Hosting small group guided walking tours in regional Japan.
Kumano Kodo and Koyasan
Japan’s Sacred Pilgrimage Walk – visit sacred sites through the Kumano; since ancient times Japan’s spiritual heart, a place of healing, a mystical abode of the gods.
Travel high into the Kii mountain range, to Koyasan, home of Shingon Buddhism and more than 100 Buddhist temples for over 1200 years.
Walk the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail through mountains and forests, alongside streams, past rice paddies, farms and villages, orange groves and tea plantations to the revered Kumano “Sanzen”; the three grand Shinto shrines of the Kumano.
Be touched by the serene and inspiring Kumano and take time to reflect and soak in the spirituality of Koyasan.
Nakasendo and the Kiso Valley
Japan’s historic “Kisokaido” – take a step back to a time of shoguns and samurais, and travel the Nakasendo trail through the Kiso Valley as it winds through enchanting Edo period villages.
Follow the Nakasendo, the “old trail through the mountains”, linking Kyoto to Edo, the route preferred by the imperial court. Pass castles and journey through the magnificent rolling countryside of the Kiso valley, as emperors and princesses, traders and pilgrims have for centuries.
Meander through beautifully preserved villages and hamlets and sense what life was like in days gone by; for those who travelled the Nakasendo and for the townsfolk who lived along it.
Take in the beauty of the mountains, rivers and forests and see what inspired countless poets and artists; Basho, Hiroshige and the like. Visit the highlands of the Kaida plateau at the foot of Mount Ontake and soak in natural hot spring baths.
Join us on our next tour –
we look forward to sharing the experience with you.
Thank you both for the wonderful introduction to Japan. It really couldn’t have been better! Walking the Nakasendo Way was a perfect way to start. Firstly there was the massive advantage of your knowledge and guidance and secondly, walking through the countryside, passing through post-towns and experiencing the history was a more authentic introduction to Japan than arriving in a big city. Even if I’d done heaps of research I never could have constructed anything approaching the Tour you’ve designed. I really appreciate your fantastic trip notes, even more after the event. The experience of the ryokans and food was amazing and our daily routine became everyday life rather than a one-off touristy experience.
Thank you for the extraordinary job you both did to make our walking tour so enjoyable - from the logistics of food and lodgings to sharing your love and your knowledge of Japan. I admired how you managed the needs and wishes of your clients, how you were always supportive and respectful to and about each other and how you use each other’s separate strengths to get things done.
Walking the Nakasendo trail guided by Alison and Carolyn was a pure joy. Not only had they chosen exceptionally beautiful sections of this famous ancient highway, but the accommodation in the traditional inns gave us a unique and authentic Japanese experience. Every meal was a journey into Japanese gastronomy, exquisitely presented and explained. Both competent Japanese speakers they smoothed the way through the normal difficulties, enjoyed the walk themselves and offered in depth information about where we were and the history along the way. We traversed remote countryside, forests, preserved ancient villages and small towns and were rewarded with a traditional hot bath/onsen and celebratory drink at the end of each day. We also appreciated the comprehensive lead up preparation and information before we departed. If you want to see the real Japan, we can highly recommend walking the Nakasendo with Kumano Camino. A unique experience.
The Kumano Kodo was everything I hoped for and more. Great Japanese food, lovely traditional accommodation and a relaxing Onsen at the end of every day. Carolyn and Alison were very supportive, knowledgeable, both speak fluent Japanese, complement each other and are a lot of fun. Having 2 guides is a definite asset for the varying levels of fitness in the group. The walk is challenging in parts, but the beauty and peacefulness make it well worth the effort.
The Kumano Kodo experience highlights totally different aspects of Japan. Whilst some sections of the walk were challenging, the scenery was nothing short of spectacular, the food was fabulous, & the hosts in the various locations were extremely accommodating. The temple experience in Koyasan is a definite must. The guides had good knowledge of the area & local customs.
The Kumano Kodo walk was one of the happiest of holidays. The scenery is spectacular and so tranquil. We were provided with daily briefings and every day was a new experience. The walk is challenging at times. Having two guides offers the flexibility for guests to walk at their own pace. I would highly recommend this guided walk.
Walking the Kumano Kodo was one of the best holidays I have ever had. The walk was certainly tough but the sights, the company and the great food and accommodation made every day worth the challenge. Alison and Carolyn were wonderfully knowledgeable and accommodating guides. Pre-trip and daily briefings provided all the information that I needed. It was an immersion into Japanese culture combined with a physical challenge that I enjoyed enormously. Alison and Carolyn love to share what they love about Japan and they are fun and engaging host(esses)!
We had an awesome time walking through spectacular landscapes culminating each night with an exquisite feast of locally grown food, and relaxing in the onsen. Thanks to our very caring and knowledgeable guides, Alison and Carolyn, who made our experience so memorable.
Thank you Alison and Carolyn. This was a great introduction to Japanese walking and to authentic Japanese regional cuisine. The ryokans were very well chosen, each with their own individual character. A visit to an onsen is definitely the way to finish a day’s hiking!
Walking the Kumano Kodo was an amazing adventure. Alison and Carolyn were thoughtful and engaging guides who took care of every detail. The inns were fantastic and the food was sensational. More importantly the scenery was breathtaking with the highlight being Nachi Taisha.