On this hiking tour, you will travel to Unesco World Heritage Pilgrimage Nakahechi trail in the Kumano Kodo for four nights. You will be hiking through forests and along streams in beautiful mountains settings.  Lodging will be in a traditional Japanese Inn and in beautifully located Onsen Hotels. The rest of the trip will be spent hiking along beautifully preserved post towns of the Nakasendo trail


Hiking Tour in Japan

Leave home onNov 6th -your individually arranged flights. You will lose one day when you cross the International Date Line.

Nov 7th - Arrive at Narita Airport near Tokyo. You will be met by one of your guides and escorted to Hotel Nikko Narita.

Nov 8th-Please bring your large piece of luggage to the lobby this morning. It will be transferred to the Midoriya Hotel in Kawayu Onsen Village. Have a daypack with one day’s clothing and essentials to take with you on our journey. We will fly to KIX Airport near Osaka Japan where a Private Coach will pick us up and take us to the Kumano Kodo area, a land of legends and one of Japan’s spiritual heartlands. The pilgrimage trails and three grand shrines are all designated Unesco World Heritage Sites. The animism and nature worship of early times was later given over to Buddhist notions of a Pure Land lying to the south and the three shrines here became examples of religious syncretism until Shinto and Buddhism were forced apart in the 19th ce. In the 8th to 12th centuries, the shrines were the focus of many Imperial pilgrimages. We’ll make a brief stop in Chikatsuyu Village and drop off our day packs at Chikatsuyu Minshuku, our lodging for the night, then continue on to Tsugizakura-oji where we’ll begin an easy 2 hour hike backtracking along the trail to our Minshuku. Dinners are provided at our hotels each night while we are in the Kumano Kodo. All of our lodgings have onsen (hot spring mineral baths) for your relaxation and enjoyment.

Hiking Distance: 4km/2.49 miles
Time Required: about 1.3 hours
Sidewalk in Japan with houses along the side

Sidewalk in Japan with houses along the side

Japanese food set out on a table

Front of shrine

Front of shrine

Nov 9th - We will have breakfast this morning at our Minshuku. We will board the 9:05am local bus and travel for ½ hr. arriving at Hongu Taisha where Midoriya Hotel’s shuttle bus will pick us up to take us to the hotel to drop off our day packs. We'll spend the afternoon hiking to charming, Yunomine Onsen Village. We will have lunch here and explore the village. Back at the hotel at the end of the hike, the beautiful onsen at the side of the river is a treat. After dinner, we’ll visit the local Taiko group for a mini-concert if they are available. You will have a chance to join in on the drums. Dinner is included each night until we reach Matsumoto.

Hiking Distance: 3.4km/ 2.11 miles
Time Required: about 1.1 hours

Nov 10th-After breakfast this morning the shuttle bus will bring us to Hoshimon-Oji, where we will begin our 4-hour hike to Kumano Hongu Taisha. This is the first of three grand shrines popularized by the Imperial family seeking salvation in sangaku shinko (a belief in the supernatural power of mountains. You will have a chance to explore the shrine. Back at the hotel at the end of the hike you can wander around the village or enjoy the riverside onsen again.

Hiking Distance: 7km/4.4 miles
Time Required: about 3 hours

Nov 11th - This morning we’ll board a local bus to the Kumano River for a 90-minute traditional boat ride through spectacular Doyo-kyo Gorge, disembarking in Shingu on the east coast of the Kii Peninsula where the river flows into the Pacific Ocean. Upon arrival in Shingu we’ll visit Kumano Hayatama Shrine, the second of the Grand Shrines. Legend has it that the three kami who are worshipped here ‘descended’ at the sacred rock, a 15-minute walk from the Shrine, presumably a reference to three ancestors having arrived by boat at the coast. Afterward, we'll take a short local train ride to Kii-Katsuura Gyoen, an onsen hotel in a coastal fishing village overlooking the Pacific Ocean where we'll stay for the next two nights. Dinner at the hotel is included.

Nov 12th- Today, we'll visit the third grand shrine, Kumano Nachi Taisha. The walk up to the shrine from Daimonzaka is spectacular. Afterward, we’ll hike down to Japan’s tallest waterfall, Nachi no Taki.

Hiking Distance: 2.1km/ 1.3 miles
Time Required: about 1.1 hours and 400 + steps

Nov 13th - Early this morning, you’ll have the chance to see the fish auction at Kii-Katsuura port where they take in Japan’s largest catch of tuna. We’ll travel by the 8:55 am train today from Katsuura station to Nakatsugawa arriving at 1:49 pm. A local bus brings us to our ryokan in Magome where we will spend the night. This is the beginning of the Nakasendo, an ancient trail between well preserved picturesque post town on the way between Kyoto and Edo.

Nov 14th-After breakfast today, we will hike from Magome to Tsumago where we will stay for the night. You will feel transported into Edo era Japan.

Hiking Distance: 9.64km/ 6 miles
Time Required: about 4 hours
Elevation gain: 430m / 1410 Feet

Nov 15th -We will take a train from Matsumoto to Yabuhara. We'll hike from there to Narai, have lunch, then spend some time exploring the town. Afterwards we take the train to Matsumoto staying at Dormy Inn Matsumoto.

Hiking Distance: 6.2km/ 3.8 miles
Time Required: about 4 hours
Elevation gain: 345m / 1130 feet

Nov 16th - We will visit Matsumoto Castle. After lunch we will take the 1:06 pm Shinkansen to Tokyo. Tonight we will have a farewell dinner together

Nov 17th - Travel Narita Airport for your trip home.
Beautiful river and pools


Cost of Tour

Hiking Tour – Pay Balance
$3,700.00$4,000.00 Select options

(There may be an adjustment to the price of the tour if the dollar falls below 100 yen per dollar) 

$4000 per person for a queen bed or twin room (double occupancy) $4300per person for single room


Included in Tour:

Lodging for 10 nights in Japanese and western style Ryokan and Hotels

All breakfasts with western and Japanese foods plus 4 lunches and 7 dinners at restaurants.

All transportation within the country including taxis, trains, private coach.

All entry fees per itinerary

Two knowledgeable guides throughout the tour, fluent in both English and Japanese.

A detailed daily itinerary and other information to prepare you for your travel in Japan


Not Included in Tour:

International airfare and trip insurance 

Personal expenses such as telephone calls and laundry