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Self guided Kumano Kodo trail walking holiday
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Highlights

  • Imperial Kyoto, the heart of Japan’s traditional culture.
  • Following in the footsteps of Japan’s Imperial family on the Kumano Kodo Trail.
  • Walking through stunning rural scenery - Japan as it once was.
  • Relaxing in an outdoor bath at Yunomine Onsen.
  • Exploring the Grand Shrine at Hongu
  • Sumptuous evening meals beautifully presented in traditional minshuku

Walk the 11th century Kumano Kodo pilgrim’s trail through rural Japan to the three grand shrines of Kumano. Walking from village to village, staying in authentic Japanese lodgings each night you will experience the Japan of your imagination.

Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Kumano Kodo are a series of pilgrimage routes to Kumano, one of the two centres of Shugendo practice in Japan. The three Grand Shrines of Kumano in the mystical Kii Peninsula – Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Hayatama Taisha, and Kumano Nachi Taisha – have been pilgrimage destinations for the imperial family and aristocrats since the 10th century.

There are five pilgrimage routes leading to the three Grand Shrines and our tour takes you along a section of the Nakahechi route, along which the Imperial family made over 100 pilgrimages from Kyoto during the 10th to 13th centuries. The trail weaves its way through the forested mountains and small villages to the Grand Shrine of Hongu, before finishing at the Pacific Ocean at Nachi Grand Shrine.

This route offers five wonderful days of varied walking along village paths, forested mountains trails, visiting mountain-top villages, soothing hot springs and sacred temples, before finishing at Nachi shrine on the coast. Each night you will stay in small local minshuku where you will be welcomed as one of the family. Impeccable service, beautiful rooms and delicious food are the hallmark of these charming establishments, which will no doubt be a highlight of your trip.

To complete your experience of Japan your trip begins with two nights in Kyoto, the showpiece of traditional imperial Japan, and finishes with a night in the Osaka, the food capital of Japan.

Our Kumano Kudo Trail self guided tour includes 2 nights in Kyoto in a western-style hotel, 5 nights accommodation in hand picked traditional minskuku or ryokan on the Kumano Kodo, 1 night in Osaka in a western-style hotel, 8 breakfasts, 5 dinners, train tickets from Kyoto or Osaka to Kii-Tanabe and from Kii-Katsuura to Osaka or Kyoto, a detailed day by day itinerary and walking route notes, a waterproof map, local phone support and a guided tour of Kyoto. If you would prefer you can also book this trip on a “walk only” basis as a 6 day and 5 night package from Takahara to Kii-Katsuura.

DAY 1:
Arrive Kyoto

Arrive in Kyoto and check-in to your hotel or ryokan in central Kyoto.
Kyoto is one of the world’s most culturally rich cities scattered with hundreds, if not thousands, of pockets of incredible beauty. The city has 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites, 1600 Buddhist temples, over 400 Shinto shrines and 24 museums.


As home to the Japanese Imperial family from 794 to 1868 it has been central to Japanese history and is a city that must be on your list.


Overnight: Hearton Hotel or Kyoto Royal Hotel


DAY 2:
Guided tour in Kyoto


Today you will fall in love with the Japan of your imagination as you discover the secret gardens, hidden courtyards and floating temples of Kyoto. Perhaps even catching a glimpse of an elusive geisha.


Your local guide will meet you at your hotel in the morning, and you will have a full-day tour using a mixture of public transport and walking. We suggest visiting Kiyomizu Temple, Sanjusangendo Temple, and a walk along the Philosopher's Path or you can choose your own itinerary.


