OVERVIEW

Be guided over Kumano's sacred mountains over 7 days from Tanabe to Nachisan. This walk has been a major pilgrimage destination for imperial and aristocratic families since 794AD. The 1200-year-old Kumano Kodo walk traverses mountains and forests, through villages and to fabulous ancient temples and waterfalls. A pilgrimage to purify mind, soul and spirit  is bound to leave you with a real sense of improved well-being.

Walk the Kumano Kodo, one of two UNESCO World Heritage-listed walks and then soak in an onsen at night while staying in traditional Japanese accommodation, savouring elaborate traditional Japanese multi-course dinners and breakfasts.

Highlights

  • Walk toward becoming a dual pilgrim by walking the Kumano Kodo (the other world heritage listed walk is the Camino de Santiago)
  • Relax and enjoy having a guide to show you the way and share in-depth knowledge of the Kumano Kodo and the region
  • Marvel at the Grand Shrines at Hongu and Nachi-san, along with the stunning Nachi-taki waterfall
  • Each day enjoy authentic Japanese meals served in elegant tatami mat settings, staying in small traditional Japanese Ryokans or Minshukus, plus walkers lunches
  • Walk with a light pack on well-graded trails, with wondrous views, through old forest and bathe in onsens

WALK OVERVIEW

TYPE OF WALK
GROUP GUIDED
TRIP LENGTH
7 DAYS
WALK GRADE
Moderate to Challenging

Grade 4 - Moderate to Challenging

Distances are longer up to 20 plus km. Steep hill sections and rough surfaces. Walking experience and active lifestyle necessary.

PRICE FROM
$ 3495

per person twin/double share

SINGLE OCCUPANCY
$ 345

Accommodations charge the same price per room regardless of whether there are one or two people occupying it. To cover the cost of a room when occupied by one person we need to charge the single occupancy fee.

per person

Book now

ITINERARY

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7

DAY 1
Kii-Tanabe

It is best to fly into Osaka on this trip and then travel by train to the small coastal village of Kii-Tanabe, the gateway to the Kumano Kodo via the picturesque coastline. Kyoto is a one-hour train ride from Osaka airport and we recommend staying here at least for one or two nights if you haven’t visited Kyoto before.

Kii Tanabe is a small Japanese town that is not populated by tourists. The town is on the ocean and serves the local area.   Get into the Japanese spirit with a purification ceremony.  There is an opportunity to explore the town, its many small shrines, the beach and ample time to ready yourself for the upcoming walk, including a briefing session with your Kumano Kodo guide in the evening, where you get to know your fellow walkers over a meal together.

Accommodation: Western style hotel in Tanabe
Meals: Group dinner

DAY 2
Takijiri-oji to Chikatsuyu

The walk on the Nakahechi route begins with a significant climb passing through Takahara, a small village perched on the side of a mountain.  The Nakahechi is the imperial route once used by Japanese royalty, walked for generations back to the 8th century. There are beautiful views as you skirt across the face of the mountain before the trail winds its’ way back into the forest. This is the first real sense of walking through the distinctive Japanese forest canopy on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage.

Accommodation: Family-run Ryokan or Minshuku in Chikatsuyu
Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Walking: Moderate /14 km / 5 to 6.5 hrs
Elevation: +630 / -610

DAY 3
Chikatsuyu to Hongu Taisha

It’s an early start today, for this is the biggest day of the pilgrimage. We hike ancient mountain trails to Hongu Taisha, one of the three main shrines of the Kumano Kodo.  You’ll hike the sacred Kii Mountains, said to be the entrance to the land of Yomi, in mythological terms the Shinto underworld. Pass through small villages, thick green forest and aside cascading streams. Pass shrine after shrine, eventually arriving at Hongu Taisha, where you can explore the massive temple. Before dinner, take a dip in either your accommodation’s onsen or one of the many ancient public onsens that dot the area. Dress in your Yukata (best described as a formal Japanese bathrobe ) that’s provided at each of the accommodations and enjoy a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner.

Accommodation: Western style hotel in Hongu
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Walking: Challenging / 24 km / 8.5-9.5 hrs
Elevation: +1130 / -980

DAY 4
Rest day and time to relax and explore or undertake additional walks

Today’s rest day in Hongu enables you to fully enjoy the location’s natural beauty and significance.

There’s the option to spend extra time at Hongu Taisha and the cultural centre (you may have been rushed yesterday) or simply relax and dip in a 1200-year-old onsen in the river. Take a wonderful boat ride on the Kumano River to Shingu (we advise booking this in advance, contact us for more info). Explore the area on a bike, sit in a cafe and savour a good coffee or immerse yourself in one of the many unique Japanese activities available.

Accommodation: Western style hotel in Hongu
Meals:
Breakfast and dinner
Walking: Optional

DAY 5
Ukegawa to Koguchi

The Nakahechi continues on the Kogumotori-goe path, one of the best walks the region has to offer. Starting alongside the Kumano River, the walk ventures up the mountain through forest and back down again to the small village of Koguchi. Highlights include views from Nyatten-gura over the 3600 peaks of Kumano. Today’s walk is the shortest of the itinerary, allowing time for a lazy day by the river, more onsen bathing or further exploration of the area.

