• SELF-GUIDED
  • 6 DAYS
  • Moderate to Challenging
PRICE FROM £ 1,235 per person
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT £ 165 per person

OVERVIEW

Kumano's sacred mountains have been a major pilgrimage destination for imperial and aristocratic families since 794AD. The 1200-year-old Kumano Kodo walk traverses mountains and forests, through villages and to fabulous ancient temples and waterfalls. A pilgrimage to purify mind, soul and spirit and in its current format, is bound to leave you with a real sense of improved well-being.

Walk the Kumano Kodo, one of two UNESCO's world heritage listed walks, and then soak in an onsen some nights while staying in traditional Japanese accommodation, savouring  traditional Japanese multi-course dinners and breakfasts. This walk is the same as the 7 day offer, but without the rest day.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Walk toward becoming a dual pilgrim by walking the Kumano Kodo (the other world heritage listed walk is the Camino de Santiago)
  • An ancient hike through Buddhist and Shinto history together with an immersive backcountry Japanese cultural experience
  • Experience the distinctive Japanese forest canopy and beautiful mountain views
  • Soak up temples, shrines, and sacred mountains
  • The superb orange Seiganto-ji Temple along with the stunning Nachi waterfall
  • Onsen bathing in traditional Japanese accommodation 

AT A GLANCE

TRIP LENGTH
6 DAYS
WALK GRADE
Moderate to Challenging
PRICE FROM
£ 1235 per person twin/double share
SINGLE OCCUPANCY
£ 165 per person

ITINERARY

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Walk the entire Kumano Kodo Nakahechi from end to end via magnificent shrines ending at the glorious Nachi waterfall and temple complex
  • Walk pack free with luggage transfers from accommodation to accommodation
  • 5 nights in an intimate family-run or small traditional Japanese lodgings, some with in-house onsens
  • Superb traditional multi-course meals for breakfast and dinner each day on the walk. Plus 4 walkers lunches
  • Itineraries can be flexible to shorten the walking or slow the trip down by adding more rest days – see the 7 day walk
  • Enjoy worry-free navigation with Stroll’s authored comprehensive track notes and maps
  • On the ground support from local representatives

ACCOMMODATION & DINING DESKTOP

You will spend each night in a traditional Japanese Minshuku or Ryokan-style accommodation. These Japanese guesthouses come in a number of styles ranging from traditional wooden structures to more modern hybrid hotels.

A Minshuku is a family-run accommodation that are often found in rural Japan. There is a fine line between a Minshuku and some smaller Ryokans, making it hard to distinguish between the two. Most Minshukus are very small, with only a few Japanese-style rooms, a bit like a Bed and Breakfast Japanese style. Staying at a Minshuku has its advantages, as it is a good chance to meet the local people and get right up close to the Japanese culture. The atmosphere is often like that of a home with traditional meals served much like at a Ryokan but with even more intimacy. Be prepared, as baths and toilets are often shared.

Ryokans have Japanese-style rooms with tatami mats, shoji sliding doors, and futons for sleeping on. Few Ryokan Hotels have rooms with actual beds. The rooms may or may not have ensuites, but be prepared for a little luxury when it comes to the heated toilet seats. The bathing area is often the pride of the Ryokan, especially when they’re located in an onsen area. These are usually communal and separated by gender.

Meals are elaborate affairs from a western point of view served in a traditional dining area. A traditional Kaiseki set meal is what is usually offered. Sometimes there is the option of a buffet at the larger Ryokans.

Please note that we will endeavour to book the accommodation displayed. However, if unavailable, we will book alternative accommodation at the same standard.

GENERAL INFO

HIGH SEASON TIMES

In Japan, there are some periods when locals travel en masse as they are on holiday. These times are best avoided as the accommodation costs escalate considerably (more than double). It would make a lot of sense if you could avoid these times. Otherwise, see below for high-season periods. This could lead to the cost of the trip increasing by 30% or more.

NEW YEAR PERIOD – 30TH DECEMBER TO 4TH OF JANUARY 

GOLDEN WEEK – GENERALLY BETWEEN 29TH APRIL TO 5TH MAY

OBON PERIOD – MID-AUGUST ( BETWEEN THE 10TH TO 20TH OF AUGUST)

Please speak to the office to get a quote for the above times

AVAILABILITY

This walk is available all year round, but you may encounter some snow from December to February. Many people prefer to walk in spring to see the cherry blossoms and in autumn because of the change of seasons and the good weather.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

On this walk, you will have to catch at least 3 buses; most of the rides are very short.  These cannot be pre-booked and are by far the best way to get around the mountains. These bus fares are at your own cost.