Overnight: Hearton Hotel or Kyoto Royal Hotel


DAY 3:
Takijiri Oji to Takahara

Taking the train, you will travel to the mystical Kii Peninsula via Osaka. Your train will hug the coastline until you reach the small town of Tanabe. From there you will board a bus (payable locally) and then start the walk on the Kumano pilgrimage route from Takijiri. From the start at Takijiri Oji, the path climbs steeply up to the ridge-top village of Takahara (2 hours). Stay at a lovely ryokan with both Japanese and western style rooms,


Walk: 4.5km, 370m ascent, 2 hours


Dinner & Overnight: Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato, Takahara


Run by local Jian Shino who speaks English, Spanish and Chinese (as well as his native Japanese), this welcoming ryokan/hotel has both western and Japanese style rooms, all with spectacular views over the valley and mountains beyond. and wonderful organically-grown local food. If you are lucky, Shino-san may even serenade you with some flamenco guitar!


N:B There is very limited accommodation in Takahara so if the inn there is full the itinerary will be changed to the following;


Day 3: Take train to Tanabe on the Kii Peninsula and overnight 


Day 4: Take early morning bus to Takijiri and walk to Chikatsuyu: 14.5km, 6-7 hours


Day 5 onwards: as per below


DAY 4:
Takahara to Chikatsuyu

The Nakaheji has been established as one of Japan 's National Historic Roads and here the paths are clearly defined, and flagstones have been laid in some places to make the climbs easier. Today’s walk undulating walk through gorgeous rural scenery passes several oji shrines before descending to the small village of Chikatsuyu.


Walk: 10 km, 480m ascent, 520m descent, 4-5 hours


Dinner & Overnight: Chikatsuyu Minshuku


In the small town of Chikatsuyu, this minshuku (guesthouse) has its own hot spring baths next door, and some of the freshest and tastiest food you will enjoy in Japan!


DAY 5:
Chikatsuyu to Yunomine

Today’s walk is quite tough but well worth the effort! An initial climb takes you up through the mountains to Mikoshi-touge (pass). From here the path levels off slightly before reaching the grand shrine Kumano Hongu Taisha at the heart of the sacred Kii 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 shrine, you take a bus (payable locally) to Yunomine Onsen, one of the oldest natural hot spring onsen villages in Japan.


Walk: 24 km, 820m ascent, 1060m descent, 8 hours. (Possible to shorten to 21 or 7 km using local buses.)


Dinner & Overnight: Yoshinoya Ryokan, Yunomine


Located in the hot spring village of Yunomine, Yoshinoya has its own hot spring baths with a 'rotenburo' outside bath to enjoy after a day's hiking.


DAY 6:
Yunomine to Koguchi

Take a short bus ride to Ukegawa (payable locally). A shorter hike today, over to the small village of Koguchi. A warm welcome and good food await at our small inn, and there will be time for lazing by the river or another soak in the bath.


Walk: 12.4 km, 520m ascent, 500m descent, 4 hours


Dinner & Overnight: Momofuku Minshuku


This charming traditional guest house has only three guest rooms and offers an intimate insight into family life in rural Japan.



DAY 7:
Koguchi to Nachi-san

The final section of the Kumano Kodo trail takes you over the Ogumotorigoe Pass, where you should catch a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean. It then descends to Nachi-san, the location of Nachi Taisha (Grand Shrine), one of the three ‘Grand Shrines of Kumano’ and Nachi-taki waterfall, Japan’s highest.


Walk: 15.1 km, 980m ascent, 920m descent, 6 hours


Dinner & Overnight: Mitaki Sanso, Nachi-san


A modern building decorated in traditional Japanese style Mikaki Sanso promises a feast of traditional food that you won’t forget in a hurry.


DAY 8:
Transfer to Osaka


Today you have a final short walk of 45 minutes from Nachi shrine to the coast at Kii-Katsuura where you board the train to Osaka (4h).


Osaka is the heart of Kansai and second only to Tokyo as a thriving urban environment. Food is what drives Osaka and it is deservedly known as Japan’s food capital.


Walk: 45 minutes


Overnight: Monterey Grasmere Hotel, Osaka


Conveniently located in the heart of Osaka your comfortable modern hotel is the perfect base from which to explore Osaka.


