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Best of Kumano Kodo Mountain to Sea Walk & Cruise 5D4N, Self Guided

Best of Kumano Kodo Mountain to Sea Walk & Cruise 5D4N, Self Guided

Best of Kumano Kodo Mountain to Sea Walk & Cruise 5D4N, Self Guided


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At A Glance Departures

Pack Free. Best Accommodation

Hike Nakahechi of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route from mountain to sea, visit all three Kumano Grand Shrines, and ride on a traditional boat on the Kumano-gawa river on this relaxing walking tour. You'll enjoy hot springs at famous onsen village and indulgent in an Open-air Bath on a private island. This crafted itinerary offers a variety of experiences on the Kumano Kodo trail. Your luggage will be transported each day to the next accommodation so that you can enjoy exploring the world-famous Kumano Kodo, Japan's ancient pilgrimage route on foot independently over 5 days.

The Kumano Kodo is the world's only UNESCO World Heritage-listed pilgrimage route besides the Camino de Santiago. Once a sacred pilgrimage reserved for emperors and samurai for over 1200 years, the world-class Kumano Kodo hiking route is today open to all walkers and natural wanderers.

The Kumano Kodo hiking route is well marked with sign posts. It weaves through the mountainous Kii Peninsula, forested landscapes and occasional villages. This easy to moderate walk has a mix of village paved paths and unpaved forest trails. You'll walk from village to village covering up to 24 km over 3.5 days' walking and have opportunity to visit all three Grand Shrines (Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Hayatama Taisha & Kumano Nachi Taisha).

You'll spend leisurely nights in the mountain ridge-top Takahara, picturesque Chikatsuyu village, and hot-spring village of Yunomine Onsen along the trail and the final night on a private island hot spring resort. In the evening, unwind and relax in the comfort of the best accommodation along the trail. You have choice to have all rooms with ensuite - NO NEED TO USE COMMUNAL BATHS OR TOILETS.

Most meals are included for the duration of the walk. You will enjoy authentic and delicious local cuisine.

Your luggage will be transported each day to the next accommodation so you only need to carry a daypack to enjoy your daily exploration. ?

This incredible walk through the mountainous Kii Peninsula will inspire with its scale, natural beauty and depth of history.

Add A Guide
You can choose to have a local guide for your first day. The local guide will explain this significant historical area as well as provide detailed information on the trail and general track advice. You are then well equipped to continue on your way for the remainder of your self-guided walk. Additional cost: $250 per person.

The local staff will give you an orientation of the tour when you arrive at Kii-Tanabe station. The staff will supply you with maps, bus timetables and brief you on your itinerary. The staff will explain cultural elements such as how to use a bath and purchase bus tickets if need be as well as answer any last minute questions.

Departure Dates:
Departs daily year round on request.

Dual Pilgrim
This walk is qualified for "Dual Pilgrim". We provide official Dual Pilgrim Credential - a type of passport for pilgrims. It is used to collect stamps along the trail as a record of the walk. There are two sides, one for the Kumano Kodo and one for the Way of St. James.Please read the details in the section of Dual Pilgrim at the bottom of this page.

Why Choose Us
- We provide official English map (the best map).
- We provide official Dual Pilgrim Credential.
- We offer a pre-walk briefing at our local representative’s office.
- Unlike other operators using traditional Japanese inns/guesthouses that have communal bathrooms and toilets, we offer the best accommodation along the trail. All our rooms have private toilets.
- We arrange daily luggage transfer. Your luggage will be transferred to the next accommodation. You only need to carry a daypack for the walk.

Dates or itineraries don't fit?
We specialise in bespoke "tailor-made" luxury journeys to Japan. Please contact us for a "tailor-made" itinerary for your perfect adventure.

This tour is eligible to earn ONLYLUXE reward points.

