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Kumano Kodo - Nakahechi - Kumotori Camping

Kumano Kodo waterfall nachi taisha camping

The Kumano Kodo Nakahechi route is a popular 4 days - 3 nights pilgrimage hike in Wakayama. Due to the popularity of the hike and the limited accomodation along the trail, its often booked out months in advance.

Because Kumano Kodo is a sacred pilgrimage route, wild camping is not allowed.

However, there are a couple of official campgrounds along the route and it is possible to walk the trail and camp. You will have to carry your tent and gear and also some food (mostly for day 3). The trail is well marked and the Tanabe City Tourism Bureau has an amazing website with every map you could possibly need.

kumano kodo hike nakahechi

⏲︎	Time: 20hKanji: 熊野古道 Location: WakayamaDistance: 70kmDifficulty: IntermediateElevation Gain: 3700mMultiday: 4D/3NHiking Season: year-round


Start of the Nakahechi route is in Takijiri at the Kumano Kodo Information center , which can be reached by bus from Tanabe station. It takes about 30min and costs 970¥. The bus runs from April to November (cash only). If you bring exact change it's going to be much faster and easier.

I would recommend staying in Tanabe the night before so you can get an early start with the first bus. That way you can also stop by the visitor center and get a paper map or store extra luggage here.

Trail description

Day 1 (7:30h - 15.9km) Takijiri to Chikatsuyu

Don't forget to get your first stamp and stamp booklet.

The first day is pretty easy-going but it's still a full day so take the first bus. We walked leisurely until our first stop in Takahara village and had a look around their rest house and enjoyed the views.

After Takahara it was still about 9km until Chikatsuyu-oji. Look out for the mountain crabs when you cross some of the streams. You'll also pass a michi-no-eki which sells premade food. We picked up our dinner here.

It took us 7:30h of pretty slow walking with plenty of picture stops and little breaks. We started at 9am and arrived at the campground at 4:30.

The campsite for tonight is a bit run down in parts and might look like it's closed, but just keep walking past the abandoned tennis court to the main building for check in.

Day 2 (10 to 12h - 25km) Chikatsuyu to Kawayu

Started at 6am as we knew this was a long day and the weather forecast for the second half of the way was pretty bad. We had a good 3 hours of sunshine until it started pouring in Tsugizakura. At 11, we decided we had enough rain and took the bus to Hongu Taisha. We got off at trailmarker 39 and walked a bit to get down to the road.

Depending on where you are, its possible to shorten the distance of your walk and take the bus if you're tired or the weather is bad.

Since we now had some extra time, we also decided to walk from Hongu Taisha to Yunemine Onsen. This part is quite steep as your going over a small mountain to get to Yunomine Onsen. Its an extra 2km which should take you about an 1h.

If you have some extra time, I highly recomend Yunomine Onsen, as it has one of Japans oldest onsen. Tsuboyu is essentially a little shack next to the river and its really hot. After being wet and cold all day, it was amazing. There are no reservations and its first come, first serve. You'll have to go to the little shop on the main road, get your ticket and then wait your turn.

It's a private bath and multiple people can enter at the same time (we squeezed in with 3 people). Tickets are 770¥ per person and you get 30min

From Yunomine Onsen to Kawayu Onsen its another hour and about 4km along the road.

Day 3 (6h - 13km) Kawayu to Koguchi

This day was pretty easy and we arrived early at the campground. Stopped by the little store in town to get some snacks, had a bath and relaxed by the river for the rest of the day.

Day 4 (7h -14km) Koguchi to Nachi Falls

Last day started with a bit of elevation gain. My friends were complaining, but its not too bad if you're decently fit. Started at 7am and arrived at the falls around 2pm, explored the area and then took a bus to Katsuura where we stayed an extra night and enjoyed some seafood.


Tent site 2300¥ per person including Onsen. They also have a cooking shelter, where you can have a BBQ and WIFI. Onsen had shampoo and soap. There is a supermarket (A-Coop) within walking distance.

Tent side 1200¥ per person. No reservation required but check in by 8pm (this is a long day so make sure you leave early enough to arrive by 8pm!)

They have a cooking shelter and the town has a free public onsen next to the river (you'll need a bathing suit).

Kawayu has a restaurant or you can get supplies in Hongu from the convenience store (Yamazaki).

Camping Kumano Kodo Nakahechi Kawayu

Tent site 1000¥ per person including use of their sento/bath. They also have a sheltered BBQ.

The town has a very small shop (南方商店) with very limited selection and opening times. We only got some extra snacks there and brought our food for this night.

Extra Info:

  • The hosts at the campgrounds don't really speak English, so don't expect English support

  • Make sure you know where to get food, as mentioned above

  • We stayed an extra night in Tanabe and Kii-Katsuura, there are a couple of budget friendly guesthouses on

  • The campgrounds don't have rental gear, you'll need to bring your own stuff

  • Bring good rain clothes, it rains a lot in Wakayama

  • Make sure to arrive at the campsites by 17:00 as some won't be staffed anymore after then.

Elevation Profile & Map


2 comentarios

29 sept 2023

Which one do you mean? You can only reserve by calling them!

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09 sept 2023

hi, How to make reservation this campsite? I did’t find on there website?

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