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All Japan Tours       337 N.Vineyard Ave Suite 215, Ontario, CA 91764
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Kumano Kodo Walking & Hiking Tour: Spring 2022 - 4/11, 5/11

A small-group guided walking & hiking tour with five hikes of 2-6 hours of village-to-village walking on the sacred Kumano Kodo, or Kumano Ancient Trail.

Tour Code: GTS3579447

Tour Information

Land cost: from USD $3650.00

Single supplement: USD $300.00

Tour duration: 9 days 8 nights

Destination:
Kyoto / Takijiri / Takahara / Chikatsuyu / Yunomine Onsen / Katsuura / Kyoto

Tour cost includes:
• 8 nights in Western-style hotels and Japanese-style inns (Ryokan & Minshuku)
• All transportation between tour locations
• Forwarding of one item of luggage on 2 occasions
• Comprehensive escorted with AJT professional English speaking tour guide
• Gratuities
Meals
• Breakfast everyday
• 8 dinners
Admission fees and activities
• All entry fees to sites, activities listed in the itinerary

Dates & Price
2022
Start Date End Date Twin/Triple Start City End City Style Status
Mon. Apr 11, 2022 Tue. Apr 19, 2022 USD $3650.00 Kyoto Kyoto Discovery View Tour
Wed. May 11, 2022 Thu. May 19, 2022 USD $3650.00 Kyoto Kyoto Discovery View Tour

Please Note:
All prices are per person, based on twin (double on request) or triple occupancy.
International flights are not included on our tours - this allows you the flexibility to choose your own departure and get the best value for your money!
We can arrange international flights for US customers if needed, please ask for details.

Itinerary

Day 1

Meet in Kyoto

Welcome to Japan! In the evening, meet your tour guide and group at your hotel in central Kyoto. Enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant.

Welcome Dinner

Miyako Hotel Kyoto Hachijo or similar class (Western Hotel)

Day 2

Travel to the Kii Peninsula

Today, we will travel south along the coast of the Kii Peninsula, the mountainous range that extends south from Nara and Osaka, by train to Tanabe. You will then transfer to Takijiri by local bus. Takijiri is the beginning of the Nakahechi, a scenic route on the sacred Kumano Kodo, or Kumano Ancient Trail. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Kumano Kodo became a popular pilgrimage from Kyoto by Emperors and nobles during the 11th Century. It is also the site of the three sacred shrines of Kumano, otherwise known as the Kumano Sanzan. Continue the tour with a 2-hour hike to the remote hillside village of Takahara, where we will spend the night in a beautiful Japanese-style Ryokan made with wood and built by local craftsmen. Take in the stunning scenery and view of the surrounding mountains from your room. Here you will also find hot-spring baths where you can relax and rejuvenate. Enjoy an evening meal created with locally grown ingredients.

Walking distance: 4.5 km / 2.8 miles
Elevation gain: 370 m / 1,200 feet ascent, 175 m / 575 feet descent
Time required: about 2 hours

Breakfast / Dinner

Akizuno Garten or similar class (Ryokan)

Day 3

Hike Takahara to Chikatsuyu

In the morning, we will move east from Takahara along the Nakahechi pilgrimage trail. Along the trail we will pass by small jizo bodhisattva statues that were placed along the trail by locals to protect travelers. You can also find old cha-ya, or tea houses, which provided rest to those on their pilgrimage until the early 20th century. We will then descend towards the village of Chikatsuyu, a small town on the Nakahechi trail. This is where our accommodation, a quaint guesthouse run by a local couple, will be for the night. The guesthouse also has their own natural hot-spring baths right next door, where you can relax and prepare for tomorrow's hike. The dinner menu in the evening might include their exquisite takikomi-gohan (rice steamed with vegetables), freshly caught fish, and crispy tempura. After dinner, listen to a local Shamisen group, as they treat us to a private performance. Enjoy this rare opportunity for a close-up experience of Japanese music on the three-stringed shamisen.

