The Kumano Kodo is a series of ancient pilgrimage trails which stretch across the mountainous Kii Peninsula. This area of southern Japan is renowned for its spiritual significance, which is embodied in the exquisite and ornate Grand Shrines of Kumano. The routes and their religious importance were officially recognised in 2004 when they became UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
All of the six historic Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes promise mountainous terrain, misty forests and tumbling waterfalls. Emerging from this ethereal landscape are the three Grand Shrines of Kumano. Collectively known as Kumano Sanzan, they are Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Hayatama Taisha and Kumano Nachi Taisha, and we recommend a visit to these beautiful and spiritual places. Nearby is Kawayu hot springs (onsen) so you can take a small side trip and rejuvenate in typical Japanese style.
Nachikatsuura, Kumano Kodo, Japan
Sitting amongst the lush greenery of its own island and the azure waters of the Pacific Ocean, this resort-style hotel boasts indoor and outdoor hot spring baths, light, spacious rooms and delicious Japanese cuisine.
Kawayu Onsen Fujiya Ryokan
Located in the Japanese countryside, close to Kumano Kodo along the banks of the Oto River in the village of Kawayu Onsen, Fujiya Ryokan offers indoor and outdoor hot spring baths and the chance to enjoy natural open-air hot spring bathing in the river.
Mount Koya, Kumano Kodo, Japan
The Japanese-style rooms of Souji-in lie in a Buddhist temple on Mount Koya and combine traditional design with modern conveniences including flat-screen TVs and air-conditioning.