NEW Trip – Kyrgyzstan & the Tian Shan MountainsJoin 19 August 2024 Departure

10 Days$2290USD

  • 8 day self-guided hike
  • 9 nights in minshuku
  • 8 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 9 Breakfasts

Traveller Rating



Trip highlights

  • Walk from coast to coast on Japan's World Heritage Kumano Kodo pilgrimage
  • Stay at traditional ryokan inns & enjoy home-cooked meals
  • Become a Dual Pilgrim by walking both the Kumano Kodo and the Camino de Santiago
  • Tailor hiking distances to suit you and your group
  • Hike in the UNESCO listed mountain trails to The Hongu shrine and The Nachi Shrine

This self-guided hike takes you coast to coast through the scenic vistas of the sacred, UNESCO World Heritage listed Kumano Mountains of the Kii Peninsula. Despite being easily accessible from both Osaka and Kyoto, the region is one of Japan’s most remote, forested mountain landscapes and home to the centuries old pilgrimage trails leading to the three Grand Shrines of Kumano. Hike the peaceful cobble lined paths weaving through forested valleys, along mountain ridges and rural villages. We take care of all the arrangements for you, including charming traditional inns, all meals, luggage transfers, detailed route maps with daily itinerary and local English speaking helpline so you can simply relax and enjoy the spectacular hike in the footsteps of Emperors.

Trip Code: JKP

The trip begins in Kii-Tanabe, the gateway to the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trails. For over 1000 years all levels of society, including retired emperors and aristocrats, have made the difficult pilgrimage to Kumano. Drop off your luggage at the Kumano Travel Support Center next to the Kii-Tanabe Station and enjoy some time at leisure to explore this quaint country town. At 13:30pm you will have an orientation at the Information Center. This meet and greet orientation session covers the details of the trip and any last-minute questions can be answered. At 15:00pm a local guide will escort you to Tokei-Jinja where you'll participate in a special purification ceremony performed before pilgrimage treks on the ancient trail of Kumano. This is an excellent introduction to the pilgrimage experience. Dinner this evening is on your own account at a local restaurant. There are many traditional Japanese style izakaya pubs near the station area. Overnight at a guest house, such as Hanaiori Guest House, or similar.

Meals:  Nil

Breakfast this morning is most likely at your accommodation (please note this may change depending on your accommodation as some guesthouses do not offer breakfasts.) Your luggage will be shuttled from Tanabe to Takijiri. At 08:00am you have time to pick up a lunch box near the station and from here your hike begins. The walk from Ki-Tanabe Station to Takijiri-Oji is around 22km (7-9hrs). This route begins in the city center, passes through the orchard filled agricultural hills and then over the Shiomi-toge pass. As you walk you will experience the transition from the urban centre to the rugged mountains. Overnight this evening is at Kodo-no-Mori, a lodging next to Takijiri-oji, the spiritual entrance to the sacred Kumano mountains and popular trailhead for multi-day treks on the Kumano Kodo. The confluence of the Tonda (Iwata) and Ishiburi Rivers play an important role in the historical and spiritual aspects of the Takijiri-oji shrine. “Takijiri” means “base of the waterfall”. "Oji" are the additional shrines of the Kumano Grand Shrines that line the Kumano Kodo - to protect and guide pilgrims. Dinner will be at your accommodation. Hiking distance: ~22km, 7-9hrs

Meals:  B,L,D

Breakfast this morning is at your accommodation and please remember to pick up at lunch box at your accommodation. Please leave your luggage at your accommodation as it will be shuttled from Takijiri to Nonaka. From here you will join the Nakahechi trail of the Kumano Kodo and walk the Kumano Kodo Takijiri-oji to Takijiri trail. The Kumano Kodo Kan Pilgrimage Centre is located at Takijiri-oji, and this is where the passage into the sacred mountains begins. The hike begins at the Takijiri-oji shrine beside the Tonda River and follows a mountain trail passing through Takahara and Chikatsuyu villages to Tsugizakura-oji. The route has some steep inclines and downhill slopes on uneven surfaces. Your overnight accommodation will be in the Chikatsuyu village (Nonaka area). Dinner tonight is at your accommodation. Hiking distance: ~17km, 7-8hrs

Meals:  B,L,D

Breakfast this morning is served at your accommodation. We suggest you make an early start. Your luggage will be shuttled from Nonaka area to your accommodation in Yunomine Onsen therefore please leave your luggage at the front desk. You'll need to pick up a lunch box at your accommodation before beginning your Kumano Kodo Nonaka to Kumano Hongu Taisha walk. Lunch is a bento box which you can stop and enjoy along the way. It is a memorable stop and visit at the Kumano Hongu Taisha. A stone staircase leads to the sacred grounds of the Kumano Hongu Taisha, which is situated on a ridge surrounded by giant cedar and cypress trees. From here you will take the public bus from Hongu to Yunomine Onsen (the cost is 300yen per person). The bus departs at Hongu Taisha-mae at 4:45pm and arrives at Yunomine Onsen at 5:09pm. The bus leaves from in front of Kumano Hongu Heritage Center. Overnight is in the picturesque little onsen village of Yunomine Onsen. Minshuku Yunosato is a good option, dinner is at your accommodation. Hiking distance: ~21km, 7-9hrs

