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Difficulty: 3/5

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Hiking Distance: 4 - 13 km 

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Time: 1-2 Days

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Elevation Gain:  220m - 610m

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Prefecture: Kumamoto

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The Best Multi-day Hikes Near

Kyoto & Osaka

Overview

Kyoto and Osaka are major destinations for expats, students, and travellers, but most of us don't own a car, so here's a list of the best multi-day hikes accessible by public transport. There are a lot of mountains in Kansai, so we'll update this page if new contenders are found, this list is showcasing our favourite multi-day Kansai hikes after exploring the region for many years. 

Weather & Seasons

Generally speaking, the best seasons for hiking are mid-spring, summer and autumn. These seasons offer the best scenery as the forests are full of life, with vibrant green landscapes during summer and colourful mountainsides during autumn. Winter can offer some beautiful snowy hiking, but often requires extra gear and knowledge.

The Best Multi-day Hikes Near Kyoto & Osaka

   The Kumano Kodo,  Wakayama

​↠  Hyonosen,  Hyogo

↠  Hakkyo,  Nara

​↠  Omine,  Nara 

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熊野古道

Kumano Kodo,  Wakayama

Elevation: 950m

View Trail

Crowds

4/5

Distance

34 km

Elevation Gain

➚ ~2300m

Time

​3 - 4 Days

Difficulty

3/5

Accomodation

Guesthouses & Camping

Trail Summary 

The Kumano Kodo trail is a famous and ancient pilgrimage route in the mountains of Wakayama, located south of Kyoto and Osaka. The trail is over 1000 years old and is said to have been used by all levels of society including Emperors and Warlords. The Nakahechi route is the most popular among pilgrims and features many beautiful shrines and temples, most notably the grand shrines called Kumano Hongu Taisha and the Kumano Nachi Taisha. It also features an ancient onsen town and many accomodation options in between the hiking trails, with regular busses connecting all the routes. 

The entire Nakahechi route runs from Tanabe city and ends in Nachi-katsuura, it takes roughly 7 days, but you can view the most famous attractions by hiking just half of the route.

Note: Accomodation often needs to be booked more than 1 month in advance.

Click here for the full description

Access: Train & Bus

Kyoto/Osaka: There is a direct bus to Tanabe/Shirahama, it takes about 4 hours and costs ¥3500 one-way or ¥6300 return. You can view all the details and make reservations here. 

Trains take about three hours and cost around ¥6500, the tickets are covered by the Japan Rail Pass and JR Kansai Wide Area Pass. It's best to use google maps for the train timetables.

Tokyo: There is also an overnight bus from Tokyo, you can make reservations here.

 

Kii-Tanabe Station: Google Maps

Once you arrive: a seperate bus will take you to the various places along the Kumano Kodo, you can view more info here. The many busses may seem complicated but it becomes clearer once you arrive.

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Elevation Profile

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Gallery

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氷ノ山

Hyonosen,  Hyogo

Elevation: 1510m

View Trail

Crowds

3/5

Distance

12.5 km

Elevation Gain

 930m

Time

7-9 Hours

Difficulty

3/5

Accomodation

​Huts & Camping

Yoshinoyama

Trail Summary 

Hyonosen is 1,510m tall and the highest mountain in Hyogo prefecture. It's great for hiking year round but is especially beautiful during the autumn period and features a nice mountain hut that hikers can sleep in for free, as well as some lovely campgrounds around the area. There are a few hiking trails, but we will focus on the one that can be most easily accessed with public transport from Kyoto or Osaka. The hike is quite out of the way for most visitors of Japan, so you won't find large crowds or foreigners here.

Click here for the full description

Access: Train & Bus

The bus to the trailhead departs from Yoka Station approximately once every hour and takes around 40-50 minutes to arrive at Hyonosen-Hachibuseguchi bus stop (氷ノ山鉢伏口).

Trail head: Google Maps link

Kyoto: Yoka station is 2 hours from Kyoto and the train costs ¥3800.

Osaka: Yoka station is 2 hours 20 minutes from Osaka and the train costs ¥4900.

Elevation Gain

➚ ​930m

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Elevation Profile

Gallery

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