OVERVIEW

The 1200-year-old Kumano Kodo trail traverses the sacred Kii mountain range through villages and forests to extraordinary ancient shrines and waterfalls. You get to walk in the footsteps of imperial and aristocratic families who walked this track as far back as 794AD.

The Kumano Kodo is one of only two world heritage listed walks, and we’ve selected what we think are the must do Kumano Kodo walks, through the mountains, with the not to be missed views over the 3600 peaks and Nachisan. At night after the walks, soak in an onsen while staying in traditional Japanese accommodation, savouring elaborate traditional Japanese multi-course dinners and breakfasts.

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE KUMANO KODO NAKAHECHI:

  • This trip is for those who want a taste of the Kumano Kodo experience but don’t have the time.  Each day you’ll still enjoy authentic Japanese meals served in elegant tatami mat settings staying in small traditional Japanese Ryokans or Minshukus.
  • An ancient hike through Buddhist and Shinto history together with an immersive backcountry Japanese cultural experience away from the ultra-hyper modern city.
  • Walk pack free on well graded trails; wondrous views, old forest and bathe in onsens each day. We can vary the lengths of walks on the Kumano Kodo on most days.
  • Local support on the ground for your safety.
  • See the Grand Shrines at Hongu and Nachi-san, along with Nachi-taki waterfall.
  • Walk with a company that has nearly 30 years of experience providing self-guided walks.

WALK OVERVIEW

TYPE OF WALK
SELF GUIDED
TRIP LENGTH
5 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
$ 1645

per person twin/double share

SINGLE OCCUPANCY
$ 295

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

  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5

DAY 1
Osaka/Kyoto via Kii-Tanabe to Hongu

Travel by train to the small coastal village of Kii-Tanabe, the gateway to the Kumano Kodo via the picturesque coastline and onto Hongu from Osaka or Kyoto. Please ask us for our transport information summary document if you need it. Explore the Shrine, the heritage centre and the area that surrounds the shrine including the magnificent Tori shrine gate.

Accommodation: Small family run Ryokan or Minshuku in Hongu area
Meals: Dinner

DAY 2
Hosshinmon-oji or Doyukawa-bashi to Hongu Taisha

You’ll hike the sacred Kii Mountains today, said to be the entrance to the land of Yomi, in mythological terms the Shinto underworld. Walk through the thick green forest, aside cascading streams, passing shrine after shrine, arriving at Hongu Taisha where you can explore the stunning shrine. 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. Today’s hike can be either 16kms or 8kms depending on your choice.

Accommodation: Small family run Ryokan or Minshuka in either Kawayu, Wataze or Yunomine Onsens
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Walking: Challenging / 16kms or 8kms / 2-6hrs
Elevation: Approx +450 / -700

DAY 3
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 / 12.8kms / 4.5-5.5 hrs
Elevation: +670 / -690

DAY 4
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 worth all the effort. The highlight 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 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 / 15.5kms / 5.5-7 hrs
Elevation: +1260 / -930

DAY 5
Onward to your next destination

After your last traditional Japanese breakfast farewell the walk by exploring the temple complex further and 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, or visit Koyasan the spiritual capital of Japan. If you want even more of a laid back experience, 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 our favourite walks on the Kumano Kodo Nakahechi over 4 days via the magnificent shrines of Hongu and the much celebrated Nachi waterfall and shrine complex
  • Stay 4 nights in an intimate family run or smallish traditional Japanese lodgings with in-house onsens
  • Walk pack free with luggage transfers from accommodation to accommodation
  • Superb traditional multi-course meals for breakfast and dinner each day on the walk. Plus 3 walkers lunches
  • Itineraries can be flexible to shorten the walking or slow the trip down by adding 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

Each night you will be staying in a lovely Ryokan or Minshuku.

Ryokans are Japanese guest houses 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 on. Few Ryokan Hotels have rooms with actual beds. The rooms may or may not have ensuites, but prepare 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 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.

Minshukus are family-run accommodations that are 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.

ACCESS

Travelling to the start of the walk

The walk starts in Hongu via Kii Tanabe 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 Hongu. 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 the train to Kii Tanabe. Many airlines that 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 1hour and 30minutes and costs about $40.

Travelling from the end of the walk

By rail: The train from Kii-Katsuura back to Osaka takes about 4hours 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 15 km with 5 –7 hours walking each day. The walking is over well-maintained paths but expect each day to start with some reasonable elevation gains.

