Kumano Kodo self-guided walking 4 days

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Start and end in Kyoto! With the self-guided tour Kumano Kodo self-guided walking 4 days, you have a 4 day tour package taking you through Kyoto, Japan and 2 other destinations in Japan. Kumano Kodo self-guided walking 4 days includes accommodation as well as meals, transport.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Hike from Takijiri to Takahara

Our tour includes train tickets for your journey from Kyoto or Osaka to the small town of Kii-Tanabe on the mystical Kii Peninsula, gateway to the historic Kumano Kodo Trail. The railway line runs close to the ocean for the latter part of the journey and offers fine views out over the sea. The journey from Osaka to Kii-Tanabe is around two and half hours; from Kyoto it is around three hours and usually requires a change of trains at Shin-Osaka station. Board a local bus outside Kii-Tanabe station and travel forty minutes to Takijiri. This is where your walk on the Nakahechi portion of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route begins. From Takijiri the path climbs steadily to the ridge-top village of Takahara, and takes around two hours.

the Nakahechi portion of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route via Japaneasy

Stay tonight in a small, Japanese-style hotel in the tiny village of Takahara, or in a Japanese Minshuku in the nearby village of Kurisugawa. Both options serve good, home-cooked dinners featuring local seasonal ingredients. The small Japanese-style hotel in Takahara has both Japanese and western-style rooms, all with wonderful views over the valley and mountains.

Walking distance: 4.5km / 2.8 miles

Elevation gain: 370m / 1,200 feet of ascent

Time required: About 2 hours

Accommodation: Japanese-style Hotel in Takahara, or Minshuku (Family-run Guesthouse) in Kurisugawa

Meals: Dinner

Day 2: Hike from Takahara to Chikatsuyu

After your Japanese breakfast you leave your inn and follow the trail as it winds through small settlements and peaceful countryside. You pass several Oji shrines before finally descending to the village of Chikatsuyu. The paths are clearly defined, and flagstones have been laid in some places to make the climbs easier. Arrive in Chikatsuyu in time to relax before dinner at a family-run Minshuku guest-house.

Chikatsuyu on the Kumano Kodo trail via Ko Sasaki

Walking distance: 10km / 6.5 miles

Elevation gain: 480m / 1,575 feet of ascent and 520m / 1,700 feet of descent

Time required: About 4 – 5hours

Accommodation: Minshuku (Family-run Guesthouse)

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3: Hike from Chikatsuyu to Hongu

From Chikatsuyu, the trail continues through the mountains. Board a bus in Chikatsuyu today and then walk a gentle section of the trail from Hosshinmon-oji to the Kumano shrine at Hongu, one of the three ‘Grand Shrines of Kumano’. At the heart of these sacred mountains, Kumano was said to be the entrance to the land of Yomi, the ‘other world’ which spirits travelled to in Japanese mythology. From the Kumano shrine at Hongu, a short bus ride brings you to Yunomine Onsen, one of the oldest natural hot -spring villages in Japan, or to Kawayu Onsen famous for the thermal water bubbling to the surface of the crystal clear river. Enjoy a relaxing soak in a Japanese bath before or after your delicious, multi-course dinner.

Walking distance: 7km / 4 milesElevation gain: 120m / 395 feet of ascent and 360m / 1,180 feet of descent

Time required: About 2 hoursIf you prefer a more challenging day, we offer two longer alternatives of 7 hours (15km / 9 miles) or of 8-9 hours (24km / 14.9 miles), both with significant ascent and descent. You can choose which option you prefer on the day – no need to decide in advance!

Accommodation: Onsen Ryokan (Hot-spring Travellers Inn)

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Kumano Hayatama Taisha via Zooming Japan

Day 4: Hayatama Grand Shrine and Shingu

Before or after breakfast, take time to explore the atmospheric village of Yunomine Onsen or Kawayu Onsen. Travel by bus along the picturesque valley to Shingu and visit the Kumano Hayatama Taisha, one of the three Grand Shrines of Kumano, fifteen minutes on foot from Shingu railway station. The tourist office is located directly in front of Shingu railway station, where the bus arrives; they can supply maps and advice. Within the shrine precinct is a giant Nagi tree about a thousand years old. ‘Nagi dolls’ made from the seeds of this tree are believed to bring about lucky encounters with the opposite sex or a happy married life to couples. The Kamikura Shrine on Mount Gongen, further on from the Grand Shrine, is also well worth a visit. People worship a large rock as a god here and the shrine is extremely atmospheric. After visiting the sights of Shingu, use the train tickets we provide for the train journey onwards to Osaka or Kyoto. The journey takes around five hours, arriving in Osaka or Kyoto early to mid-evening.

Meals: Breakfast

What’s included

  • Accommodation

  • Guide

  • Meals

  • Transport

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