Please contact us for departure dates, availability or a "tailor-made" itinerary. E: [email protected] 


    Kamano: Kumano is an isolated sacred site of healing and salvation. It embodies the spiritual origins of Japan and has been a pilgrimage designation for centuries. The steep, lush mountains of the Kii Peninsula are blessed with a rich cultural and natural heritage.

    Kumano Sanzan: The main sites of worship in the Kumano region are the three Grand Shrines of Kumano: Kumano Hong Taisha, Kumano Hayatama Taisha, and Kumano Nacho Taisha.

    UNESCO World Heritage: The Kumano Kodo is a series of ancient pilgrimage routes that crisscross the Kii Hantō, the largest Peninsula of Japan. These sacred trails were and are used for the pilgrimage to the sacred site "Kumano Sanzan” and is one of only two pilgrimage routes recognised by UNESCO.

    Nakahechi Imperial Route: The Nakahechi route has a rich history and is characterised by Oji shrines found along its length. The earliest records of this route date from the beginning of the 10th century. It's the most popular route to the Kimono Grand Shrines and historically was extensively travelled by the imperial family on pilgrimage from Kyoto.

    Daimonzaka & Nachi Falls: Daimonzaka is a 600m section of the Kumano Kodo leading to Nachi Taisha. And next to it the Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine is the famous Nachi Falls with a drop of 133m (and 13m wide). Be impressed by the natural power and beauty of the falls.
  • Accommodation

    We handpicked the best accommodation along the Kumano Kodo trail. All rooms have private ensuites.

    Boutique Lodge/House
    Located on the ridge top, Takahara walker's lodge offers panoramic views of Kumano region. Each guestroom looks out onto the Hatenashi mountain range and terrace fields that offer a glimpse of the traditional mountain lifestyle of the region. This is a great place to relax and take in the enchanting mountain views.

    We also have exclusive access to boutique lodges. The lovely lodges have 3 bedrooms and private ensuite and bath. It's spacious and has comfortable sitting area, featuring both Japanese style and Western bedrooms. Beautiful antiques and art decorate the home. For the walkers prefect to have privacy, we can arrange to stay at our exclusive boutique houses (additional charge apply).

    Room Style: Japanesse & Western
    Bed Type: Futon / Twin
    Bath: Ensuite indoor
    Toilet: Ensuite western style

    Chikatsuyu Cherry Garden Private House
    This family run guesthouse is lovingly maintained and elegantly decorated, adjacent to terraced fields planted with cherry trees. The entire house is privately booked for you.

    Room Style: Japanese
    Bed Type: Futon
    Bath: Ensuite indoor
    Toilet: Ensuite western style

    Ryokan Adumaya - most famous boutique ryokan in Kumano
    Located in Yunomine Onsen, a hot spring village with over 1800 years of history, it's an traditional Ryokan run for generations since the Edo era. It was founded by a shrine priest around the middle or end of the Edo era. All of the rooms are classic Japanese style with names such as “sakura” (cherry), “take” (bamboo) and “sugi” (cedar).

    Ryokan Adumaya features eight hot baths. Particularly, the largest bath, which keeps the same appearance as what it used to be since Taisho era. The Samashi bath is a 100% fontal hot spring, and it has medicinal benefits at a moderate temperature. After a day's walking adventure, you can relax and enjoy Japan’s oldest hot spring which has been loved by famous Japanese poet Kyoshi Takahama as well as many other literary figures.

    Room Style: Japanese
    Bed Type: Futon
    Bath: Ensuite outdoor onsen
    Toilet: Ensuite western style

    Kumano-Bettei Nakanoshima
    Kumano-Bettei Nakanoshima is a seaside hot spring resort located on a private island surrounded by the sea in Katsuura, with a 5-minute boat ride from the pier. It features a large Open-air Bath "Chomon no Yu" overlooking the bay where you can relax while listening to the sound of the waves and watching the sunset over the mountains.

    There is a walking trail to a lookout point on the top of the forest covered island with beautiful views of the rugged coastline. Along the way is a hot spring foot bath where you can sit, relax and enjoy the surrounding nature.