Accommodation: Western style hotel in Hongu
Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Walking: Easy to moderate / 12.8 km / 4.5-5.5 hrs
Elevation: +670 / -690m

DAY 6
Koguchi to Nachi-san

The start of today’s walk is as challenging as you can get, but it’s our favourite on the Nakahechi, so you’re in for a real treat.  There’s a fair bit of elevation and walking up, but the views out over the Pacific and the glimpses of mountains as you traverse through the forest make it all worth the effort. The highlight though is the walk into Nachi-San Taisha over the ancient Ogumotori-goe path travelled by thousands of pilgrims and then walking into the magnificent shrine. The panoramic scene of the superb orange Seiganto-ji Temple against the backdrop of the sacred Nachi waterfall, the biggest in Japan, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful spectacles in all of Japan.

Accommodation: Small family-run Ryokan or Minshuku in Nachi-Katsuura
Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Walking: Moderate to challenging / 14.2 km / 5.5-7 hrs
Elevation: +1260 / -930m

DAY 7
Farewell and onward to your next destination

After your last traditional Japanese breakfast, you farewell your group and guide. There is time to further explore the temple complex if you wish or make your way onwards to Osaka, Kyoto or a destination of your choice. There are many options to further explore in Wakayama. Stay in a beautiful seaside village like Shirahama along the Shihara coast. The Doro-kyo Gorge boat trip from Shingu is much heralded, or visit Koyasan, the spiritual capital of Japan. If you want even more of a laid-back experience, then the Yuasa or Hidaka areas haven’t changed much for hundreds of years and are a good place to head.

Meals: Breakfast

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Pack-free walking

  • 25+ years experience

  • Customised

  • Eco Travel

  • Relax and enjoy being fully supported on our guided walk on the Kumano Kodo Nakahechi end to end
  • Hike via magnificent shrines ending at the glorious Nachi waterfall and temple complex
  • Walk with a light pack only with luggage transfers from accommodation to accommodation
  • 6-nights accommodation in both Western style hotels and traditional Japanese lodgings some with in-house onsens
  • Superb traditional multi-course meals for breakfast and dinner each day on the walk. Plus 4 walkers lunches
  • Enjoy worry-free navigation with our guide leading the way and 24/7 support from our representatives on the ground

VIDEOS

ACCOMMODATION & DINING

OVERVIEW

Each night you will be staying in a Western style hotel, or a lovely Ryokan or Minshuku.

Ryokans are Japanese guesthouses that come in various styles, from traditional wooden structures to more of a modern hybrid hotel.

Ryokans have Japanese-style rooms with tatami mats, shoji sliding doors, and futons for sleeping on. Few Ryokan Hotels have rooms with actual beds. The rooms may or may not have ensuites, but be prepared for a little luxury when it comes to the heated toilet seats. The bathing area is often the pride of the Ryokan, especially when they’re located in an onsen area. These are usually communal and separated by the two genders.

Meals are one of the highlights of this guided walk. They are elaborate affairs from a Western point of view served in a traditional dining area. A traditional Kaiseki set meal is what is usually offered. Sometimes there is the option of a buffet at the larger Ryokans.

Please note: the accommodation on this group guided trip is unable to cater for dairy free, vegan or gluten free diets, or those unable to eat fish stock.  More options are available at accommodation on our self guided trips.

FITNESS GUIDE

It’s well worth investing some time and effort preparing for your walking holiday. The graph shows the average daily distance, elevation and terrain difficulty for your hike. The dotted line indicates the average across all our walks, which will give you a feel for how challenging your walk is compared to all – and the recommended type, and amount, of preparation needed.  Of course, you can adapt this according to your existing fitness levels and lifestyle.

The graph and the information below can be used in conjunction with the fitness guide to help you prepare for your walking adventure. Across all walks, average daily distance is 16.8km, average daily elevation is 448m, average terrain difficulty is 5/10.

ngraph

DISTANCE - BELOW AVERAGE

Distance is not a major consideration in your training program. However, you should still incorporate some long walks as it will increase your cardiovascular fitness.

ELEVATION - ABOVE AVERAGE

Elevation training is a major consideration in your overall training program. You must include walks with serious hill climbs. If you do not have access to hills, it it essential to replicate the elevation level you will be undertaking in any way possible via a treadmill or stair climber. Prioritizing resistance training assumes heightened significance in this context, emphasizing the incorporation of stair climbing whenever feasible. Walking up and down stairs at work, at a local oval with a grandstand, or up and down small hills, boring as that sounds, is incredibly useful. Elevation is the chief walk killer, not distance, as it uses an entirely different set of muscles. If high altitude is a factor, incorporate sessions at a higher altitude to acclimatise your body to reduced oxygen levels ( this may not be possible). Ensure you can comfortably walk the average elevation per day displayed in the graph, at least one month before you undertake your hike.

