OVERVIEW

The visit to the spiritual capital of Shingon Buddhism in Japan the world heritage listed Koyasan sets the tone for the rest of the walking. Koyasan, located at the top of Mount Koya is famous not only for its’ temples but also for its natural beauty. It is an ancient town that marks the end of the Kumano Kodo Kohechi route not to mention the many other excellent pilgrimage walks.

Hike along the Choishi Stupa route to Koyasan and the full Kumano Kodo Nakahechi as it cuts its way through mountains, forest, small villages and to beautiful Japanese temples brought alive by the Japanese monks that live there. In the evening relax and soak in an onsen while staying in character-filled Japanese accommodation, savouring elaborate traditional Japanese multi-course dinners and breakfasts.

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE KUMANO KODO NAKAHECHI:

  • Take the extra time to walk both Koyasan and the 1200-year-old world heritage listed Kumano Kodo Nakahechi route at a slower pace all the way to Nachisan. Importantly you can take the options to shorten the walks each day if you wish.
  • 2 night stay in a Koyasan Buddhist temple and participate (only if you wish to) in the temple morning rituals.
  • 7 night stay in small traditional Japanese Ryokans or Minshukus savouring authentic Japanese dinners and breakfasts served in elegant tatami mat settings.
  • Walk toward becoming a dual pilgrim by walking the Kumano Kodo (the other world heritage listed walk is the Camino de Santiago), with local 24/7 support on the ground for your safety.
  • Walk pack free on well graded ancient trails, wondrous views, old forest and bathe in onsens each day.
  • Walk with a company that has nearly 30 years of experience providing self-guided walks and are hands-on. We’ve taken the time to walk the Kumano Kodo trails multiple times to ensure we deliver the best possible experience.

WALK OVERVIEW

TYPE OF WALK
SELF GUIDED
TRIP LENGTH
10 DAYS
WALK GRADE
Moderate to Challenging

Grade 4 - Moderate to Challenging

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

PRICE FROM
$ 2855

per person twin/double share

SINGLE OCCUPANCY
$ 610

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

  • Test

Book now

ITINERARY

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7
  • Day 8
  • Day 9
  • Day 10

DAY 1
Travel to Koyasan

Travel by train to Koyasan and cable car up to Mount Koya from Osaka or Kyoto. Please ask us for our transport information summary document if you need it. There’s time to explore the Shrine, the museum and the surrounding area. We have provided notes for the Women’s Pilgrimage walk which can be undertaken either today or on the morning of day 3. There’s also a fascinating walk that you can undertake through the cemetery in the evening.

Walking: Women’s pilgrimage walk / Easy / 6.9 kms
Accommodation:  Stay in a Buddhist temple in a private room in Koyasan
Meals: Vegetarian dinner in the temple

DAY 2
Koyasan

This walk, one of our favourites, starts at the Jison-in temple and its’ ancient stairway and finishes at the beautiful Daimon Gate and traverses a real diversity of terrain. Head up the mountain with great views over the valley until you enter the dense forest. The walk is well marked with 180 ornate stupas most of them from the Kamakura period (12th to the 14th century). It’s fun to count them down but only if you can read Japanese (don’t worry the walk notes we provide are foolproof).

Accommodation: Stay in a Buddhist temple in a private room in Koyasan
Meals: Vegetarian breakfast and dinner in the temple
Walking: Choishi-michi walk/ Moderate to challenging / 21 kms / 6 to 7 hrs
Elevation: +1200 / -310 (it looks like a long way up but I assure you it’s mostly a gradual incline, other than at the beginning and a short section right at the end).

DAY 3
Activities in morning and travel to Kii Tanabe

There is no rush to leave Koyasan this morning. You may wish to undertake a few of the many activities that are on offer here or to walk the Women’s Pilgrimage walk if you didn’t do this on day 1. Travel by train to the small coastal village of Kii-Tanabe, the gateway to the Kumano Kodo via the picturesque coastline. Please ask us for our transport information summary document if you need it.

Kii Tanabe is a small Japanese town on the ocean that is not populated by tourists. Its main function is to serve the local area which offers you a great opportunity to eat and stay like the locals.