Walking distance: 11.3 km / 7 miles
Elevation gain: 350 m / 1,150 feet ascent, 360 m / 1,180 feet descent
Time required: 4 hours

Breakfast / Dinner

Sakura no Sono or similar class (Minshuku)

Day 4

Hike Chikatsuyu to Hongu Grand Shrine

We will hike two beautiful segments of the Kumano Kodo Trail today, passing mountain-top villages and oji shrines. Nobles would rest at these minor shrines to rejuvenate themselves and create poems reflecting their thoughts and feelings. Once we reach Kobiro, take a local bus to Hosshinmon-oji, and begin your hike where you will travel towards Hongu Grand Shrine. The symbol of the shrine is the mythological three-legged raven which represents the Hongu, Nachi, and Hayatama shrines. After major flooding in 1889, the shrine was moved from its original location to the location it is at today. After visiting the shrine, we will transfer by local bus to Yunomine Onsen, known as one of the oldest hot springs in Japan, or to Kawayu Onsen, famous for the hot water that bubbles to the surface of the crystal-clear river. Tonight, we will stay in a comfortable Ryokan with its own hot spring bath, also known in Japan as a "rotenburo".

Walking distance: 12.9 km / 8 miles
Elevation gain: 321 m / 1,055 feet ascent; 360 m / 1,180 feet descent
Time required: 4 hours

Breakfast / Dinner

Yunomineso or similar class (Onsen Ryokan)

Day 5

Boat ride on the Kumano River

Today we will transfer by local bus to the Kumano River, which served as transportation for communities and mountain villages in the past. Board a traditional wooden flat-bottomed boat, which will take us on a pleasant 90-minute ride along the Kumano River to the Hayatama Taisha Shrine, just as Imperial pilgrims did long ago. The Hayatama Taisha Shrine has been located on the riverbank since the 12th Century. After visiting the shrine, we will travel back to Yunomine Onsen by bus for another night at the hot spring Ryokan. Relax and soak in the natural hot spring bath before dinner.

Breakfast / Dinner

Yunomineso or similar class (Onsen Ryokan)

Day 6

Hike to Nachi Grand Shrine and waterfall

In the morning, we will transfer to Koguchi by local bus and hike the final section of the trail over the Ogumotorigoe Pass. Take in the spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean before continuing onward to Nachi- taki waterfall and Nachi Taisha (Grand Shrine). As one of the three ‘Grand Shrines of Kumano’, Nachi Taisha Shrine is a major destination for pilgrims. Surrounded by the stunning natural scenery, you will also be rewarded with views of one of the top three waterfalls in Japan, which happens to also be the tallest waterfall in Japan. From there, we will take a short bus ride to the fishing port and onsen town of Katsukuura, where we will be staying for the night.

Walking distance: 14.5 km / 9 miles
Elevation gain: 980 m / 3,215 feet ascent; 920 m / 3,020 feet descent
Time required: 6 hours

Breakfast / Dinner

Hotel Urashima or similar class (Onsen Hotel)

Day 7

Optional coastal hiking or relax at the Onsen hot spring

Today, you will have the option of hiking another portion of the Kumano Kodo Trail. This is a coastal part of the Iseji route, which offers beautiful views over the ocean. In addition, you can visit charming villages and the oldest paved section on the entire Kumano Kodo network, with some stone blocks dating back eight hundred years. Many travelers tend to overlook the Iseji route, making this a perfect hike for those looking to escape the crowds. Alternatively, you can choose to rejuvenate and try the various hot spring baths in your hotel or located around the town. While exploring the town, you can enjoy mouthwatering seafood, an old-fashioned Japanese shopping arcade, or explore the backstreets, where small restaurants and bars can be found.

Optional Walk
Walking distance: 6.4 km / 4.1 miles
Elevation gain: 546 m / 1790 feet ascent; 539 m / 1768 feet descent
Time required: 3 hours

Breakfast / Dinner

Hotel Urashima or similar class (Onsen Hotel)

Day 8

Transfer to Kyoto

After breakfast, we will leave the Kii Peninsula and Kumano Kodo trail behind, as we travel on the coastal rail line back to Kyoto. Our final night together will be spent at a central western-style hotel in the city. Enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant with your guide and group.

Breakfast / Farewell Dinner

Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Sanjo or similar class (Western Hotel)

Day 9

Tour Ends

After breakfast, our tour officially ends. Your guide will be available to offer assistance and advice for your journey to the airport or onward travel in Japan.

Breakfast