TOUR ENQUIRIES: walks@lifesanadventure.com.au

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WALKING IS ONLY PART OF THE ADVENTURE

WALK KUMANO KODO

JAPAN

JOIN US FOR A GUIDED PACK FREE 8 DAY WALK

INCLUDED WOWS – KUMANO RIVER PILGRIM BOAT CRUISE, MEDITATION WITH A MONK IN KOYASAN, LOCAL EDUCATIONAL WALK GUIDES, BOUTIQUE ACCOMM, LOCAL WINES & FOOD, PRIVATE TRANSFERS+ MORE

SAVE UP TO $500 PER COUPLE OR $250 PER PERSON WITH OUR SPOT SPECIALS* ON 2024 DEPARTURES. HURRY – BOOK YOUR TRIP TODAY AND SAVE.

WALK SNAPSHOT

8 DAYS – 7 NIGHTS

PACK FREE GUIDED WALK – ONLY CARRY A DAY PACK

PRIVATE TRANSFERS BETWEEN WALKS – NO TRAINS 

FLEXIBLE WALKING OPTIONS 

LUGGAGE TRANSFER TO ACCOMMODATION EACH DAY

PROFESSIONAL LOCAL GUIDES FROM THE AREA

BEST ACCOMMODATION IN EACH AREA

LOCALLY SOURCED DINNERS & WINE INCLUDED

ALL MEALS INCLUDED

ECO FRIENDLY – ECO TOURISM ACCREDITED

DEPARTURE DATE

  • 5 – 12 September 2024

PRICES FROM $6749 PP*

TOUR PRICES

Spot Specials of up to $500 per couple or up to $250 per person are available on specific departures when you book and pay in full at time of booking. On sale until sold out!

Private group walks are available and require a minimum of 10-12 guests. Groups can choose a departure date subject to availability. See details and prices below.

INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

Please note your tour price does not include flights to/from the countries visited. We are offering our guests a service to book their international flights or any other travel plans during their holiday. To start planning your trip, email us at flights@lifesanadventure.com.au 

Prices in Australian Dollars
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March – October 2024
SPORT SPECIAL PRICES

Normal Price…. $6999 per person twin share
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FIRST TIME PASSENGERS:
SPOT SPECIAL….. $6849 per person twin share
SAVE $150 per person
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TRAVELLED WITH
LIFE’S AN ADVENTURE BEFORE:

SPOT SPECIAL….. $6749 per person twin share
SAVE $250 per person
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Spot Specials of up to $500 per couple or up to $250 per person are available on specific departures when you book and pay in full at time of booking. On sale until sold out!

Normal Price requires $500 deposit only, with final payments due 12 weeks prior. Past passengers $100 extra savings also available on normal price fares. Based on twin share – see details about Single Supplement extras. See full ticket conditions below under Discount information.

Prices in Australian Dollars
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PRIVATE GROUPS
10 – 12 participants

Departure date of your choice

PRICES
Prices are equal to Past Travellers’ discount rates.

Departure date of your choice is subjective to availability. A minimum group size of 10 required. Prices are equal to Past Travellers’ discounted rates. Additional Past Traveller’s’ discount not available for groups. 

The following extras can be purchased with your tour:

SOLO TRAVELLERS
WILLING TO SHARE
If you are a solo traveller willing to share a room, we will attempt to match you with another solo traveller of the same gender. If we can’t find you a match of the same gender by around 12 weeks prior to the tour, you will be charged the single supplement cost.

SOLO TRAVELLERS
WANTING THEIR OWN ROOM
For those wanting to guarantee their own room, a single supplement cost will be charged at the time of booking.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: $899

*Please note: As Takahara Lodge has a small number of rooms, a single supplement is not available on our night stay here. Twin/triple share rooms are available.
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TRAVEL INSURANCE
Travel Insurance is compulsory for all international bookings.  Travel Insurance covers items such as cancellation of tour due to minimum numbers not met, adverse weather conditions, injury, evacuation, delayed flights, illness, etc. We have partnered with Cover-More to provide travel insurance to our guests. To get a quote or purchase travel insurance directly with them CLICK HERE .

