Kumano Ancient Trail

A small-group guided walking tour with five hikes of 2-6 hours of village-to-village walking on the Kumano Kodō Trail

Kumano Ancient Trail

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Tour details

Kumano Ancient Trail
x1 traveller
Single room additional charge

Solo supplements guarantee solo rooms at the hotels on your tour. At inns, you will share with another member of your departure of the same gender.


If you would like to do multiple tours in one trip or have a question about any of our tours, do not hesitate to contact us with the button below.

  • Duration: 9 days
  • Trip level:
  • Availability: April to November
  • Type:Guided tour with an expert bilingual guide
  • Price: From USD 3,395(Price per person, based on 2 travellers sharing a room)

Please choose your preferred month to see available departures.



  • Travel from imperial Kyōto through the Kumano mountains, to the Pacific Ocean fishing port of Kii-Katsuura
  • Walk village to village on enchanting sections of the Kumano Kodō
  • Bathe in an outdoor hot spring bath beside the Pacific Ocean
  • Ride a traditional boat on the Kumano River
  • Visit the Three Grand Shrines of Kumano
  • Enjoy an exclusive shamisen musical performance in a lovely traditional setting on the Kumano Kodō

The Kumano Kodō, or Kumano Ancient Trail, is a pilgrimage route to Kumano, part of the mountainous Kii Peninsula which stretches south from the Kansai cities of Ōsaka, Nara and Kyōto. The well-maintained trail threads its way through deep valleys, mountains, and small villages to offer a wonderfully varied hike over four days. Stay at comfortable family-run inns with excellent food, soak in natural hot springs, and visit the shrines along the way.

The pilgrimage routes to the Three Grand Shrines of Kumano – Hongū, Nachi, and Hayatama – were popularised during and after the Heian Period (794-1185). During this period, Imperial family and nobility began to seek salvation in sangaku shinkō, a belief in the supernatural power of mountains, rather than through common religious practices. Emperor Gotoba (1180-1239) made no fewer than thirty pilgrimages to Kumano, recording his thoughts and feelings in the Kumano poems.


Our journey begins in the modern city of Kyōto, after which we travel south by train along the coast and spend four days hiking the UNESCO-certified Nakahechi route, one of the Kumano Kodō trails. There is a day mid-way to relax, with a gentle ride along the Kumano River to Hayatama Grand Shrine. We cross the Kii Peninsula on foot to its eastern coast, and the fishing town of Katsuura, with two nights at a hot spring hotel and a further optional day of hiking. We finish by travelling on to Kyōto by train. On small-group guided tours with Oku Japan, your guide handles luggage arrangements for you.


We are the only tour operator with a local branch on the Kumano Kodō trail: See more about our Kumano Kodō branch.

Download PDF itinerary

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What is included
Full-time services of an English-speaking tour guide
8 nights in hotels and Japanese-style inns
Daily breakfast and 8 dinners
All transportation between tour locations
Entrance to museums, temples, and other sights on the group's itinerary
Forwarding of 1 item of luggage on 2 occasions
Traditional boat ride on the Kumano River
Exclusive shamisen musical performance
What is not included
Airport transfers
Drinks and meals not included in itinerary
Entrance fees to museums, temples, etc. not mentioned in the itinerary
Single room supplement for solo travellers at hotels

Tour itineraries are subject to change. We will inform you of any amendments as soon as we become aware of them.