Interested in hiking on historic pilgrims trails in Japan?
The Kumano Kodo Trail is for just that and is located in the Kansai region of Japan.
You can spend days hiking on the trails or if you are constrained by time you can do a very long day trip from Osaka or Kyoto to do a short hike to see one of the main temples and waterfalls in the area.
This post covers doing the long day trip option as that is what most visitors to Japan would have time for just to get a feel for the area.
The Kumano Kodo Nachi Taisha Shrine (Day Trip)
The Nachi Taisha Shrine is what is most recommended to see in the Kumano area.
Tori gate on the Kumano Kodo trail.
The mountain scenery.
Kumano Nachi Taisha is a shinto shrine on the Kumano Kodo. This is the most popular one to visit.
Walkway on the Kumano Kodo.
Hiking the trail on the Kumano Kodo.
The highest waterfall in Japan can be seen from behind the Kumano Nachi Taisha shrine.
Waterfall seen from the trail.
The Kumano Kodo Trail
The Kumano Kodo is definitely best done if you have a few days to spend on the hiking trail but like said if you are short on time and want a feel for the area this makes a great day trip to one of the best spots.
To do the Nachi Taisha Shrine part of the Kumano Kodo Trail realistically in one day you will need to drive there which takes around 3 hours.
The public transport options take too long which would mean needing to spend a night in the area to appreciate it better.
While in Osaka or Kyoto take a look at my post on some of the best day trips you can do from there.
If you plan to move around Japan a lot on the railway then take a Japan Rail Pass (get one with that link) to save money on the fast Shinkansen trains.
For more information on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trails take a look here.
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