For over a millennium, the sacred trails of the Kii Peninsula have been traversed by pilgrims, as legend has it that this mountainous region is the home of Japan's nature spirits. Everyone, from samurai and emperors to monks and peasants, has visited the shrines hidden deep within the area's forests. In 2004, the Old Roads of Kumano became one of only two walking routes recognised as a World Heritage Site.
KUMANO KODO ACCOMMODATION
KIRI NO SATO TAKAHARA
This Japanese-Western fusion hotel offers enchanting scenery from their rooms overlooking the Hatenashi mountain range. Wake up to breath-taking panoramic views, particularly beautiful when the valley is filled with mist.
Rooms include air conditioning, free WiFi, a television, a refrigerator, and a safety box. You can relax in either a shared indoor or outdoor hot spring bath after your first hike of the trail. They provide international cuisine and many ingredients are produced locally, which gives them their nickname as the 'Organic Hotel'. In the morning, a delicious bento will be provided.
Located in the neighbourhood of Kurisugawa, this homestay is run by a cheery husband and wife team. A comfortable and welcoming environment, this is a chance to also gain an insight into a typical Japanese home. You will be picked up from the Takahara settlement for free, have access to wired LAN, and free usage of the washing machine.
You will be able to unwind and relax after your first Kumano Kodo hike where a delicious dinner will be provided. In the morning a lovely filling breakfast and a homemade bento (lunch box) will start off your day for your second hike.
Minshuku Kobuchi is a family-run Guesthouse on the west side of Kawayu Onsen with the crystal clear Oto river running by the doorstep. With a television and air conditioning in each room, you can relax in comfort after using their own indoor hot spring (open all hours).
Their bento (lunch box) is renowned as perfect with its traditional food made with local ingredients. A fantastic base for visitors, walkers and pilgrims.
Located in the middle of the Kawayu Onsen hot spring village Tanabe, this minshuku (inn) delivers a welcoming, at-home atmosphere that has never failed to satisfy those who stay. You can use the surrounding hot springs' bathhouses, or perhaps you would like to use the hot spring river situated directly in front of the minshuku. Afterward, you can wear your free Japanese-style robe (yukata) to complete the authentic Japanese experience.
All rooms contain an en suite toilet, air-conditioning, a television, a safety box, and free internet access. Delicious Japanese meals will be served at dinner and breakfast, and you will continue on the Kumano Kodo trail with a traditional bento (lunch box), which includes mehari-zushi (rice wrapped in a pickled mustard leaf, a local speciality).
Named after the nearby Tsugizakura shrine, this accommodation offers beautiful mountain scenery from spacious rooms. The owner worked professionally as a famous chef and cooked in high-end restaurants all over Japan. The level of his expertise is displayed in every meal, using local high-quality produce, and impresses every time!
Whilst you eat your dinner, your futon will be laid out in your Japanese-style room. Before sleeping, the serene surroundings are a perfect spot for evening strolls. As you set out in the morning, you will receive a delicious bento (lunch box) and you can fill up your bottle with fresh clean water at the nearby Nonaka-no-Shimizu spring.
Mitaki Sanso has the privilege of being the only accommodation in Nachisan, located just below the Kumano Nachi Taisha and Seiganto-ji Temple. From your spacious rooms, you will have a wonderful view of Japan's highest waterfall, which is also worshipped as a deity.
Meals feature local produce in dishes, highlighting the seafood from the nearby Pacific coast. All rooms have free WiFi access, a television, a refrigerator, air conditioning, and a kotatsu heated table (for the colder months).