Kumano Kodo Iseji self-guided walking 5 days

Hike the ancient coastal Iseji route. This tour does not include the classic Kumano Kodo Nakahechi trail.

From cobblestone trails to sandy beachside walking, the coastal Kumano Kodō Iseji trail features some of the oldest sections of the pilgrimage and connects the region’s two most spiritually significant shrines: Ise Grand Shrine in Mie down to Hayatama Grand Shrine on the eastern Kii Peninsula.

Kumano Kodo Iseji self-guided walking 5 days

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Start date

June 2024
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Tour details

Kumano Kodo Iseji self-guided walking 5 days
x1 traveller
USD 0
Single room additional charge
USD 420
TOTAL
USD 0

If you would like to do multiple tours in one trip or have a question about any of our tours, do not hesitate to contact us with the button below.

  • Duration: 5 days
  • Trip level:
    Intermediate
    Level
  • Availability: All year (snow falls occasionally from December to March)
  • Type:Self-guided
    Level
  • Price: USD 1,490(Price per person, based on 2 travellers sharing a room)
Highlights
  • Visit two of the Grand Shrines of Kumano, Hayatama Grand Shrine and Nachi Grand Shrine

  • Traverse remote forests and take in coastal views on the ancient Iseji route

  • Visit Ise Grand Shrine, considered the most sacred site in Japan

  • Enjoy bathing in hot spring waters

  • Experience Kongōshō-ji Temple, built by the founder of Shingon Buddhism

Situated on the tip of the Kii Peninsula, Ise is a coastal town home to the holiest shrine in all of Japan: Ise Grand Shrine. Named 'Ise Jingū' in Japanese, Ise Grand Shrine is a sacred place dedicated to the sun goddess Amaterasu. The shrine is strongly associated with the Imperial family, and is rebuilt from the bottom up every 20 years. More than 100 shrines dot the complex, with the two most significant being the Inner Shrine, Naikū, and Outer Shrine, Gekū.

The Iseji route of the Kumano Kodō connects this revered holy ground with the Three Grand Shrines of Kumano (also known as the 'Kumano Sanzan' in Japanese), making it a pilgrimage undertaken by countless individuals over thousands of years. This coastal trail features some of the very oldest sections of the UNESCO-certified Kumano Kodō, dating back at least to Japan’s Heian Period.

Our 5-day self-guided tour following the Iseji route begins with two days to see the significant spiritual sites of Ise and a rewarding hike up the nearby Mount Asamagatake, providing excellent views out over Ise Bay. In between your time spent exploring the route, you’ll enjoy two nights at a charming onsen town inn.

After time to appreciate Ise, take a scenic coastal train to the small town of Nigishima, the entry point of two days of great hiking along the Iseji route. Take in cobblestoned mountain passes, enjoy beach walks, and visit quiet hamlets before heading to Kii-Katsuura.

Your final evening is spent in the lively fishing town of Kii-Katsuura, gateway to two of the Kumano Kodō’s Grand Shrines of pilgrimage – Hayatama Grand Shrine and Nachi Grand Shrine. Before leaving the Kii Peninsula, you can visit both of these shrines, just as pilgrims in times past did.

You’re supported by our team in Kyōto and our local Chikatsuyu office, as well as by our bespoke turn-by-turn walking instructions and topographical maps, created by our team of hikers for you to guide you on your way.

The trail takes you along cobblestone paths which, after rain, can become slippery. For some additional support, you may want to bring hiking poles with you.

Please note that onsen communal bathing features on every night of this tour. For guests who prefer private bathing or have tattoos, please inquire before booking.

Please note that daily luggage transfer is not available on this tour.

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What is included
4 nights at Japanese inns along the Kumano Kodo Trail
4 breakfasts and 4 dinners
Round - trip train tickets from Kyoto or Osaka
Detailed day - by - day itinerary and walking directions
Topographical maps
Our Preparing for Your Trip and Travelling in Japan guidebooks
Local support by telephone and our Kumano Kodo branch
What is not included
Flights
Airport transfers
Drinks and meals not included in itinerary
Local bus journeys which must be paid directly to the bus driver
Single room supplement(s) for solo occupancy
Daily Luggage Transfer
Itinerary

Tour itineraries are subject to change. We will inform you of any amendments as soon as we become aware of them.

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