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Camink in Japan Kumano Kundo in April

Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
#1
I learned about Kumano while researching Shikoku 88 temples walk. In the end, I decided to do Kumano in April and Vía de la Plata ftom Sevilla in Late June. Who else is going to be on the Kumano around that time?
 

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Jill81

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (September - October 2014)
Portuguese (April 2015)
Part of the Via Francigena (May 2016)
Kumano Kodo, Japan 'Dual Pilgrim' February 2017
#2
I learned about Kumano while researching Shikoku 88 temples walk. In the end, I decided to do Kumano in April and Vía de la Plata ftom Sevilla in Late June. Who else is going to be on the Kumano around that time?
 

Jill81

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (September - October 2014)
Portuguese (April 2015)
Part of the Via Francigena (May 2016)
Kumano Kodo, Japan 'Dual Pilgrim' February 2017
#3
Hi Youren,
I walked the Kumano Kodo last February and am now on the Via de la Plata. I choose to walk in Japan in February largely because of the weather as although it was cold I avoided the rain. The Kii Peninsula has its own microclimate and the heavier rains begin in April. See this chart:

http://www.tb-kumano.jp/en/kumano-kodo/weather/#hongu

Although it has been unseasonably cold in southern Spain in the last week it has been a good time to walk with daytime temperatures around 9 degrees.

Please reconsider your plan to walk in late June as temperatures will be bordering on 40 degrees and the VdlP will not be very forgiving at that time of year. Long distances with no shade, no water, in extreme temperatures is a recipe for disaster.

Perhaps you can rethink your timing?
 

Anniesantiago

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#4
I would highly recommend you reschedule your Via de la Plata!
I was given that advice and ignored it many years ago and it became an emergency situation when we couldn't find water. Wells listed in the guidebooks were DRY, the heat "fell like a curtain" as Reb described it, and luckily some firemen brought us water. You will need to carry a lot of extra weight in water and the walking will be extreme. Please listen to those of us who've been there and reschedule.
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
#5
Thank you all for your advice. I have been debating about VDLP in June for a long time. The choice is between the worst time to do it or not being able to do it at all till retirement, or 5 section walks in Apil in 5 years, very expensive options and complete different experience when the distance is too short. I was hoping starting early, carrying more water and training to increase heat tolerance to combat the odds.

Visited Japan winter and summer, but not in April cherry blossom season. The road has good bus services, if truly pouring, not able to walk at all, can consider bus option, just enjoy seeing temples and staying at Minshuku and soaking in an Onsen/hot spring like a tourist would do. Or bus back the next day to make it up if rain stops. Bring rain gear and wearing suitable foot wear!

Your concerns are noted. Thank you so much!
 

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rba

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances spring (2015),Camino Primitivo autumn (2015),Camino de Norte spring (2016), Camino Portuguese spring (2017)
#7
I plan to walk the Kumano Kodo the week of April 8th.
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
#8
I have booked all of my accommodations on the Kumano, will reach Tanabe on 4/3 directly from Osaka airport, start on 4/4, take a break on the 6th, for traditional boat ride, 8th will be my last leg to Nachisan, the hardest section of the road. So looking forward to it.

What is your plan?

Buen Camino!
 

rba

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances spring (2015),Camino Primitivo autumn (2015),Camino de Norte spring (2016), Camino Portuguese spring (2017)
#9
I haven’t made final plans yet but it looks like I will be a few days behind you. I plan on firming things up this week and next.
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
#10
I just finished my Kumano Kodo today! It was gorgeous with cherry bloosom, hot spring soak for 4 nights (free provided by the lodging) and delicious food. I had booked the traditional boat rider in advance as my rest day, and that day till the end of the boat ride, it started to rain, lasted till night, but the next morning when I head out it was clean and fresh. So far 7 days including tomorrow, only that day rained. When we started the boat ride, it was still nice.

Most of the days was 18 to 20C, cloudy most, a bit sun, just right for hike.

Highly recommend Mitake Sanso for Nachidan lodging. Great location and food.

