Kumano Kodo

Kumano Kodo UNESCO Walk and Pilgrimage Trail

The Kumano Kodo is a series of ancient pilgrimage trails that cross over Kii Peninsula on the bottom east corner of Honshu, the main island of Japan.

Ⓒ Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau
Ⓒ Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau

The walk starts near the small city of Tanabe which is located a couple of hours train ride from Osaka, and ends at Nachi Taisha Grand Temple and waterfalls or in Kii Katsuura seaside fishing town having completed the Nakahechi Imperial Route.

The various Kumano Kodo walks take in up to three of the Great Shrines of Kumano; Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Nachi Taisha, and Kumano Hayatama Taisha.

Ⓒ Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau
Ⓒ Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau

There are several variations available for walking and hiking the Kumano Kodo.

The walking itself along the Kumano Kodo varies significantly day to day and even hour to hour. At times you’ll be walking through tall dense (but well manicured) forest, and then at other stages through low shrub, along and crossing creeks, and at times along short sections of road, climbing up and down throughout each day.

The trail surface varies from stone steps and stone cobbled pathways, to steps made of felled trees and timber, dirt paths, and as some short sections of road into and through small traditional Japanese villages.

The walking is beautiful at every turn. Along the way there are countless stone carved shrines called Oji, historical sites of lodgings and tea houses past, and surreal abandoned stone terracing walls.

Ⓒ Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau
Ⓒ Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau

At times the walk passes through small towns, or even at one stage the ruins of a village evacuated in the 1970’s.

Many of these small towns and villages offers hikers and pilgrims accommodation and meals in small traditional Japanese Minshuku. These villages are often quiet, picturesque, authentic and surreal all rolled into one fascinating experience.

Whilst there are a small range of accommodation styles along the walk for walkers to stay overnight, the most common for modern day Kumano Kodo pilgrims are the Minshuku. Minshuku are small Japanese guest houses, often only a very small number of guest rooms, and very traditional in nature, sometimes including onsens (hot communal baths) and often offering meals to guests.

>>> Check out our day-by-day blog on our recent Kumano Kodo walk along the Nakahechi Imperial Route, taking in Hongu Taisha and Nachi Taisha grand temples.

Ⓒ Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau
Ⓒ Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau

Hiking Trails can take the stress and effort out of researching and booking by offering a five day and five night package to assist people wishing to hike the Kumano Kodo for the first time.

>>> Check out our Top 5 reasons to book with Hiking Trails.

Ⓒ Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau
Ⓒ Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau

Kumano Kodo Walk Package;

  • 5 x Nights ‘Minshuku’ accommodation along the Kumano Kodo
  • 5 x Japanese Dinner and Breakfast at each ‘Minshuku’
  • 4 x Packed Lunches for along the walk
  • Daily baggage transfer between Minshuku to save you carrying your bags
  • Local guide-book including Kumano Kodo maps for your self-guided walk

From $1,590 AUD per person. To enquire use the form below.

Full Terms and Conditions apply. Pricing is based on twin share accommodation, for single pricing please contact Hiking Trails. All components are subject to availability.

Hiking Trails partners with Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau to deliver Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail self-guided hiking adventures for our guests.

Find out more?

Please use the ‘Submit Enquiry’ button below and complete our online enquiry form. Once received we can check availability, answer any questions, and confirm pricing.

The details above are intended to be accurate at the time of publishing but do change over time. Final details should be checked against your quoted itinerary.