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Kumano Kodo road trip (questions re: car and tolls)

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Kumano Kodo road trip (questions re: car and tolls)

Thanks for reading and helping.

I would like to explore the Kumano Kodo area in the Kii Peninsula for about 4 days in late November. My plan at this point is to take the train from Kyoto to Wakayama (to avoid Kyoto traffic and tolls), rent a car in Wakayama. Are there tolls along this route? Wakayama -->Koyasan-->Shongu-->Nachikatsuura-->Wakayama and if so, do you know how much? I can't seem to find this information in English anywhere.

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Fremantle, Australia
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1. Re: Kumano Kodo road trip (questions re: car and tolls)

The excellent tourism web site should help -has maps galore plus local bus schedules:

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

Maybe train Kyoto to Tenabe and then hire a car.

But local buses are good.

Are you planning to do any walking? On my first trip to the area I did the lovely half day walk from Hosshinmon- Oji to Hongu. Next time was 4 days of walking and heading back this year for 5 days of walking so I obviously like this area!

The tourism web site has listings of accommodation and I have used this service without difficulties. Tours are listed as well.

You can contact them with specific queries ( like tolls in the area) and English speaking staff should help you. But I wouldn’t be worried about avoiding tolls. The Kii Pensular has winding smaller roads.

Edited: 03 October 2017, 23:53
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2. Re: Kumano Kodo road trip (questions re: car and tolls)

Hi JeanPerth,

Thanks for responding! I'll definitely email the tourism office directly with the Toll question. We are planning on doing some day hikes in the Koyasan, Shongu, Nachikatsuura areas, but wanted to have the convenience of the car since I saw that buses were infrequent and take twice as long, up to 5 hrs between some points, and we wanted to optimize the 3-4 days we will have there. Please let me know if you would recommend some beautiful hikes in the area -- the more challenging (although hopefully no more than 4-5 miles per day), the better. Thank you!

Fremantle, Australia
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3. Re: Kumano Kodo road trip (questions re: car and tolls)

Because we do an end to end walk we rely on public transport.

There is a loop walk which is great- Start Yunomine Onsen (great place to stay):

tb-kumano.jp/en/…

This is more than your 5 miles-first part reasonably challenging then connects with the lovely and fairly easy Hosshinmon- Oji to Hongu section (make sure you divert to have go to lookout for Hongu Shrine)

Then either bus back Hongu to Yunomine or walk-

tb-kumano.jp/en/…

We really enjoyed the section of Hongu/Yunomine to Konguchi- :

tb-kumano.jp/en/…

There's some challenging bits with lovely vistas.

You need to catch the bus(drive and park?) to Ukegawa then bus back from Konguchi. It took us 6 hours (we are fit 60 year olds who have done a bit of hiking but not hard core. From the flat lands of WA all the ups and downs on the Kumano Kodo took a bit of getting used to!). You might be able to do it in 5 hours if fit hikers.

As with all travel you can't do it all- we haven't been to Koyasan as have chosen to do the pilgrim walk. Also none of the river rafting etc.

Edited: 06 October 2017, 01:31
Fremantle, Australia
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4. Re: Kumano Kodo road trip (questions re: car and tolls)

Also walk from Nachi-I haven't come across loop walks on the web site (tourism office will advise) so you may have to do this walk for a few hours then return back to Nachi.

tb-kumano.jp/en/…

From Koyasan- walks- ask the people at the Tanabe Tourism office.

Edited: 06 October 2017, 01:46
Jakarta, Indonesia
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5. Re: Kumano Kodo road trip (questions re: car and tolls)

Hi Kaynen,

"wanted to have the convenience of the car since I saw that buses were infrequent and take twice as long, up to 5 hrs between some points, and we wanted to optimize the 3-4 days we will have there"

At least in the most popular Nakahechi route (Tanabe - Hongu - Shingu - Nachi/Kii Katsuura), the bus schedule is quite frequent (20 minutes - 1 hour or so) and stops in many places along the pilgrimage trail so you can choose which legs you want to walk on/take the bus.

On our recent Kumano Kodo trip this month, we took train from Tokyo to Tanabe City (stayed overnight). By bus to Chikatsuyu Onsen then walked the short trail to Nonaka (overnight). By bus to Hongu (stored our backpacks), changed bus to Hosshimon Oji and walked back to Hongu (6.9 km, relatively flat). Took afternoon bus to Kawayu Onsen (overnight). Continued by bus to Shingu, stayed 2 nights with a day trip by train to Kii Katsuura and bus to Nachi to walk the Daimon Slope (short but a bit uphill) to the shrine & waterfall. By train to Tokyo and flew home. We spent 5 nights but could have done it in 4 nights.

Found using train-bus and walking quite convenient plus it was indeed time and budget efficient - only possible in Japan I guess. It's important to travel as light as possible though (learned our lessons)

Hope you'll have a great trip too,

Gaby

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