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, 27 Mar 2022||Kumano Kodo||6 days 5 nights||$AU1,950||6 plus|
|Sat, 2 Apr 2022||Kumano Kodo||7 days 6 nights||$AU2,250||Waitlist|
|Mon, 11 Apr 2022||Kumano Kodo||6 days 5 nights||$AU1,950||6 plus|
|Sun, 23 Oct 2022||Kumano Kodo||6 days 5 nights||$AU1,950||6 plus|
|Sun, 30 Oct 2022||Kumano Kodo||6 days 5 nights||$AU1,950||6 plus|
Frequently asked questions
The standard tour is 6 days and 5 nights and the cost is $AU1,950 per person.
- All accommodation
- 5 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 4 dinners
- luggage transfers while hiking
- River boat tour or Harbour tour
- Taxi or bus on Day 3
- A guide for the six days
- Airfares and train fares
- 3 lunches and 1 dinner
- 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.
- Arrive at Osaka KIX airport.
- 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 3.00pm
- There are over 70 restaurants and bars in Kii Tanabe, for dinner
- Breakfast at Hotel, lunch pack provided.
- 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.
- Traditional Japanese accommodation, including dinner and breakfast, at Chikatsuyu
- Bus or taxi to Hosshinmon Oji
- Walk 7.5km to Kumano Hongu Taisha. Explore the shrines and architecture of the surrounding area
- Lunch at a cafe at Hongu
- Walk 3km to Yunomine Onsen. Rating for day 3 is Easy to Moderate
- Accommodation including dinner and breakfast and lunchpack at Kawayu Onsen
- Breakfast and lunchpack provided by our Minshuku
- Walk 14.6km from Kawayu Onsen to Koguchi. Great scenic views today! Rated Moderate
- Traditional Japanese accommodation, including dinner and breakfast, at Takada or Koguchi
- After breakfast we take a 2 hour boat ride along the Kumanogawa River (if the river level is deep enough. If not a cruise in Katsuura Harbour will be offered instead).
- 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.
- Optional visit to an Onsen in a cave facing the Pacific Ocean
- 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 the tour ends. 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 5.00pm for your flights (6.30pm onwards), or continue your holiday in Japan.
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 1 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 6 hikers for the trip to proceed.
We strongly 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 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 boat ride down the Kumano River. If conditions are not suitable for the 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 for single accommodation at Kii Tanabe.
- Nights 2, 3, 4 and 5 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 $AU60.
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 on 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 packs are included on 2 days. Snacks and 3 lunches are not included. There are shops or cafes each day where you can purchase your own lunch on these days, and snacks every day.
The tap water in the Kumano area is of very high quality. We 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 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, masks
- Hiking shoes (slippers are available at accommodation)
- Hiking Pole(s)
- 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 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.
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 3.00pm
The hike ends at Katsuura, at 12.30pm. From Katsuura, you can take a train to Osaka Kansai Airport, departing at about 1.00pm. It arrives at the airport at about 5.00pm. If you prefer to continue to another station, or need help buying your train ticket, we can assist you.
Please contact Marcus Ludriks. Contact details are:
M: 0490 454220
WhatsApp: +61 490 454220