Accommodation: Small family run Ryokan or Minshuku in Tanabe
Meals: Breakfast
Walking: Optional

DAY 4
Takijiri-oji to Takahara

There is an opportunity to explore Kii Tanabe, its many small shrines, the beach and ample time to ready yourself for the upcoming walk, including a briefing session with our local Kumano Kodo expert.

Today’s walk starts around midday with a small transfer up the road to the trailhead at Takijiri-oji (Oji is small shrine).

The walk on the Nakahechi route begins with a significant climb to 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 from roughly the 8th century.

There are nice views out to the left over the valley, and our first encounter with the beauty of the Kumano Kodo walk.

Accommodation: Small family run Ryokan or Minshuku in Takahara
Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Walking: Moderate /4 kms / 2 to 3 hrs
Elevation: +300 / -120

DAY 5
Takahara to Chikatsuyu

From Takahara, there are wonderful 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. We make our way back down into the valley walking past small shrines and over the river into town.

Accommodation: Small family run Ryokan or Minshuka in Chikatsuyu
Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Walking: Easy to Moderate / 10.2 kms / 4 -5 hrs
Elevation: +630m / -650

DAY 6
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.  This is a 24km hike, but it can be modified to 16km or 8km depending on how you’re feeling. 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 Yakata (best described as a formal Japanese bathrobe ) that’s provided at each of the accommodations and enjoy a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner.

Accommodation: Small family run Ryokan or Minshuka in either Kawayu, Wataze or Yunomine Onsens
Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Walking: Challenging / 24 kms (or 16 kms or 8 kms ) / 8.5-9.5 hrs
Elevation: +1130 / -980

DAY 7
Rest day and time to relax and explore or undertake additional walks

We have recommended a rest day in Hongu because of the locations’ natural beauty and its’ significance, but also because there’s so much to do.  We can remove the rest day if you wish.

There’s the option to spend extra time at Hongu Taisha and the cultural centre (you may have been rushed yesterday) or relax and take a dip in a 1200-year-old onsen in the river. 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 that are available.

We’ve also walked and constructed notes for the tracks around Hongu. Namely the Dainichi-goe path that connects Hongu to Yunomine Onsen or the last day of the Kumano Kodo Kohechi route that connects Totsukawa Onsen via Yakio to Hongu.

Accommodation: Family run Ryokan, Hotel or Minshuka in either Kawayu, Wataze or Yunomine Onsens
Meals:
Breakfast and dinner
Walking: Optional

DAY 8
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.

Accommodation: Small family run Ryokan or Minshuka in Koguchi
Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Walking: Easy to moderate / 12.8 kms / 4.5-5.5 hrs
Elevation: +670 / -690

DAY 9
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 but the views out over the Pacific, and the glimpses of mountains as you traverse through the forest, makes 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 tallest in Japan, is certainly one of the most beautiful spectacles in all of Japan.

Accommodation: Small family run Ryokan or Minshuka in Nachi-san or Nachi-Katsuura
Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Walking: Moderate to challenging / 15.5 kms / 5.5-7 hrs
Elevation: +1260 / -930

DAY 10
Onward to your next destination

After your last traditional Japanese breakfast farewell the walk by exploring the temple complex further, and/or make your way onwards to 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 as is visiting the third major shrine the Kumano Hayatama Taisha, 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 100’s of years and are a good place to head.

Meals: Breakfast

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Pack-free walking

  • 25+ years experience

  • Customised

  • Eco Travel

  • Walk the entire Kumano Kodo Nakahechi from end to end over via magnificent shrines ending at the glorious Nachi waterfall and temple complex plus substantial pilgrimage walks to Koyasan.
  • Walk pack free with luggage transfers from accommodation to accommodation
  • 7 nights stay in an intimate family run or smallish traditional Japanese lodgings with in-house onsens and 2 nights in a Buddhist temple in Koyasan.
  • Superb traditional multi-course meals for breakfast and dinner each day on the walk. Plus 4 walkers lunches.
  • Itineraries can be flexible to shorten the walking or slow the trip down by adding more rest days.
  • Enjoy worry-free navigation with Auswalk’s comprehensive track notes and maps.
  • 24/7 support from our representatives on the ground.

