Walk the Sacred Path of Kumano Kodo in Japan

in Japan

For a hiking experience with a difference, consider taking the spiritual path of Kumano Kodo in the Kii Mountains near Osaka, Japan.

The walking trail has the awesome views all explorers crave, and a cavalcade of sacred sites to boot.

The track has been walked by Japanese emperors since the 10th century. In 2004 it was approved as a pilgrimage walk by UNESCO, joining Spain’s Way of St James as the only trek with this status at the time.

Kumano Kodo reflects Japan’s diverse spiritual paths, with a mix of Buddhist and Shinto shrines. Unlike many walks, there is no single track to follow. Instead it’s made up of collection of main thoroughfares and smaller subtracks. Tea house and protector shrines are interspersed with the larger sacred sites, Kumano Sanzan and the three Japanese temples known as the Three Grand Shines of Kumano.

Map of Japan

Plan a Japan Trip

To walk the entire track would be a massive undertaking taking around six weeks. Most tourists instead opt for a shorter day visit or multi-day trek. The Kumano Kudo tourist website suggests a number of routes for tourists to follow.

After a long day hiking the mountains, soaking in one of the four hot springs scattered on the trail is the perfect way to ease your tired muscles.

While you can follow your own path, those preferring to experience Kumano Kodo with a group can book a tour with Kumano Experience.

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