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Trip Overview

9 Days
• 8 nights in hotels & traditional inns
Trek Grade
• 7 days of hiking and cultural activities
Max. altitude
• 9,363 feet on Ogumotori Pass

Trip Dates

May 10 to May 18, 2023
June 8 to June 16, 2023
September 27 to October 5, 2023
October 18 to October 26, 2023
November 1 to November 9, 2023
November 8 to November 16, 2023

Custom Trip: Upon request, we may be able to arrange this trip as a private and small group (less than 4 people) departure for you and your travel companions during the months of April to June & late September thru November.

Trip Price

4 to 10 People: $5165.00
Single room supplement: $580.00 per person


  • Journey from Kyoto to the Kii Peninsula
  • Hike the ancient Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage route
  • Visit the shrines at Hingu, Shingu and Nachi
  • Traditional boat ride on the Kumano River

The Kumano Kodo, or Kumano Ancient Trail, is a pilgrimage route to Kumano, part of the mountainous Kii Peninsula which stretches south from the Kansai cities of Osaka, Nara and Kyoto. The well-maintained trail threads its way through deep valleys, mountains, and small villages offering a wonderfully-varied hike over four days. During the hike, we stay at comfortable family-run inns with excellent food, soak in natural hot springs, and visit the Three Grand Shrines at Hongu, Shingu and Nachi.

The pilgrimage routes to the three great Kumano Shrines – Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Nachi Taisha, and Hayatama Taisha – were popularized during and after the Heian Period (794-1185), when the Imperial family and nobility began to seek salvation in Sangaku Shinko (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 Kyoto, and we travel south by train along the coast, and spend four days hiking the Nakahechi, one of the Kumano Kodo trails, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. There is a day mid-way to relax, with a gentle ride along the Kumano River to the Hayatama Taisha 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 traveling on to Kyoto by train. This is a small-group guided tour to a simply exquisite area of Japan.

The Japan – Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Trail (Lodge Trip) is part of our Worldwide Adventure Tours Series. Please contact us with any questions or to receive a detailed day to day Trip Itinerary.


Day 1: Meet at the group hotel in Kyoto

Day 2: Travel to the Kii Peninsula
Distance: 4.5 km / 2.8 mi
Time: About 2 hours
Ascent: 370 m / 1,200 ft
Descent: 175 m / 575 ft
Accommodation: Ryokan (traditional Japanese inn)
Meals: Breakfast & dinner

Day 3: Hike Takahara to Chikatsuyu
Distance: 11.3 km / 7 mi
Time: 4 hours
Ascent: 350 m / 1,150 ft
Descent: 360 m / 1,180 ft
Accommodation: Minshuku (family-run guesthouse)
Meals: Breakfast & dinner

Day 4: Hike Chikatsuyu to Hongu Grand Shrine
Distance: 12.9 km / 8 mi
Time: 4 hours
Ascent: 321 m / 1,055 ft
Descent: 360 m / 1,180 ft
Accommodation: Onsen ryokan (hot spring inn)
Meals: Breakfast & dinner

Day 5: Boat ride on the Kumano River
Accommodation: Onsen ryokan (hot spring inn)
Meals: Breakfast & dinner

Day 6: Hike to Nachi Grand Shrine and waterfall
Distance: 14.5 km / 9 mi
Time: 6 hours
Ascent: 980 m / 3,215 ft
Descent: 920 m / 3,020 ft
Accommodation: Onsen hotel (hot spring hotel)
Meals: Breakfast & dinner

Day 7: Optional coastal hiking or relax at the Onsen hot spring
Distance: 6.4 km / 4.1 mi
Time: 3 hours
Ascent: 546 m / 1,790 ft
Descent: 539 m / 1,768 ft
Accommodation: Onsen hotel (hot spring hotel)
Meals: Breakfast & dinner

Day 8: Transfer to Kyoto

Day 9: Depart Kyoto

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