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 forest canopy which makes for mild conditions, other than in 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 an 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 linkGet 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

    $1645

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $295

    Limited Spots

Overview

OVERVIEW

The 1200-year-old Kumano Kodo trail traverses the sacred Kii mountain range through villages and forests to extraordinary ancient shrines and waterfalls. You get to walk in the footsteps of imperial and aristocratic families who walked this track as far back as 794AD.

The Kumano Kodo is one of only two world heritage listed walks, and we’ve selected what we think are the must do Kumano Kodo walks, through the mountains, with the not to be missed views over the 3600 peaks and Nachisan. At night after the walks, soak in an onsen while staying in traditional Japanese accommodation, savouring elaborate traditional Japanese multi-course dinners and breakfasts.

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE KUMANO KODO NAKAHECHI:

  • This trip is for those who want a taste of the Kumano Kodo experience but don’t have the time.  Each day you’ll still enjoy authentic Japanese meals served in elegant tatami mat settings staying in small traditional Japanese Ryokans or Minshukus.
  • An ancient hike through Buddhist and Shinto history together with an immersive backcountry Japanese cultural experience away from the ultra-hyper modern city.
  • Walk pack free on well graded trails; wondrous views, old forest and bathe in onsens each day. We can vary the lengths of walks on the Kumano Kodo on most days.
  • Local support on the ground for your safety.
  • See the Grand Shrines at Hongu and Nachi-san, along with Nachi-taki waterfall.
  • Walk with a company that has nearly 30 years of experience providing self-guided walks.

WALK OVERVIEW

TYPE OF WALK
SELF GUIDED
TRIP LENGTH
5 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
$ 1645

per person twin/double share

SINGLE OCCUPANCY
$ 295

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 1
Osaka/Kyoto via Kii-Tanabe to Hongu

Travel by train to the small coastal village of Kii-Tanabe, the gateway to the Kumano Kodo via the picturesque coastline and onto Hongu from Osaka or Kyoto. Please ask us for our transport information summary document if you need it. Explore the Shrine, the heritage centre and the area that surrounds the shrine including the magnificent Tori shrine gate.

Accommodation: Small family run Ryokan or Minshuku in Hongu area
Meals: Dinner

DAY 2
Hosshinmon-oji or Doyukawa-bashi to Hongu Taisha

You’ll hike the sacred Kii Mountains today, said to be the entrance to the land of Yomi, in mythological terms the Shinto underworld. Walk through the thick green forest, aside cascading streams, passing shrine after shrine, arriving at Hongu Taisha where you can explore the stunning shrine. 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. Today’s hike can be either 16kms or 8kms depending on your choice.

Accommodation: Small family run Ryokan or Minshuka in either Kawayu, Wataze or Yunomine Onsens
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Walking: Challenging / 16kms or 8kms / 2-6hrs
Elevation: Approx +450 / -700

DAY 3
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 / 12.8kms / 4.5-5.5 hrs
Elevation: +670 / -690

DAY 4
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 worth all the effort. The highlight 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 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 / 15.5kms / 5.5-7 hrs
Elevation: +1260 / -930

DAY 5
Onward to your next destination

After your last traditional Japanese breakfast farewell the walk by exploring the temple complex further and 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, or visit Koyasan the spiritual capital of Japan. If you want even more of a laid back experience, 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 our favourite walks on the Kumano Kodo Nakahechi over 4 days via the magnificent shrines of Hongu and the much celebrated Nachi waterfall and shrine complex
  • Stay 4 nights in an intimate family run or smallish traditional Japanese lodgings with in-house onsens
  • Walk pack free with luggage transfers from accommodation to accommodation
  • Superb traditional multi-course meals for breakfast and dinner each day on the walk. Plus 3 walkers lunches
  • Itineraries can be flexible to shorten the walking or slow the trip down by adding 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

Each night you will be staying in a lovely Ryokan or Minshuku.

Ryokans are Japanese guest houses 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 on. Few Ryokan Hotels have rooms with actual beds. The rooms may or may not have ensuites, but prepare 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 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.

Minshukus are family-run accommodations that are 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.

ACCESS

Travelling to the start of the walk

The walk starts in Hongu via Kii Tanabe 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 Hongu. 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 the train to Kii Tanabe. Many airlines that 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 1hour and 30minutes and costs about $40.

Travelling from the end of the walk

By rail: The train from Kii-Katsuura back to Osaka takes about 4hours 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 15 km with 5 –7 hours walking each day. The walking is over well-maintained paths but expect each day to start with some reasonable elevation gains.

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 forest canopy which makes for mild conditions, other than in 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 an 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 linkGet 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

There are no any content available.
Departure Dates

DEPARTURE DATES

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

    $1645

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $295

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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