OVERVIEW

Kumano’s sacred mountains were a major pilgrimage destination for the imperial and aristocratic families since 794AD. The Kumano Kodo traverses the sacred Kii mountains, via forest, through villages and to fabulous ancient temples and waterfalls. We add an extra days walk to this trip with a walk on the Kohechi route which is the toughest of all the routes. The Kohechi connects the spiritual hubs of Koyasan and Hongu and was used by pilgrims and merchants alike.

The Kumano Kodo is one of just two world heritage listed walks the other being the Camino de Santiago. After each day’s epic walk soak in an onsen while staying in traditional Japanese accommodation, savouring excellent traditional Japanese multi-course dinners and breakfasts.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE KUMANO KODO:

  • An ancient walk through Buddhist and Shinto history and an immersive backcountry Japanese cultural experience away from the ultra-hyper modern city.
  • Local Japanese meals served in elegant tatami mat settings staying in traditional Japanese Ryokans or Minshukus.
  • Local support on the ground for your safety
  • Walk toward becoming a dual pilgrim by walking the Kumano Kodo (the other world heritage listed walk is the Camino de Santiago) at you own pace
  • Excellent graded trails, wondrous views, old forest and bathe in onsens each day. We can vary the lengths of walks on the Kumano Kodo most days.  We can also remove the rest day if you wish.
  • 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 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
9 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
$ 550

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 6
  • Day 7
  • Day 8
  • Day 9

DAY 1
Kii-Tanabe

Travel by train to the small coastal village of Kii-Tanabe, the gateway to the Kumano Kodo via the picturesque coastline from Osaka or Kyoto. Please ask us for our transport information summary document if you need it.

Kii Tanabe is a small Japanese town that is not populated by tourists. The town is on the ocean and serves the local area. 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 our local Kumano Kodo expert.

Accommodation: Small family run Ryokan or Minshuku in Tanabe
Meals: None

DAY 2
Takijiri-oji to Takahara

Today’s walk starts 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 back to the 8th century.

There are nice views out to the left over the valley and our first encounter with the Kumano’s Kodo walks beauty.

Accommodation: Small family run Ryokan or Minshuku in Takahara
Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Walking: Moderate /3.9 kms / 2 to 3 hrs
Elevation: +300 / -120

DAY 3
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.  You make your way back down into the valley walking past oji (shrines) over the river to your accommodation.

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: +630 / -650

DAY 4
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 5
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 simply just 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 6
Walk on the Kohechi route to Totsukawa

Today’s walk can start from Hongu, however we prefer to walk from Yakio to avoid the track that’s now a busy bitumen road. To avoid this, you travel a short distance beside the brilliant aquamarine coloured Kumano-gawa river to Yakio. The Kohechi route is just one of 5 other Kumano Kodo routes in the Wakayama region.  The Kohechi was a major route as it connects two of the main Buddhist sacred temple complexes, Koyasan and Hongu, through the central Kii peninsula. Incidentally, this route is one of the toughest.  Prepare for some epic views as you walk up the mountain to Hatenashi-toge pass at 1015m. The path is marked with 33 Kannon Statues honouring Kannon Bodhhivistas (the monks that compassionately choose to stay behind and help the rest of us forgoing enlightenment in the process). Totsukawa is well known for its superb onsens, and if you feel inclined, there’s an excellent onsen at Hotel Subaru to enjoy.

Accommodation: Family run Ryokan, Hotel or Minshuka in either Kawayu, Wataze or Yunomine Onsens
Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Walking: Challenging / 11 kms / 4.5 -5.5 hrs
Elevation: +880 / -950

DAY 7
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 8
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 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 9
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 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 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 via magnificent shrines ending at the glorious Nachi waterfall and temple complex plus a day of the Kohechi
  • 8 nights stay 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 6 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

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 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.

Minshukas 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 walks starts in 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 Kii Tanabe. 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. There are 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 from Osaka 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

he walk is 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 the conditions are excellent particularly if you enjoy warmer temperatures and taking a dip in a stream. It can, however, get a little humid.

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.

We believe spring and autumn to be the best time to walk 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 the purchase of travel insurance for all of our trips. We require that you purchase a travel insurance policy for all travel overseas, as we charge a cancellation fee if you cancel your walking holiday after we have confirmed it. It is also important in the event of an accident or loss of property.  See FAQ’s for more information.

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 Jan 2020 - 31 Dec 2020
    AVAILABLE
    from

    $2855

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $550
  • 1 Jan 2021 - 31 Dec 2021
    AVAILABLE
    from

    $2985

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $580

SIMILAR TRIPS

Great Ocean Walk Highlights

Self-guided

Experience all the highlights of the iconic track from Cape Otway Lighthouse to 12 Apostles. Walk along remote Wreck & Johanna Beaches, plus a private tour of Loch Ard Gorge.