ACCOMMODATION & DINING

OVERVIEW

In Koyasan you will stay in a Buddhist temple. This a real highlight as the feel is much different than you would normally expect at an accommodation. Please don’t be alarmed as they are very accustomed to receiving guests; most of the temples run like small hotels with staff to assist. A traditional Japanese breakfast and dinner will be supplied each day.

On the Kumano Kodo Nakahechi each night you will be staying in a lovely Ryokan or Minshuku. Ryokans are Japanese guesthouses that come in a variety of 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. 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 are located in an onsen area. These are usually communal and separated by the 2 genders.

Meals 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.

A Minshuka is a family-run accommodation that is often found in rural Japan. There is a fine line between a Minshuku and some smaller Ryokans, making it hard to distinguish between the two. Most Minshukus are very small with only a few Japanese style rooms, a bit like a Bed and Breakfast Japanese style. Staying at a Minshuku has its’ advantages as it is a good chance to meet the local people and get right up close to the Japanese culture.  The atmosphere is often like that of a home with traditional meals served much like at a Ryokan but with even more intimacy. Be prepared as baths and toilets are often shared.

GENERAL INFO

AVAILABILITY

This walk is available all year round, but you may encounter some snow from December to February. Many people prefer to walk in spring to see the cherry blossoms and in autumn because of the change of seasons and the good weather.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

On this walk, you will have to catch at least 3 buses; most of the rides are very short.  These cannot be pre-booked and are by far the best way to get around the mountains. These bus fares are at your own cost.

ACCESS

Travelling to the start of the walk

The walks starts in Koyasan makes it way to Kii Tanabe on Day 3 and ends with a stay in Nachi-san or Kii-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 of the walk in Koyasan. To make it easy we have collated some useful information that will assist you in making arrangements for your travel. 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.

By plane (and rail): The easiest option is to fly into Osaka and then catch trains to Koyasan. Many airlines fly to Osaka, below are possible websites that provide several different carriers to choose from.

https://www.kayak.com/flights
www.google.com/flights

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. We can provide more comprehensive 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 15 minutes beforehand and buying a ticket. The journey takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes and costs about $40.

Travelling from the end of the walk

By rail: The train from Kii-Katsuura back to Osaka takes about 4 hours and costs about $50.

By plane: See above.

WALKING

The walk is moderate to moderate to challenging with some long days if you wish. Full day walks average about 17 km with 5 –9. hours walking each day however they can be as long as 24kms (You can shorten most days). The walking is over well-maintained paths but expect each day to start with some reasonable elevation gains. All good though as the tracks do flatten out.

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

For what to bring please refer to Gear Advice on our FAQ section.

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 outside onsen in the cool of the night is one of those real authentic Japanese experiences that you can look forward to after a big day on the track.

As walkers, we believe spring and autumn to be the best time as the weather is perfect for walking.

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

INSURANCE

We strongly recommend purchasing a travel insurance policy for travel overseas, as we charge a cancellation fee if you cancel your walking holiday after we have confirmed it. We want to help make insurance more affordable by offering you a discount on policies purchased through NIB Insurance. This applies to any NIB policies issued via this link. Get an instant quote and purchase online now.

INFORMATION PACK

For nearly 30 years we have taken pride in providing seamlessly organised walking holidays, but we know, even with that in mind, that you’ll have many more questions. You will receive a very detailed information pack and itinerary approximately 6 weeks out from departure outlining all the fine detail and much more.

CONTACT

If you have any questions, feel free to ask one of our destination consultants, or if you have specific track related questions ask Magnus, Brett or Tash who have all walked the track. You can get in touch with 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
    Single Occupancy
    DETAILS
  • 1 May 2019 - 30 Apr 2021
    AVAILABLE
    from

    $2855

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $610
Overview

OVERVIEW

The visit to the spiritual capital of Shingon Buddhism in Japan the world heritage listed Koyasan sets the tone for the rest of the walking. Koyasan, located at the top of Mount Koya is famous not only for its’ temples but also for its natural beauty. It is an ancient town that marks the end of the Kumano Kodo Kohechi route not to mention the many other excellent pilgrimage walks.

