A peaceful path of pilgrimage

The Kii Peninsula points south away from Kyoto and Osaka and is one of the most remote and mystical areas of Japan, despite its proximity to these great cities. Long a place of pilgrimage, the Kii Peninsula is the site of the three Grand Shrines of Kumano (Kumano Sanzan).

- Our Kumano Kodo self-guided tours offer 4, 5, or 6 days walking village to village along this old pilgrimage route heading west to east along the Kii-peninsula.
- Our Kumano to Koya self-guided tour offers 5 days of walking village to village along another wonderful section of the pilgrimage route leading from Kumano Hongu Taisha Shine to the spiritual Mount Koya, from south to north.
- Our Kumano Kodo Complete self-guided tours, taking in both the Nakahechi and Kohechi trails, with lengths of 9 or 11 days.

Both trail passes through dramatic scenery, village-to-village walking along rural forest trails, passing to important historic shrines and temples.  

The Kumano Kodo Trail and the Camino de Santiago de Compostela are both pilgrimage routes with UNESCO World Heritage status. Those walking both routes can request a Dual Pilgrim Credential certificate on a complimentary basis at the Kumano Hongu Heritage Centre, located below the Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine, or at the Kumano Kodo Kan Pilgrimage Centre located next to Takijiri-oji. You may also like to request a complimentary Kumano Kodo booklet, which you can fill with stamps from various landmarks along the trail.

Tour Length

We offer 4 to 6 day versions of our standard Kumano Kodo self-guided tour.

Walking Season

Recommended from April to November

View of mountains on the Kumano Kodo

Tour length

- We offer 4 to 6 day versions of our standard Kumano Kodo self-guided tour.
- Our Kumano to Koya self-guided tour is 5 days long, but we recommend a night or two in the Kumano region before the hike.
- We offer two versions of our Kumano Kodo Complete self-guided tour, taking in both the Nakahechi and Kohechi trails, with lengths of 9 or 11 days.

Type and level of trip

Mixed village paths (paved) and unpaved forested trails. These are strenuous, but highly rewarding hikes through the mountains of the Kii Peninsula, with days of up to 8 hours walking and 3000 feet of ascent, requiring good stamina. Walking on the Kumano Kodo is more demanding than the Nakasendo – we classify the trips as ‘Strenuous’, but for an easier option, choose the 4-day tour and take a local bus to shorten the walk on Day 3 - this trip also offers local cultural activities during the days should you choose to do shorter hikes.

Walking season

- The standard Kumano Kodo trail is available all year (the Kumano region occasionally experiences snow from December to March).
- Tours visiting the Kohechi area of Nara prefecture do see snow in the winter months, so we recommend these tours from April to November only.

Self-Guided

Kumano Kodo Complete self-guided walking 11 days

  • Duration: 11 days
  • Level: Strenuous

The full Kumano Kodo pilgrimage experience to Mount Koya. See the Grand Shrines at Hongu and Nachi while walking the full Nakahechi and Kohechi route, with wonderful views over the valleys, mountains and the Pacific Ocean

USD 2315
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Self-Guided

Kumano Kodo self-guided walking 4 days

  • Duration: 4 days
  • Level: Active

Walk along the wonderful Nakahechi route of the Kumano Kodo Trail ending at Hayatama Shrine.

USD 995
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Self-Guided

Kumano Kodo self-guided walking 5 days

  • Duration: 5 days
  • Level: Strenuous

Experience the Nakahechi route walking from Takijiri to Nachi waterfall, visiting the Grand Shrines at Hongu and Nachi along the way

USD 1210
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Self-Guided

Kumano Kodo self-guided walking 6 days

  • Duration: 6 days
  • Level: Strenuous

Travel along the full Nakahechi route on the enchanting Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail, experience Grand Shrines at Hongu and Nachi and bathe in the thermal waters at a hot-spring Ryokan

USD 1455
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Self-Guided

Kumano to Koya self-guided walking 5 days

  • Duration: 5 days
  • Level: Strenuous

Hike the challenging Kohechi route of the ancient Kumano Kodo trail, from Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine to Mount Koya, enjoying wonderful views over valleys and mountains each day

USD 1185
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Self-Guided

Experience a full Kumano Kodo pilgrimage experience to Mount Koya, walking along the Nakahechi and Kohechi routes, ending with an authentic stay at a Shukubo pilgrims lodging on Mount Koya

USD 1905
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Self-Guided

Kumano Kodo self-guided walking Upgrade 5 days

  • Duration: 5 days
  • Level: Strenuous

Walk in Nara and on highlight sections on the Kumano Kodo, experiencing the best inns and local food in the Kumano region

USD 2270
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