marcus Ludriks. Contact details are:
M: 0490 454220
WhatsApp: +61 490 454220