Discount Information

PAST PASSENGER DISCOUNT: Those who have travelled with Life’s An Adventure previously, receive a past passenger discount of $100. This discount will automatically be deducted from future bookings when you book online using the same email address used for past bookings.

EARLYBIRD CANCELLATIONS: Cancellations are not permitted for Super Earlybird, Earlybird Deals or Spot Specials, however, transfers to another date are permitted 12 weeks or more prior to departure. We advise taking out travel insurance, in case unexpected circumstances prior to the trip, prevent you from joining this tour. Super Earlybird, Early bird or Spot Special discounts cannot be used in conjunction with another offer. To receive these special discounts, full payment must be made at the time of initial booking.

Travel Insurance

We advise taking our Travel Insurance to cover items such as cancellation of tour due to minimum numbers not met, or adverse weather conditions, injury, evacuation, delayed flights, illness, etc. We have organised through NIB Insurance for you to purchase travel insurance directly with them – please click here for details. Please note this insurance is only available for Australian Residents, other clients will need to source their own travel insurance.

Additional Information

  • Prices are per person in Australian dollars and include GST.
  • A deposit of $500 per person is required to secure your booking. (unless taking advantage of Earlybird or Spot Specials in which full payment is required at time of booking).
  • Note: If you are booking within 90 days of your departure date – we will require full payment at the time of booking
  • Prices are based on twin share of rooms. If you are travelling solo you may be required to share with someone of the same gender. If this is not suitable you can request to pay a single supplement, however, limited single rooms are available per trip so are on a request basis.
  • Payments must be made online via our NAB (National Australia Bank) secure payment page via credit card (Visa or Mastercard) or over the phone.
  • We advise taking our Travel Insurance to cover items such as cancellation of tour due to minimum numbers not met, or adverse weather conditions, injury, evacuation, delayed flights, illness, etc.

Booking Terms and Conditions

Before you book please read our Booking Terms and Conditions. Click here

Cancellation Policy and Conditions of Travel

 Click here to view Cancellation Policy and Conditions of Travel.

CHECK OUT THE WOW-MAZINGS YOU'LL EXPERIENCE

The ultimate Pack-Free guided 8-day walk
Koyasan and the Imperial Nakahechi Route

This 8-day pack-free guided walk explores the 1000 year old Kumano Kodo ancient pilgrim trail that stretches across the picturesque mountains of the Keii Peninsula in Japan, a region many visitors to Japan never get to see.

We have hand-crafted this journey to give you the best of this region, we have avoided the busy train transport between locations and have included private transfers which allow our guests the flexibility in walking options each day.

We have personally selected the finest accommodation in each area with their unique Japanese style and extra comfort, as we understand alot of guests don’t want to sleep on thin futon mattresses on the ground for 7 nights.

Our walk takes us through UNESCO World Heritage expanse through a mesmerizing tapestry of mountain forests, revealing the Grand Shrines nestled amidst the green canopy.

We begin by traversing a section of the northern trail, leading to Koyasan, a serene Buddhist temple town seemingly untouched by the passage of time.

Then journey south upon the imperial Nakahechi Route, immersing yourself in the landscapes woven with history, spirituality, and culture.

This tour commences and finishes in Osaka making it easier to join your tour and continue your journey in Japan afterwards.

