Blending Nature and History on the Ancient Kumano-kodo Pilgrimage Trail

Blending Nature and History on the Ancient Kumano-kodo Pilgrimage Trail

The Kumano-kodo trail is a sacred pilgrimage route and an official World Heritage Site. This extensive network of trails has been in use for over 1,000 years and offers numerous hiking options for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts. For visitors who are looking for an active day in the natural beauty of Mie, the Sacred Kumano-kodo Trail Running and Cycling experience is a perfect choice. This full-day tour starts on an e-bike at 9:00 AM and finishes at 4:30 PM when the participants are taken back to their guesthouse. The experience is available year-round and each season provides a unique adventure for a cost of ¥10,000 per person. The price includes the e-bike rental and a lunch box of locally-sourced food to enjoy at the top of a mountain pass.

At the top of the pass, I opened my lunch box and was excited to find three handmade rice balls (“onigiri” in Japanese). One was filled with Matsusaka beef, one with fresh caught sweetfish and the other with a tangy shiso leaf and Japanese plum mixture. My guides informed me that they were made that morning in Taiki Town. All three onigiri were delicious and they restored my energy before we started making our way back down the other side of the pass.

Caption: After a morning of cycling and hiking over the pass, I was ready for some lunch.

Caption: The feeling of the soft ferns brushing against my legs was wonderful.

Caption: Nakamura-san leading the way down to the base of the mountain.

As we neared the end of the first pass, I felt refreshed by the hike. It was a spectacular trail and my guides made sure it was informative and fun. This was my first taste of the sacred Kumano-kodo pilgrimage route and I will definitely hike other sections in the future. Anyone who loves hiking will appreciate this amazing experience. 

Caption: The signs let me know where I had been and where I was going.

Caption: The end of the trail on the other side of the pass.

Once we reached the trailhead of the Tsuzurato-toge on the other side of the pass, we moved on to Nisaka-toge Pass for another amazing hike. After trekking over the two passes, I met my ride and was transferred back to my guesthouse. It was an awesome experience and I was looking forward to a refreshing shower before deciding on what to have for dinner. 

The trails of the historic Kumano-kodo are a uniquely Japanese hiking experience and learning about how the routes were established and used in the past from my guide was very interesting. Nakamura-san added important context to the nature that we were hiking through. Without his expert guidance, I may have missed the 1,000-year-old curved stone retaining walls and charcoal pits that he explained in detail. 

Combining the history of the region with the lush and beautiful plant life of the mountain passes gave me a new appreciation for hiking in Japan. The natural beauty and diverse terrain of the Kumano-kodo trails will surely capture the heart of any outdoor enthusiast who registers for this amazing experience while in Mie Prefecture. You will never forget the charm and historical importance of the incredible mountain passes that will take you on the same routes that have been in use for more than a millennium. 

If you are looking for an active adventure that also teaches you some Japanese history, find out more about the Sacred Kumano-kodo Trail Running and Cycling experience by clicking on the link below. 


Taiki Town Regional Activation Council


Contact form:


5.5 hours

- 1.5 hours of cycling (20 km)

- 4 hours of trail running (15 km)


<Operating Times>

All seasons



¥10,000 per person


< Tour size >

- 2-6 people


<Meeting Time and Place>


Sankai no Sato Kisei

2154-1 Saki Taiki-cho, Watarai-gun, MiePrefecture


From Tokyo

- About 5 hours by train

- About 5.5 hours by car


From Osaka

- About 3.5 hours by train

- About 2.5 hours by car


From Nagoya

- About 3 hours by train

- About 1.5 hours by car

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