Find Your Next Adventure

Or leave the current defaults



Quick Trip Search
Colorado Mountain Club
Welcome,    Log OutMember Login •   Contact Us
Home » Adventure Travel » Adventure Travel Trips » Japan Kumano Kodo

Japan 2020

Koyoto Culture & Kumano Kodo Trek 2020

Deposit & Book

April 5-20, 2020

CMC Members:$4,975



Sign Waiver 

Cancellation Policy


Japan 2020Trip Overview

Experience Japan at the peak of cherry blossom time!


Kyoto, formerly the Imperial capital of Japan for more than one thousand years (from 794-1868), is one of the world’s most culturally rich cities scattered with hundreds, if not thousands, of pockets of amazing beauty. Kyoto has 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites (the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto”), 1600 Buddhist temples and over 400 Shinto shrines. There are 24 museums, amazing gardens and palaces—including the Imperial Palace, the former ruling palace of the Emperor of Japan before 1869. Kyoto is one of the most beautiful and best preserved cities in Japan.


We will spend three full days exploring a variety of temples, shrines and neighborhoods of Kyoto. We’ll attend a traditional geisha dance performance. Along the way, we’re sure to sample some interesting foods and beverages!

From Kyoto we’ll make our way by train to the coastal city of Tanabe, which we’ll explore before heading into the mountains and our Kumano Kodo trek.


The Kumano Kodo is a series of ancient pilgrimage routes that crisscross through the dense forests and mountains of the Kii Peninsula of Japan. The ancient pilgrimage is one of only two UNESCO World Heritage pilgrimage routes in the world, the other being the Camino de Santiago in Spain. In 2015, the two routes were designated as “Dual Pilgrimage Routes” and pilgrims who walk both routes are recognized as Dual Pilgrims.


We will experience authentic rural Japan as we follow in the footsteps of 11th-century imperial pilgrims to the sacred Kumano Sanzan [the three Grand Shrines of Kumano: Hongu Taisha, Hayatama Taisha and Nachi Taisha]. The Kumano Sanzan shrines are also UNESCO World Heritage sites; the shrines and the pilgrimage route are collectively known as the “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range."


We’ll follow the UNESCO-registered section, the Nakahechi route, for six days of varied walking along village paths and forested mountains trails. We’ll visit mountain-top villages, soothing hot springs, sacred shrines and temples before we finish our trek at Katsuura on the coast. Along the way we’ll experience the Kumano Hongu Taisha Spring Festival, and take a traditional boat tour down the UNESCO World Heritage Kumano River to Shingu. Each night we’ll stay in local traditional minshuku or ryokan where we’ll be welcomed as one of the family and where we’ll experience impeccable service, beautiful rooms, hot baths and delicious food.


Trip highlights:

  • Stay in unique Western-style and Japanese accommodations
  • Enjoy delicious local Japanese food and beverages
  • Explore UNESCO World Heritage shrines, temples, and beautiful gardens
  • Experience Japan’s hot soaking baths
  • Travel with a leader who has trekked here before and knows the best places

What's Included?

Japan 2020Koyto: 4 nights, 3 full days, including:

  • 4 nights' accommodation in a Western-style hotel w/breakfast
  • 2 dinners
  • Guided morning walking tour, including Tofukuji temple and Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine
  • Guided evening walk in Gion area (see maiko/geiko)
  • Kinkakuji temple visit
  • Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, Tennyruji visit
  • Nanzen-ji temple and Path of Philosophy walk
  • Miyako Odori dance performance
  • All bus/subway/train travel within Kyoto
  • Gift for guides (tipping is not done in Japan)
  • Train transportation from Kyoto to Tanabe (1/2 day)

    Tanabe: 2 nights, 1.5 full days, including:
  • English-speaking guide
  • 2 nights' accommodation in a western-style hotel w/breakfast
  • 2 dinners, including one Izakaya experience (traditional Japanese pub)
  • Guided walking tour of Tanabe with lunch
  • Organic garden tour with lunch in the garden (transport by chartered bus)
  • Ume factory tour (Ume is a local fruit from which many products are made)
  • Gift for guides
  • Bus transportation from Tanabe to Takijiri (start of Kumano Kodo trek)

    Kumano Kudo trek: 8 nights, 9 days , including:
  • English-speaking guide
  • 8 nights' Japanese-style accommodation including most meals
  • 6-day trek on Kumano Kodo; visiting Kumano Sanzen (3 grand shrines)
  • Traditional Boat Tour to Shingu; visit of Shingu; bus back
  • Kumano Hongu Taisha Spring Festival
  • All local transportation within the Kumano Kodo area
  • Luggage transfer on the trek
  • Gifts for guide and hosts
  • Train transportation from Katsuura (end of Kumano Kodo) to Osaka (1/2 day)

    Osaka: 1/2 day, 1 night, including:
  • 1 night's accommodation in western-style hotel in Osaka
  • 1 farewell dinner
  • American Alpine Club 6 mth Membership
  • Medical Evacuation Benefit 

What's Not Included?

  • RT airfare
  • Airport transfers 
  • Suggested travel insurance
  • Food/beverages not indicated 
  • Personal items, souvenirs, etc. 
  • Medical care, pharmacy, etc. 
  • Local transportation not indicated 
  • Entrance fees for optional visits

Level of Activity / Difficulty

  • Ability to walk comfortably in urban settings for several hours.
  • Ability to hike C-level trails through dense forests and over a variety of terrain including exposed rocks, tree roots and stone steps for up to 6 hours/day.
  • Shrines are often at the top of a hill and there could be many steps up to the shrine.
  • Participants should be in excellent health and have the ability and willingness to travel over these conditions. 
  • Ability to function as a team member supporting, assisting and encouraging leader and other trip participants.


Trip Leaders: Kris Ashton (
Participants are encouraged to contact the trip leader before registering for this trip.

Learn more about your trip leader >