Act for Kids Kumano Kodo Challenge

Walk in the footsteps of pilgrims on the sacred Kumano Kodo trail in the Kii mountain ranges whilst helping raise money for Act for Kids.

Challenge Highlights

  • Raising money for Act for Kids
  • Exploring Kyoto
  • Following ancient pilgrimage trails
  • Trekking amongst spectacular scenery
  • Discover Japan's cultural heart
  • Hiking in the mountains to Hongu shrine


This is an extraordinary charity challenge set in the dense forests of the Kii Mountains overlooking the Pacific Ocean. We start our journey exploring the cultural centre of Kyoto before heading out on our trek. The Kumano Kodo is a series of ancient pilgrimage routes and sacred trails, linked by the ancient capital cities of Kyoto and Nara. Enriched by more than 1200 years of history, UNESCO calls this beautiful region “part of the living culture of Japan.” This is as much a journey through local culture and rural life as it is spectacular natural beauty. As you walk, you will breathe in the earthy scents of woods and rivers and flowers. You will taste traditional meals, prepared by local chefs. You will step over cobbled stairways and past ancient shrines and statues. You will soak in centuries-old thermal springs. And you will be lulled to sleep each night on the trail in your traditional ryokan's by the gentle sounds of the forest and the sea. We finish off traveling by train to Rinku where we have time at leisure to explore the city. You will need to carry a day pack with 1 days clothing on 1 night, luggage transfers are provided for the rest of the journey. With every step you take, you will be helping others who are not well enough to physically join you on this journey. The money you raise to take part in this adventure will be used to support vital resources and programs for Act for Kids.


After all the planning and preparation the wait is finally over! Please make your way to the airport for your flight to Osaka. Group flight will be with Singapore Airlines and more details of the flights will be given once the challenge is confirmed.

Meals:  Nil

Arriving into Osaka Airport by 11am this morning, you will be met by your guide and transferred to the train station for the short ride to Kyoto. Originally known as Heian-kyo, the capital of peace and tranquility, Kyoto was home to the Imperial Court for 11 centuries, before it moved to Tokyo in the late 19th Century. Kyoto is one of the great cultural cities of the world. Today we embark on an exploration of this fascinating city including Kinkakuji Temple and Ryoanji Zen Garden Castle. Tonight we will enjoy a welcome dinner. Palaceside Hotel, Kyoto

Meals:  L,D

A full day to explore this fascinating town, navigating our way around via the efficient public transport system. Accompanied by our experienced guide you will visit sites including the Fushimi Inari Shrine and the Nishiki Food Market. In the evening we will enjoy a walk in the Gion district.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we transfer to the train station and head southwards to Kii Tanabe, the gateway to the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trails. Today our main luggage will be transferred to Chikatsuyu Minshuku from Tanabe. On arrival in Kii-Tanabe we will enjoy a local seafood lunch before taking the bus to the trail head to begin our days' walk. At the end of a steep, two-hour climb from Takajiri-Oji, we are rewarded with spectacular views of the mountainous peninsula and Buddhist statues lining the ancient highway. On arrival at Takahara we visit the Takahara Kumano-jinja shrine before continuing to Chikatsuyu for overnight at a traditional lodge. Dinner at the lodge. Walking 5km on some steep trails. Luggage transfer to Chikatsuyu. Overnight Chikatsuyu Minshuku.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast at the lodge we take a bus to Takahara where we begin our trek. Starting with a short but steep uphill walk through Takahara settlement to the Jujooji pass, we follow trails through undulating forest terrain via the Hashiori-Toge pass, until we descend to the village of Chikatsuyu in a valley. On route we will pass by Osankamoto-oji shrine and a number of stone markers related to the Kumano Kodo history. Bus to Kawayu onsen for overnight and dinner. Walking approx 10km on some steep trails. Overnight Omuraya Kawayu.