MOUNTAINOUS / UNDULATING TERRAIN

As terrain associated with Mountain climbs is often somewhat uneven and or rocky balancing and core exercises are vital. Try to also include some form of elevation in more than 50% of your walking and prioritise resistance training, whilst incorporating stairs anytime you can. Walking up mountains or hills or up and down stairs at work, at a local oval with a grandstand or up and down small hills, boring as that sounds, is incredibly useful. Elevation is often the chief walk killer, not distance, as it uses an entirely different set of muscles. So concentrate on doing lots of squats and lunges to build your glute muscles.

GENERAL INFO

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

On this walk, you may have to catch a few buses with your guide and on your rest day; most of the rides are very short.  This is by far the most eco-friendly and also the best way to get around the mountains.  Do make sure you take sufficient change.

HOW TO GET START AND FROM END OF WALK

Travelling to the Start of the walk

This walk starts in Tanabe and ends in Nachi-san or Nachi-Katsuura. You will need to get yourself to and from the start and end of your walk (i.e. you will need to organise your travel to the start in Tanabe on the first day and then onwards from your last accommodation on the last day). This is not difficult and to make it easy, we have collated some useful information that will assist you in making arrangements for your travel.

By Air: The best option is to fly into Osaka and take the train from there. You can take the train direct from Osaka Kansai Airport to Kii-Tanabe (train station).  Take a local train from Osaka city for a few stops and then hop on the Kii Peninsula JR West train. The train station is at the airport, and there are English-speaking staff at the ticket office. You might consider spending some time in Osaka or Kyoto. Osaka is a very interesting city and has many beautiful temples and of course Osaka Castle. In spring, it is particularly beautiful. It also has a sophisticated restaurant culture and markets that seem to go on for kilometres, literally. Kyoto is stunning and if you haven’t visited it before then we highly recommend spending some time there.

By rail: Japan has one of the best train systems in the world, so it’s very easy to catch a train to any destination in the country. An express train is the fastest way to travel to the area. Travelling in Japan on trains is a seamless experience, and it is not necessary to always pre-purchase tickets. There’s plenty of Rail staff that speak English well enough to direct you the right way and to converse with you about how to buy your ticket. We can provide more information if you wish, so please ask one of our destination consultants.

Hyperdia is a great website resource to figure out when and where your train departs. It might be best to buy your train ticket on the JR train network when you first arrive in Japan so you can relax. However, the trains run often and are so efficient that you shouldn’t have any trouble just arriving 20 minutes beforehand and buying a ticket. JR passes can be a convenient and reasonable way to get around the area. There are two regional JR passes that cover the Kii Peninsula: Kansai WIDE Area Pass and Ise-Kumano-Wakayama Area Tourist Pass.

The journey from Osaka to Tanabe takes about 1 – 2 hours. You can take the train direct from Osaka Kansai Airport to Kii-Tanabe (train station).  Take a local train to Hineno station then hop on the Kii Peninsula JR West train. The train station is at the airport, and there are English-speaking staff at the ticket office.

If you stay in Osaka, then you’ll need to catch the Subway (Osaka Metro Midosuji) to Tennoji station. The tickets can be purchased locally. From Tennoji, it’s a JR train service to Kii-Tanabe bound for Shirahama.

Travelling from the end of the walk

By rail: The train from Katsuura (Kii- Katsuura train station is a short distance from Nachisan) back to Osaka takes about 4 hours. You can also choose to go to Tokyo or anywhere else for that matter, in Japan. However, you most likely will need to travel through a major city to get there.

By Air: See above

WALKING

This 61km walk is moderate to challenging. Walks average about 17 km with 5 –9 hours of walking each day, wiht the longest being 24 km. The walking is over well-maintained paths, but expect each day to start with moderate elevation gains.  We recommend training and having a good level of fitness to complete this walk comfortably. 

This historic route has stacks of small temples (Oji)  and statues to admire along the way. For much of the time, you are walking under a forest canopy which makes for mild conditions other than the height of summer.

Please refer to Gear Advice in our FAQ section for what to bring.

WEATHER

From the end of  March, the temperature begins to increase. In summer, it’s quite warm and humid but still good for walking,  particularly if you enjoy warmer temperatures and taking a dip in a stream.

The walk is offered in winter, but bring some warm clothes and good rain gear.  The area is just as beautiful if not more and is not busy at all. Soaking in an outside onsen in the cool of the night is one of those authentic Japanese experiences you can look forward to after a big day on the track.

As walkers, we believe any time is good for walking, but spring and autumn are the most popular as the weather is ‘perfect’ for walking.

See the weather information about Osaka’s average weather at different times of the year.

INSURANCE

We require that you have adequate travel insurance against potential losses, damage or injury, including cancellation costs and loss of luggage.

For all trips requiring international travel, you must have purchased travel insurance including medical evacuation coverage.

We also charge a cancellation fee if you cancel your walking holiday after we have confirmed it to cover costs incurred by our suppliers and in the office.  See the FAQ section for more information.

INFORMATION PACK

For nearly 30 years, we have taken pride in providing seamlessly organised walking holidays, but we know that you’ll have many more questions even with that in mind. You will receive a detailed information pack and itinerary approximately six weeks from departure outlining all the fine details and much more.