Suggest booking in advance for peak season. I started booking in Dec. and Jan. My first choices for two locations were already sold out. Met quite a few had to bus to trail head for day 2, day 3 and day 4. Of course it is doable, but bus runs on limited schedule, which makes hike not as relaxed as it should be. April is one of the peak season for cherry blossom.

One more thing, info center schedule is 9am to 6pm. It will be nice to get to Tanabe before 6pm to get stamp book, map/guide, updated bus schedule and get hour question answered. The next day, you can start hiking from Takijiri right the way without wait to get your stamp book and etc.

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Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
#11
Sorry first time loading picture, did not know how to delete the duplicate.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
#12
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Portuguese, Camino Ingles, Via de la plata.
#13
We walked some of the Shukoko 88 temple route last year and then finished our trip by completing the Kumano Kodo.
For those in the planning stage you have probably already seen this but if not we found it invaluable:

http://www2.tb-kumano.jp/en/kumano-kodo/pdf/Kumano-Kodo-Nakahechi-Route-Maps-Complete.pdf

Hard copies can be found in the tourist offices in the area.

Hi MikeyC,

I am finding it difficult to decide whether to walk 88 temple route or Kumano Kudo. In your experience, which route did you like more and why? Also was it difficult to get by without speaking Japanese? and how much should i expect to spend on food and bed everyday?

Many thanks!!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Portuguese, Camino Ingles, Via de la plata.
#14
Congratulations on your completion of Kumano Kudo Youren2010. The food on the photo looks great! What was it like hiking the Kumano Kudo? Did you meet many pilgrims on the way? Was the food and bed expensive? Can you survive without speaking Japanese? I would like to hear more of your experience and tips because I am planning to go walk either Kumano Kudo or the 88 temple route. Many thanks!
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#15
I have recently returned from walking both the Shikoku 88 temple circuit and the Nakahechi Kumano Kodo. It is very difficult to compare the two as they are very different in nature and scale.

The full Shikoku circuit is over 1100km long. Most of it on roads though there are impressive off-road sections too. Those pilgrims who choose to walk it normally take 6 to 8 weeks to complete it. There are very few places which are the equivalent of Camino albergues: people usually either stay in commercial accommodation such as minshuku or ryokans with the alternative being camping or sleeping in the very basic shelters provided by some temples and by kind individuals along the way. The number of foreign pilgrims is steadily increasing but the great majority of walkers are Japanese. Little English is spoken in rural Shikoku but a few basic phrases in Japanese and the help of Google Translate on my phone were enough to make the journey possible. There is a great deal of generosity towards pilgrims and Japanese people are usually very courteous and aim to be helpful to visitors.

The Kumano Kodo routes are far shorter. The most popular one - the Nakahechi - is only 39km long. The extension to the Kumano Nachi Taisha adds another 30km or so to the journey. I only walked the Nakahechi route but I believe the two main routes are similar. Largely off-road paths through forest with a few small villages along the way. Many more foreign walkers. The Kumano Kodo is heavily promoted (extremely well) by the local tourist board. Accommodation is all commercial - no free temple shelters. Camping or sleeping in the forest shelters is officially discouraged. There is a great deal more signage in English. The tourist office will assist in booking accommodation and luggage transfers (expensive I believe). Altogether an easier business than walking the Shikoku pilgrimage but in some ways a more packaged and commercial experience.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
#16
Hi MikeyC,

I am finding it difficult to decide whether to walk 88 temple route or Kumano Kudo. In your experience, which route did you like more and why? Also was it difficult to get by without speaking Japanese? and how much should i expect to spend on food and bed everyday?