Hike along the Choishi Stupa route to Koyasan and the full Kumano Kodo Nakahechi as it cuts its way through mountains, forest, small villages and to beautiful Japanese temples brought alive by the Japanese monks that live there. In the evening relax and soak in an onsen while staying in character-filled Japanese accommodation, savouring elaborate traditional Japanese multi-course dinners and breakfasts.

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE KUMANO KODO NAKAHECHI:

  • Take the extra time to walk both Koyasan and the 1200-year-old world heritage listed Kumano Kodo Nakahechi route at a slower pace all the way to Nachisan. Importantly you can take the options to shorten the walks each day if you wish.
  • 2 night stay in a Koyasan Buddhist temple and participate (only if you wish to) in the temple morning rituals.
  • 7 night stay in small traditional Japanese Ryokans or Minshukus savouring authentic Japanese dinners and breakfasts served in elegant tatami mat settings.
  • Walk toward becoming a dual pilgrim by walking the Kumano Kodo (the other world heritage listed walk is the Camino de Santiago), with local 24/7 support on the ground for your safety.
  • Walk pack free on well graded ancient trails, wondrous views, old forest and bathe in onsens each day.
  • Walk with a company that has nearly 30 years of experience providing self-guided walks and are hands-on. We’ve taken the time to walk the Kumano Kodo trails multiple times to ensure we deliver the best possible experience.

WALK OVERVIEW

TYPE OF WALK
SELF GUIDED
TRIP LENGTH
10 DAYS
WALK GRADE
Moderate to Challenging

Grade 4 - Moderate to Challenging

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

PRICE FROM
$ 2855

per person twin/double share

SINGLE OCCUPANCY
$ 610

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

  • Test

Book now
Itinerary

ITINERARY

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Day 6
  • Day 7
  • Day 8
  • Day 9
  • Day 10

DAY 1
Travel to Koyasan

Travel by train to Koyasan and cable car up to Mount Koya from Osaka or Kyoto. Please ask us for our transport information summary document if you need it. There’s time to explore the Shrine, the museum and the surrounding area. We have provided notes for the Women’s Pilgrimage walk which can be undertaken either today or on the morning of day 3. There’s also a fascinating walk that you can undertake through the cemetery in the evening.

Walking: Women’s pilgrimage walk / Easy / 6.9 kms
Accommodation:  Stay in a Buddhist temple in a private room in Koyasan
Meals: Vegetarian dinner in the temple

DAY 2
Koyasan

This walk, one of our favourites, starts at the Jison-in temple and its’ ancient stairway and finishes at the beautiful Daimon Gate and traverses a real diversity of terrain. Head up the mountain with great views over the valley until you enter the dense forest. The walk is well marked with 180 ornate stupas most of them from the Kamakura period (12th to the 14th century). It’s fun to count them down but only if you can read Japanese (don’t worry the walk notes we provide are foolproof).

Accommodation: Stay in a Buddhist temple in a private room in Koyasan
Meals: Vegetarian breakfast and dinner in the temple
Walking: Choishi-michi walk/ Moderate to challenging / 21 kms / 6 to 7 hrs
Elevation: +1200 / -310 (it looks like a long way up but I assure you it’s mostly a gradual incline, other than at the beginning and a short section right at the end).

DAY 3
Activities in morning and travel to Kii Tanabe

There is no rush to leave Koyasan this morning. You may wish to undertake a few of the many activities that are on offer here or to walk the Women’s Pilgrimage walk if you didn’t do this on day 1. Travel by train to the small coastal village of Kii-Tanabe, the gateway to the Kumano Kodo via the picturesque coastline. Please ask us for our transport information summary document if you need it.

Kii Tanabe is a small Japanese town on the ocean that is not populated by tourists. Its main function is to serve the local area which offers you a great opportunity to eat and stay like the locals.