Your 8 day walking holiday includes:

  • Pack Free fully supported walk with no heavy packs to carry
  • Private vehicle transfers – no trains!
  • Flexible walking options each day
  • Luggage transport EVERY day to your accommodation

Wow-mazing Experiences

  • Kumano River Pilgrim Boat Cruise
  • Mediation with a monk in Koyasan

The Best accommodation in each area:

  • 1 night at Aloft Hotel Dojima, Osaka or similar
  • 1 night at Rengejoin or The Soijin Temple Lodge, Koyasan
  • 1 night at Takahara Organic Lodge or similar
  • 3 nights at Watase Onsen Hotel Sasayuri or similar
  • 1 night Yukai Resort Koshinoyu Kii Katsuura

Meals

  • 7 x lunches
  • 6 x superb dinners every evening featuring local produce
  • Complimentary wines with evening meals
  • 7 x breakfasts

Local Guides

  • Professional and passionate local guides that speak Japanese and English

Guests will need to organise their own flights to Osaka. International flights do arrive into Osaka, or Fly to Tokyo and take the Shinkansen (Bullet train to Osaka) the day prior to the tour. 

Make your own way to your accommodation in Osaka for tonight at the Aloft Hotel Dojima, Osaka, part of the Marriott Group.

The remainder of the day is free to explore Osaka at your leisure. The hotel is centrally located within close proximity to the local trains.

Tonight is also free to enjoy Osaka, perhaps visit the vibrant Dotonbori area with its array of restaurants or relax in the hotel restaurant. The hotel will be happy to give you suggestions.

TERRAIN: 

The trail encompasses a diverse terrain composed of earthy pathways, intricate tree root networks.

WALK GRADE:

11kms. 3 hours walking with breaks. Medium Grade. Good level of fitness required. Total elevation gain: 350m.

FLEXIBLE WALKING: 

Flexible walking options available today.  For those not wanting to do the whole walk enjoy a 5km section of today’s walk instead.

ITINERARY: 

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before meeting your tour guides at 7.30am in the foyer of the hotel.

This morning we transfer by vehicle from Osaka to the temple town of Koyasan for a short sightseeing tour of the main points of interest. Koyasan is a revered mountain town renowned for its ancient centuries-old temples and profound spiritual significance.

Today’s walk retraces the steps of generations of devoted pilgrims who sought enlightenment and inner peace. This pilgrim trail takes winds its way through towering cedar trees forests, ascending rugged mountains, and passing serene temples, offering a profound connection with nature and spirituality.

The hiking trail concludes at the Daimon Gate, a majestic two-story tall crimson gate that serves as the iconic entry point to Koyasan.

After our walk we make our way to our Temple Lodging for the evening.

This afternoon you have the opportunity to join a unique and spiritually enriching experience. As the sun’s gentle rays filter through the ancient temple’s paper-paneled windows, you’ll have the golden opportunity to partake in a serene meditation session.

This sacred practice will be guided by one of the resident monks, whose wisdom and serenity have been cultivated through a lifetime of devotion. The atmosphere within the temple exudes an aura of profound tranquility, enveloping you in a sense of inner peace and contemplation.

Afterwards, join the group and be treated to an authentic Japanese-style dinner.

TERRAIN: 

The trail encompasses a diverse terrain composed of earthy pathways, intricate tree root networks, well-worn stone steps, and charming cobblestone sections.

WALK GRADE:

Total walking today 11.8kms. 

Walk 1: Takijiri-Oji to Takahara. Total elevation gain: 357m. 3.9kms. 2.5 hours. Good level of fitness required. Grade: Medium. 

Walk 2 after lunch: Takahara to Michi-no-Eki. 7.9kms. 3 hours. 320 elevation. 400m descent. Grade Medium.

FLEXIBLE WALKING: 

Flexible walking options available today.  For those not wanting to do the whole 11.8kms, you can choose to do one walk instead of 2 today. Eg miss walk 1 and start at walk 2 or visa versa.

ITINERARY: 

Before breakfast there is another opportunity to join morning meditation before enjoying a traditional Japanese vegetarian breakfast.

Today we head south directly to Takijiri-Oji, travelling by private vehicle instead of train via Tanabe provides a shorter transfer time and gives us more walking or leisure time today. 

We begin with a brief pause at the Takijiri-Oji Visitor Centre, where an informative introduction to the UNESCO World Heritage sacred sites awaits, along with captivating displays of traditional pilgrim clothing.