Many thanks!!!
Hi
We walked from temple 68 to 88 which is all in the north of the island and is not representative of the whole route. The temples were fairly close together and there were many urban areas so options for lodging and food were probably greater than the more remote temple areas in the south.
We did a lot of planning using the Shikoku Japan 88 Route Guide which we also carried with us for the maps.
There is a wonderful site by a lady called Kat who has done many long distance walks and has daily blogs for all the Japanese routes as well as the Camino. It will give you much more detail than I can put here in the forum. You can find it at:

https://followingthearrows.com/

My wife and I typically paid Yen 3000 each per night and used a mix of hotels, hostels and zenkonyado. There are also some Henro Houses specifically for pilgrims which are Yen 2800 or so - just go to:

https://henrohouse.jp/en

We bought food in supermarkets for lunch - sushi, bread, rice balls etc... and would have a hot meal for dinner. Not expensive but there are a range of prices.

Bradypus has given some key points above which are all well observed.

We found the 88 route hard going. It was predominantly on roads or paved surfaces. The main disadvantage was there were very few walking pilgrims although we came across a lot of local pilgrims travelling by coach. There was no Camino type atmosphere with chatting to pilgrims or hearing the Japanese equivalent of Buen Camino from the locals. However, that may be to your liking and there is certainly a very positive reaction from some locals including some volunteers who offer roadside snacks and drinks.

The Kumano Kodo was for us a more pleasant experience. There were many more pilgrims and a lot of foreigners. The walking was more akin to parts of the Camino with forest paths etc... and certainly easier on the feet.

We walked in October and missed the typhoon season although we caught one in Osaka which was bad enough in an urban setting. Checking the best times of the year to walk is recommended.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Portuguese, Camino Ingles, Via de la plata.
#17
Hi
We walked from temple 68 to 88 which is all in the north of the island and is not representative of the whole route. The temples were fairly close together and there were many urban areas so options for lodging and food were probably greater than the more remote temple areas in the south.
We did a lot of planning using the Shikoku Japan 88 Route Guide which we also carried with us for the maps.
There is a wonderful site by a lady called Kat who has done many long distance walks and has daily blogs for all the Japanese routes as well as the Camino. It will give you much more detail than I can put here in the forum. You can find it at:

https://followingthearrows.com/

My wife and I typically paid Yen 3000 each per night and used a mix of hotels, hostels and zenkonyado. There are also some Henro Houses specifically for pilgrims which are Yen 2800 or so - just go to:

https://henrohouse.jp/en

We bought food in supermarkets for lunch - sushi, bread, rice balls etc... and would have a hot meal for dinner. Not expensive but there are a range of prices.

Bradypus has given some key points above which are all well observed.

We found the 88 route hard going. It was predominantly on roads or paved surfaces. The main disadvantage was there were very few walking pilgrims although we came across a lot of local pilgrims travelling by coach. There was no Camino type atmosphere with chatting to pilgrims or hearing Buen Camino from the locals. However, that may be to your liking and there is certainly a very positive reaction from some locals including some volunteers who offer roadside snacks and drinks.

The Kumano Kodo was for us a more pleasant experience. There were many more pilgrims and a lot of foreigners. The walking was more akin to parts of the Camino with forest paths etc... and certainly easier on the feet.

We walked in October and missed the typhoon season although we caught one in Osaka which was bad enough in an urban setting. Checking the best times of the year to walk is recommended.

Thank you for this valuable info. This helps me a great deal.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Portuguese, Camino Ingles, Via de la plata.
#18
I have recently returned from walking both the Shikoku 88 temple circuit and the Nakahechi Kumano Kodo. It is very difficult to compare the two as they are very different in nature and scale.

The full Shikoku circuit is over 1100km long. Most of it on roads though there are impressive off-road sections too. Those pilgrims who choose to walk it normally take 6 to 8 weeks to complete it. There are very few places which are the equivalent of Camino albergues: people usually either stay in commercial accommodation such as minshuku or ryokans with the alternative being camping or sleeping in the very basic shelters provided by some temples and by kind individuals along the way. The number of foreign pilgrims is steadily increasing but the great majority of walkers are Japanese. Little English is spoken in rural Shikoku but a few basic phrases in Japanese and the help of Google Translate on my phone were enough to make the journey possible. There is a great deal of generosity towards pilgrims and Japanese people are usually very courteous and aim to be helpful to visitors.

