destinations

Kumano Ancient Trail - 9 days

Hiking Along the Top of Old Japan

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 to offer a wonderfully-varied hike over four days. Stay at comfortable family-run inns with excellent food, soak in natural hot springs, and visit the shrines along the way. 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. On small-group guided tours with Oku Japan, your guide takes care of luggage arrangements for you.

Small Group tour
October 5 to October 13, 2020
October 21 to October 29, 2020
November 4 to November 12, 2020
November 11 to November 19, 2020
April 11 to April 19, 2021
May 5 to May 13, 2021
May 17 to May 25, 2021

Dates subject to change without notice.
9 days
Minimum 5, maximum 12 travelers
* per person
* subject to change

Tour price includes all transportation between destinations, accommodation, entrance fees, full-time services of tour leader. Contact for single supplement.
Full time services of Japanese/English speaking tour leader.

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