CONTACT

If you have any questions, feel free to ask one of our destination consultants. You can contact us via our contact form, email us at info@auswalk.com.au, or call us on +61 3 9597 9767.

MAP

DEPARTURE DATES

  • DATES
    AVAILABILITY
    PRICE
    PER PERSON
    Single Occupancy
    DETAILS
  • 30 Mar 2024
    FULL
    from

    $3495

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $345

    Contact the office if interested

  • 20 Apr 2024
    FULL
    from

    $3495

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $345
  • 12 Oct 2024
    FULL
    from

    $3495

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $345
  • 19 Oct 2024
    FULL
    from

    $3495

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $345
  • 26 Oct 2024
    AVAILABLE
    from

    $3495

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $345

    Double/Twin share only

SIMILAR TRIPS

Abel Tasman Walk End to End – 6 Days

Self-guided

Abel Tasman Great walk end to end. Stunning views over golden beaches, estuaries, coves & native forest. Unparalleled opportunities to swim.

Self-guided 6 Days From $2595 Moderate What's Included

Abel Tasman Walk End to End – 6 Days

BACK
What's Included
  • Full access to the Abel Tasman National Park and its beauty
  • 5 nights accommodation in beautiful lodges including 4-star Awaroa lodge
  • Walk the entire track end to end pack free
  • A la carte meals at Awaroa Lodge including 2-course dinners
  • 5 breakfasts, 4 walkers lunches and 3 dinners
  • Comprehensive track notes, map case, insulated lunch bag and container
  • Enjoy the 26 years of our experience in organising self-guided walking holidays

Queen Charlotte Track-The Essentials – 4 Days

Self-guided

Queen Charlotte track end to end from Ship Cove to Anakiwa. Forests filled with fauna and birdsong. Lush rainforest gullies filled with massive tree ferns.

Self-guided 4 Days From $1355 Moderate to Challenging What's Included

Queen Charlotte Track-The Essentials – 4 Days

BACK
What's Included
  • Full access to the Queen Charlotte track in superb comfort.
  • 3 nights accommodation in beautiful lodge accommodations
  • Walk the entire track end to end pack free
  • 3 walkers lunches
  • Comprehensive tracks notes, map case, insulated lunch bag and container
  • Enjoy nearly 30 years of our experience in organising self-guided walking holidays

Flinders Ranges 8 days

Self-guided

Walk the Heysen Track from the trailhead at Parachilna to Black Gap. Epic hikes to Tanderra Saddle, St Mary’s Peak, through Wilpena Pound & up to Rawnsley Bluff

Self-guided 8 Days From $2795 Moderate to Challenging What's Included

Flinders Ranges 8 days

BACK
What's Included
  • All-inclusive 8-day pack free walking holiday
  • 7 nights’ accommodation in rooms with ensuites
  • All meals, including breakfasts, walkers lunches, and chef-cooked a la carte two-course dinners
  • Campfire bbq dinner under the stars on the first night
  • All luggage transport and vehicle transfers
  • We shift you along the track from accommodation to accommodation to limit time in a vehicle, creating more time to relax and enjoy the region
  • National Park admission
  • Enjoy worry-free navigation with Auswalk’s comprehensive track notes, maps, map case, insulated lunch bag & info pack
  • 24/7 support from Auswalk’s representatives on the ground

Portuguese Coastal Camino Way of St James – 15 Days

Self-guided

Walk the Portuguese Coastal Camino de Santiago (way of St James) from Porto all the way to Santiago de Compostela via the coast.

Self-guided 15 Days From $2095 Moderate to Challenging What's Included

Portuguese Coastal Camino Way of St James – 15 Days

BACK
What's Included
  • Walk the Portuguese Coastal Camino de Santiago (Way of St James) from Porto all the way to Santiago de Compostela via the coast
  • 14 night’s accommodation in 2 to 3-star (or 4- star or better on the luxury trip) character-filled hotels and breakfast on every day of the walk.
    An upgrade to 4-star and better accommodation is available.
  • Our comprehensive set of notes, detailed walking itineraries, integrated maps and insider tips (where to get the best tapas plus a lot more)
  • Pilgrim kit: passport (credentials) and shell (Viera) and walk 259kms on the Portuguese Camino the Way of St James pack free
  • All luggage transfers and transport on the track
  • Take advantage of nearly 30 years experience in organising self-guided walking holidays
  • On the ground support from local representatives
  • You can shorten the walk if you wish and start from closer to Santiago de Compostela
Overview

OVERVIEW

Be guided over Kumano's sacred mountains over 7 days from Tanabe to Nachisan. This walk has been a major pilgrimage destination for imperial and aristocratic families since 794AD. The 1200-year-old Kumano Kodo walk traverses mountains and forests, through villages and to fabulous ancient temples and waterfalls. A pilgrimage to purify mind, soul and spirit  is bound to leave you with a real sense of improved well-being.

Walk the Kumano Kodo, one of two UNESCO World Heritage-listed walks and then soak in an onsen at night while staying in traditional Japanese accommodation, savouring elaborate traditional Japanese multi-course dinners and breakfasts.