DAY 9:
Onward Travel

Your trip ends this morning. Fly out from nearby Kansai Airport, or extend your trip with one of suggestions below.


Trip Extensions

Why not extend your stay in Japan with one of the following extensions which include return rail tickets from Kyoto, which we would be happy to arrange.We would of course also be happy to book accommodation in Kyoto, Osaka or Tokyo if required.


Nara & Mount Koya

Located just 2 hours by train from Kyoto, Nara is home to no less than 8 World Heritage Sites and highlights include the world's largest Buddha statue as well as numerous beautiful temples and Japanese gardens. Mount Koya is an atmospheric temple complex south of Kyoto which is home to around 100 temples and shukubo (pilgrim's lodging). We can arrange a 5 night add-on package to Nara & Mount Koya which also includes an additional night in Kyoto (this can be removed if you would prefer to just have the 2 nights in Kyoto as part of your main tour above.)


Walk only itinerary

If you would prefer to make your own arrangements before and after your walk we offer a 6 day/5 night itinerary on just the Kumano Kudo Trail. This itinerary runs from day 3 to day 8 of the above itinerary and does not include the two nights in Kyoto at the start and one night in Osaka at the end.

Accommodation

In Kyoto and Osaka we use carefully selected 3 or 4* western-style hotels. We use local family-run accommodations on the walking section. They are generally simply furnished and less formal, but have excellent food and a wonderful personal service.



 

 

 



Hearton Hotel, Kyoto



Hearton Hotel Kyoto

One of Kyoto's most popular hotels, as the location is second to none. Rooms are comfortable and modern, with western beds and bathrooms. Breakfast is served buffet style in the cafe on the 1st floor, while those wanting a traditional Japanese course meal are welcome to try the "hamatoku" restaurant on the 2nd floor.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Kyoto Royal Hotel, Kyoto



Kyoto Royal Hotel Kyoto

Located on Kawaramachi Street, Kyoto’s main restaurant and entertainment avenue, the hotel is also centrally located providing easy access to the city’s sights including Nijo Castle, Kiyomizu Temple, Kinkakuji Temple and Ginkakuji Temple. Relax in Prandia Restaurant and Haven Bar or choose to soothe your mind, body and spirit at the Kotoran Spa.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato Takahara



Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato Takahara

Run by local Jian Shino who speaks English, Spanish and Chinese (as well as his native Japanese), this welcoming ryokan/hotel has both western and Japanese style rooms, and wonderful organically-grown local food. If you are lucky, Shino-san may even serenade you with some flamenco guitar!


 

 

 


 

 

 



Minshuku Chikatsuyu



Minshuku Chikatsuyu

In the small town of Chikatsuyu, this minshuku (guesthouse) has its own hot spring baths next door, and some of the freshest and tastiest food you will enjoy in Japan!


 

 

 


 

 

 



Yoshinoya (Yunomine)



Yoshinoya (Yunomine)

Located in the hot spring village of Yunomine, Yoshinoya has its own hot spring baths with a 'rotenburo' outside bath to enjoy after a day's hiking.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Momofuku (Koguchi)



Momofuku (Koguchi)

Momofuku is a small (3 rooms) minshuku in the village of Koguchi with the warmest of welcomes.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Hotel Monterey Grasmere, Osaka



Hotel Monterery Grasmere, Osaka

Conveniently located in Namba, central Osaka, Hotel Monterey Grasmere Osaka is a modern hotel that held its grand opening back in the summer of 2009. There are many popular areas within walking distance of the hotel, which is also directly connected to Namba Station. The guest rooms, located on floors 24 through 31, are designed in the image of a British manor house / stately home.


 

 

 

Our specialist Laura travelled to Japan in 2014 and you can read her
experience of some of the more traditional style accommodations, Minshuku and Ryokan, on the blog.


