Crisscrossing Japan’s largest peninsula are a series of centuries-old pilgrimage routes known as the Kumano Kodo. This trip takes several of these sacred paths, following in the footsteps of ancient pilgrims and even Japanese emperors, through spectacular scenery that includes mountains, forests and coastlines.
Led by an expert local guide, each night is spent in a traditional ryokan (a Japanese guesthouse or inn), relaxing in hot stone baths and dining on Japan’s famed cuisine. One of the final nights is spent in a Buddhist temple on Mount Koya—and when it’s all done, you return to Kyoto to explore one of Japan’s most dazzling cities.
- Trek to the shrine of Chikatsuyu along a rugged forest path that’s home to small bears, deer, wild boar and ancient tea houses
- Gaze at the highest waterfall in Japan, Nachi-taki, and explore the Grand Shrine there near the Pacific Ocean after a long morning climb to Ogumotorigoe Pass
- Ride a cable car to Mount Koya, 900 metres high on the Kii peninsula, where more than 100 monasteries lie; sleep overnight in one of the monasteries and visit the 16th-century Kongo-buji temple complex
- Phone: (011) 44-1453-844-400
- Length/Departs: 12 days / May, Sept., Oct.
- Accommodation: Hotel, ryokan, minshuku, temple
- Price: £3,395
- Difficulty: Easy