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“Amazing forest walk full of interesting wildlife (including plants!)”

Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Routes
Ranked #1 of 78 things to do in Tanabe
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Reviewed 5 July 2018

A hot day but the forest is still cool for this walk. Starting near Hoshinmon-oji shrine (by bus) and finishing at the much bigger Hongu Taisha shrine; about 7 kilometres walk, largely on the level. In early June, the large white and pink sweet-scented lilies are growing along the path (don't get the bright orange pollen on your clothes!) About two thirds along there is a refreshment house with fruit, food and drink at reasonable prices and a stunning view nearby. The forest part is wonderful with spectacular ferns and other cryptogamic plants lining much of the pathway. Almost all the way we were were beautifully serenaded by the Japanese nightingales (bush warblers?)
Eyes open and you can also see some smaller insect and associated wildlife which may not appeal to some!
As we descended near the end I found some amazing spiders (I know!) for my lens but will not show so as not to discourage arachnophobes. We then came to the big Hongu Taisha shrine - definitely worth a look, before descending the usual many stone steps (the pilgrims' penance) to the road and a welcome ice cream near the bus station. We also lingered in the nearby Tourist Information office as it was air-conditioned while waiting for our return bus ride.

2  Thank couteaufin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"japanese culture"
in 6 reviews
"rural japan"
in 7 reviews
"wonderful experience"
in 6 reviews
"kumano kodo"
in 14 reviews
"day hike"
in 7 reviews
"the bus"
in 10 reviews
"weather was perfect"
in 4 reviews
"beautiful scenery"
in 4 reviews
"tree roots"
in 3 reviews
"ups and downs"
in 3 reviews
"collect stamps"
in 3 reviews
"three days"
in 3 reviews
"luggage transfer"
in 3 reviews
"beautiful walk"
in 2 reviews
"hiking trail"
in 2 reviews
"one night"
in 3 reviews
"suggested itineraries"
in 3 reviews

14 - 18 of 228 reviews

Reviewed 5 July 2018 via mobile

We did three legs of the Kumano Koda trail, over three days, with the third day walking in the heavy rain, and feet slushing through the rivers of water running along the trail. Never cold, just with respect to. Great trails, great views, always well signed, and good descriptions in our guidebook about the oji. Day 1, walking out of Takijiri was the toughest, while short, it was initially very steep.

3  Thank rossadam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2018

If you like hiking, you can't miss Kumano Kodo.
If you had finished Camino de Santiago, you have to come and finish Kumano Kodo as well to get the Dual Pilgrim certification.
The walking is great. Trees, mountains, fresh air, friendly people. You will definitely love here.
Bring food and water with you. You can hardly find supply on the road.

2  Thank smallove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2018

Very different impressions: street walking, hiking on very smal trails, shrines at the side... It was great to walk even parts of it. Don't miss the stamps ;)

1  Thank sigsiko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 June 2018

I have been thinking about hiking the Kumano Kodo for many years and finally pulled the trigger this year as part of a birthday present to myself. Although I didn't manage to hike the entire trail, mainly due to time constraints and a few planning mishaps on my part, the experience was magical and I would highly recommend it for anyone who loves a good walk in the woods. Any westerner considering hikes in this area should start by contacting the Kumano Travel Company run through the Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau through their website. They are relatively fast and efficient, and email communications were a breeze. Their website also has a wealth of information about using the bus system, onsen etiquette, trail maps, and all sorts of other things to help your trip. One word of advice, though, is to start early. I waited until January to make arrangements for a mid-May hiking portion of the trip (even though I had started arrangements for visits to Tokyo and Kyoto in September) and as a consequence several guesthouses and inns I wanted to visit (particularly those closest to Tanabe) were already completely booked. So we opted to spend our first two nights at Kawayu Onsen hiking the Hongu Loop before taking the 2-day hike via the Kogumotori-goe and Ogumotori-goe trails to Kumano Nachi Taisha. Although the Hongu Loop can be done as a single day hike, it's a lot to bite off unless you are a young and active hiker. We opted to walk the the Akagi-goe from Hosshinmon-Oji to Yunomine Onsen on our first afternoon and on the following day hiked the other direction from Hosshinmon-oji to Kumano-Hongu Taisha and then on the Dainichi-goe trail to Yunomine Onsen and then along the road and through the tunnel back to the Kawayu Midoriya inn. On the third day, we hiked the Kogumotori-goe trail to Koguchi, but had to call a shuttle bus to take us to the onsen (Green Land) in Takata because the few rooms available in Koguchi were booked. We fully intended to hike the Ogumotori-goe on our last day, but were concerned about possibly not having enough time to enjoy Kumano Nachi Taisha because a 1 hour detour had been added to what was already a long hike because of a landslide and washout. Instead, we took the hotel shuttle to Shingu and visited Kumano HayatamaTaisha before catching buses to Kumano Nachi Taisha. At the Nachi Taisha we ran into hikers we met the day before who had gone ahead and hiked the Ogumotori-goe without encountering time or detour problems. However, they did say that they thought the Ogumotori-goe trail was not as interesting or pretty as the Kogumotori-goe trail. Given our limited time, then, I felt better about skipping the Ogumotori-goe to spend more time in Shingu. That said, I very much look forward to a return visit so that I can walk the Ogumatori-goe as well as the Tanabe end of the Nakahechi trail.

6  Thank conifer_doc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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