HOW TO GET START AND FROM END OF WALK

Travelling to the Start of the walk

This walk starts in Tanabe and ends in Nachi-san or Nachi-Katsuura. You will need to get yourself to and from the start and end of your walk (i.e. you will need to organise your travel to the start of the walk in Tanabe and then onwards from your last accommodation). To make it easy, we have collated some useful information that will assist you in making arrangements for your travel.

By Air: The best option is to fly into Osaka and take the train from there. You can take the train direct from Osaka Kansai Airport to Kii-Tanabe (train station).  Take a local train from Osaka city for a few stops and then hop on the Kii Peninsula JR West train. The train station is at the airport, and there are English-speaking staff at the ticket office. You might consider spending some time in Osaka. Osaka is a very interesting city and has many beautiful temples and of course Osaka Castle. In spring, it is particularly beautiful. It also has a sophisticated restaurant culture and markets that seem to go on for kilometres, literally.

By rail: Japan has one of the best train systems in the world, so it’s very easy to catch a train to any destination in the country. An express train is the fastest way to travel to the area. Travelling in Japan on trains is a seamless experience, and it is not necessary to always pre-purchase tickets. There’s plenty of Rail staff that speak English well enough to direct you the right way and to converse with you about how to buy your ticket. We can provide more information if you wish, so please ask one of our destination consultants.

Hyperdia is a great website resource to figure out when and where your train departs. It might be best to buy your train ticket on the JR train network when you first arrive in Japan so you can relax. However, the trains run often and are so efficient that you shouldn’t have any trouble just arriving 20 minutes beforehand and buying a ticket. JR passes can be a convenient and reasonable way to get around the area. There are two regional JR passes that cover the Kii Peninsula: Kansai WIDE Area Pass and Ise-Kumano-Wakayama Area Tourist Pass.

The journey from Osaka to Tanabe takes about 1 – 2 hours. You can take the train direct from Osaka Kansai Airport to Kii-Tanabe (train station).  Take a local train to Hineno station then hop on the Kii Peninsula JR West train. The train station is at the airport, and there are English-speaking staff at the ticket office.

If you stay in Osaka, then you’ll need to catch the Subway (Osaka Metro Midosuji) to Tennoji station. The tickets can be purchased locally. From Tennoji, it’s a JR train service to Kii-Tanabe bound for Shirahama.

Travelling from the end of the walk

By rail: The train from Katsuura (Kii- Katsuura train station is a short distance from Nachisan) back to Osaka takes about 4 hours. You can also choose to go to Tokyo or anywhere else for that matter, in Japan. However, you most likely will need to travel through a major city to get there.

By Air: See above

WALKING

This 61km walk is moderate to challenging, with some long days if you wish. Full-day walks average about 17 km with 5 –9 hours of walking each day; however, they can be as long as 24 km (you can shorten most days). The walking is over well-maintained paths, but expect each day to start with moderate elevation gains. All good, though, as the tracks do flatten out.

This historic route has stacks of small temples (Oji)  and statues to admire along the way. For much of the time, you are walking under a forest canopy which makes for mild conditions other than the height of summer.

Please refer to Gear Advice in our FAQ section for what to bring.

WEATHER

From the end of  March, the temperature begins to increase. In summer, it’s quite warm and humid but still good for walking,  particularly if you enjoy warmer temperatures and taking a dip in a stream.

The walk is offered in winter, but bring some warm clothes and good rain gear.  The area is just as beautiful if not more and is not busy at all. Soaking in an outside onsen in the cool of the night is one of those authentic Japanese experiences you can look forward to after a big day on the track.

As walkers, we believe any time is good for walking, but spring and autumn are the most popular as the weather is ‘perfect’ for walking.

See the weather information about Osaka’s average weather at different times of the year.

INSURANCE

We require that you have adequate travel insurance against potential losses, damage or injury, including cancellation costs and loss of luggage.

For all trips requiring international travel, you must have purchased travel insurance including medical evacuation coverage.

We also charge a cancellation fee if you cancel your walking holiday after we have confirmed it to cover costs incurred by our suppliers and in the office.  See the FAQ section for more information.

INFORMATION PACK

For nearly 30 years, we have taken pride in providing seamlessly organised walking holidays, but we know that you’ll have many more questions even with that in mind. You will receive a detailed information pack and itinerary approximately six weeks from departure outlining all the fine details and much more.

CONTACT

If you have any questions, feel free to ask one of our destination consultants.  You can get in touch with us via our contact form, or email us at info@stroll.com

DEPARTURE DATES

  • DATES
    AVAILABILITY
    PRICE
    Single Occupancy
    Details
  • 1 Jan 2024 - 31 Dec 2024
    AVAILABLE

    from £ 1235

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    £ 165

    6 Day

  • 1 Jan 2025 - 31 Dec 2025
    AVAILABLE

    from £ 1260

    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    £ 170

    6 Day

sections

Overview

Kumano's sacred mountains have been a major pilgrimage destination for imperial and aristocratic families since 794AD. The 1200-year-old Kumano Kodo walk traverses mountains and forests, through villages and to fabulous ancient temples and waterfalls. A pilgrimage to purify mind, soul and spirit and in its current format, is bound to leave you with a real sense of improved well-being.