Accommodation: Small family run Ryokan or Minshuku in Tanabe
Meals: Breakfast
Walking: Optional

DAY 4
Takijiri-oji to Takahara

There is an opportunity to explore Kii Tanabe, its many small shrines, the beach and ample time to ready yourself for the upcoming walk, including a briefing session with our local Kumano Kodo expert.

Today’s walk starts around midday with a small transfer up the road to the trailhead at Takijiri-oji (Oji is small shrine).

The walk on the Nakahechi route begins with a significant climb to 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 from roughly the 8th century.

There are nice views out to the left over the valley, and our first encounter with the beauty of the Kumano Kodo walk.

Accommodation: Small family run Ryokan or Minshuku in Takahara
Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Walking: Moderate /4 kms / 2 to 3 hrs
Elevation: +300 / -120

DAY 5
Takahara to Chikatsuyu

From Takahara, there are wonderful 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. We make our way back down into the valley walking past small shrines and over the river into town.

Accommodation: Small family run Ryokan or Minshuka in Chikatsuyu
Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Walking: Easy to Moderate / 10.2 kms / 4 -5 hrs
Elevation: +630m / -650

DAY 6
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.  This is a 24km hike, but it can be modified to 16km or 8km depending on how you’re feeling. 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 Yakata (best described as a formal Japanese bathrobe ) that’s provided at each of the accommodations and enjoy a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner.

Accommodation: Small family run Ryokan or Minshuka in either Kawayu, Wataze or Yunomine Onsens
Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Walking: Challenging / 24 kms (or 16 kms or 8 kms ) / 8.5-9.5 hrs
Elevation: +1130 / -980

DAY 7
Rest day and time to relax and explore or undertake additional walks

We have recommended a rest day in Hongu because of the locations’ natural beauty and its’ significance, but also because there’s so much to do.  We can remove the rest day if you wish.

There’s the option to spend extra time at Hongu Taisha and the cultural centre (you may have been rushed yesterday) or relax and take a dip in a 1200-year-old onsen in the river. 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 that are available.

We’ve also walked and constructed notes for the tracks around Hongu. Namely the Dainichi-goe path that connects Hongu to Yunomine Onsen or the last day of the Kumano Kodo Kohechi route that connects Totsukawa Onsen via Yakio to Hongu.

Accommodation: Family run Ryokan, Hotel or Minshuka in either Kawayu, Wataze or Yunomine Onsens
Meals:
Breakfast and dinner
Walking: Optional

DAY 8
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.

Accommodation: Small family run Ryokan or Minshuka in Koguchi
Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Walking: Easy to moderate / 12.8 kms / 4.5-5.5 hrs
Elevation: +670 / -690

DAY 9
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 but the views out over the Pacific, and the glimpses of mountains as you traverse through the forest, makes 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 tallest in Japan, is certainly one of the most beautiful spectacles in all of Japan.

Accommodation: Small family run Ryokan or Minshuka in Nachi-san or Nachi-Katsuura
Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Walking: Moderate to challenging / 15.5 kms / 5.5-7 hrs
Elevation: +1260 / -930

DAY 10
Onward to your next destination

After your last traditional Japanese breakfast farewell the walk by exploring the temple complex further, and/or make your way onwards to 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 as is visiting the third major shrine the Kumano Hayatama Taisha, 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 100’s 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

  • Walk the entire Kumano Kodo Nakahechi from end to end over via magnificent shrines ending at the glorious Nachi waterfall and temple complex plus substantial pilgrimage walks to Koyasan.
  • Walk pack free with luggage transfers from accommodation to accommodation
  • 7 nights stay in an intimate family run or smallish traditional Japanese lodgings with in-house onsens and 2 nights in a Buddhist temple in Koyasan.
  • Superb traditional multi-course meals for breakfast and dinner each day on the walk. Plus 4 walkers lunches.
  • Itineraries can be flexible to shorten the walking or slow the trip down by adding more rest days.
  • Enjoy worry-free navigation with Auswalk’s comprehensive track notes and maps.
  • 24/7 support from our representatives on the ground.
Accommodation & Dining

ACCOMMODATION & DINING

OVERVIEW

In Koyasan you will stay in a Buddhist temple. This a real highlight as the feel is much different than you would normally expect at an accommodation. Please don’t be alarmed as they are very accustomed to receiving guests; most of the temples run like small hotels with staff to assist. A traditional Japanese breakfast and dinner will be supplied each day.

