Kumano Kodo Route



Robert is a professional photographer, journalist, and social media influencer from England, dedicated to capturing the rich cultural and natural beauty of the world.
He has traveled to 155 countries and previously worked as Editor-in-Chief for CNN Travel in Japan, BBC, Wall Street Journal and NatGeo.


  • 7:00
    Ryokan Yunomineso (Breakfast)
  • 8:30
    Ryokan Yunomineso (Check out)
  • 8:30
    Within walking distance
  • 8:40
    Yunomine Onsen Bus stop
  • 9:20
    Michi-no-Eki Kumanogawa Bus stop
  • 10:00
    Kumano-gawa Boat Center
    They have you wear life jackets when you take the boat, for safety’s sake.
    It’s fun to go rafting down the river from here to Gongengawara near Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine. It takes about 90 minutes.
    The boat guide gives you clear information about the things you see from the boat, including the waterfalls and rocks, so you can learn about the history and legends of the place.
    ※Closed during winter from December to the end of February.
  • 11:00
    Within walking distance
  • 11:05
    Kumano Hayatama Taisha Grand Shrine
    Very different from the previous shrines -- this one has a simple layout and is uniform in style, coloured orange/red all around.
    Like Kumano Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine, it is very photogenic indeed and it’s wonderful to see priests and staff in such perfect traditional dress, too. I would highly recommend it.
    While there are shrines like this in more popular places like Nara and Kyoto, it feels special to see such a large and beautiful complex that is much less well known to people outside of Japan.
  • 12:00
    Within walking distance
  • 12:10
    Kamikura-jinja Shrine
  • 13:00
    Within walking distance
  • 13:20
    Jyofuku sushi (Lunch)
    The staff here was super-friendly and this is a great example of a tiny local restaurant that has much more to offer than first appears.
    We stayed here an hour and tried lots of different dishes, including some sushi I’ve never had or seen before.
    I'd recommend it to other tourists, for sure, because it gives you a chance to discover a local twist on sushi, including at least two I have never seen before.
    We ordered the Sanma sushi and this was the first time I have ever seen an entire fish prepared as sushi in one unit.
  • 14:15
    Within walking distance
  • 14:22
    Shingu Sta. (JR Kinokuni Line)
  • 14:44
    Kii-Katsuura Sta. (JR Kinokuni Line)
  • 14:50
    Katsuura Seafood Center
    As the name suggests, there are mainly seafood products, but there is a plum corner, a confectionery corner, and a local sake corner, and this is a Kishu Bussan Supermarket with 500 items.
    The marine products are direct-manufacturing stores with 100 items produced at our own processing plant.
  • 15:30
    Within walking distance
  • 15:45
    Kii-Katsuura Sta. (Pier of ship)
  • 15:50
    Hotel Nakanoshima (Pier of ship)
  • 16:25
    Hotel Nakanoshima (Check in)
    This hotel looks like a true gem of Japan, set in a landscape that recalls Southeast Asia, with the rocks in the oceans covered in greenery.
    The hotel is impeccable and it feels like a true retreat on a high international standard.
    We arrived at night and left early so I couldn’t enjoy or explore it enough to comment more fully. It's highly recommended.
    The rooms mix western style beds with Japanese style living rooms and the views are fantastic. The hot springs and fresh sea air are a great combination.
  • 19:30
    Hotel Nakanoshima (Dinner)
    The service here was superb and the meal included all kinds of treats, including dishes we don’t see too often in Japan, like clams in their shells.
    The staff was super polite and the food was served very quickly, with incredible presentation. I ate everything and was excited to try it all even if I couldn’t recognize some things.
    Highly recommended. The best part was the beef, which melted in the mouth, and both the sushi and sashimi are of high quality which I am sure tourists will enjoy.
    I am sure, too, that guests will be eager to photograph the whole setup.


  • 7:30
    Hotel Nakanoshima (Breakfast)
  • 8:55
    Hotel Nakanoshima (Check out)
  • 9:00
    Hotel Nakanoshima (Pier of ship)
  • 9:05
    Kii-Katsuura Sta. (Pier of ship)
  • 9:05
    Within walking distance
  • 9:30
    Kii-Katsuura Bus stop
  • 9:49
    Daimonzaka Bus stop
  • 9:55
    Daimon-zaka Slope

    Heian Costume Experience

    Visiting the center to try on traditional outfits was tremendous fun. It seemed to be run by a family for generations and everyone was super helpful.
    We filmed the process of putting on the many layers of traditional dress. Then on the streets we enjoyed the beauty of the natural environment, where each step felt ancient and atmospheric.
    This is one of the best experiences in Japan, with nature and ancient culture side by side. I think it’s fun for all ages, for kids, families and couples.
    It’s great for taking photos and for just hiking too.
  • Nachisan Information Center
  • Kumano Nachi Taisha Grand Shrine
    The element that was really curious about this shrine is that it sits right beside Buddhist temples, and it’s rare to see Shinto and Buddhism next door to each other like this.
    The clean orange façade of the shrine contrasted with the brown wooden temples next door and this seemed like a very active shrine.
    For sure, if a visitor is coming to see Nachi Waterfall, they should also come up here to understand the impact of natural beauty on historic belief systems.
    It is also fun to select an omikuji and read the good luck charm
  • Nachisan Seiganto-ji Temple / Three Storied Pagoda
    This place is an icon of Japan, of course, and though it is not visited in the same numbers as Kyoto and Nara, it is becoming popular thanks to Instagram.
    which must have felt even more powerful to people in days gone by. It’s a must visit for sure, I was surprised it was not so busy even on a sunny Sunday, and we could enjoy it at our own pace.
    It’s one of the most photogenic spots in the country for sure, and HIGHLY recommended.
  • Hiro Jinja Shrine / Nachi Waterfall
    I knew about the falls but did not know it’s the highest in Japan, so it was really cool to approach it via the stone steps and through the torii gates.
    The platforms in front are excellent and give great views. It is also an advantage that it faces out towards the sun for most of the day.
    These falls are one simple and serene drop, and they don’t make much noise so it means it feels very peaceful and tranquil.
    It is a place you can stand and watch the water flow peacefully for some time and consider how long this natural monument has been here, and all the people who have admired it.
  • Shop in front of Nachi Waterfall
  • 13:56
    Nachi-no-Taki-mae Bus stop
  • 14:20
    Kii-Katsuura Bus stop
  • 14:20
    Within walking distance
  • 14:30
    Mehari Sushi Nidaime(Lunch)
    Maguro Teishoku
    This was a fantastic local place to finish off our trip, and well-earned after a long day photo-shooting and enjoying Nachi Waterfall and the surrounding shrines.
    We got to see the chefs prepare the tuna sashimi from a huge piece of tuna and cut it in to pieces, so it was a great local experience to watch and then taste the food here.
    The teishoku options here are excellent and have a lot of variety so that’s very good for all types of guests. It includes tempura, rice, soup and sashimi, so I think it can easily match the tastes of most visitors.
  • 15:30
    Within walking distance
  • 15:40
    Kii-Katsuura Sta.

Other Route

Koyasan Route


Marcy is a professional content creator, blogger and editor from the Americas, focused in the luxury adventure travel industry showcasing remote exotic destinations around the world.
Marcy worked as Marketing PR director for Ralph Lauren. Her work has been featured in The Telegraph, Cosmopolitan, Vogue and National Geographic.
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