Walk the Kumano Kodo, one of two UNESCO's world heritage listed walks, and then soak in an onsen some nights while staying in traditional Japanese accommodation, savouring  traditional Japanese multi-course dinners and breakfasts. This walk is the same as the 7 day offer, but without the rest day.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Walk toward becoming a dual pilgrim by walking the Kumano Kodo (the other world heritage listed walk is the Camino de Santiago)
  • An ancient hike through Buddhist and Shinto history together with an immersive backcountry Japanese cultural experience
  • Experience the distinctive Japanese forest canopy and beautiful mountain views
  • Soak up temples, shrines, and sacred mountains
  • The superb orange Seiganto-ji Temple along with the stunning Nachi waterfall
  • Onsen bathing in traditional Japanese accommodation 
Itinerary
What’s Included
  • Walk the entire Kumano Kodo Nakahechi from end to end via magnificent shrines ending at the glorious Nachi waterfall and temple complex
  • Walk pack free with luggage transfers from accommodation to accommodation
  • 5 nights in an intimate family-run or small traditional Japanese lodgings, some with in-house onsens
  • Superb traditional multi-course meals for breakfast and dinner each day on the walk. Plus 4 walkers lunches
  • Itineraries can be flexible to shorten the walking or slow the trip down by adding more rest days – see the 7 day walk
  • Enjoy worry-free navigation with Stroll’s authored comprehensive track notes and maps
  • On the ground support from local representatives
Accommodation & Dining

You will spend each night in a traditional Japanese Minshuku or Ryokan-style accommodation. These Japanese guesthouses come in a number of styles ranging from traditional wooden structures to more modern hybrid hotels.

A Minshuku is a family-run accommodation that are often found in rural Japan. There is a fine line between a Minshuku and some smaller Ryokans, making it hard to distinguish between the two. Most Minshukus are very small, with only a few Japanese-style rooms, a bit like a Bed and Breakfast Japanese style. Staying at a Minshuku has its advantages, as it is a good chance to meet the local people and get right up close to the Japanese culture. The atmosphere is often like that of a home with traditional meals served much like at a Ryokan but with even more intimacy. Be prepared, as baths and toilets are often shared.

Ryokans have Japanese-style rooms with tatami mats, shoji sliding doors, and futons for sleeping on. Few Ryokan Hotels have rooms with actual beds. The rooms may or may not have ensuites, but be prepared for a little luxury when it comes to the heated toilet seats. The bathing area is often the pride of the Ryokan, especially when they’re located in an onsen area. These are usually communal and separated by gender.

Meals are elaborate affairs from a western point of view served in a traditional dining area. A traditional Kaiseki set meal is what is usually offered. Sometimes there is the option of a buffet at the larger Ryokans.

Please note that we will endeavour to book the accommodation displayed. However, if unavailable, we will book alternative accommodation at the same standard.

General Info

HIGH SEASON TIMES

In Japan, there are some periods when locals travel en masse as they are on holiday. These times are best avoided as the accommodation costs escalate considerably (more than double). It would make a lot of sense if you could avoid these times. Otherwise, see below for high-season periods. This could lead to the cost of the trip increasing by 30% or more.

NEW YEAR PERIOD – 30TH DECEMBER TO 4TH OF JANUARY 

GOLDEN WEEK – GENERALLY BETWEEN 29TH APRIL TO 5TH MAY

OBON PERIOD – MID-AUGUST ( BETWEEN THE 10TH TO 20TH OF AUGUST)

Please speak to the office to get a quote for the above times

AVAILABILITY

This walk is available all year round, but you may encounter some snow from December to February. Many people prefer to walk in spring to see the cherry blossoms and in autumn because of the change of seasons and the good weather.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

On this walk, you will have to catch at least 3 buses; most of the rides are very short.  These cannot be pre-booked and are by far the best way to get around the mountains. These bus fares are at your own cost.

HOW TO GET START AND FROM END OF WALK

Travelling to the Start of the walk

This walk starts in Tanabe and ends in Nachi-san or Nachi-Katsuura. You will need to get yourself to and from the start and end of your walk (i.e. you will need to organise your travel to the start of the walk in Tanabe and then onwards from your last accommodation). To make it easy, we have collated some useful information that will assist you in making arrangements for your travel.

