What clothes, shoes, and belongings should you take with you to Kumano Kodo? Introducing seasonal equipment!


Aren’t you worried about what kind of equipment to prepare for trekking on Kumano Old Road, a World Heritage site in Wakayama Prefecture? We believe you must be hesitating regarding many points such as “What kind of clothes and shoes should I wear?” “Do I need a cane?” “What kind of bag should I bring?” etc.

In this article, we will introduce the clothes, shoes, and belongings that are perfect for walking the Kumano Kodo. In particular, we will also introduce things that are helpful to have for beginners who walk on Kumano Kodo for the first time.

The equipment also varies greatly depending on the season and the walking courses. Thus, we will be introducing them by season and the course level, so please refer to it.


What kind of clothes should I wear when I walk the Kumano Kodo?


Kumano Kodo, in a nutshell, ranges from gentle courses to steep courses with severe ups and downs. However, it is recommended that you walk on either course in a trekking style.

Even in summer, long-sleeved pants are basic. It not only protects you from injury when you walk but it can also be used as an insect repellent.

Spring~Summer (April~September)

Long-sleeved shirtQuick-drying stuff. Cotton is not preferable.
Long pantsElastic and easy to walk on.
RainwearThe top and bottom should be separate. Mountain hoodies, windbreakers, ponchos that can cover your backpack are convenient.
HatFor sunshade and head protection. A wide-brimmed hat.
Inner wearQuick-drying products like polyurethane-made. It’s helpful if you have clothes to change after sweating. Cotton is no good.
SocksA thick one that covers your ankles well.


If you visit Kumano Kodo in the cold season, add the following equipment to spring and summer equipment.

Winter clothesFleece, light down jacket, etc. If it’s an autumn/winter shirt, just one would be enough.
Trekking pants & Inner pantsPrepare the wool lining ones .It’s warmer if you wear it under long pants and double them.
Neck WarmerWarming your neck is effective in keeping your temperature.
GlovesIt protects from the cold and prevent injuries.

The kind of shoes recommended for a walk on Kumano Kodo and tips on picking the right one

Next, we will introduce how to choose shoes. What kind of shoes should you wear to walk along the Kumano Kodo without injury?

There are many mossy roads in Kumano Kodo. It looks beautiful, but it’s slippery and dangerous. In the past, people risked their lives walking the Kumano Kodo, so do not underestimate it and walk well-equipped.

Tips on choosing the right shoes

The Kumano Kodo includes mossy mountain trails, stone steps, asphalt roads, and a sandy beach. The shoes suitable for all of them are trekking shoes. Keep in mind that shoes for mountain climbing have soles that are too thick and make it difficult to walk.。

The main difference between sneakers and trekking shoes is the hardness of the sole and ankle support. The soles of trekking shoes are hard, so you can walk stably on uneven roads on Kumano Kodo, and also prevent becoming tired easily.

Beginners should especially choose high-cut shoes. It will protect you from a sprain of your ankle.

When you prepare new shoes, be sure to try them on at the store and choose one that fits your feet. It is recommended that you wear the socks that you plan to wear while trekking, measure the size of your feet, and buy something with a margin of about 1.5cm on your toes. After purchasing, wear them several times in advance and get used to them. It’s terrible if you hurt your leg while walking along Kumano Kodo.

The shoes below are recommended for walking along Kumano Kodo! Please refer to them.。

  • Mont-Bell Gore-Tex (middle-cut)
  • Caravan Trekking Shoe
  • Keen Targhee 3 Mid

What should you bring?

In what kind of bag should you bring what kind of stuff?

First, let’s talk about the must items.


BackpackAbout 15~25 Liters. If you are staying more than 2 nights, a bigger one would be nice.
A shoulder bag is not recommended since it puts a load on one side.
DrinksThere are no vending machines!
In the summer, sports drinks that take salt are recommended.
LunchBring them if your plan includes lunch time. In some inns, it is provided.
TowelFor wiping sweat. Make sure your sweat does not cool down all at once.
MapNot all Kumano Kodo roads are easy to know since there are only a few signposts.
There are areas where your mobile phone does not work, so do not rely solely on your smartphone!
Extra bagTo put your trash, or change clothes. Especially useful during the rain.

Useful Things

CaneEspecially recommended for those who are not confident in their physical strength or who want to try a difficult course. Fatigue will be reduced.
SnacksCandy and chocolate help you replenish your energy if you are trekking for more than an hour.
Portable BatteryThere are many places out of range and the smartphone charges run out faster than usual.
Insect repellent sprayEspecially in summer, it’s useful to have it.
FlashlightUseful after the sun sets.
Leisure sheetThe ground is sometimes wet even if it’s not raining.
Bells to ward off bearsEspecially when you walk along the mountain route, it’s safe to carry it.

Things to keep in mind while walking the Kumano Kodo

Now, let’s talk about the precautions you should know about before visiting Kumano Kodo. In order to protect yourself and the World Heritage site, please keep these in mind.

Important Things to Protect Kumano Kodo, the World Heritage Site

Kumano Old Road was selected as a World Heritage Site because it was praised for keeping its old appearance intact. In order to preserve the landscape forever, let’s keep the followings.

  • Keep the plants intact
  • Take your own trash
  • Do not feed the animals
  • Using fire is strictly prohibited
  • Stick to the courses

Animals and insects to be care of

Kumano Kodo is rich in nature, and many animals and insects live there. To avoid encountering them, stick to the course without entering the forest, and do not expose your skin even if it is hot.

The following insects and animals should be extra careful. Act calmly without making noises even if you encounter them.

Vipers, centipedes, wasps, deer, bears, ticks and leeches

Chose a course based on your physical strength

First, take good care of your physical health until you visit Kumano Kodo. Don’t forget to warm up before you start walking.

Kumano Kodo has different kinds of courses. For beginners, we recommend choosing a course that is ‘up to 3 hours of walking per day, and up to 300 meters of height different per hour.’ Don’t keep your guard down, even if you have walked a few times. Plan a schedule with plenty of time to spare.

The article below introduces courses for beginners, so please refer to them.


Seasonal Course Selection

Many people may think that Kumano Kodo would be cool in the summer since it is a mountain. Actually, it’s very hot in summer. For beginners who plan to visit Kumano Kodo during summer vacation, try to choose the shortest route with a few ups and downs. Also, use public transportation wisely and be careful not to get heatstroke.

On the other hand, if you walk along Kumano Kodo from December to March, it is better to avoid the mountain route that is freezing. Moreover, since the sun goes down early, you should make a flexible schedule of arriving at the inn early in the evening.

The best season for Kumano Kodo is spring and autumn. It’s not hot or cold, so visiting around April-May or October is highly recommended.。

Please refer to this article to choose the course.

Summary of the clothes and equipment that are perfect for Kumano Kodo

In this article, we have shared the clothes, shoes, and equipment recommended for the Kumano Kodo walk. Especially for those who are coming for the first time, be ready to challenge trekking.

If you are worried about the expenses that are caused, try putting shoe purchases as priority. The clothes can be replaced with sports clothes

There can be issues like poor conditions due to sweat cooling down, skin exposure leading to injury, etc. Let’s try our best to prepare the most and enjoy Kumano Kodo trekking safely.

Other Articles