    Room Style: Western / Japanese
    Bed Type: Twin Beds / Futon
    Bath: Ensuite indoor
    Toilet: Ensuite western style
  • Food

    You'll enjoy delicious traditional cuisine of the Japanese countryside, with ingredients sourced from the sea and the surrounding lush mountains.

    As a general guide:
    Breakfasts: ranges from Japanese style breakfast to buffet breakfast.

    Lunches: packed lunch box.

    Dinners: Japanese style. Normally the evening meal is a Japanese style Kaiseki set menu featuring fresh seasonal seafood natured in the Pacific Ocean.

    No alcohol or beverages included.

    Dietary Requirements
    Provided we are advised in advance of your departure we are able to cater for some dietary requirements. Please ensure you discuss your requirements with us well in advance (at least 1 month prior to your trip) to determine whether we can cater for such dietary requirements on your chosen adventure.

    Please note that vegetarian options are available, but limited. Strict vegetarian diets, vegan diets, or gluten free diets will be difficult to accommodate due to the pervasiveness of the fish-based stock dashi and the use of soy sauce and miso in Japanese cuisine. There may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide your own food. We are unable to guarantee a peanut‐free or allergen‐free trip, and therefore, we strongly encourage that travellers with life‐threatening or severe allergies take all necessary medical precautions to prepare for the possibility of exposure. Passengers must travel with all necessary medications for food allergies and be capable of self‐administering these medications.
  • What's Included

    - 4 nights accommodation at the best accommodation along the Kumano Kodo trail on a twin share basis (single supplement available at additional expense). All rooms have private ensuite.
    - Enjoy delicious traditional cuisine of the Japanese countryside, with ingredients sourced from the sea and the surrounding lush mountains. 4 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners
    - Detailed day-by-day itinerary, walking directions, and maps
    - Luggage transfer between accommodation (based on one piece of luggage per person, and maximum weight of each piece is 20kg). Extra luggage can be transferred at an additional cost.

    Other Activities at Additional Charges:
    - Staying another night in the Katsuura area, enjoy a traditional boat ride to Shingu and visit Kumano Hayatama Taisha
    - Head up to the east coast and stay at Ise and Toba for a luxury coastal retreat and imbibe the region's pearl-diving heritage, sacred shrines and scenic nature. Talk to us to arrange luxury retreat at Amanemu and Oyado The Earth
    - Stay in Kushimoto area to enjoy the rugged coastline
  • DAY 1

  • DAY 2

  • DAY 3

  • DAY 4

  • DAY 5

  • What's included

    - 4 nights accommodation at the best accommodation along the Kumano Kodo trail on a twin share basis (single supplement available at additional expense). All rooms have private ensuite.
    - Enjoy delicious traditional cuisine of the Japanese countryside, with ingredients sourced from the sea and the surrounding lush mountains. 4 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners
    - Detailed day-by-day itinerary, walking directions, and maps
    - Luggage transfer between accommodation (based on one piece of luggage per person, and maximum weight of each piece is 20kg). Extra luggage can be transferred at an additional cost.

    Note: Bus and train tickets are not included. You can use vending machines to purchase. Estimated total cost for the bus tickets during the tour is 5,400 yen per person.
  • walk distance

    Day 1: Approximately 4 km
    Day 2: Approximately 10 km
    Day 3: Approximately 7 - 9 km
    Day 4: Traditional boat trip to Shingu
    Day 5: Approximately 2.5 km

  • Dual Pilgrim

    Dual Pilgrim

    A "Dual Pilgrim" is someone who has walked both the Kumano Kodo and the Way of St.James (Camino de Santiago).

    This program was developed to celebrate, honor, and share the stories of those who have completed both of these UNESCO World Heritage pilgrimage routes.

    Dual Pilgrims receive a limited edition "DUAL PILGRIM" pin badge and are featured on the Dual Pilgrim. (Inclusion on the website is optional).