Self-guided 5 Days From $1955 Easy to Moderate What's Included

Great Ocean Walk Highlights

BACK
What's Included
  • Five day pack free walking holiday
  • The highlights of the Great Ocean Walk
  • Four nights’ accommodation with ensuites
  • Cooked breakfasts, two-course a la carte dinners (most nights) and substantial walkers lunches
  • Luggage transport and vehicle transfers
  • We shift you along the track from accommodation to accommodation to limit time in a vehicle, creating much 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 transfer company and representatives on the ground

Abel Tasman Walk End to End

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 $2255 Easy to Moderate What's Included

Abel Tasman Walk End to End

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

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 $1195 Easy to Moderate What's Included

Queen Charlotte Track-The Essentials

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
  • 4 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

Tour du Mont Blanc Highlights

Self-guided

Hike the renowned Tour du Mont Blanc in 8 days by linking the best trekking sections with short bus journeys, panoramic cable cars and mountain trains.

Self-guided 8 Days From $2755 Moderate to Challenging What's Included

Tour du Mont Blanc Highlights

BACK
What's Included
  • Walk pack free with luggage transfers from accommodation to accommodation arranged for you
  • 7 nights accommodation in 3* hotels, small hotels & auberges (simple hotels)
  • 5 breakfasts and 4 dinners
  • Maps, guidebook, GPX tracks and daily route summary
  • 24/7 telephone support
  • Itineraries can please flexible to account for weather conditions
  • Rest days can be added if you would like to further explore the region
  • Enjoy worry free navigation with Auswalk’s authored comprehensive tack notes and maps
Overview

OVERVIEW

Kumano’s sacred mountains were a major pilgrimage destination for the imperial and aristocratic families since 794AD. The Kumano Kodo traverses the sacred Kii mountains, via forest, through villages and to fabulous ancient temples and waterfalls. We add an extra days walk to this trip with a walk on the Kohechi route which is the toughest of all the routes. The Kohechi connects the spiritual hubs of Koyasan and Hongu and was used by pilgrims and merchants alike.

The Kumano Kodo is one of just two world heritage listed walks the other being the Camino de Santiago. After each day’s epic walk soak in an onsen while staying in traditional Japanese accommodation, savouring excellent traditional Japanese multi-course dinners and breakfasts.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE KUMANO KODO:

  • An ancient walk through Buddhist and Shinto history and an immersive backcountry Japanese cultural experience away from the ultra-hyper modern city.
  • Local Japanese meals served in elegant tatami mat settings staying in traditional Japanese Ryokans or Minshukus.
  • Local support on the ground for your safety
  • Walk toward becoming a dual pilgrim by walking the Kumano Kodo (the other world heritage listed walk is the Camino de Santiago) at you own pace
  • Excellent graded trails, wondrous views, old forest and bathe in onsens each day. We can vary the lengths of walks on the Kumano Kodo most days.  We can also remove the rest day if you wish.
  • 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 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
9 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
$ 550

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 8
  • Day 9

DAY 1
Kii-Tanabe

Travel by train to the small coastal village of Kii-Tanabe, the gateway to the Kumano Kodo via the picturesque coastline from Osaka or Kyoto. Please ask us for our transport information summary document if you need it.

Kii Tanabe is a small Japanese town that is not populated by tourists. The town is on the ocean and serves the local area. 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 our local Kumano Kodo expert.

Accommodation: Small family run Ryokan or Minshuku in Tanabe
Meals: None

DAY 2
Takijiri-oji to Takahara

Today’s walk starts 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 back to the 8th century.

There are nice views out to the left over the valley and our first encounter with the Kumano’s Kodo walks beauty.

Accommodation: Small family run Ryokan or Minshuku in Takahara
Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Walking: Moderate /3.9 kms / 2 to 3 hrs
Elevation: +300 / -120

DAY 3
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.  You make your way back down into the valley walking past oji (shrines) over the river to your accommodation.

