Hiking trip pilgrim routes

Authentic experience surrounded by beautiful nature

Hiking trip pilgrim routes

Authentic experience surrounded by beautiful nature

Hiking trip pilgrim routes

Walking tour through beautiful nature

As soon as the ferry leaves the island of Honshu and you feel the sea breeze, the journey takes in through rural Japan. The tranquility of nature is never far away, and time and again the sea...

The island of Shikoku and the Wakayama districthave been important destinations for pilgrims for over a thousand years. Dressed in white, with a konische straw hat and a wooden staff, they follow the route of the 88 Temples or the Kumano Kodo Trail. You regularly follow in the footsteps of these pilgrims, and gradually you will be initiated into Japanese culture and deep-rooted customs.

The focus of this trip is the Nakahechi route of the Kumano Kodo Trail. During your stay in a temple in Koyasan – the spiritual center of Kumano Kodo – body and mind will have the opportunity to recharge. For five days you will traverse mossy forests and valleys where streams find a way down. From the steps you look out over misty hilltops and – on the last day – the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, you'll pass many shrines, where pilgrims stop and make sacrifices. One of the main shrines is Nachi Taisha Shrine,also the end point of your walk.

How different is life around Mount Fuji! From a lovely hotel you can discover this beautiful environment in all sorts of ways. You choose whether the emphasis is on exercise or relaxation.

Tips & tops of Hiking Trip Pilgrim Routes:

  • You travel mostly independently, but where it is convenient you will be accompanied by an English-speaking guide. In addition, you can always find all the necessary information in a special app, ranging from maps to restaurants and even menus that have been translated into English.
  • Cultural introduction in Kyoto, during a tea ceremony and a walk through a historic city district.
  • Lovers of modern art can enjoy Naoshima. Consider staying here for an extra day!
  • During the first week you set the pace yourself. There are many hiking opportunities, but also cultural options such as the open air museum Shikoku Village. Here you wander around in the Edo and Meiji era.
  • During the temple stay in Koyasan you can attend the morning prayer. A cathartic experience, set in a prayer room lit by candles and lanterns.
  • At the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Centre you will learn about the history of the route and get practical information. Are you ready?
  • The total distance you walk during the Kumano Kodo walk is 66 kilometers. The paths are of varying quality, the terrain is accidentd. You can use the baggage service.
  • During this tour you will spend the night in authentic ryokans and a minshuku (family hotel). Extremely welcoming but with limited facilities, in keeping with the tradition of the pilgrimage. An onsen is always present, and it is a pleasure to relax in the warm water after a good trip.
  • There are mainly Japanese dishes on the menu, and you get a bento lunchbox for the next stage.
  • After the Iwagami Pass, make the little detour to see the stone statue of Jagata Jizo. He watches over children and travelers, and protects them from weakness and fatigue.
  • Before you travel to Hakone, stay a night in a ryokan on a small island. From the warm outdoor pool you look out over the bay of Katsuura.
  • In the area around Mount Fuji you are back in the world of benevolent comfort and endless options for excursions: a boat trip onLake Ashinoko, visit to one of the many museums, or wonderful walks for example through Okinawa Nature Park, with afterwards lunch in Mt. Fuji's 5th Station.
  • Pilgrims climbing the sacred mountain have already had a long journey when they arrive at this 5th Station. From July to mid-September you can join here, and undertake the climb to the top of the Fuji-san. It is a difficult journey, but also the completion of your journey along pilgrimage routes.

Your tailor-made trip

Daily overview

1 Arrival in Kyoto
2 Citytour in and around Kyoto
3 Cultural introduction to a machiya and walk old town district
4 Stay on Naoshima, island of modern Japanese art
5 Walk in Ritsurin Park or excursion to Shikoku Village, open-air museum at Yashima
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Highlights for this trip

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