On the Kumano Kodo Nakahechi each night you will be staying in a lovely Ryokan or Minshuku. Ryokans are Japanese guesthouses that come in a variety of 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. 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 are located in an onsen area. These are usually communal and separated by the 2 genders.

Meals 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.

A Minshuka is a family-run accommodation that is often found in rural Japan. There is a fine line between a Minshuku and some smaller Ryokans, making it hard to distinguish between the two. Most Minshukus are very small with only a few Japanese style rooms, a bit like a Bed and Breakfast Japanese style. Staying at a Minshuku has its’ advantages as it is a good chance to meet the local people and get right up close to the Japanese culture.  The atmosphere is often like that of a home with traditional meals served much like at a Ryokan but with even more intimacy. Be prepared as baths and toilets are often shared.

General Info

GENERAL INFO

AVAILABILITY

This walk is available all year round, but you may encounter some snow from December to February. Many people prefer to walk in spring to see the cherry blossoms and in autumn because of the change of seasons and the good weather.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

On this walk, you will have to catch at least 3 buses; most of the rides are very short.  These cannot be pre-booked and are by far the best way to get around the mountains. These bus fares are at your own cost.

ACCESS

Travelling to the start of the walk

The walks starts in Koyasan makes it way to Kii Tanabe on Day 3 and ends with a stay in Nachi-san or Kii-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 of the walk in Koyasan. To make it easy we have collated some useful information that will assist you in making arrangements for your travel. 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.

By plane (and rail): The easiest option is to fly into Osaka and then catch trains to Koyasan. Many airlines fly to Osaka, below are possible websites that provide several different carriers to choose from.

https://www.kayak.com/flights
www.google.com/flights

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. We can provide more comprehensive 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 15 minutes beforehand and buying a ticket. The journey takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes and costs about $40.

Travelling from the end of the walk

By rail: The train from Kii-Katsuura back to Osaka takes about 4 hours and costs about $50.

By plane: See above.

WALKING

The walk is moderate to moderate to challenging with some long days if you wish. Full day walks average about 17 km with 5 –9. hours walking each day however they can be as long as 24kms (You can shorten most days). The walking is over well-maintained paths but expect each day to start with some reasonable elevation gains. All good though as the tracks do flatten out.

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

For what to bring please refer to Gear Advice on our FAQ section.

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 outside onsen in the cool of the night is one of those real authentic Japanese experiences that you can look forward to after a big day on the track.

As walkers, we believe spring and autumn to be the best time as the weather is perfect for walking.

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

INSURANCE

We strongly recommend purchasing a travel insurance policy for travel overseas, as we charge a cancellation fee if you cancel your walking holiday after we have confirmed it. We want to help make insurance more affordable by offering you a discount on policies purchased through NIB Insurance. This applies to any NIB policies issued via this link. Get an instant quote and purchase online now.

INFORMATION PACK

For nearly 30 years we have taken pride in providing seamlessly organised walking holidays, but we know, even with that in mind, that you’ll have many more questions. You will receive a very detailed information pack and itinerary approximately 6 weeks out from departure outlining all the fine detail and much more.

CONTACT

If you have any questions, feel free to ask one of our destination consultants, or if you have specific track related questions ask Magnus, Brett or Tash who have all walked the track. You can get in touch with us via our contact form, email us at info@auswalk.com.au, or call us on +61 3 9597 9767.

Map

MAP

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Departure Dates

DEPARTURE DATES

  • DATES
    AVAILABILITY
    PRICE
    Single Occupancy
    DETAILS
  • 1 May 2019 - 30 Apr 2021
    AVAILABLE
    Details
    from

    $2855

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $610

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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.

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