The Kumano Kodo routes are far shorter. The most popular one - the Nakahechi - is only 39km long. The extension to the Kumano Nachi Taisha adds another 30km or so to the journey. I only walked the Nakahechi route but I believe the two main routes are similar. Largely off-road paths through forest with a few small villages along the way. Many more foreign walkers. The Kumano Kodo is heavily promoted (extremely well) by the local tourist board. Accommodation is all commercial - no free temple shelters. Camping or sleeping in the forest shelters is officially discouraged. There is a great deal more signage in English. The tourist office will assist in booking accommodation and luggage transfers (expensive I believe). Altogether an easier business than walking the Shikoku pilgrimage but in some ways a more packaged and commercial experience.

Thanks for the tips. In your opinion, what time of the year is best to walk Kumano Kudo? I hear the Japanese summer is grilling hot and humid with lots of rain fall.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#19
Thanks for the tips. In your opinion, what time of the year is best to walk Kumano Kudo? I hear the Japanese summer is grilling hot and humid with lots of rain fall.
Depends on what you hope to find on your walk. If you want plenty of company and the maximum number of accommodation options then probably from late March to June or late September and October. Winters are not severe but there can be snow and ice - especially on higher ground. Summers are very hot and wet and humid. There is also a risk of severe typhoon storms. I started my Shikoku walk on February 9th and finished in late March before walking the Kumano Kodo. I do not mind cold weather and loved the solitude. By the end of my time the number of walkers I was meeting had increased enormously. On the Kumano Kodo most were day walkers on short stages. It will never be like the Camino Frances though!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
#20
Thanks for the tips. In your opinion, what time of the year is best to walk Kumano Kudo? I hear the Japanese summer is grilling hot and humid with lots of rain fall.
I have lived in hot and humid areas and it is definitely not the season for distance hiking. We cool by evaporation of our sweat and high humidity means no evaporation hence no cooling. Before heading to Japan we were on Hong Kong with some days high 30s Celsius and close to 100% humidity. Not nice.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Portuguese, Camino Ingles, Via de la plata.
#21
Thanks for your reply. If I was to walk the Kumano Kudo, what is the best way to get to Tii-Tanabe? and is it necessary to carry a sleeping bag? thanks!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
#22
Thanks for your reply. If I was to walk the Kumano Kudo, what is the best way to get to Tii-Tanabe? and is it necessary to carry a sleeping bag? thanks!
Coming from Shukoko we bought a regional rail pass. Tanabe is a couple of hours by train from Osaka.
Use www.hyperdia.com for train information.
We didn't take sleeping bags. Sleeping was japanese style on tatami mats even in communal rooms.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Portuguese, Camino Ingles, Via de la plata.
#23
Coming from Shukoko we bought a regional rail pass. Tanabe is a couple of hours by train from Osaka.
Use www.hyperdia.com for train information.
We didn't take sleeping bags. Sleeping was japanese style on tatami mats even in communal rooms.
Thank you MikeyC!!! Appreciate your help! =)
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#24
Coming from Shukoko we bought a regional rail pass. Tanabe is a couple of hours by train from Osaka..
If you just want a single rail ticket rather than a pass Hyperdia will show you two different options: the high-speed direct Kurushio trains that @MikeyC just mentioned (quite expensive) and a much slower but cheaper series of connecting local trains changing in a couple of towns. If you are in no rush the local trains are good and half the price and give you a chance to watch the scenery pass by at a gentler pace :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Portuguese, Camino Ingles, Via de la plata.
#25
If you just want a single rail ticket rather than a pass Hyperdia will show you two different options: the high-speed direct Kurushio trains that @MikeyC just mentioned (quite expensive) and a much slower but cheaper series of connecting local trains changing in a couple of towns. If you are in no rush the local trains are good and half the price and give you a chance to watch the scenery pass by at a gentler pace :)
Thank you Bradypus for the suggestion. That also could be an option, but I speak 0 Japanese, let's just hope I don't get lost while trying to find connecting trains. hahaha
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
#26
1.Express train from Osaka to Kii Tanabe 2 hours, regular train 3 to 4 hoyr max, airport bus to Wakayama, change train to Tanaba no more than 4 hours. Info center open 9am to 6pm, in order to get your credential for your next day hike, you have to watch your time. I took 1:57pm express train out of Osaka KIX airport, arrival 3:29pm. If slower train or bus might not have enough time for info. 9am is too late for start. At Takijiri center same opening schedule.

