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2 night Kumano Kodo by bus

NJ
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714 posts
30 reviews
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2 night Kumano Kodo by bus

My wife and I are planning to visit Kyoto around March 26 for a week and are thinking of spending 1-2 nights in the Kumano Kodo area. We're not as much of a hiker and are thinking of using the bus to take us to different shrines. But we should be fine with up to 2-4 hours of walking a day. One of our main reasons for visiting the the area is to enjoy the onsens here. And we definitely prefer to be in the hot spring together versus being separated into male and female areas.

Basically we want to take the bus from Tanabe to Hosshinmon-oji in the mountain, take a hike to Hongu Taisha, Fushiogami-oji and stay the night at Yunomine Onsen (or Kawayu) where we can enjoy the hot spring and stay the night.

Next day we'll either take the bus or the boat downstream to Shingu, visit the Shrine there, then take the bus to Nachi and to see the temple by the waterfall.

Take bus back to Tanabe and eat in one of the restaurants in Ajikoji.

Does this itinerary sound reasonable?

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Kyoto
Kyoto
Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Kumano Kodo
Kumano Kodo
121 Reviews
Kinki, Japan
Tanabe
Tanabe
Wakayama Prefecture, Japan
Yunomine Onsen
Yunomine Onsen
155 Reviews
Tanabe, Japan
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
350 posts
90 reviews
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1. Re: 2 night Kumano Kodo by bus

I take it you are getting your info from this excellent site:

http://www.tb-kumano.jp/en/kumano-kodo/

I enjoyed my stay at this economical minshuku:

kumano-travel.com/index/…id49

There was even a secret dish during dinner. The meal was pretty accurate to the pics. Not sure what you mean about sharing an onsen. Pretty much all ryokans/minshukus have segregated onsens. Kawayu Onsen does feature an onsen next to the river (which is why I stayed there), but it is a small dugout with some screening set up so you can't be seen from the road. Another onsen with this kind of free public onsen is Shuzenji. I believe during summer, a major portion of the river in Kawayu is used as an onsen (at least from pics I've seen on the web).

I would say your itinerary is doable but I have not hiked the area, and I traveled via rental car. There are only two boat rides to Shingu a day, so you would have to take the morning one.

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Kawayu Onsen
Kawayu Onsen
103 Reviews
Tanabe, Japan
NJ
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714 posts
30 reviews
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2. Re: 2 night Kumano Kodo by bus

Thanks so much for your input! The minshuku you mentioned sounds good, I'll definitely look into it.

By sharing an onsen I mean one where husband and wife can get in together without being separated. Is the minshuku right by the river? I read that some hotel give you shovel so you can dig an onsen in the river by yourself. Do you know how Kawayu comnpare to Yuomine Onsen?

If you have taken the boat ride to Shingu, could you let me know how your experience is and weather is worth the 3900 yen they're charging?

Thanks!

Tokyo, Japan
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350 posts
90 reviews
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3. Re: 2 night Kumano Kodo by bus

If you read the website, the open onsen next to the river in Kawayu is during winter months. I went during May and there was a pit next to the river where onsen water is piped to. In either case, a couple (wearing bathing suits) could soak in the onsen. It's probably more fun in winter. Kawayu Onsen is just a short stretch of road (around 0.5 km), next to a wide-ish river.

Yunomine Onsen is much more confined with a small trickling stream running down the middle. There is a popular public onsen, and outside it, a small private hut where a couple could soak but not much of a view. You may have to wait your turn to get in. The two onsens are quite different visually and spatially.

The boat ride down to Shingu is supposed to trace the route of early worshippers. It's unusual for being so long for a boat tour (around 2-3 hours). The tour guide was friendly and spoke good English but the tour is in Japanese. They give you English material to read to try to follow the narration (the folklore of the river is quite interesting). Everybody wore Chinese hats and since there were two boats, I got picturesque photo shots of the other boat on the river. I was lucky; it rained in the morning but I missed that tour, and it was dry in the afternoon. But May-June are the rainy months in Japan.

You can read reviews of the tourist attractions on the website.

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Kawayu Onsen
Kawayu Onsen
103 Reviews
Tanabe, Japan
Yunomine Onsen
Yunomine Onsen
155 Reviews
Tanabe, Japan
Tanabe, Japan
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49 posts
3 reviews
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4. Re: 2 night Kumano Kodo by bus

Hello! Onsens you can enjoy together are Kawayu, in bathing suits next to the river; Yunomine if you are able to get in (no, the bath itself is not very picturesque but the town is beautiful and it's supposedly the oldest onsen in Japan); and Watarase, near Kawayu, where you can pay extra for a private family bath.

