Find Your Spiritual Side on the Kumano Kodo Trail

Follow in the footsteps of ancient pilgrims on the sacred trails of the Kii Peninsula

Seeking an adventure of self-discovery? The UNESCO World Heritage Kumano Kodo trail in Tanabe is a great place to start.
Here, you can hike paths trodden by pilgrims for millennia through mystical woods designated as part of Japan’s Yoshino-Kumano National Park. You’ll experience the unique Japanese custom of shinrin-yoku, or ‘forest bathing’ — a practice known to help heal mind and body. Sign up for a tour, and an English-speaking guide will regale you with ancient legends and point out historic locations en route.
Choose from numerous trail options, from 1- to 3-hour courses suitable for beginners to full- or multi-day treks for the veteran hiker.
First-timers shouldn’t miss Kumano Nachi Taisha, with its beautiful architecture amid the dramatic setting of Nachi Falls. When you’re done, head into town to dine on fresh seafood and other local delicacies.

Only a 70-minute flight from Tokyo Haneda Airport or 2 hours by train from Osaka, the Kii Peninsula is easily accessible, and a host of lodging options from Western-style hotels to ryokan and even homestays are available to delight any traveler.