We took this tour a year ago for my 50th b’day (April 2019) - apologies for late review, however I really want to share our experience as we had an amazing time and feel the reason was that we booked through Walk Japan.
From the moment we met up with our tour group, 7 in all, at a snug hotel in Osaka we were able to sit back and focus on the culture, history, religion, scenery & relevance of the Kumano Kodo, and leave the complexities of logistics and language barrier to our competent guide Josh. While some travelers thrive on conquering the difficulties of traveling in a foreign land, we would rather spend our well earned holidays enjoying ourselves without stressing over are we on the correct train line and are we heading in the right direction, or the like. And for us if any country has engendered those feelings its Japan.
So for 9 days we walked parts of this pilgrimage and had an absolutely amazing experience - as accommodation and meals were all organized and we had our trusty guide at no point did we stress - and we stayed in some unique accommodation from a monastery (participating in the morning fire ceremony with monks), repurposed high schools (declining population), some huge 80’s hotel built into the side of a cliff like something out of a James Bond movie. We visited all the main temples on the pilgrimage and had our stamp book attended to (make sure you do this right from the start), all relevant historic and cultural points of importance and interest were pointed out and if possible we had time to wonder around (seriously if we had done this pilgrimage as an independent walk we would have missed so much and understood even less) - and to top it all off we were walking smack bang in the middle of the cherry blossom bloom - early April is the time to go it was just gorgeous : )
All in all we had the most brilliant time and Walk Japan took care of everything and at no time did we feel out of our depth - best 50th b’day you could wish for. Thanks Japan, and thanks Walk Japan XXX