By Air: The best option is to fly into Osaka and take the train from there. You can take the train direct from Osaka Kansai Airport to Kii-Tanabe (train station).  Take a local train from Osaka city for a few stops and then hop on the Kii Peninsula JR West train. The train station is at the airport, and there are English-speaking staff at the ticket office. You might consider spending some time in Osaka. Osaka is a very interesting city and has many beautiful temples and of course Osaka Castle. In spring, it is particularly beautiful. It also has a sophisticated restaurant culture and markets that seem to go on for kilometres, literally.

By rail: Japan has one of the best train systems in the world, so it’s very easy to catch a train to any destination in the country. An express train is the fastest way to travel to the area. Travelling in Japan on trains is a seamless experience, and it is not necessary to always pre-purchase tickets. There’s plenty of Rail staff that speak English well enough to direct you the right way and to converse with you about how to buy your ticket. We can provide more information if you wish, so please ask one of our destination consultants.

Hyperdia is a great website resource to figure out when and where your train departs. It might be best to buy your train ticket on the JR train network when you first arrive in Japan so you can relax. However, the trains run often and are so efficient that you shouldn’t have any trouble just arriving 20 minutes beforehand and buying a ticket. JR passes can be a convenient and reasonable way to get around the area. There are two regional JR passes that cover the Kii Peninsula: Kansai WIDE Area Pass and Ise-Kumano-Wakayama Area Tourist Pass.

The journey from Osaka to Tanabe takes about 1 – 2 hours. You can take the train direct from Osaka Kansai Airport to Kii-Tanabe (train station).  Take a local train to Hineno station then hop on the Kii Peninsula JR West train. The train station is at the airport, and there are English-speaking staff at the ticket office.

If you stay in Osaka, then you’ll need to catch the Subway (Osaka Metro Midosuji) to Tennoji station. The tickets can be purchased locally. From Tennoji, it’s a JR train service to Kii-Tanabe bound for Shirahama.

Travelling from the end of the walk

By rail: The train from Katsuura (Kii- Katsuura train station is a short distance from Nachisan) back to Osaka takes about 4 hours. You can also choose to go to Tokyo or anywhere else for that matter, in Japan. However, you most likely will need to travel through a major city to get there.

By Air: See above

WALKING

This 61km walk is moderate to challenging, with some long days if you wish. Full-day walks average about 17 km with 5 –9 hours of walking each day; however, they can be as long as 24 km (you can shorten most days). The walking is over well-maintained paths, but expect each day to start with moderate elevation gains. All good, though, as the tracks do flatten out.

This historic route has stacks of small temples (Oji)  and statues to admire along the way. For much of the time, you are walking under a forest canopy which makes for mild conditions other than the height of summer.

Please refer to Gear Advice in our FAQ section for what to bring.

WEATHER

From the end of  March, the temperature begins to increase. In summer, it’s quite warm and humid but still good for walking,  particularly if you enjoy warmer temperatures and taking a dip in a stream.

The walk is offered in winter, but bring some warm clothes and good rain gear.  The area is just as beautiful if not more and is not busy at all. Soaking in an outside onsen in the cool of the night is one of those authentic Japanese experiences you can look forward to after a big day on the track.

As walkers, we believe any time is good for walking, but spring and autumn are the most popular as the weather is ‘perfect’ for walking.

See the weather information about Osaka’s average weather at different times of the year.

INSURANCE

We require that you have adequate travel insurance against potential losses, damage or injury, including cancellation costs and loss of luggage.

For all trips requiring international travel, you must have purchased travel insurance including medical evacuation coverage.

We also charge a cancellation fee if you cancel your walking holiday after we have confirmed it to cover costs incurred by our suppliers and in the office.  See the FAQ section for more information.

INFORMATION PACK

For nearly 30 years, we have taken pride in providing seamlessly organised walking holidays, but we know that you’ll have many more questions even with that in mind. You will receive a detailed information pack and itinerary approximately six weeks from departure outlining all the fine details and much more.

CONTACT

If you have any questions, feel free to ask one of our destination consultants.  You can get in touch with us via our contact form, or email us at info@stroll.com

Departure Dates
  • DATES
    AVAILABILITY
    PRICE
    Single Occupancy
    DETAILS
  • Date
    1 Jan 2024 - 31 Dec 2024
    AVAILIBILITY
    AVAILABLE
    PRICE
    from £ 1235
    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    £ 165
    DETAILS

    6 Day

  • Date
    1 Jan 2025 - 31 Dec 2025
    AVAILIBILITY
    AVAILABLE
    PRICE
    from £ 1260
    SINGLE OCCUPANCY
    £ 170
    DETAILS

    6 Day

ENQUIRE NOW

If you’re looking for further information on any of our walking holidays please fill out the enquiry form and we’ll be in touch.
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