Meals

Japanese cuisine is the highlight of many people’s visit to Japan and this is especially the case on the Kumano Kodo Trail. Your trip includes all breakfasts and 5 evening meals whilst on the trail.


Most meals will be Japanese cuisine, though breakfast in western-style hotels usually includes more familiar choices.


Dinner and breakfast in ryokan and minshuku are set meals, usually with a whole succession of different dishes which will delight you. Alcoholic and soft drinks are not included with meals. Tipping is not customary at hotels and restaurants in Japan.


Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

This trip is available to solo walkers and a limited number of single rooms are available, although a single/solo supplement is payable.

Availability

This trip is available year-round but we recommend April to November. The region may experiene occasional snow from December to March.


Accommodations are busy and may charge extra during the following Japanese holiday periods: New Year (29 December - 04 January), Golden Week (29 April - 05 May), and O-bon (09-17 August)


The inns are now extremely busy for the months of April and October so
please be aware that bookings during this time may require a change of
itinerary or accommodation. There is very limited accommodation in Takahara so if the inn there is full you will stay in Tanabe (where you usually take the train to on Day 3) on the first night and complete the first two sections of the walk on Day 4 to Chikatsuyu.


Time of Year

It is tough to beat the spring months of April and May but the autumn colours in October and November are also lovely. It can get quite hot and humid in July and August.Overall, the best months to travel are either April-June or September-November.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This trip is available to solo walkers and a limited number of single rooms are available, although a single/solo supplement is payable.  


Grade & Terrain

The walk is graded moderate but it does involve some days with fairly steep ascents and descents.The terrain can also be quite tricky underfoot as wet tree roots can be quite slippy at times.  The longer walking days can be shortened if you want to cut down the distance. On most days you will be walking between 2 and 6 hours although there is one longer day of up to 8.5 hours so you should be an experienced walker to get the most from this trip.


Nagivation, Route Notes & Maps

The route is partly way marked (in English and Japanese) and we provide detailed route notes and topographic maps so you should have no problem following the trail.


Equipment

Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, lightweight clothes, waterproofs and a day pack.


Baggage Transfers

Luggage transfer is not included during your walk as standard and you have a couple of options here. The first option is to arrange luggage transfers by a service called Takkyubin which is a courier service in Japan and can only be booked in Japan. This is cheap, reliable and costs approx £12 per day. With this service your bags will not be moved each day but instead will be waiting for you at your accommodation a couple of nights later. On the Kumano Kodo tour we recommend forwarding your luggage from Kyoto
(or wherever you are staying before the walk) to Yunomine Onsen. You
then carry overnight essentials for your nights in Takahara and
Chikatsuyu. You then forward your luggage from Yunomine Onsen to
wherever you are staying after the walk; you carry your overnight
essentials for your nights in Koguchi and Nachi. Our information pack
has full details of how to use this service, which is really easy.
Your accommodation during the walk provide robes to wear in the evening and shoes are not worn inside, so you only need your hiking gear and can travel very light.


The other option is to arrange a daily baggage transfer service if you prefer to access your bag every night and this can be booked in advance through ourselves. Daily Luggage Transfer offers clients the option of bringing luggage by train and bus to the trail, and then having it transferred from inn to inn on a daily basis. However, as it can be quite difficult to navigate public transport with luggage, we recommend Takkubin as the most convenient method. On the Kumano Kodo this service is available from Takijiri through to Nachi-San. You will need to carry your bags with you on the last day.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof cloths, and lightweight clothing for summer.


Getting to and from Japan

By Air: The best airport to arrive at is Osaka Kansai Airport (KIX), which has flights from international destinations. You can also fly into Tokyo Narita (NRT) and take an internal flight or the shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto (3h30).


The West Japan Rail Company operates services between Kansai Airport and Osaka/Kyoto. For timetable information please visit http://www.westjr.co.jp/global.en/travel-information/timetable. The Airport Express HARUKA (Kansai Airport Line) takes approx 75 mins to Kyoto.