Situated just across the road, the beginning of our journey unfolds at Takijiri-Oji, an immensely significant location along the renowned Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage route and recognized as one of the five major Oji shrines.

The initial ascent to Takahara Village is a challenging one, navigating through a tapestry of both native and planted forests. Roughly 15 minutes into this uphill trek, you’ll encounter a fascinating set of imposing boulders, among which hides the enigmatic Tainai-kuguri cave—a place to test one’s faith by squeezing through the crack at its far end.

Amidst this pristine wilderness, the Takahara Kumano-jinja shrine stands as an ancient sentinel, adorned with towering camphor trees that have borne witness to countless pilgrims’ journeys.

As you reach the village of Takahara, prepare to be awe-struck by panoramic vistas unveiling the majestic Hatenashi mountain range, here you will find our accommodation at the Takahara Organic Hotel.

Upon arrival we enjoy a sit down lunch. You you can spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing soaking up the views here or after our lunch break join an optional afternoon walk continuing along the trail deeper into the mountainous terrain along the sacred pilgrimage trail to Michi-no-Eki.

After our walk we transfer back to our accommodation.

Tonight enjoy dinner served with wine at the Takahara Organic Hotel featuring fresh organic ingredients.

TERRAIN: 

The trail encompasses a diverse terrain composed of earthy pathways, intricate tree root networks, well-worn stone steps, and charming cobblestone sections.

WALK GRADE:

Total 5kms. Good level of fitness required. 150m elevation.

FLEXIBLE WALKING: 

Flexible walking options available today.  For those not wanting to do the whole walk enjoy a shorter walk as far as Chikatsuyu-oji or walk from Chikatsuyu-oji to Tsugizakura-Oji.

ITINERARY: 

After breakfast, we transfer back to the trail as we walk from Michi-no-Eki.

Our path leads us upwards along a brisk yet invigorating ascent towards the Hashiori-Toge pass.

Nestled at the zenith of this pass, we encounter a captivating statue that commands attention—a representation of Emperor Kazan, one of the early emperors who embarked on the sacred pilgrimage to Kumano. In this remarkable sculpture, Emperor Kazan is depicted astride both a noble horse and a sturdy cow, symbolizing the profound spiritual journey undertaken in these mountains.

Our descent carries us along a meticulously laid cobblestone staircase, which serves as our guide towards a panoramic vista overlooking the idyllic Chikatsuyu Village nestled below.

Across the meandering Hiki-gawa River to our left, we catch sight of the Chikatsuyu-oji shrine, a sacred edifice steeped in history and significance. From here the trail climbs to Tsugizakura-Oji , famed for its giant cedar trees and a thirst-quenching spring.

Afterwards we transfer to Wataze Onsen, the ‘onsen’ is the Japanese name of thermal hot spring baths and this area has many. They are an important part of pilgrimage tradition, being used in purification rituals in preparation for visiting the grand Hongu Taisha Shrine.

We spend the next 3 nights at the Hotel Sasayuri located on the Yomura River.

We have included 3 nights here so you can relax and unpack and have specifically chosen our accommodation for its rooms with feature traditional beds as well as japanese style beds, so you have the best of both worlds to suit your level of comfort required.

The hotel has private hot thermal baths available for our guests to enjoy and relax after a day’s walk.

This evening we dress in a Yukata (traditional Japanese kimino dress) and enjoy dinner featuring local cuisine in the hotel restaurant accompanied by wine.

TERRAIN: 

The trail encompasses a diverse terrain composed of earthy pathways, intricate tree root networks, well-worn stone steps, and charming cobblestone sections.

WALK GRADE:

Total 10kms. Good level of fitness required. 100m elevation.

FLEXIBLE WALKING: 

Flexible walking options available today.  For those not wanting to do the whole walk enjoy a shorter walk to Hongu Taisha.