I think your schedule is very aggressive, especially the 2nd day. Day 1 you could get to Hosshinmon, walk, and get to Kawayu for dinner, but probably not back to Yunomine.

Day 2, doing the river, Shingu and Nachi is a full day. No way to get back to Tanabe after that I think. Depending on boat and bus times you may not even be able to get to Nachi by dark. The river trip is spectacular, so if you like valley scenery I think it would be worth it. The Shingu shrine is interesting but not as spectacular as Nachi, so I might recommend taking the boat down, then going straight to Daimonzaka and walking up to Nachi. Depending on the boat time you may then have time to catch a bus back to Tanabe.

Hope this helped, let me know if you have questions.

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Tanabe
Tanabe
Wakayama Prefecture, Japan
Daimonzaka
Daimonzaka
229 Reviews
Nachikatsura-cho, Japan
Sydney
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700 posts
101 reviews
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5. Re: 2 night Kumano Kodo by bus

Dear NJ,

Please excuse me for hijacking your thread. However, hubby and I are thinking of doing something similar to you except we will be travelling in be in Kyoto from 1 to 8 May.

I wonder if I could get input into this plan of ours:

Depart Kyoto in the morning for Tanabe

Head to Minshuku Omuraya and check in at whatever time we arrive, hopefully at the check in time.

Stay two nights (perhaps 3 if you think this is the preferred option) in the Minshuku Omuraya.

Check out and proceed to next destination. Any suggestion?

We have to head back to Nagoya on 13 May as we have an early flight to catch for Sydney?

Thanks

Cupert

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Kyoto
Kyoto
Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Tanabe
Tanabe
Wakayama Prefecture, Japan
Nagoya
Nagoya
Aichi Prefecture, Japan
Tanabe, Japan
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49 posts
3 reviews
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6. Re: 2 night Kumano Kodo by bus

Oomuraya is great! The propriatress is a wonderful lady. They expanded a few years ago so she may be pretty busy though. If you only have one full day to spend then you'll have to choose between activities, but the Hosshinmon-Hongu hike would be a good choice. If you have more time you could add Yunomine onsen and/or the boat trip.

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Yunomine Onsen
Yunomine Onsen
155 Reviews
Tanabe, Japan
Sydney
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101 reviews
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7. Re: 2 night Kumano Kodo by bus

Hello!

Thanks for responding to my request.

It is possible that I can stay for an extra night. What I would like to know is how could I get from the rail station, Tanabe to Oomuraya? Is there a bus that leaves from the rail station or is this guesthouse within walking distance from the station?

Thanks

Cupert

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Tanabe
Tanabe
Wakayama Prefecture, Japan
NJ
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714 posts
30 reviews
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8. Re: 2 night Kumano Kodo by bus

Cupert,

you should email kumano-travel@tb-kumano.jp. Tell them what you want to do and they'll plan out everything for you - especially the bus schedules and connections. While I was looking into staying at Yuominine, I come to realize that with 2 nightrs, it will be very rushed to do the Hosshinmon-Hongu and to vist Nachi Taisha. I also realize that from Yuomine Onsen, it takes 2 bus rides to get to the trail head for the Hosshinmon-Hongu hike. And going from YO to Daimonzake also takes a couple of bus rides. They are doable but we think that we'll be spending a lot of time just for traveling from one place to the other. So we finally decided on going to Nachi Taisha only and then spend the night at an onsen resort (on an island) at Katsuura. You should familiarize yourself with the bus schedules and connections, they are not the most obvious things and took me a while to get the hang of it. But try to email Kumano Travel, they can help you get started.

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Katsuura
Katsuura
Chiba Prefecture, Japan
Bali, Indonesia
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60 posts
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9. Re: 2 night Kumano Kodo by bus

Hi all, I also will do the Kumano Kodo in May, 10, 11, 12. Can you help with with my itinerary:

May 10 :

Kii Tanabe to Hosshinmon oji by bus. How much is the cost of the bus?

Hosshinmon oji - Hongu Taisha shrine by walking and stay around Hongu

May 11:

Hongu - Singu by bus. How much is the bus cost?

Singu - Nachi by bus. How much again?

I just wonder if it's cheaper to buy Wakayama Pass 2 Days (Y3500) or just pay on single bus.

Appreciate any input....try to do the budget as Japan is quite expensive :)

Thank you...Arigato

Dewi

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Kumano Kodo
Kumano Kodo
121 Reviews
Kinki, Japan
Tanabe
Tanabe
Wakayama Prefecture, Japan
Wakayama
Wakayama
Wakayama Prefecture, Japan
10. Re: 2 night Kumano Kodo by bus

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