Highlights

  • Walk toward becoming a dual pilgrim by walking the Kumano Kodo (the other world heritage listed walk is the Camino de Santiago)
  • Relax and enjoy having a guide to show you the way and share in-depth knowledge of the Kumano Kodo and the region
  • Marvel at the Grand Shrines at Hongu and Nachi-san, along with the stunning Nachi-taki waterfall
  • Each day enjoy authentic Japanese meals served in elegant tatami mat settings, staying in small traditional Japanese Ryokans or Minshukus, plus walkers lunches
  • Walk with a light pack on well-graded trails, with wondrous views, through old forest and bathe in onsens

WALK OVERVIEW

TYPE OF WALK
GROUP GUIDED
TRIP LENGTH
7 DAYS
WALK GRADE
Moderate to Challenging

Grade 4 - Moderate to Challenging

Distances are longer up to 20 plus km. Steep hill sections and rough surfaces. Walking experience and active lifestyle necessary.

PRICE FROM
$ 3495

per person twin/double share

SINGLE OCCUPANCY
$ 345

Accommodations charge the same price per room regardless of whether there are one or two people occupying it. To cover the cost of the accommodation when occupied by one person we need to charge the single occupancy fee.

per person

Book now
Itinerary

ITINERARY

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7

DAY 1
Kii-Tanabe

It is best to fly into Osaka on this trip and then travel by train to the small coastal village of Kii-Tanabe, the gateway to the Kumano Kodo via the picturesque coastline. Kyoto is a one-hour train ride from Osaka airport and we recommend staying here at least for one or two nights if you haven’t visited Kyoto before.

Kii Tanabe is a small Japanese town that is not populated by tourists. The town is on the ocean and serves the local area.   Get into the Japanese spirit with a purification ceremony.  There is an opportunity to explore the town, its many small shrines, the beach and ample time to ready yourself for the upcoming walk, including a briefing session with your Kumano Kodo guide in the evening, where you get to know your fellow walkers over a meal together.

Accommodation: Western style hotel in Tanabe
Meals: Group dinner

DAY 2
Takijiri-oji to Chikatsuyu

The walk on the Nakahechi route begins with a significant climb passing through Takahara, a small village perched on the side of a mountain.  The Nakahechi is the imperial route once used by Japanese royalty, walked for generations back to the 8th century. There are beautiful views as you skirt across the face of the mountain before the trail winds its’ way back into the forest. This is the first real sense of walking through the distinctive Japanese forest canopy on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage.

Accommodation: Family-run Ryokan or Minshuku in Chikatsuyu
Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Walking: Moderate /14 km / 5 to 6.5 hrs
Elevation: +630 / -610

DAY 3
Chikatsuyu to Hongu Taisha

It’s an early start today, for this is the biggest day of the pilgrimage. We hike ancient mountain trails to Hongu Taisha, one of the three main shrines of the Kumano Kodo.  You’ll hike the sacred Kii Mountains, said to be the entrance to the land of Yomi, in mythological terms the Shinto underworld. Pass through small villages, thick green forest and aside cascading streams. Pass shrine after shrine, eventually arriving at Hongu Taisha, where you can explore the massive temple. Before dinner, take a dip in either your accommodation’s onsen or one of the many ancient public onsens that dot the area. Dress in your Yukata (best described as a formal Japanese bathrobe ) that’s provided at each of the accommodations and enjoy a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner.

Accommodation: Western style hotel in Hongu
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Walking: Challenging / 24 km / 8.5-9.5 hrs
Elevation: +1130 / -980

DAY 4
Rest day and time to relax and explore or undertake additional walks

Today’s rest day in Hongu enables you to fully enjoy the location’s natural beauty and significance.

There’s the option to spend extra time at Hongu Taisha and the cultural centre (you may have been rushed yesterday) or simply relax and dip in a 1200-year-old onsen in the river. Take a wonderful boat ride on the Kumano River to Shingu (we advise booking this in advance, contact us for more info). Explore the area on a bike, sit in a cafe and savour a good coffee or immerse yourself in one of the many unique Japanese activities available.

Accommodation: Western style hotel in Hongu
Meals:
Breakfast and dinner
Walking: Optional

DAY 5
Ukegawa to Koguchi

The Nakahechi continues on the Kogumotori-goe path, one of the best walks the region has to offer. Starting alongside the Kumano River, the walk ventures up the mountain through forest and back down again to the small village of Koguchi. Highlights include views from Nyatten-gura over the 3600 peaks of Kumano. Today’s walk is the shortest of the itinerary, allowing time for a lazy day by the river, more onsen bathing or further exploration of the area.

Accommodation: Western style hotel in Hongu
Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Walking: Easy to moderate / 12.8 km / 4.5-5.5 hrs
Elevation: +670 / -690m

DAY 6
Koguchi to Nachi-san

The start of today’s walk is as challenging as you can get, but it’s our favourite on the Nakahechi, so you’re in for a real treat.  There’s a fair bit of elevation and walking up, but the views out over the Pacific and the glimpses of mountains as you traverse through the forest make it all worth the effort. The highlight though is the walk into Nachi-San Taisha over the ancient Ogumotori-goe path travelled by thousands of pilgrims and then walking into the magnificent shrine. The panoramic scene of the superb orange Seiganto-ji Temple against the backdrop of the sacred Nachi waterfall, the biggest in Japan, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful spectacles in all of Japan.

