World Heritage – The Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Routes
Self-guided Walking Tour 4days, 3nights
Departing from Kyoto/Osaka
Tour Price JYEN 79,000 per person sharing twin room (Subject to availability)
The world heritage site “Kumano Kodo” is a set of pilgrimage trails lead to the holy Kumano Sanzan (three major shrines of Kumano – Kumano Hongu Taisha , Kumano Nachi Taisha, Kumano Hayatama Taisha). These trails also link to Koyasan, Yoshino and Ise. Kumano is the name of region in the southern Kii peninsula, and spans Wakayama, Mie and Nara. Kodo is old trail in Japanese.
Kumano Kodo is part of UNESCO World Heritage “Sacred sites and Pilgrimage route in the Kii Mountain range” designated in 2004. This is one of two pilgrimage routes in the world designated as a UNESCO World heritage site. The other being Camino de Santiago de Compostela (The way of St.James pilgrimage) in Spain.
Kumano Kodo consits of 5 main pilgrimage routes as shown below.
1.Nakahechi (World Heritage) – as mentioned above, lead to three major shrines of Kumano 2.Kohechi (World Heritage) – Mountainous route between Koyasan and Kumano Hongu
3.Iseji (World Heritage) – Eastern route reads to Ise Grand Shrine.
4.Ohechi – Long costal route Tanabe city – Kushimoto town – Shingu city
5.Omine-okugakedo – This route is for Shugendo training, the trail runs between Yoshino and Kumano Nachi Taisha via Mt.Omine and Kumano Hongu Taisha. It’s distance is over 150km through high mountain ridges along the way, Some parts of area is still prohibited to women.
JR Train Kuroshio-3: Kyoto(8:35am Dep) > Shin Osaka(9:01 am Dep) > Kii Tanabe(11:15am Arr)
Meet English Speaking Guide at Kii-Tanabe Station
Local Bus: JR Kii-Tanabe (12:35 p.m. Dep) >> Takijiri (13;15 p.m.)
Hike: Takijiri-Oji (82 m above sea level) >> (4 km 2 hrs) >> Takahara village (330 m)
Breakfast XXX / Lunch XXX / Dinner at Lodge
Stay at Kirinosato Takahara
We provide English speking guide(ESG) for first day. You will meet your ESG at kII Tanabe station upon arrival. Your ESG will give you advise and travel tips for the Kumano region and an outline of the history of the Kumano Kodo. Your ESG will walk with you whole portion today untill you arrive at your Lodge in Takahara village.
Hike: Takahara (330 m above sea level) >> (5.3km 2 hrs) >> Uetawa Tea House Ruins (688 m) >> (2.8 km 1hr) >> Gyubadouji-guchi Bus Stop (337m) >> (1.3km 30mins) > Chikatsuyu-Oji (290m) >> (4 km 1 hour 10 mins) >> Ttsugizakura-Oji (506m) >> (1.5km 30mins) >>
Your accomodation (365m)
Breakfast at Lodge / Lunch XXX / Dinner at Minsyuku
Stay at Minsyuku Nonaka-Sanso
No guide from today, but don’t worry, as this is a world heritage site, signs (Japanese and English) are provided at necessary points along Kumano Kodo. If you take a wrong turn, then you will find the sign says “This is not Kumano Kodo”, so if you don’t miss the signs, you can get to your final destination without any problem. Today you need to walk 15 km for 6 to 7 hours including breaks. So please leave your lodge before 8:00 a.m.
Local Bus: Nonaka-no-Ippousugi Bus stop (7:49 a.m. dep) >> Hosshinmon-Oji (08:48 a.m. arr)
Hike: Hosshinmon-Oji (314m above sea level) >> (7 km 2 hrs) >> Kumano Hongu Grand Shrine (93m) >> (3.4 km 1 hour 15mins) >> Yunomine Onsen (115 m)
Breakfast at Minsyuku / Lunch XXX / Dinner at Ryokan or Minsyuku
Stay at Ryokan or Minsyuku with Onsen (hot spring)
Today, you take a local bus for while due to a landslide enroute. You walk from Hosshinmon-Oji to Yunomine Onsen (hot spring) via Kumano Hongu Grand Shrine, one of the three grand shines of Kumano and the headquarters of over 3,000 Kumano shrines in Japan Between Mizunomi-Oji and Kumano Hongu Grand Shrine, you mostly walk on a stone-paved path through the forest and this section preserves a good atmosphere of the old days of Japan.
Your final destination for today is Yunomine Onsen,(hot Spring), which is not so far from Kumano Hongu Grand Shrine. Make one more effort and one of the oldest hot spring spot in Japan is waiting for your arrival.
Local Bus: Yunomine Onsen (6:55 or 8:50 am dep) > Gongenmae Bus Stop (8:00 or 9:55 am arr)
Hike: Gongenmae >> Kumano Hayatama Taisha >> Kamikura Jinja >> Gongenmae (3 km 2 hrs)
Local Bus: Gongenmae Bus Stop (1034 or 1234 am dep) >> Daimonzaka Cyushajo (1124 or 1329 am arr)
Hike: Daimonzaka Cyushajo >> Daimonzaka >> Nachi Taisha Shrine >> Seigantoji Temple >> Nachi Falls > Nachi Falls Bus Stop (3 km 2.5 hrs)
Local bus:Nachi Falls Bus Stop(3:51or4:26 pm dep) > JR Kii-Katsuura Station(4:15or4:50 pm arr)
JR Train: Kuroshio-34 JR Kii-Katsuura Station(6:10 pm dep) >> Shin Osaka (10:06 pm arr)
JR Train: Wide view Nanki 8 JR Kii-Katsuura Station (5:11 p.m. dep) >> Nagoya (8:49 p.m. arr)Breakfast at Minsyuku or Ryokan / Lunch XXX / Dinner XXX
No accommodation for tonight
Today you mostly travel by local bus. Visit Kumano Hayatama Taisha, another one of the three grand shrines of Kumano, and Kamikura Jinja, a sister shrine of Kumano Hayatama Taisha in Shingu city. Daimonzaka Slop is part of Kumano Kodo that leads to Nachi Falls via Kumano Nachi Taisha Shrine (one of the three grand shrines of Kumano), Seigan Toji Temple and a three-stories pagoda.
After enjoying your last World Heritage Site on the Kumano Kodo, you can connect the final train for Nagoya or Osaka.
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