The Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail

The Kumano region sits well south of Osaka in the mountains of the Kii peninsula. Kumano includes Koyasan which is more accessible and popular. But venture further south along the ancient roads linking to the shrines and temples of Kumano Sanzan is worth the effort and hours getting there.

along the Kumano Kodo

along the Kumano Kodo

In 2004, the UNESCO declared The Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range as World Heritage. This lush and rugged area has been considered the abode of the gods and worshipped for centuries.

Walking routes are easily signposted, and cater for the long trekker, or day walkers. There are greatly detailed trail maps available, divided into sections. These include the routes, village details, suggested timings, transport options and lodgings. Most importantly for us older folk – a gradient chart!

with our guide Kyoko

with our guide Kyoko

Sample the Tsugizakura-oji to Kumano Hongu section map.

The mountainous areas are spectacular. Our group jagged a day in June after rain when low mist hung mysteriously in isolated valleys.

This is a great place. Walk the spiritual Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route. Finish a section of the walk, then soak and relax in the waters of an isolated onsen or even in riverside rotenburo. Like this one!

these are not snow monkeys

I have to say that there is lots of great information available to explore and enjoy the many sacred sites and pilgrimage routes in the Kii mountains. A few that I found very useful were:


About TonyJ2

Taking regular visitors routes but more often just where the trains or buses go. Japan leads the way.
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2 Responses to The Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail

  1. leahmama1 says:

    You have a great blog and I am amazed at all the places you visited so far! I hardly ever get out of Hiroshima prefecture!I did get to Kumano Kodo two years ago. I loved that area and wish I could hike all over it! I want to read more of your posts. Good photos!


    • TonyJ2 says:

      I will be in Hiroshima for the fifth time in late April. This time just for 2 days where my partner and I will be meeting my brother and his partner and we will be going to the Sanfrecce Hiroshima V Central Coast Mariners football game!

      The four of us have all been to Hiroshima previously, taking in the major sites sometimes more than once. Any suggestions for a day trip out of Hiroshima city? And the most important question – where is the best place to shop?


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