Birding · Historical Significance · Hot Spring · River/Creek · Views
Need to Know
This trail is part of the Kumano Kodo, an ancient network of pilgrimage trails that link multiple Shinto and Buddhist shrines. Along these trails there are plenty of options for water and toilets. Hikers (and pilgrims) pack light and stay in accommodations (tb-kumano.jp/en/lodging/) at the various way stations.
The first 3.5 miles of this section follows the road out of town while visiting multiple shrines.
From here you tuck back into the forest and head steeply uphill gaining and then losing 300 vertical feet all within a mile. Cruise up the side of another rise. At the apex you pass a large landslide and then drop back down.
At 7 miles, you head up and down another hill which is the last significant prominence in this section. The trail trends gently down from here will a few steeper descents.
The final miles are rich with shrines culminating in the Kumano Hongū Taisha Grand Shrine in this section's terminus of Hongū.