Getting around:

Your package includes train tickets from/to Kyoto or Osaka. The public transport system in Japan is world class and your pre departure information pack has detailed information on tickets, trains and how to use public transport easily.


Our specialist Laura travelled to Japan in 2014 and you can read her experience of using public transport, on the blog.


Visas

Please check your visa requirements with the foreign office or the embassy in your country of residence before travelling to Japan.


British nationals wishing to visit Japan for three months or less for business, tourism or family purposes etc (but not to work for a local employer) may do so without a visa. You must have a valid passport and an onward/return ticket. Please visit www.fco.gov.uk for up to date information.

Getting to and from Japan

By Air:

The best airport to arrive at is Osaka Kansai Airport (KIX), which has flights from international destinations.
You can also fly into Tokyo Narita (NRT) and take an internal flight or the shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto (3h30).


The West Japan Rail Company operates services between Kansai Airport and Osaka/Kyoto. For timetable information please visit http://www.westjr.co.jp/global.en/travel-information/timetable. The Airport Express HARUKA (Kansai Airport Line) takes approx 75 mins to Kyoto.


Getting around:


Your package includes train tickets from/to Kyoto or Osaka. The public transport system in Japan is world class and your pre departure information pack has detailed information on tickets, trains and how to use public transport easily.


Our specialist Laura travelled to Japan in 2014 and you can read her experience of using public transport, on the blog.


Visas


Please check your visa requirements with the foreign office or the embassy in your country of residence before travelling to Japan.


British nationals wishing to visit Japan for three months or less for business, tourism or family purposes etc (but not to work for a local employer) may do so without a visa. You must have a valid passport and an onward/return ticket. Please visit www.fco.gov.uk for up to date information.

Included

  • 2 Nights 3 or 4* hotel accommodation in Kyoto.
  • 5 Nights minshuku or ryokan (guest house) accommodation on the Kumano Kodo trail.
  • 1 Nights 4* hotel accommodation in Osaka
  • 8 Breakfasts
  • 5 evening meals (on the Kumano Kodo)
  • Train tickets from/to Kyoto or Osaka
  • 1 Day private guided tour of Kyoto
  • Detailed information pack with local travel information, detailed route notes, topographical maps and hints and tips.
  • Telephone support from our local, English speaking, representative.

Excluded

  • International flights and travel to Kyoto/from Osaka
  • Drinks with meals
  • Lunches
  • Evening meals in Kyoto & Osaka
  • Local buses on day 3, 5 & 6 should be paid locally (around ¥2500, £18 or $28)
  • Baggage forwarding is not included, though we provide instructions for how this can be easily arranged locally or you can pre-book as an optional extra
  • Travel insurance

Extras

  • Additional nights on the trail or in Kyoto, Tokyo or Osaka
  • Extensions to Mount Koya, Nara
  • Single room supplement(s) if required
  • Daily Luggage Transfers (Takijiri to Nachi-San)

We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further queries.

How fit do I need to be?

The walk is graded moderate but it does involve some days with fairly steep ascents and descents.The terrain can also be quite tricky underfoot as wet tree roots can be quite slippy at times.  The longer walking days can be shortened if you want to cut down the distance. On most days you will be walking between 2 and 6 hours although there is one longer day of up to 8.5 hours so you should be an experienced walker to get the most from this trip.

Which is the best airport to fly to?

The best airport to arrive at is Osaka Kansai Airport (KIX), which has flights from international destinations. You can also fly into Tokyo Narita (NRT) and take an internal flight or the shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto (3h30).

What about luggage transfers?