2. Bilingual sign all along the road, same standard, every 500meter marked with a number, so if you see 20 means 15k, 26, 13k.Map listed those numbers. No Japanese is not a concern.

3. Accommodation opens for all, pilgrims or not. They were full, i could not book my first choice in two places; however, I was mainly alone on 3 days, the last day to Nashi, had to rely on bus to get to the trail head, only bus scheduled in the morning on sunday, ran into more people. I realized that when I took the earlier bus out the first day from Tanabe were 5 hikers including me, the next time from Yonume obsen just me. Ran into a big American women group, but nothing more, very peaceful.

4. 3 onsen villages and other main places can be booked through other regular hotel booking, I did JHopper Hostel in Yunome onsen, highly recommend, has its own outdoor hot spring. Japanese traditional home share bath and bathrooms. But what I got close to shops, bus stations. The one at Santo cafe, out of Koguchi gave us free hotspring ticket for bath, very nice, outdoor, indoor hot spring farcilite, 5 min walk.

5. Trails have lots of stone steps, elevation gain and loss at places, was hard on my knees. 20180404_022224.jpg 20180408_095722.jpg
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Portuguese, Camino Ingles, Via de la plata.
#27
1.Express train from Osaka to Kii Tanabe 2 hours, regular train 3 to 4 hoyr max, airport bus to Wakayama, change train to Tanaba no more than 4 hours. Info center open 9am to 6pm, in order to get your credential for your next day hike, you have to watch your time. I took 1:57pm express train out of Osaka KIX airport, arrival 3:29pm. If slower train or bus might not have enough time for info. 9am is too late for start. At Takijiri center same opening schedule.

2. Bilingual sign all along the road, same standard, every 500meter marked with a number, so if you see 20 means 15k, 26, 13k.Map listed those numbers. No Japanese is not a concern.

3. Accommodation opens for all, pilgrims or not. They were full, i could not book my first choice in two places; however, I was mainly alone on 3 days, the last day to Nashi, had to rely on bus to get to the trail head, only bus scheduled in the morning on sunday, ran into more people. I realized that when I took the earlier bus out the first day from Tanabe were 5 hikers including me, the next time from Yonume obsen just me. Ran into a big American women group, but nothing more, very peaceful.

4. 3 onsen villages and other main places can be booked through other regular hotel booking, I did JHopper Hostel in Yunome onsen, highly recommend, has its own outdoor hot spring. Japanese traditional home share bath and bathrooms. But what I got close to shops, bus stations. The one at Santo cafe, out of Koguchi gave us free hotspring ticket for bath, very nice, outdoor, indoor hot spring farcilite, 5 min walk.

5. Trails have lots of stone steps, elevation gain and loss at places, was hard on my knees. View attachment 41980 View attachment 41982
Thanks for the detailed directions and info. Re-accomodation, does the tourism office give you a list of hostels before you set off or how do you work out which hostel to sleep in? thanks
 
Camino(s) past & future
6/7, 2013 SJPP to Santiago-finisher-Muniz, 6/7, 2016 La Verna to Rome, 6/7/8, 2018 VDLP
#28
The website has all the info you need, list of lodgings with descriptions and prices, bus schedules (lots of them), detailed route description for each section, booking luggage transfer and boat tours, how to get there snd etc, even guided walk. Really no need to go to any other site for info. I went to other website for booking is looking for lower price alternative. But the lodging at Nashi shan close to temples at waterfall is highly recommended, book for dinner and breakfast, that is what you saw from my pictures. Not just look nice, taste great. That place is the only option, but considering the room, the hot bath, food, really is reasonably priced, way beyond my expectation.