Accommodation: Small family-run Ryokan or Minshuku in Nachi-Katsuura
Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Walking: Moderate to challenging / 14.2 km / 5.5-7 hrs
Elevation: +1260 / -930m

DAY 7
Farewell and onward to your next destination

After your last traditional Japanese breakfast, you farewell your group and guide. There is time to further explore the temple complex if you wish or make your way onwards to Osaka, Kyoto or a destination of your choice. There are many options to further explore in Wakayama. Stay in a beautiful seaside village like Shirahama along the Shihara coast. The Doro-kyo Gorge boat trip from Shingu is much heralded, or visit Koyasan, the spiritual capital of Japan. If you want even more of a laid-back experience, then the Yuasa or Hidaka areas haven’t changed much for hundreds of years and are a good place to head.

Meals: Breakfast

What’s Included

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Pack-free walking

  • 25+ years experience

  • Customised

  • Eco Travel

  • Relax and enjoy being fully supported on our guided walk on the Kumano Kodo Nakahechi end to end
  • Hike via magnificent shrines ending at the glorious Nachi waterfall and temple complex
  • Walk with a light pack only with luggage transfers from accommodation to accommodation
  • 6-nights accommodation in both Western style hotels and traditional Japanese lodgings some with in-house onsens
  • Superb traditional multi-course meals for breakfast and dinner each day on the walk. Plus 4 walkers lunches
  • Enjoy worry-free navigation with our guide leading the way and 24/7 support from our representatives on the ground
Videos

VIDEOS

Accommodation & Dining

ACCOMMODATION & DINING

OVERVIEW

Each night you will be staying in a Western style hotel, or a lovely Ryokan or Minshuku.

Ryokans are Japanese guesthouses that come in various styles, from traditional wooden structures to more of a modern hybrid hotel.

Ryokans have Japanese-style rooms with tatami mats, shoji sliding doors, and futons for sleeping on. Few Ryokan Hotels have rooms with actual beds. The rooms may or may not have ensuites, but be prepared for a little luxury when it comes to the heated toilet seats. The bathing area is often the pride of the Ryokan, especially when they’re located in an onsen area. These are usually communal and separated by the two genders.

Meals are one of the highlights of this guided walk. They are elaborate affairs from a Western point of view served in a traditional dining area. A traditional Kaiseki set meal is what is usually offered. Sometimes there is the option of a buffet at the larger Ryokans.

Please note: the accommodation on this group guided trip is unable to cater for dairy free, vegan or gluten free diets, or those unable to eat fish stock.  More options are available at accommodation on our self guided trips.

Fitness Guide

FITNESS GUIDE

It’s well worth investing some time and effort preparing for your walking holiday. The graph shows the average daily distance, elevation and terrain difficulty for your hike. The dotted line indicates the average across all our walks, which will give you a feel for how challenging your walk is compared to all – and the recommended type, and amount, of preparation needed.  Of course, you can adapt this according to your existing fitness levels and lifestyle.

The graph and the information below can be used in conjunction with the fitness guide to help you prepare for your walking adventure. Across all walks, average daily distance is 16.8km, average daily elevation is 448m, average terrain difficulty is 5/10.

ngraph

DISTANCE - BELOW AVERAGE

Distance is not a major consideration in your training program. However, you should still incorporate some long walks as it will increase your cardiovascular fitness.

ELEVATION - ABOVE AVERAGE

Elevation training is a major consideration in your overall training program. You must include walks with serious hill climbs. If you do not have access to hills, it it essential to replicate the elevation level you will be undertaking in any way possible via a treadmill or stair climber. Prioritizing resistance training assumes heightened significance in this context, emphasizing the incorporation of stair climbing whenever feasible. Walking up and down stairs at work, at a local oval with a grandstand, or up and down small hills, boring as that sounds, is incredibly useful. Elevation is the chief walk killer, not distance, as it uses an entirely different set of muscles. If high altitude is a factor, incorporate sessions at a higher altitude to acclimatise your body to reduced oxygen levels ( this may not be possible). Ensure you can comfortably walk the average elevation per day displayed in the graph, at least one month before you undertake your hike.

MOUNTAINOUS / UNDULATING TERRAIN

As terrain associated with Mountain climbs is often somewhat uneven and or rocky balancing and core exercises are vital. Try to also include some form of elevation in more than 50% of your walking and prioritise resistance training, whilst incorporating stairs anytime you can. Walking up mountains or hills or up and down stairs at work, at a local oval with a grandstand or up and down small hills, boring as that sounds, is incredibly useful. Elevation is often the chief walk killer, not distance, as it uses an entirely different set of muscles. So concentrate on doing lots of squats and lunges to build your glute muscles.