Luggage transfer is not included during your walk as standard and you have a couple of options here. The first option is to arrange luggage transfers by a service called Takkyubin which is a courier service in Japan and can only be booked in Japan. This is cheap, reliable and costs approx £12 per day. With this service your bags will not be moved each day but instead will be waiting for you at your accommodation a couple of nights later. On the Kumano Kodo tour we recommend forwarding your luggage from Kyoto (or wherever you are staying before the walk) to Yunomine Onsen. You then carry overnight essentials for your nights in Takahara and Chikatsuyu. You then forward your luggage from Yunomine Onsen to wherever you are staying after the walk; you carry your overnight essentials for your nights in Koguchi and Nachi. Our information pack has full details of how to use this service, which is really easy.

Your accommodation during the walk provide robes to wear in the evening and shoes are not worn inside, so you only need your hiking gear and can travel very light.

The other option is to arrange a daily baggage transfer service if you prefer to access your bag every night and this can be booked in advance through ourselves. Daily Luggage Transfer offers the option of bringing luggage by train and bus to the trail, and then having it transferred from inn to inn on a daily basis. However, as it can be quite difficult to navigate public transport with luggage, we recommend Takkubin as the most convenient method. On the Kumano Kodo this service is available from Takijiri through to Nachi-San. You will need to carry your bags with you on the last day.

Can you accommodate specific dietary requirements?

Yes, please just let us know at the time of booking. Most food during the walk is Japanese style. It is worth mentioning however that many dishes do contain the ubiquitous Japanese fish stock called dashi which is an ingredient in many soups and sauces so it is helpful if you are able to accept dishes containing this.

Do I need to speak Japanese?

No, our detailed info pack and a little bit of effort on your part will get you by. Most signs are also in English. Our specialist Laura travelled to Japan in 2014 and you can read her experience of travelling in Japan with little language skills on the blog.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots, comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack, warm clothing in the early/late part of the year and hats etc during the summer. We supply a detailed packing list with your information pack. 

When is the best time of year?

It is tough to beat the spring months of April and May but the autumn colours in October and November are also lovely. It can get quite hot and humid in July and August.Overall, the best months to travel are either April-June or September-November.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
macs adventureKumano Kodo Trail - Kyoto to Osaka
 
4.6

(based on 24 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (15)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

96%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well organised (22)
  • Once in a lifetime experience (20)
  • Great accommodations (18)
  • Fun (11)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Trying something new (16)
  • Holiday (14)
  • Thrill seeking (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • World traveller (14), Avid adventurer (7), Occasional traveller (4)

Reviewed by 24 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

A wonderful trip!

By Geek Nomad

from Albuquerque

About Me World Traveller

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Beautiful scenery
  • Delicious food
  • Fun
  • Great Accommodations
  • Once in a Lifetime Experience
  • Well Organised

Cons

  • Weather Dependent

Best Uses

  • Holiday
  • Trying Something New

Comments about macs adventure Kumano Kodo Trail - Kyoto to Osaka:

My parents and I had a wonderful time with Mac's adventure on the Kumano Kodo, despite the best efforts of Typhoon 21, which took two days of our hike out by making two sections unsafe to hike at the time. That said, Macs did everything in their power to ensure our trip went well, we had great accommodations and enjoyed the hiking that we could do, though it was a bit more strenuous than I had anticipated. Loved it. The kumano kodo trail has some simply stunning scenery, and I highly recommend traveling with a journal or getting the book to collect the stamps along the way. Also, definitely get the luggage forwarding, I wish I had!

 
5.0

Excellant hiking trip in a remote region of Japan

By Jimmy

from Wolverhampton

About Me Avid Adventurer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun
  • Great Accommodations
  • Once in a Lifetime Experience
  • Well Organised

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Holiday
    • Thrill Seeking
    • Trying Something New

    Comments about macs adventure Kumano Kodo Trail - Kyoto to Osaka:

    Very well organised trip and the booklets provided great information for the entire trip, including; walking directions, how to use the busses in Japan, and particularly the information regarding the courier service for transferring luggage across Japan was very useful. Could have been more information about the snakes and wildlife.

