Kumano Kodo

Ancient paths in traditional Japan

There is a Japan that exists far away from the modern era, where you can walk a 1000-year-old trail past ancient shrines, through thick forests and with endless mountain vistas. At the end of each day, soak in an onsen hot bath while you relive the day’s experiences and await a multi-course feast of delicious Japanese cuisine.

Experience traditional hospitality and marvel at grand shrines amidst awe-inspiring nature. This is a Japan that will surprise and delight you at every turn, so be prepared to rethink your beliefs about this intriguing country. The Kumano Kodo is a journey through Buddhist history and offers a window into traditional Japan that contrasts strongly with its hypermodern cities. The Kumano Kodo’s rugged, forested mountains, quiet rural valleys, rivers and waterfalls provide a spectacular backdrop for hikers. The seasonal contrasts of cherry blossom in the spring and rich autumn foliage inject wonderful colour along the hiking route. Hiking the Kumano Kodo really is a great immersion into Japanese culture.

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Kumano Kodo

7 Days

Kumano Kodo

The 7 Day Trail – Kumano Kodo

Challenging - Strenuous Self-Guided
  • Walk the full length of the Nakahechi trail
  • Stay in traditional guesthouses
  • Gain insights into life in rural Japan and the spiritual history
  • Enjoy delicious handmade Japanese food with fresh local ingredients
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$2,250.00

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10 Days

Kumano Kodo

The Extended Trip – Kumano Kodo

Challenging - Strenuous Self-Guided
  • Hike the full length of the Nakahechi route
  • Enjoy a day on the challenging Kohechi route
  • Journey along the Kumano-gawa river in a traditional boat
  • Experience the life of a monk by staying in a Buddhist monastery
from

$3,495.00

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6 Days

Kumano Kodo

The Highlights Trip – Kumano Kodo

Moderate - Challenging Self-Guided
  • Stay in traditional minshuku and ryokan accommodation
  • Experience a traditional boat ride along the Kumano-gawa river 
  • Savour delicious Japanese food using fresh local ingredients
  • Visit all 3 grand shrines; collectively known as the Kumano Sanzan
from

$1,995.00

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8 Days

Kumano Kodo

The Autumn Trip – Kumano Kodo

Challenging - Strenuous Group Self Guided
  • Stay in traditional guesthouses
  • Beautiful, changing colours are a highlight for people on this trek
  • Enjoy delicious handmade Japanese food with fresh local ingredients
  • A great option for solo travellers or enjoy the company and support of others
from

$2,495.00

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8 Days

Kumano Kodo

The Spring Trip – Kumano Kodo

Challenging - Strenuous Group Self Guided
  • A great option for solo travellers
  • Stay in traditional guesthouses
  • Spring is a wonderful time to hike the Nakahechi Trail
  • Enjoy delicious handmade Japanese food with fresh local ingredients
from

$2,495.00

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8 Days

Kumano Kodo

The Dual Pilgrim Trip – Kumano Kodo

Challenging - Strenuous Group Self Guided
  • Participate in a Purification ceremony
  • Experience Kumano Hongu Taisha Spring Festival
  • Annual festival held in Hongu to honour the Kumano Deities
  • Receive a commemorative Dual Pilgrim shirt and Tenegui
from

$2,895.00

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12 Days

Kumano Kodo

The Kyoto and Koyasan Trip – Kumano Kodo

Challenging - Strenuous Self-Guided
  • Explore Kyoto, the culture and historical heart of the country
  • Visit temples, shrines and traditional gardens
  • Stay at a Japanese Buddhist temple
  • Learn about traditional daily rituals, join a spiritual ceremony
from

$3,995.00

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12 Days

Kumano Kodo

The Mike Rhodes Trip – Kumano Kodo

Challenging - Strenuous Group Guided
  • Hike the full length of the Nakahechi route
  • Enjoy a day on the more challenging Kohechi route
  • Gain a great understanding of this ancient pilgrimage trail
  • Be enlightened by the experience, enthusiasm and knowledge of your local guide Mike Rhodes
from

$5,695.00

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Kumano Kodo

THE RAW TRAVEL DIFFERENCE

Kumano Kodo
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AUTHENTIC JAPANESE LODGINGS

Accommodation along the Kumano Kodo is in small-scale ryokans and guesthouses, giving you an intimate and authentic encounter with Japanese culture. The food is superb and each day you can unwind in a hot onsen after your exertions on the trail.

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LOCAL SUPPORT & THE BEST INFORMATION

We have our own exclusive guidebook for the Kumano Kodo trail, plus our passionate office team walk this route each year and can provide up-to-date local knowledge and insights. We have local support in Japan to ensure that everything goes to plan, provide back-up if you need it, and luggage transfers during the walk.

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FLEXIBLE TRIPS TAILORED TO YOU

We listen to what you want and tailor the walking on the Kumano Kodo to your ability and timeframes, giving you the experience you want. We can vary the length of trail stages and find you unique Japanese accommodation that best suits your needs and desires.

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RUGGED WALKING & HISTORIC TEMPLES

This is a land of spectacular rugged mountains and forests, a world away from Japan's hectic and hypermodern cities. The ancient 1200-year-old trail of the Kumano Kodo is an immersion into traditional rural Japan with the goal of reaching the Kumano Sanzen, three beautiful temples in the mountains and coast.

Travel Experts

Your Dedicated Travel Team

 

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Exclusive Guide

GET INSPIRED

Japan’s ancient Kumano Kodo trails are nestled in the verdant mountains of the southern part of the beautiful Kii Peninsula, just south of Osaka. This lush and rugged area has been considered the abode of the gods and worshipped for centuries.

Our destination guide is bursting with all you need to know about walking the sacred Nakahechi pilgrimage route, the most popular and accessible of all the routes. You’ll love the peacefulness and tranquillity of the trail, the food (so elegant and refined!), the onsens (a cherished Japanese ritual), and the traditional family run guesthouses, full of character and charm.

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KUMANO KODO

Get to know the Kumano Kodo

How long does it take to walk the Kumano Kodo?
When is the best time to walk the Kumano Kodo?

Autumn (October & November) Also a popular time to visit as the colours throughout the forest are stunning. In autumn, expect daytime temperatures of around 10–15°C. September This is a popular month to visit with warm weather (20–26°C) and long daylight hours. It is humid with the chance of rain.

Summer (June to August) During summer in Japan you can expect longer daylight hours, humidity and higher rainfall, but the scenery is beautifully green and verdant. Daytime temperatures are around 25–30°C. Winter (December to February)

How difficult is Kumano Kodo?

We have used several criteria to assess the difficulty of our walks, including the number of hours walking required each day, terrain and conditions underfoot, weather, gradient, altitude, signage and facilities along the trail. See how to prepare for walks of this grading.

Customized, Personalization, Solution, Tailored Clothing

Not quite what you're after?

Tailor-made trips

If you don’t see the exact trip you’re looking for then consider a customised trip, individually tailored to your ideal walking distances and timeframes. Or if you have a group of friends or family you can have your own private group departure. Have a look at our tailor-made trips page on the link below and drop us a line:

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