Kohechi Kumano Kodo, Nara &Wakayama Pref., Japan
3 days in a small tent, myself, Andrew and Ryan... plenty of
room, most important thing is to pack light! Cosy to say the least, at least it was warm. Seeing signs warning of bear's wasn't the least bit comforting however coaxed by a sip or two of whiskey, a luke warm meal and shear exhaustion we were thankfully oblivious to the bear sniffing at our tent at night!
The Kohechi trail, or at least what our maps shows, begins in Koyasan. Along which we continued to Totsukawa Onsen, which is about half way to the trail end at Shingu. Much to our surprise, and the lack of contours on our maps, this would not be a walk in a park, in fact an epic battle up long steep climbs and knee destroying extra long downhills. One of which was a 8km downhill straight out of our sleeping bags one morning. Despite the hard work, the views from the passes, notably Miura Pass, where mind-blowing.
In spite of the near torturous moments this walk is a memorable experience, leaving you in awe of the stunning landscape and humbling history.
Osaka to Koyasan Train Route (Train Info Link) - 2hrs
Koyasan to Obako-toge pass - 12hrs+
This is a long day, but the promise of a hut which is on the top of the pass is hard to pass up, the hut is very basic but ideal if not carrying a tent. Note that there is a hut just above Omata, located just above what is marked on map as a hairpin steep slope, this would shorten day by 2hrs+.
Obako-toge pass to Miura-toge pass - 10hrs+
Yet another long day with some massive uphill and downhill. However the most impressive section with unbelievably views and walks through mystical silent forests with supposedly bears about!We camped this night in the forest just below Miura-toge pass, nice and warm compared to the top of the pass.
Miura-toge pass to Tatsukawa Onsen - 4hrs+
A short day of steep downhill, shortened if you take the bus from Nishinaka (in village beside shop) to the Onsen town of Totsukawa, an absolutely dream of a place to finish, soaking in a hot onsen overlooking the wide river. From here you can return to Osaka by bus (Bus Info Link)via Gojo station (take train from here). Changing at Gojo station to train saves alot of travel time.
Here are all the maps in English = Kohechi Maps