     
    5.0

    Fantastic trip

    By ru

    from oxford

    About Me Occasional Traveller

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Fun
    • Great Accommodations
    • Once in a Lifetime Experience
    • Well Organised

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Holiday
      • Relaxation

      Comments about macs adventure Kumano Kodo Trail - Kyoto to Osaka:

      With fantastic misty mountain views, stunning trails through cedar woodland dotted with wayside shrines, and a selection of welcoming accommodations serving fantastic food and offering classic onsen bathing - this trip offers an experience of remote mountain life. it was an unforgettable experience. There are easy options to catch a local bus to shorten or miss out a day's walk.

       
      5.0

      Terrific Experience

      By Vic

      from California

      About Me Avid Adventurer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Fun
      • Great Accommodations
      • Great experience to see small rural communities
      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
      • Stay in Buddhist monastery a plus
      • Terrific regional cuisine
      • Unique Shinto Shrines
      • Very educational
      • Well Organised

      Cons

      • And be willing share facilities for bathing
      • Requires self sufficiency
      • You have to be able to sleep on a futon on mat
      • You must be in good physical shape

      Best Uses

      • Holiday
      • Physically challenging
      • Trying Something New

      Comments about macs adventure Kumano Kodo Trail - Kyoto to Osaka:

      I have been fortunate to travel many places in the world. The Komano was a unique experience. There was the challenge of hiking the trail, finding our way, enjoying new scenery and religious shrines and temples everyday. And the end of the trek there was the joy of ice cream in town and different lodgings, hot baths, and great food. There was also the company of fellow pilgrims to look forward to as well. Lots of stories to share and swap. Almost forgot to say wonderful photo opportunities.

       
      4.0

      Hassle-free trekking

      By Celina

      from Bangkok

      About Me Avid Adventurer, World Traveller

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Fun
      • Great Accommodations
      • Well Organised

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Holiday

        Comments about macs adventure Kumano Kodo Trail - Kyoto to Osaka:

        Great way to focus and enjoy the trek instead of sorting out time-consuming preparatory details. Most of the accommodations and services provide a nice introduction to Japanese culture and lifestyle. Narrative maps and guide were useful, but could also be complemented with information on elevation and expected walking time. But not a deal-breaker.

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Kumano Kodo in October

        By iamjosh

        from Sydney Australia

        About Me nipponophile who likes the countryside

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Once in a Lifetime Experience
        • very strenuous!
        • Well Organised

        Cons

        • very strenuous!

        Best Uses

        • seeing rural japan

        Comments about macs adventure Kumano Kodo Trail - Kyoto to Osaka:

        This walk is a great way to see natural japan, far from the big cities, and see some rural life. I was pleasantly surprised that there was very little road walking, almost all on mountain tracks. Walking a full day in the forest while seeing not another sole in Japan is magical, rain or shine didnt matter.

        The self guided documents and maps were excellent, comprehensive and precise.

        The local representatives with office half way along the trail was excellent support when my companion had a gear malfunction. We also were late in one night and the hotel was about to look for us when we arrived, another way we felt the support was excellent.

        Dont underestimate the difficulty of the hike, with a lot of ascents and descents on rough tracks. In the rain some of the tracks were treacherously slippery. Hiking poles a must. You can travel super light, with night clothing and washing facilities at every stop along the way.

        Dont expect 5 star, it is small villages after all, but accomodation all spotless and friendly. Interestingly different and authentic food at each overnight, and loads of it...

        Do some training before you go, go the whole way, to get into the rhythm of a 'pilgrimage' and celebrate the completion. Then come back and do it another season, we will.

