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Walk Japan Launches New Self-Guided Kumano Wayfarer Tour

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With Walk Japan’s newly introduced self-guided tour – the Kumano Wayfarer, independent visitors may now obtain the means and support to explore Kumano Kodo at their own pace.

As the pioneer of off-the-beaten-track tours in Japan, Walk Japan has recently announced the latest addition to their series of Wayfarer Self-guided Tours with the launch of the Kumano Wayfarer.

The unescorted walking tour at Kumano Kodo features an ancient route travelled on foot by emperors, pilgrims and ascetic monks for over a thousand years. The route still remains an important part of Japan’s cultural heritage, and has also been awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO.

Kicking off at Kyoto, visitors will be transported to the start of the Kumano Kodo’s Nakahechi route located in rural Japan, which will take them through a hilly, winding path through verdant forests that lead to the Kumano Sanzan.

The sacred grand shrines namely, Hongu Taisha, Nachi Taisha and Hayatama Taisha, all serve as the core of the pilgrimage; with Hongu Taisha being known for its immense torii shrine gate and Nachi Taisha for its iconic pagoda and waterfall.

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Visitors will also be taken through charming villages lined with a multitude of oji sub-shrines and carved deities; and may even enjoy expansive, scenic mountain views unveiled by the forests on occasion.

Accommodation will mostly be at family-run inns, with some boasting traditional Japanese interiors such as paper screens and straw mat tatami flooring. To round off the tour, visitors will reside at a resort hotel located on an island within a harbour, and may luxuriate in Japanese baths – sometimes with hot waters sourced from onsen thermal hot springs.

The real treat would come with a night spent at Yunomine Onsen, one of Japan’s most venerable hot spring villages. Visitors may also feast on home-cooked, regional cuisine featuring ingredients mostly grown or sourced from the surrounding forests.

The Kumano Wayfarer is a seven-day, six-night self-guided walking tour for up to six participants. This Level 4 tour is suitable for those who can walk at a gentle pace for around four to six hours in comfort, and includes easy-to-follow, detailed instructions on how to join and prepare for the tour. Options to lengthen or shorten the daily itinerary are also available to suit different energy levels.

The tour is priced starting at JPY 180,000 and includes:

  • Accommodation for six nights
  • Six breakfasts
  • Two lunches
  • Five evening meals
  • Train transfers departing from and returning to Kyoto
  • Pre-Tour Pack
  • Wayfarer Route Booklet and Supplemental Information
  • Accommodation reservations
  • One taxi transfer on Day Two
  • In-country English-language 24-hour emergency support

For more information, visit walkjapan.com/tour/kumano-wayfarer.

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