Meals:  B,L,D

The morning begins with breakfast at your accommodation. Today's walk is a short but relatively steep trail over Mt. Dainichi that links Kumano Hongu Taisha with Yunomine Onsen. The Hanakake Jizo is on the ridge, and on the eastern slope is Tsukimigaoka-jinja. This shrine is located in a grove of old-growth trees and was historically associated with the Shugendo sect in the area. Someone who has walked both UNESCO World Heritage pilgrimage routes, the Kumano Kodo and the Way of St.James (Camino de Santiago) can register to be a "dual prilgim". You will have an opportunity for Dual Pilgrim registration today at the Kumano Hongu Heritage Center. Next it's time to visit Oyunohara. The entrance to the sacred site of Oyunohara is formally marked by the largest Torii shrine gate in the world (33.9m tall and 42m wide). It signifies the division of the secular and the spiritual worlds. Oyunohara, an island in the Kumano River, is where the Hongu Shrine originally stood. Lunch is at a restaurant in Hongu. From here you walk Dainichi-Goe back to Yunomine Onsen or you can take a bus from Hongu to Yunomine Onsen, where you will find overnight accommodation. Yunomine hot spring has over 1000 years of history, as traditionally pilgrims performed hot water purification rituals in these hot waters. Yunomine is a charming group of inns tucked into a little valley in the heart of these sacred mountains. Dinner is at your accommodation. Hiking distance: ~2km, 1-2hrs

Meals:  B,D

Today begins with breakfast at your accommodation, and please be sure to pick up a box lunch at your accommodation before you leave. Today's walk is on Kohechi: Hatenashi-Toge Pass. There is a bus from Yunomine to the Yakio Bus Stop (550 yen per person). The bus departs at 8:54am from Shimoyukawa and arrives at Yakio at 9:17am. From here you begin the Kumano Kodo, Hatenashi-Toge Pass walk (approx. 10km, 5-7hrs). This is a steep climb up and over the Hatenashi-toge pass. There are many scenic lookout spots and it is lined with small Buddhist statues. Lunch today is a picnic lunch along the way and you will finish at Hotel Subaru. There is a small restaurant here and day use hot spring facilities, perfect for the end of the walk. The Bus from Hotel Subaru to Kawayu Onsen departs at 4:20pm (950 yen per person) and arrives at Kawayu Onsen at 5:19pm. Kawayu Onsen is a thermal wonder where hot spring water bubbles to the surface of the river. Overnight is in Kawayu Onsen and dinner is at your accommodation. Minshuku Tateishi may be a good option as they offer a shuttle service to Koguchi. Hiking distance: ~10km, 5-7hrs

Meals:  B,L,D

Breakfast this morning is at your accommodation and please pick up lunch at your accommodation. Your luggage will be shuttled from Kawayu to Koguchi. Today you walk the Kumano Kodo - Kowaze to Kawayu Onsen (Kogumotori-Goe). There are no restaurants along the trail so you will need to remember to bring a lunch. The trail has some ups and downs, in addition to some nice ridge-walking sections. Dinner this evening is at your accommodation. Hiking distance: ~15km, 6 hrs

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning breakfast is at your accommodation. Your luggage will be shuttled from Koguchi to Nachisan, therefore please leave your luggage at the front desk. Please pick up lunch at reception. Today is one of the toughest sections of the Nakahechi section of the Kumano Kodo. It involves a climb and descent over a pass and is mainly in the forested mountains. Directly translated, Dogiri-zaka can be translated as "Body Breaking Slope", and this is an appropriate name for the first section which climbs nearly 800 meters in elevation (over approx. 5 kms). On a clear day you will want to stop to enjoy the magnificent coastal views at the Funami-toge pass. Along the way delight in the views of the Nachi-no Otaki falls, the tallest waterfall in Japan (133m high and 13m wide). As you pass the ancient wooden Buddhist Seiganto-ji temple and go through a small gate you will come upon the brightly coloured Kumano Nachi Taisha, one of the three grand shrines of Kumano. You have time to visit Kumano Nachi Taisha and spend the night in Nachi. Dinner tonight is at your accommodation. PLEASE NOTE: At times accommodation may not be available in Nachi and you will have to stay this night in Kii Katsuura. The local bus from Nachi to Kii Katsuura (cost is 620yen pp) is a 20minute commute and has a regular service operating. You will return in the morning to complete the last day of your walk. Hiking distance: ~14.5km, 7-9 hrs

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning breakfast is at your accommodation. Your luggage will be shuttled from your accommodation in Nachi to your accommodation in Kii Katsuura. Please leave your luggage at reception. Today's walk is from Nachisan to Kii Katsurra, via Daimonzaka. This completes the walk to the coast. Lunch today is at a restaurant in Kii Katsuura. Enjoy the hot springs! Overnight accommodation is in Kii Katsuura (there are about a dozen places to choose from). Dinner is at your accommodation. Hiking distance: ~9km, 3-4 hrs

Meals:  B,D

After breakfast at your accommodation, you bid farewell to this great area and your hosts. You may choose to visit Kii Katsuura, and the fish market near the tourist pier (note: the market is not open every day). In Kii Katsuura the trip concludes.

Meals:  B



The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


  • 9 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 8 dinners (Please inform us when booking if you have any special dietary requirements.)
  • Traditional local inns on a twin share basis
  • Luggage transfer between accommodation
  • Official Kumano Kodo guidebook
  • Local English language support number
  • Orientation session with Q&A on arrival
  • Detailed route maps & daily itinerary

  • International airfare, Visa and Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Meals and beverages not indicated in the program
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, phone calls, alcohol etc
  • Train and bus fares

Departure dates

Departs daily year round


High Season
Kumano Kodo Coast to Coast Peak Season Surcharge 2025
Seasonal pricing supplements may apply at different times of the year. Our consultants will confirm on booking.
Availability is limited on these trips and changes quickly. We encourage you to contact us early if you are interested in this trip.

Dates don't fit?
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Priceper person from


Options & Supplements*
  • Kumano Kodo Coast to Coast Self-Guided Hike - 2024 Single Traveller SurchargeUSD$600
  • Kumano Kodo Coast to Coast Single Supplement 2024USD$620
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Kumano Kodo Coast to Coast Self-Guided Hike trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.

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