lotus compass

Kumano Kodo

Kumano Kodo

Kumano Kodo, Japan

Walk in the footsteps of spiritual seekers along the Kumano Kodō. Pilgrims have sought renewal on the sacred paths of Japan’s Kii Peninsula for over a millennium. 

The pilgrimage stretches across the mountainous Kii Peninsula to three well-known shrines in Japan collectively known as Kumano Sanzan.  The trail leaves a lasting impression on all that traverse through the mystical mountain range and ancient villages. 

In the 11th to 13th century, the Imperial family is said to have walked the Kumano from Kyoto during a time known as the Imperial Golden Age. The Kii Peninsula area is considered a sacred dwelling place of the gods, and because of this, shrines were constructed. Two Buddhist temples, Seiganto-ji and Fudarakusan-ji are also closely associated with the Kumano Kodo. 

Kumano Kodo

Highlights of the Kumano Kodo

  • Watch the sun set over the Kii mountain range.
  • Taste traditional Japanese food prepared by locals.
  • Smell the fresh, dewy rainforest and springtime flowers as they blossom all around you. 
  • Listen to your inner wisdom along the quiet, persistent path. 
  • Connect with yourself on this ancient trail walked by emperors and monks for centuries.

Popular Routes

Nakahechi Route

This is the most popular route, starting in Tanabe on the western coast of the Kii Peninsula and moves east into the mountains towards the Kumano shrines. The route was extensively used by the imperial family beginning in the 10th century on pilgrimage from Kyoto. Expect charming traditional lodgings in isolated villages along the way.

Kohechi Route

This route cuts through the center of the Kii Peninsula from north to south and connects the Buddhist temple complex of Koyasan and the Kumano Sanzan. Get ready for steep trails that cross over 1000 meters elevation along 70 km. For experienced hikers only and for those who are looking for solitude and contemplation.

Your Own Route

We can help you craft the perfect itinerary based on your interests and availability. Our travel experts will do the planning so that you can focus on enjoying your trip to the fullest!

Pilgrimage: a sacred journey back to yourself

Ready to discover magic along the Kumano Kodo? Contact our travel experts to start your journey.