Wakayama Local Guide Association is a local group founded in 2006 with the goal to introduce both Japanese and Non-Japanese alike to the Kumano region. Wakayama Local Guide Association has registered licensed English speaking guides well versed in the history and culture of the area. Using a local guide makes a visit to the area richer and more fulfilling. It is also a great way to travel responsibly by supporting the local community. Be open to the feeling of Kumano, through the eyes of local with a passion for their home! Please contact us for more information about arranging guide services.
Sample Price Plan(s)
Kumano TREK is a friendly group of local guides dedicated to the region and introducing the UNESCO World Heritage Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route to international visitors. They enjoy walking and sharing stories with guests.
The members say, "Please enjoy your visit to the Kumano Kodo with us!"
Sample Price Plan(s)
CrossRhodes Kumano Journeys’ native-English-speaking, licensed guide will introduce travelers to people, experiences and sacred sites of this World Heritage-designated, ancient, spiritual heart of Japan known as the “Kumano Kodo”.
With 25 years living, working and exploring the rural countryside, guide and English guide-trainer Mike Rhodes will share the lore and natural beauty of his adopted home.
Experience the culture, walk the millennial pilgrimage, explore ghosts and ruins, taste the warm heart and fresh air of Kumano.
She has lived and guided on the Kii Peninsula in English and in German since 2010 while working at a Kyoto-based tour operator full-time for 5 years in tour planning, coordination and guiding.
Her main interests for guiding are walks, hikes, experiences and retreats focused on nature and spirituality on the Kii Peninsula, covering all three sacred sites enlisted as the UNESCO Heritage property “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range”: Kumano, Koyasan and Yoshino, and the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trails that connect them.
Her special areas of expertise are:
• Koyasan and Shingon Buddhism (Guide License by Kongobuji Temple 2019)
• Yoshinoyama and Shugendo (Tokudo at Sakuramotobou Temple 2016)
• Forest Therapy (Guide License by Japan’s Forest Therapy Society 2014)
• Kumano Sanzan and Kumano Kodo (Guide License by Wakayama Prefecture 2013)
Please join Alena for an enjoyable and enriching journey through Japan’s spiritual heartland!
What is the Kumano Kodo and the Iseji Route
The Kumano Kodo is a network of mountain paths connecting four major religious centers in Japan, Kumano Sanzan, Yoshino, Koya-san, and Ise Jingu. While recently many people have become familiar with the Nakahechi Route of the Kumano Kodo which connects the three Kumano grand shrines with Kyoto and Osaka, the Iseji Route was also very important historically and is now considered one of Kumano's best keep secrets!
The Iseji route connects Ise Jingu with Kumano and was most popular among merchants, commoners, and beggars from about 400 to 150 years ago.
The Iseji route is one of Kumano’s best-kept secrets. Most of these routes offer ancient stone-paved paths with a rich history and spectacular mountain and ocean views. It is the relatively unbeaten path of Kumano! Come see this jewel while it is still pristine.
About the Kodo Walkers
The Kodo Walkers is a group of English Kumano Kodo guides who have the knowledge and passion to provide you with an unforgettable visit to our area.
Our group has been walking the routes and studying their rich history and stories since 2004. We can tell you about the locals, our way of life and major historical figures who have come to visit, stories that really add a whole new dimension to your stay here.
Our local guides hope to be your ambassador to the Iseji, the Kumano region, and beyond while you are here. Please come and discover the beauty of the Iseji.