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: +630 / -650

DAY 4
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 5
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 simply just 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 6
Walk on the Kohechi route to Totsukawa

Today’s walk can start from Hongu, however we prefer to walk from Yakio to avoid the track that’s now a busy bitumen road. To avoid this, you travel a short distance beside the brilliant aquamarine coloured Kumano-gawa river to Yakio. The Kohechi route is just one of 5 other Kumano Kodo routes in the Wakayama region.  The Kohechi was a major route as it connects two of the main Buddhist sacred temple complexes, Koyasan and Hongu, through the central Kii peninsula. Incidentally, this route is one of the toughest.  Prepare for some epic views as you walk up the mountain to Hatenashi-toge pass at 1015m. The path is marked with 33 Kannon Statues honouring Kannon Bodhhivistas (the monks that compassionately choose to stay behind and help the rest of us forgoing enlightenment in the process). Totsukawa is well known for its superb onsens, and if you feel inclined, there’s an excellent onsen at Hotel Subaru to enjoy.

Accommodation: Family run Ryokan, Hotel or Minshuka in either Kawayu, Wataze or Yunomine Onsens
Meals:
Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Walking: Challenging / 11 kms / 4.5 -5.5 hrs
Elevation: +880 / -950

DAY 7
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 8
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 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 9
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 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 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 via magnificent shrines ending at the glorious Nachi waterfall and temple complex plus a day of the Kohechi
  • 8 nights stay 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 6 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

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 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.

Minshukas 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 walks starts in 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 Kii Tanabe. 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. There are 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 from Osaka 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

he walk is 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 the conditions are excellent particularly if you enjoy warmer temperatures and taking a dip in a stream. It can, however, get a little humid.

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.

We believe spring and autumn to be the best time to walk 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 the purchase of travel insurance for all of our trips. We require that you purchase a travel insurance policy for all travel overseas, as we charge a cancellation fee if you cancel your walking holiday after we have confirmed it. It is also important in the event of an accident or loss of property.  See FAQ’s for more information.

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

Departure Dates

DEPARTURE DATES

  • DATES
    AVAILABILITY
    PRICE
    Single Occupancy
    DETAILS
  • 1 Jan 2020 - 31 Dec 2020
    AVAILABLE
    Details
    from

    $2855

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $550
  • 1 Jan 2021 - 31 Dec 2021
    AVAILABLE
    Details
    from

    $2985

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    $580
Similar Trips

SIMILAR TRIPS

Great Ocean Walk Highlights

Self-guided

Experience all the highlights of the iconic track from Cape Otway Lighthouse to 12 Apostles. Walk along remote Wreck & Johanna Beaches, plus a private tour of Loch Ard Gorge.

Self-guided 5 Days From $1955 Easy to Moderate What's Included

Great Ocean Walk Highlights

BACK
What's Included
  • Five day pack free walking holiday
  • The highlights of the Great Ocean Walk
  • Four nights’ accommodation with ensuites
  • Cooked breakfasts, two-course a la carte dinners (most nights) and substantial walkers lunches
  • Luggage transport and vehicle transfers
  • We shift you along the track from accommodation to accommodation to limit time in a vehicle, creating much 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 transfer company and representatives on the ground

Abel Tasman Walk End to End

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 $2255 Easy to Moderate What's Included

Abel Tasman Walk End to End

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

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 $1195 Easy to Moderate What's Included

Queen Charlotte Track-The Essentials

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
  • 4 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

Tour du Mont Blanc Highlights

Self-guided

Hike the renowned Tour du Mont Blanc in 8 days by linking the best trekking sections with short bus journeys, panoramic cable cars and mountain trains.

Self-guided 8 Days From $2755 Moderate to Challenging What's Included

Tour du Mont Blanc Highlights

BACK
What's Included
  • Walk pack free with luggage transfers from accommodation to accommodation arranged for you
  • 7 nights accommodation in 3* hotels, small hotels & auberges (simple hotels)
  • 5 breakfasts and 4 dinners
  • Maps, guidebook, GPX tracks and daily route summary
  • 24/7 telephone support
  • Itineraries can please flexible to account for weather conditions
  • Rest days can be added if you would like to further explore the region
  • Enjoy worry free navigation with Auswalk’s authored comprehensive tack notes and maps

blog

October 5, 2020

10 best iconic day walks in the world

Read More
December 17, 2019

12 OF THE BEST AUSTRALIAN DAY WALKS

Read More
December 17, 2019

The Evolution of Walking Holidays

Read More
November 18, 2019

The Great Ocean Walk & A Great Australian Story

Read More
November 18, 2019

The Tour Du Mont Blanc – Seven valleys, three countries, and a sense of the divine

Read More
October 2, 2019

The Cotswolds | England’s Living History

Read More
August 16, 2019

Walk the walk, for Biodiversity

Read More
August 13, 2019

Slow Travel – lessons from a man with a whip

Read More
July 2, 2019

How to Become a Dual Pilgrim, and More Importantly, Why…?

Read More
June 14, 2019

Amazing Places to See Aboriginal Rock Art in Australia

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