WALK ITINERARY: 

Following a hearty breakfast, our day’s adventure unfolds as we start our walk in Hosshinmon-oki and make our way to Kumano Hongu Taisha through majestic forests and remote, picturesque villages.

Along this immersive odyssey, nature bestows upon us a series of awe-inspiring panoramic vistas, each more breathtaking than the last. It is at the sacred site of Fushiogami that our senses are graced by first glimpses of the monumental presence of the Hongu Taisha’s colossal torii shrine gate.

Pressing onward along our path, we find ourselves gradually descending towards the Taisha. Here, the landscape undergoes a remarkable transformation.

Contrasting starkly with it is the towering 33.9-meter-high torii gate. The Taisha complex emerges as a harmonious fusion of simplicity and elegance, blending seamlessly into the embracing arms of the surrounding forest.

We continue along the trail to Yunomine Onsen.

Afterwards, we returning to our accommodation at Watase Onsen Hotel Sasayuri. Tonight enjoy traditional cuisine served with sake.

TERRAIN: 

The trail encompasses a diverse terrain composed of earthy pathways, intricate tree root networks, well-worn stone steps, and charming cobblestone sections.

WALK GRADE:

Total 13kms. Good level of fitness required. 420m elevation.

FLEXIBLE WALKING: 

Flexible walking options available today.  For those not wanting to do the whole walk enjoy a shorter walk

ITINERARY: 

After breakfast in the restaurant, we begin our walk from Ukegawa as we journey along a captivating ascent towards Hyakken-gura along the way we see the Mastsuhata-jaya Teahouse remains.

Once we reach the top of Hyakken-gura, we are treated to a sweeping panorama that sweeps across the landscape, revealing the true grandeur of our surroundings.

Our walk proceeds along a winding forest track, immersing us in the heart of this enchanting woodland. The serenity of the forest embraces us, creating an atmosphere of tranquility and mystique.

Eventually, our path gently descends, leading us to the remote and secluded village of Koguchi. Encircled by a formidable embrace of towering mountains and meandering rivers, Koguchi nestles itself in a pristine natural sanctuary, inviting us to explore its hidden charms and secrets.

Afterwards we transfer back to our accommodation at the Hotel Sasayuri.

TERRAIN: 

The first section of the trail gains 800 meters of elevation in about 5 kilometres. (2.5 hours). Terrain encompasses a diverse terrain composed of earthy pathways, intricate tree root networks, well-worn stone steps, and charming cobblestone sections.

WALK GRADE:

Total 14.53kms. Hard Grade. 8 hours walk. Good level of fitness required. Elevation gain 1260m. Descent 930m.

FLEXIBLE WALKING: 

Flexible walking options available today.  For those not wanting to do this challenging walk, transfer with our driver directly to Nachi Taisha Shrine and waterfall either enjoy free time here or do a 5.5km return walk from Nachi Taisha to the Teahouse remains and back.

ITINERARY: 

After breakfast we make our way to Koguchi for our walk which takes us from Koguchi to the grand Nachi Taisha shrine.

Today is a challenging walk meandering through enchanting forests and along lofty ridges, ancient stone walls of past terraced rice paddies, leading us on a rollercoaster of ascents and descents until we finally conquer the summit with its spectacular sweeping views.

Although a strenuous walk,  the rewards are well worth the effort as you reach the summit we are gifted with sweeping vistas that stretch beyond the rugged mountains, to the vast expanse of the Ocean.

As we continue our descent, the trail guides us to the sacred grounds of Nachi Taisha shrine, the serene Seiganto-ji temple, and the awe-inspiring Nachi-no-Otaki waterfalls the tallest in Japan. These majestic falls command our reverence with an uninterrupted plunge of 133 meters, a true marvel of nature’s grandeur.

Together they form an exquisite tableau of natural and spiritual beauty, where the cascading waters of Nachi-no-Otaki add a breathtaking touch of grace to the serene grandeur of the shrine’s sacred surroundings.