         
        4.0

        Wonderful Challenge, Wonderful Experience

        By What's around the next corner?

        from New York

        About Me World Traveller

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Great challenge
        • Once in a Lifetime Experience
        • Really good food....Happy vegetarian

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • challenge
          • Trying Something New
          • walking meditation

          Comments about macs adventure Kumano Kodo Trail - Kyoto to Osaka:

          This was a terrific experience and challenging in that , at times, the distances were longer than anticipated and the terrain was a challenge. It was terrific and would have no problem recommending it to anyone. To get in shape...walk stairs. If you can go up (I live in manhattan and took the elevator down) for 45 minutes to an hour,...you'll be fine. If you normally dont use poles, bring them. It is a wet climate and its easy to slip on the downhill.
          Onsens at the end of the day were totally restorative and each place accomodated by vegetarian needs terrifically.
          The scenery is a Japanese watercolour painting and its hard to just not stop and smile...oh go ahead...stop and smile!

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Great experience if you're in for a real Japanese adventure

          By Landa

          from Wellington, New Zealand

          About Me Occasional Traveller

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Great Accommodations
          • Well Organised

          Cons

          • Pretty tough walk especially when wet

          Best Uses

          • Culture immersion
          • Holiday
          • Trying Something New

          Comments about macs adventure Kumano Kodo Trail - Kyoto to Osaka:

          Wonderful experience because of the combination of the beautiful walk, its spiritual history and the amazing small scale accommodation in the real country side.
          The food was the best we had in Japan and all hosts were very friendly.
          All the travel info we received, including maps and instructions, was excellent.
          The walk is great but tough, even in good weather, because in places it's pretty steep with many steps. We were grateful it wasn't too wet because then it would have been extremely slippery (due to the paving of many paths). Make sure you're well prepared and fit!

           
          5.0

          Excellent trip!

          By Gini from the deser

          from Phoenix

          About Me Avid Adventurer, World Traveller

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Great Accommodations
          • Once in a Lifetime Experience
          • Physically challenging
          • Well Organised

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Trying Something New

            Comments about macs adventure Kumano Kodo Trail - Kyoto to Osaka:

            This is a great pilgrimage, second to the Camino which we did through Macs last year. Much more isolated, physically demanding, but always rewarding. Well organized, wonderful exposure to Japanese culture. Recommend spending extra day in Kyoto with guide's pick of what to see during your one day tour. Bring hiking poles as steep climb up and down can be slippery from damp and moss.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Kumano Kodo - 5 night walk

            By Dan

            from Colorado, USA

            About Me World Traveller

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Fun
            • Once in a Lifetime Experience
            • Well Organised

            Cons

            • Poor Accommodations

            Best Uses

            • Trying Something New

            Comments about macs adventure Kumano Kodo Trail - Kyoto to Osaka:

            Our experience using Macs Adventure went very well. Prior to the trip, our communication with them was excellent. They are well-organized and efficient. Their explanation of the baggage transfer service is excellent. When we arrive in Kyoto, our package of materials was waiting with everything we needed. The maps and directions included are very thorough. We never felt lost or worried about where we were going. The trail is also extremely well marked and easy to follow.
            A highlight for us was the day we hiked all day in the rain. We were soaking wet and we happened upon an outpost, where Noriko was waiting for us. She gave us hot tea, and helped us navigate to our final destination for the evening. She was incredibly kind and helpful. She went out of her way to help us. She even met us at our accommodation with an extra raincoat for my husband - Wow! She helped translate and communicate information with our host that evening. Meeting up with her at the outpost in Chikatsuyu was such a relief. Thank you!
            Recommendations:
            I would love to have information included in the map packets about local plants and wildlife. While this is a pilgrimage walk....it would be nice to have information about all of the nature surrounding us too.
            This hike is really quite difficult. We are from Colorado and we hike often. We were both surprised by the constant up and down....lots and lots of steep elevation ascents and descents. I think this should be emphasized a bit more.
            Finally, some of the accommodations are quite lacking. Very disappointing. In particular - the alternate location in Nonaka and the final night in Nachi-San. Both felt more like a college dorm than an inn. After a long day of hiking - it was very, very discouraging.

            Displaying reviews 1-10

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