General Info

GENERAL INFO

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

On this walk, you may have to catch a few buses with your guide and on your rest day; most of the rides are very short.  This is by far the most eco-friendly and also the best way to get around the mountains.  Do make sure you take sufficient change.

HOW TO GET START AND FROM END OF WALK

Travelling to the Start of the walk

This walk starts in Tanabe and ends in Nachi-san or Nachi-Katsuura. You will need to get yourself to and from the start and end of your walk (i.e. you will need to organise your travel to the start in Tanabe on the first day and then onwards from your last accommodation on the last day). This is not difficult and to make it easy, we have collated some useful information that will assist you in making arrangements for your travel.

By Air: The best option is to fly into Osaka and take the train from there. You can take the train direct from Osaka Kansai Airport to Kii-Tanabe (train station).  Take a local train from Osaka city for a few stops and then hop on the Kii Peninsula JR West train. The train station is at the airport, and there are English-speaking staff at the ticket office. You might consider spending some time in Osaka or Kyoto. Osaka is a very interesting city and has many beautiful temples and of course Osaka Castle. In spring, it is particularly beautiful. It also has a sophisticated restaurant culture and markets that seem to go on for kilometres, literally. Kyoto is stunning and if you haven’t visited it before then we highly recommend spending some time there.

By rail: Japan has one of the best train systems in the world, so it’s very easy to catch a train to any destination in the country. An express train is the fastest way to travel to the area. Travelling in Japan on trains is a seamless experience, and it is not necessary to always pre-purchase tickets. There’s plenty of Rail staff that speak English well enough to direct you the right way and to converse with you about how to buy your ticket. We can provide more information if you wish, so please ask one of our destination consultants.

Hyperdia is a great website resource to figure out when and where your train departs. It might be best to buy your train ticket on the JR train network when you first arrive in Japan so you can relax. However, the trains run often and are so efficient that you shouldn’t have any trouble just arriving 20 minutes beforehand and buying a ticket. JR passes can be a convenient and reasonable way to get around the area. There are two regional JR passes that cover the Kii Peninsula: Kansai WIDE Area Pass and Ise-Kumano-Wakayama Area Tourist Pass.

The journey from Osaka to Tanabe takes about 1 – 2 hours. You can take the train direct from Osaka Kansai Airport to Kii-Tanabe (train station).  Take a local train to Hineno station then hop on the Kii Peninsula JR West train. The train station is at the airport, and there are English-speaking staff at the ticket office.

If you stay in Osaka, then you’ll need to catch the Subway (Osaka Metro Midosuji) to Tennoji station. The tickets can be purchased locally. From Tennoji, it’s a JR train service to Kii-Tanabe bound for Shirahama.

Travelling from the end of the walk

By rail: The train from Katsuura (Kii- Katsuura train station is a short distance from Nachisan) back to Osaka takes about 4 hours. You can also choose to go to Tokyo or anywhere else for that matter, in Japan. However, you most likely will need to travel through a major city to get there.

By Air: See above

WALKING

This 61km walk is moderate to challenging. Walks average about 17 km with 5 –9 hours of walking each day, wiht the longest being 24 km. The walking is over well-maintained paths, but expect each day to start with moderate elevation gains.  We recommend training and having a good level of fitness to complete this walk comfortably. 

This historic route has stacks of small temples (Oji)  and statues to admire along the way. For much of the time, you are walking under a forest canopy which makes for mild conditions other than the height of summer.

Please refer to Gear Advice in our FAQ section for what to bring.

WEATHER

From the end of  March, the temperature begins to increase. In summer, it’s quite warm and humid but still good for walking,  particularly if you enjoy warmer temperatures and taking a dip in a stream.

The walk is offered in winter, but bring some warm clothes and good rain gear.  The area is just as beautiful if not more and is not busy at all. Soaking in an outside onsen in the cool of the night is one of those authentic Japanese experiences you can look forward to after a big day on the track.

As walkers, we believe any time is good for walking, but spring and autumn are the most popular as the weather is ‘perfect’ for walking.

See the weather information about Osaka’s average weather at different times of the year.

INSURANCE

We require that you have adequate travel insurance against potential losses, damage or injury, including cancellation costs and loss of luggage.

For all trips requiring international travel, you must have purchased travel insurance including medical evacuation coverage.

We also charge a cancellation fee if you cancel your walking holiday after we have confirmed it to cover costs incurred by our suppliers and in the office.  See the FAQ section for more information.

INFORMATION PACK

For nearly 30 years, we have taken pride in providing seamlessly organised walking holidays, but we know that you’ll have many more questions even with that in mind. You will receive a detailed information pack and itinerary approximately six weeks from departure outlining all the fine details and much more.

CONTACT

If you have any questions, feel free to ask one of our destination consultants. You can contact us via our contact form, email us at info@auswalk.com.au, or call us on +61 3 9597 9767.