After our walk we transfer to the coast to the fishing village of Kii-Katsuura. Tonight we spend the evening at the beautiful Yukai Resort Koshinoyu set on the waterfront offering beautiful views over the bay.

Tonight we enjoy dinner in the superb restaurant. Dinner is buffet style but the choices are endless and the displays of food are a work of art.

ITINERARY:

On our final day we make our way to the Kumano River to enjoy a traditional Boat cruise.

For over 100 years pilgrims made their journey to Kumano in traditional wooden flat-bottom boats. Enjoy spectacular views of the river as we cruise down the picturesque gorge taking in stunning scenery and magnficent waterfalls along the way.

Our boat arrives in to Shingu where we disembark to visit the Kumano Hayatama Tasiha Grand Shrine which has occupied the same spot on the Kumano Riverbank since at least the 12th century.

It is included as part of the UNESCO World Heritage site “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range.

Afterwards we transfer by private vehicle and make our way back to Osaka arriving at approximately 5.30pm, the end of a fabulous journey.

PLEASE NOTE: This walk can be joined to our Japanese Nakasendo Way walk to form a 16 day journey – click here to find out more.

SAVE UP TO $500 PER COUPLE OR $250 PER PERSON WITH OUR SPOT SPECIALS* ON 2024 DEPARTURES. HURRY – BOOK YOUR TRIP TODAY AND SAVE.

WHAT MAKES US ‘WOW-MAZING’ DIFFERENT? TAKE A LOOK.

LIFE’S AN ADVENTURE GIVES YOU PACK FREE GUIDED WALKING TOURS WITH OUR UNIQUE WOW-MAZING INCLUSIONS LIKE...

... WILDERNESS CRUISES TO REMOTE LOCATIONS - CHOPPER FLIGHTS OVER STUNNING SCENERY - MEETING LOCAL CHEFS AND WINE MAKERS - DELICIOUS PADDOCK TO PLATE DINING - LOCALLY SOURCED WINES - FLEXIBLE FITNESS WALKING OPTIONS - FABULOUS BOUTIQUE ACCOMMODATION - SURPRISE & DELIGHT EXPERIENCES + MORE

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BOOK AND WALK WITH CONFIDENCE.

PERSONALISED TOURS

Our tours are curated to be personal and intimate with a maximum group size of 12 – 16 guests. However, if you’d like to have a bigger group, contact us for more details.

CEO GUIDES

Our guides are CEOs – Chief Experience Officers – and their passion is to give you a world-class walk. We pride ourselves on employing a talented team of passionate CEOs who all have a passion for their tour. They’re committed to your safety and have a genuine desire to provide an enriching, immersive and wow-mazing walking experience.

21 TOURISM AWARDS

We don’t mean to boast but it is awesome to be recognised for having tours that people love walking on. We’ve won 21 Tourism Awards of Excellence including the Qantas Australian Tourism Award for Australia’s Best Adventure Company. Awards are great, but our biggest accolade which we value even more, is that our clients come back and travel with us time and time again.

GENUINE ALL-INCLUSIVE

Our walking tours are all genuinely all-inclusive – so once you pay for your tour there are no hidden extras. During your evening meals, you won’t need to put your hand in your pocket to pay for wine as it’s included in the price of the tour and if you tour has a stunning scenic chopper flight or eco wildlife cruise – it’s 100% part of your tour package. What’s more – there are No Credit Cards fees.

FLEXIWALK

Our FlexiWalk is a new optional Add-On that allows guests to cancel their tour last minute and not be penalised. Exclusively designed by Life’s An Adventure, this product gives our guests certainty in a time of uncertainty. 

LOOKING FOR OTHER TOUR IDEAS? LOOK HERE.

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FOUR REASONS WHY WALKING WITH FRIENDS OVER A LONG WEEKEND IS GREAT FOR YOU

WALKING AND WINE - THE PERFECT LONG WEEKEND PAIRING

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