Meals:  B,L,D

Take a local bus to Hosshinmon-Oji, the trailhead of the most highlighted part of Nakaheji section of the Komano Kodo. We'll stroll through an idyllic old village popular with the ancient pilgrims, before continuing to Hongu Grand Shrines, then along a cobbled stone path through a beautiful forest. This part of the trail is mainly flat or gently downhill. On arrival in Hongu, we have lunch then continue our walk by climbing the "Dainichi-goe" trail which connects Hongu and Yunomine-onsen (spa) Village. This is quite steep uphill, but only for between 20-30 minutes. Once we reach the top we head downhill all the way to Yunomine-onsen Village. Yunomine is the oldest hot spring village in Japan. The spa is a welcome treat at the end of a long day of trekking. Walking approx 10km. Overnight Omuraya Kawayu.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast at our ryokan, a vehicle will collect our luggage and transfer it to Kii Katsuura. We travel by local bus on a short 10 minute ride to Ukegawa where we start trekking on the "kogumo-tori-goe" trail. The walk follows forest trails winding for approximately 13km including a steep uphill section to Hakkengura Lookout. From here we'll enjoy amazing views of the Kumano mountain scenery. We then walk gradually downhill to Koguchi Village, passing through several remains of old tea houses. Walking approx 13km. Overnight Koguchi Shizen. Note: Today, along with your Bento box lunch, you need to carry items for overnight including clothes and toiletries.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today is our most challenging day, trekking along the "Ogumo-tori-goe" trail, which literally means "climbing over the large clouds". The climb starts up steep cobbled stone stairs until Echizen-toge Pass via "Dokiri-zaka", which means "body cutting hill". After a tough 4.5km uphill, the terrain becomes a mix of up and down until Funami-Toge, where you will be rewarded with great views of the coastal town of Kii Katsuura which is our destination for tonight. From here it is downhill and at times strenuous, so walking poles are very helpful. At the end of the walk we visit Nachi Grand Shrine and Seigantoji Temple, then Nachi Falls to bless ourselves. Nachi Falls is a sacred waterfall and one of the reasons they Kumano-Kodo pilgrimage trails were created over 1000 years ago. We take a local bus to Kii Katsuura to soak in the hot spring and celebrate the end of a great journey. This is definitely the toughest day, but a spectacular and rewarding undertaking if you can manage it. Once you start there is no way to opt out or shorten the walk so careful consideration must be given prior to agreeing to participate. The members who do not complete the walk will be given instructions on taking the public bus directly to Kii Katsuura to meet the group as they come in from their trek. Walk approx 14km (7-9 hours). Note: If you do not want to complete the walk you can catch the bus at your own expense. Overnight Hotel Nagisaya.

Meals:  B,L,D

After breakfast we take the Kino Matsushima Cruise and visit the Katsuura Fish market before being transferred to the train station for our 4-hour train to Rinku Town. On arrival we check into our hotel before exploring the town of Rinku. The rest of the day is at leisure. This evening we enjoy our farewell dinner. Overnight Hatagoya Osaka Rinku town.

Meals:  B,D

Today we make our way to the airport express train for the 10 minute ride to Osaka Airport for your flight to Australia.

Meals:  B

Meals:  Nil

What's Included

  • Trip escorted by Act for Kids representative
  • International Airfare - Singapore Airlines -will advise details once challenge is confirmed
  • Meals where mentioned
  • Accommodation on a twin share basis in traditional ryokan and hotels
  • Transportation as listed in itinerary
  • Medical kit
  • Luggage transfer from Tanabe to Chikatsuyu, from Chikatsuyu to Kawayu and Koguchi to Kii Katsuura
  • Experienced bilingual guide
  • *Please note you will need to carry 1 overnight bag with essentials for the night of day 7

What's Not Included

  • Meals and beverages not indicated in the program
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, phone calls, alcohol etc
  • Visa
  • Tips and gratuities

What You Carry

  • In your daypack you will need to carry extra warm clothing (depending on the altitude, location and weather), a rainjacket, water bottle, camera, valuables and personal items such as sunscreen, lip-eze etc. *PLEASE NOTE you will need to carry 1 overnight bag with all your essentials for 1 night on day 7

Fundraising Impact

The funds you raise on this Charity Challenge will assist Act for Kids and its beneficiaries by:

• contributing to the cost of intensive therapy for children who’ve experienced abuse and neglect

• providing specialist therapy tools and equipment

• enabling Act for Kids to direct funds to expand their child and family support services where they’re needed most.

Travel Dates

Other Challenge Costs

Minimum charity donation/fundraising:USD$1600 
Single Supplement - 3 nights Hotels:USD$150 

Fast Facts

Trip Dates: DepartReturn
 5 Nov 202015 Nov 2020
Duration:11 Days
Activities:Charity Challenge Walk
Grade:Moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:AK8
Registration Fee:USD$160
Travel Cost:USD$0

Act for Kids is an Australian charity working tirelessly to prevent and treat child abuse and neglect. We help kids and young people who have suffered abuse and neglect overcome their experiences through long-term intensive therapy. We also help strengthen families at risk.