    To receive the Dual Pilgrim status, pilgrims must complete one of the options for the Way of St. James, and one of the options for the Kumano Kodo, then register at a designated site.

    Way of St James Options
    - at least the last 100 km on foot or by horse, or
    - at least the last 200 km by bicycle

    Kumano Kodo Options
    - Takijiri-oji to Kumano Hongu Taisha on foot (~38 km) or
    - Kumano Nachi Taisha to/from Kumano Hongu Taisha on foot (~30 km) or
    - Hosshinmon-oji to Kumano Hongu Taisha on foot (~7 km) plus a visit to Kumano Hayatama Taisha and Kumano Nachi Taisha or
    - Koyasan to Kumano Hongu Taisha on foot (~70 km)

    Only walking is allowed on the Kumano Kodo. No bicycles or horses.

    You can register for "Dual Pilgrim" status after you have completed the second route in either Santiago de Compostela or Tanabe City.
  • Getting There

    The departure point is Kii-Tanabe.

    By train from Kyoto
    Kyoto > Kii-Tanabe (2 hrs 35min)

    By train from Osaka
    Shin-Osaka > Kii-Tanabe (2 hrs)
  • Weather and Climate

    The Kumano Kodo can be walked year round but the weather can change rapidly in the Kumano mountain environment.

    The best time to walk the Kumano Kodo really depends on what you are looking for.

    March - April is spring season and an extremely popular time as it is cherry blossom season in Japan. October - November is also a popular time to visit as it is autumn and the colours throughout the forest are stunning. In spring and autumn, you can expect daytime temperatures of around 10-15°C. May and September are also lovely months to visit with warmer and longer days - daytime temperatures range between 18-24°C.

    June - August is summer season so you can expect much more humidity and higher rainfall but on the other hand scenery is beautifully green and verdant. During summer you can expect up to 25-30°C in temperature.

    December - February is winter season and there is a small chance of snow on the Nakahechi route. Trails are open year round but due to the cool weather and reduced hours of daylight we recommend this time of year for experienced trekkers only.

    Most accommodation close during the Christmas and New Year's holiday period.

    Kii-Peninsula is one of the wettest areas of mainland Japan and you should be prepared with adequate rain gear.

    Please note that the period when you are most likely to experience Typhoons is during August - early October period. If a Typhoon makes landfall on the mainland then there is often disruption to travel plans as all transport shuts down during a Typhoon and people stay indoors. Depending on the damage caused there may also be temporary trail closures - though usually things return to normal fairly quickly.
  • Other Information

    Onlyluxe Travel acts as travel agency and work with different tour operators.

    Payment Detail
    All pricing is in Australian dollars and are quoted on a per person twin share basis. A supplementary price is available (see below). Bookings are not confirmed until full payment and the signed Booking Form has been received by Onlyluxe Travel.

    A non-refundable 30% deposit is payable within 7 days of your booking, with the final balance due 60 days prior to departure. If a booking is made 60 days or less before departure, the full payment is payable immediately. Last minute bookings are payable before arrival. Failure to pay on time may result in automatic cancellation of a booking with cancellation penalties payable to Onlyluxe Travel. If you pay by credit card or PayPal a surcharge will be added to the total price.

    Single Supplement
    All accommodation is twin share. Single guests will share with someone of the same gender. If a single room is demanded, a supplementary price of will apply. The supplementary price refers to our quotation and needs to be stipulated at the time of booking.

    General Cancellation Policies
    - Outside of 60 days monies will be refunded less 30% of full fee
    - Within 60 days prior to arrival all monies will be forfeited
    - No refunds will be given in the event of non-arrival, any unused services or unused nights due to flight or weather disruption
    - We strongly recommend guests protect themselves with travel insurance and medical insurance

    Please Note: Cancellations must be advised in email and will take effect from the date they are received.