Map

MAP

Departure Dates

DEPARTURE DATES

  • DATES
    AVAILABILITY
    PRICE
    PER PERSON
    Single Occupancy
    DETAILS
  • 30 Mar 2024
    FULL
    Details
    from

    $3495

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $345
  • 20 Apr 2024
    FULL
    Details
    from

    $3495

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $345
  • 12 Oct 2024
    FULL
    Details
    from

    $3495

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $345
  • 19 Oct 2024
    FULL
    Details
    from

    $3495

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $345
  • 26 Oct 2024
    AVAILABLE
    Details
    from

    $3495

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $345
Similar Trips

SIMILAR TRIPS

Abel Tasman Walk End to End – 6 Days

Self-guided

Abel Tasman Great walk end to end. Stunning views over golden beaches, estuaries, coves & native forest. Unparalleled opportunities to swim.

Self-guided 6 Days From $2595 Moderate What's Included

Abel Tasman Walk End to End – 6 Days

BACK
What's Included
  • Full access to the Abel Tasman National Park and its beauty
  • 5 nights accommodation in beautiful lodges including 4-star Awaroa lodge
  • Walk the entire track end to end pack free
  • A la carte meals at Awaroa Lodge including 2-course dinners
  • 5 breakfasts, 4 walkers lunches and 3 dinners
  • Comprehensive track notes, map case, insulated lunch bag and container
  • Enjoy the 26 years of our experience in organising self-guided walking holidays

Queen Charlotte Track-The Essentials – 4 Days

Self-guided

Queen Charlotte track end to end from Ship Cove to Anakiwa. Forests filled with fauna and birdsong. Lush rainforest gullies filled with massive tree ferns.

Self-guided 4 Days From $1355 Moderate to Challenging What's Included

Queen Charlotte Track-The Essentials – 4 Days

BACK
What's Included
  • Full access to the Queen Charlotte track in superb comfort.
  • 3 nights accommodation in beautiful lodge accommodations
  • Walk the entire track end to end pack free
  • 3 walkers lunches
  • Comprehensive tracks notes, map case, insulated lunch bag and container
  • Enjoy nearly 30 years of our experience in organising self-guided walking holidays

Flinders Ranges 8 days

Self-guided

Walk the Heysen Track from the trailhead at Parachilna to Black Gap. Epic hikes to Tanderra Saddle, St Mary’s Peak, through Wilpena Pound & up to Rawnsley Bluff

Self-guided 8 Days From $2795 Moderate to Challenging What's Included

Flinders Ranges 8 days

BACK
What's Included
  • All-inclusive 8-day pack free walking holiday
  • 7 nights’ accommodation in rooms with ensuites
  • All meals, including breakfasts, walkers lunches, and chef-cooked a la carte two-course dinners
  • Campfire bbq dinner under the stars on the first night
  • All luggage transport and vehicle transfers
  • We shift you along the track from accommodation to accommodation to limit time in a vehicle, creating more time to relax and enjoy the region
  • National Park admission
  • Enjoy worry-free navigation with Auswalk’s comprehensive track notes, maps, map case, insulated lunch bag & info pack
  • 24/7 support from Auswalk’s representatives on the ground

Portuguese Coastal Camino Way of St James – 15 Days

Self-guided

Walk the Portuguese Coastal Camino de Santiago (way of St James) from Porto all the way to Santiago de Compostela via the coast.

Self-guided 15 Days From $2095 Moderate to Challenging What's Included

Portuguese Coastal Camino Way of St James – 15 Days

BACK
What's Included
  • Walk the Portuguese Coastal Camino de Santiago (Way of St James) from Porto all the way to Santiago de Compostela via the coast
  • 14 night’s accommodation in 2 to 3-star (or 4- star or better on the luxury trip) character-filled hotels and breakfast on every day of the walk.
    An upgrade to 4-star and better accommodation is available.
  • Our comprehensive set of notes, detailed walking itineraries, integrated maps and insider tips (where to get the best tapas plus a lot more)
  • Pilgrim kit: passport (credentials) and shell (Viera) and walk 259kms on the Portuguese Camino the Way of St James pack free
  • All luggage transfers and transport on the track
  • Take advantage of nearly 30 years experience in organising self-guided walking holidays
  • On the ground support from local representatives
  • You can shorten the walk if you wish and start from closer to Santiago de Compostela

blog

February 16, 2024

Larapinta Loonies – A poem by Auswalker Michael Gibbs about walking the Larapinta Trail

Read More
January 12, 2024

Nakasendo Way Trail – by Sam Ludbey

Read More
April 19, 2023

H is for Hiking

Read More
March 27, 2023

Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Trail – Overview of the Routes

Read More
March 20, 2023

The Kumano Kodo Trail – an Ancient Japanese Pilgrimage

Read More
March 15, 2023

The Three Capes Track – an Ultimate Guide to Hiking

Read More
February 13, 2023

Why Hiking is a No Brainer for Life Planning

Read More
January 31, 2023

Larapinta Trail – What is the Best Time of Year to Walk?

Read More
January 23, 2023

The Great Ocean Walk: A Comprehensive Guide

Read More
June 22, 2022

Getting Fit for Hiking

Read More

ENQUIRE NOW

If you’re looking for further information on any of our walking holidays please fill out the enquiry form and we’ll be in touch.

Get in touch