Kumano Kodo

Self-guided Tours

Self-Guided Hiking Tours

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.

Hike across the Kii Peninsula and experience ancient culture and architecture, delicious Japanese food, traditional accommodation, warm onsens and friendly Japanese hospitality! We have great value self-guided packages ranging from 4 days/3 nights to 2 weeks. Contact us for more information.

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Frequently asked questions

  • Kumano Kodo Nakahechi route, Japan. 6 days and 5 nights $US1,050 per person
  • Kumano Kodo Kohechi route, Japan. 8 days and 7 nights $US1,300 per person
  • Tailored itineraries can be arranged upon request. As you are going self guided, we can tailor the hike to suit your duration, hiking preferences and hiking skill level.
  • 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 $AU1,400 for 6 days or $AU1,733 for 8 days.
Included
  • All accommodation
  • Most meals
  • Luggage transfers while hiking
Not included
  • Airfares
  • Some lunches and 1 dinner
  • Passport, visa (if applicable) and travel insurance

The minimum size is 2 hikers, and the maximum size is 12 hikers.

As you are going self-guided you choose the itinerary. We will consult with you and make recommendations. Our itinerary for the guided hike will give you an idea of one possible itinerary.

As you are guiding yourself, you choose the dates that suit you for the trip. The
best times to go are spring or autumn, followed by winter and finally summer.
Summer is hot and rainy.

Sometimes circumstances arise that result in dates needing to be changed. If this is due to Government imposed travel restrictions (e.g Covid 19 travel restrictions), then there is no charge for changing the dates. In other circumstances, there is a $AU200 admin charge to change dates.

A deposit of $200 per person will secure your booking. Bank details for the deposit are:

Home Comforts Hiking
BSB 932000
Account 500196069

The cost of the trip will be in $US. A deposit of $US150 per person will secure your booking. 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.

If accommodation is not available for your preferred dates, and an alternative timeframe is not suitable, we will refund your deposit. Otherwise, if you cancel more than 6 months prior to the trip start date we will refund 75% of your deposit. There are no refunds for cancellations less than 6 months from the trip start date.

Sometimes circumstances arise that result in dates needing to be changed. If this is due to Government imposed travel restrictions (e.g Covid 19 travel restrictions), then there is no charge for changing the dates. In other circumstances, there is a $AU200 additional administration charge to change dates.

The balance is due when your trip is confirmed as fully booked. If you cancel after paying the final payment, the refund will be limited to any refunds that we are able to obtain from the accommodations, less 20% administration fee.

If cancellation is due to Government imposed travel restrictions such as Covid 19 travel bans, then we will refund 90% of all refunds received by us. Note that due to lost deposits, currency exchange rate fluctuations and fees, that these refunds  would usually represent between 50-80% of the total amount 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.
  • The Nakahechi trail. 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, and is the longest day at 13.5km. The total distance walked over 5 days of hiking is 50km. That said, we can tailor the hiking to suit your skill level. The toughest sections can be avoided by taking a bus.
  • The Kohechi trail. This is a much harder and longer hike (100km over 8 days and 7 nights). This hike is only for very experienced hikers, and can be arranged upon request.

As the stays are in small villages during the hike, and you 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. When you book and pay for single or twin accommodation, this is what you can expect:

· Night 1 at Kii Tanabe – If you book single, you will get your own double room. Otherwise you will be sharing a twin room. There is an extra charge of US$40 for single accommodation at Kii Tanabe.
· Other nights are at a village on the hike – You will stay at Minshukus, which are traditional Japanese, family run guesthouses. The rooms are 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, a single room may be available for a surcharge. If the guesthouse does not have the availability, then we can try and source accommodation at a nearby location for you. In these circumstances, I will enquire as to availability and quote you the surcharge for the single accommodation.

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 which are worth visiting for the experience.

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 served.
  • Lunch – where it is possible to purchase lunch, you will purchase your own lunch. Where this is not possible, a Japanese lunch box will be provided and is included in the cost of the trip.
  • Snacks – please bring or purchase your own snacks and ensure you have sufficient water each day.

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. If you prefer not to have luggage transfer, this can be arranged.

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

Your self-guided pilgrim pack contains the following:

  • Detailed self-guided trip notes
  • Safety information
  • Accommodation and luggage transfer vouchers
  • Bus timetables • What to bring list, inclusions and exclusions
  • Payment receipt
  • Kumano Kodo official guide book (additional copies can be purchased from Kumano Travel and other outlets along the trail)
  • Kumano Kodo Nakahechi Pilgrimage route maps
  • Kumano Tourist Map
  • Dual Pilgrim stamp book (additional copies can be purchased from Kumano Travel and other outlets along the trail)
  • Kumano Travel brochure • Kishuu Katsuura Maguro Dining Map
  • Note that train and bus transfer costs are not included.

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:

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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 ) )