    The participant agrees to indemnify Onlyluxe Travel, and its servant, tour operator and agents, in relation to any liability, loss and damage which the tour operator, or its servants and/or agents may incur as a result of the participants, negligence or misconduct during the tour.

    Smoking is not permitted on the bus, or in tents or in other accommodation being used by tour operator at the time that a trip is being conducted.

    Child Policy
    Please consult travel consultant on age limit.

    Changes to Itineraries
    Local conditions may necessitate changes to sightseeing, walking and driving routes, camping and accommodation locations. While every effort will be made to provide the services and experiences as offered in our brochure, on our website, and in our trip letters, we reserve the right to vary your itinerary. In the event that we are forced to change your arrangements, substitute arrangements of a similar standard will be provided. The tour operator will not be liable where interruptions to itineraries are caused by weather conditions, technical problems to transport used by the tour operator, industrial action, political or civil commotion or other circumstances beyond our control. We refer you to the conditions regarding travel insurance.

    Changes in Prices
    While we will do its utmost to honour its pricing unforeseen circumstances may mean that prices may be subject to change without notice.

    Pre-Existing Medical Conditions and Age Limits
    You need to advise Onlyluxe travel and the tour operator on any pre-existing medical condition, mobility impairment and/or disability that might reasonably be expected to increase the risk of your requiring medical attention, or that might affect the normal conduct of a trip and the enjoyment of other trip members. Onlyluxe Travel and the tour operator may require an assessment of your medical condition from a qualified medical practitioner. If you fail to adequately notify the tour operator of any pre-existing medical conditions and/or disability, the tour operator reserves the right, at its reasonable discretion, to cancel your participation in a trip at any time, including after the commencement of your trip, with no right of refund if your medical condition, mobility impairment and/or disability could be reasonably expected to affect the normal conduct of the trip and the enjoyment of other trip members.

    Cancellation by The Tour Operator
    The walks take place in very special wilderness settings. The tour operator is at the mercy of nature in all her beauty and all her fury. The tour operator will under no circumstance knowingly place at risk the health and well-being of our guests and guides. In the case of natural threats, acts of God and the like (e.g. bushfires, impassable snow, etc) the tour operator may need to cancel a walk with very little notice. In some cases, this can occur after the walk has commenced. The tour operator reserves the right to cancel any walk up to 60 days prior to departure if a minimum of 4 walkers are unable to meet for a tour. If the tour operator needs to cancel for any reason, the cost of the walk or any other costs associated with travel to the designated pick up point, overnight accommodation, meals, etc will not be covered by the Onlyluxe Travel and therefore we strongly recommend travel insurance be taken out prior to travel.

    Force Majeure
    'Force Majeure' means (without restriction) any event which Onlyluxe Travel or its third party providers could not, even with due care, foresee or avoid. Force Majeure covers events such as, but not limited to, adverse weather conditions, fire and all similar events beyond our control. In the case of Force Majeure Onlyluxe Travel will not accept liability, and reserves the right to change and cancel trips.

    In rare circumstances, due to injury or unforeseen illness, the tour operator may need to evacuate you from a remote part of the walk. Helicopter evacuations are expensive and in most cases will be at a cost to the customer.

    For Australian residents, under the Australian Government Medicare Act, it is prohibited for any domestic travel insurance product to provide any financial reimbursement with regard to ambulance or air ambulance services. We therefore strongly advise our customers to take specific ambulance cover through their health insurance provider. Evacuation cost will not be covered by the Onlyluxe Travel and therefore it is also strongly recommended that our customers take out travel insurance to cover (amongst other things) the costs associated with evacuation.

    Travel Insurance
    In view of the heavy cancellation penalties applied to cancelled reservations in certain circumstances, we strongly recommends suitable travel insurance be purchased at the time the holding deposit is paid. We recommend insurance cover that covers any loss which may be suffered due to cancellation. We also strongly recommend comprehensive travel insurance against loss of baggage and medical expenses.
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