Discover The Kumano Kodo With Oku Japan

Kyoto-based tour operator Oku Japan has launched a selection of new self-guided walking tours that will appeal to those who want to discover the Kumano Kodo — an ancient pilgrimage trail located on Japan’s Kii Peninsula.

While it’s comprised of several routes, the new tours focus on two of them — the Kiiji and Iseji.

Hiroshi Kawaguchi, Oku’s General Manager, explains that: “Oku Japan has run a self-guided program along the Kumano Kodo since 2010, and we operate a local branch office in Chikatsuyu, so our ties with the local community are especially strong.”

Kawaguchi continues: “After the disruption of the last few years, we are excited to develop and now launch new tours in the region, offering travelers even greater opportunities for discovery and cultural immersion, while providing the communities here with even more much-needed support.”

The Kiiji, or western route, was considered the original approach to the Kumano Kodo, and Oku’s trips on this route segue into the classic Nakahechi route, which is where Oku has run a program for years. The self-guided tour is available as both a five- and six-day option, and the duration of all of the hikes on the Kiiji self-guided walking tours are no longer than four hours, making it a very accessible option to all levels of hikers, along with allowing more time for guests to enjoy the local communities.

Departures on the 5-day trip are available year-round and are priced from US$1,445 per person. Departures on the 6-day itinerary are also available year-round and are priced from US$1,720 per person.

Oku’s new Iseji self-guided walking tours, of which there are two – a four-day and a five-day option – begin in Ise, a wonderful entry point to the Iseji route of the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage. The 4-day trip is priced from US$1,210 per person, while the 5-day trip is priced from US$1,490 per person. Year-round departures are available for both itineraries.

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