When you get your confirmed booking, you will get instruction, including bus info, you can also email office directly asking question, all in English. If your choice is booked, they will email you alternatives for you to choose.

You can download maps, lists and all. The only thing you really need to get from office in person is credential. I like the printed little guide book also than the downloaded copy.

One thing i learned is that in order to use luggage transfer, you have to book all of your lodging with them. Did I mention about tbis earlier?

I passed the other 2 onsen village on the bus, same bus route. Lots of lodgings at these three villages.

All in all, in all honestly it didnot feel a camino to me, but a beautiful hiking holiday and a training for my real camino for VdIP this summer, even though I had lots of quiet time for contemplation. The soul searching element I sensed from other pilgrims on the camino is missing, too. This is common when a short route mixed with tourists.

Never the less, you got to do it!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Portuguese, Camino Ingles, Via de la plata.
#29
The website has all the info you need, list of lodgings with descriptions and prices, bus schedules (lots of them), detailed route description for each section, booking luggage transfer and boat tours, how to get there snd etc, even guided walk. Really no need to go to any other site for info. I went to other website for booking is looking for lower price alternative. But the lodging at Nashi shan close to temples at waterfall is highly recommended, book for dinner and breakfast, that is what you saw from my pictures. Not just look nice, taste great. That place is the only option, but considering the room, the hot bath, food, really is reasonably priced, way beyond my expectation.

When you get your confirmed booking, you will get instruction, including bus info, you can also email office directly asking question, all in English. If your choice is booked, they will email you alternatives for you to choose.

You can download maps, lists and all. The only thing you really need to get from office in person is credential. I like the printed little guide book also than the downloaded copy.

One thing i learned is that in order to use luggage transfer, you have to book all of your lodging with them. Did I mention about tbis earlier?

I passed the other 2 onsen village on the bus, same bus route. Lots of lodgings at these three villages.

All in all, in all honestly it didnot feel a camino to me, but a beautiful hiking holiday and a training for my real camino for VdIP this summer, even though I had lots of quiet time for contemplation. The soul searching element I sensed from other pilgrims on the camino is missing, too. This is common when a short route mixed with tourists.

Never the less, you got to do it!

Great!!! I can't wait to go walk the Kumano Kudo soon! and I am also walking the Primitivo and Norte this summer too. good luck on your VDLP. I did it last summer, the grilling Spanish sun was unbearable but the landscape was absolutely amazing! Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Portuguese, Camino Ingles, Via de la plata.
#30
one more question, should i get a simcard in Japan incase i need to book hostels? if so, which provider is ideal? thanks.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#31
A sim card is very useful. Quite difficult and expensive to get one with voice calls though as a tourist. An odd quirk in Japanese law. Plenty of data-only ones though. I rented a sim for two months from Sakura Mobile and paid for 5GB of data. I also installed Skype on my phone, bought £5 of credit from them, and made a few voice calls through Skype. You can buy cheaper short term data-only sims on arrival. If I had not opted for Sakura Mobile my next choice would have been the Japan Travel SIM from iijmio. Almost all of the prepaid tourist sims are resellers and these sims mostly use the main national NTT Docomo network. Mobile coverage on the Kumano Kodo itself is quite limited but in other parts of the country it is very good.

https://www.sakuramobile.jp/short-term-sim-card-plans/
https://t.iijmio.jp/en/
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Camino Portuguese, Camino Ingles, Via de la plata.
#32
A sim card is very useful. Quite difficult and expensive to get one with voice calls though as a tourist. An odd quirk in Japanese law. Plenty of data-only ones though. I rented a sim for two months from Sakura Mobile and paid for 5GB of data. I also installed Skype on my phone, bought £5 of credit from them, and made a few voice calls through Skype. You can buy cheaper short term data-only sims on arrival. If I had not opted for Sakura Mobile my next choice would have been the Japan Travel SIM from iijmio. Almost all of the prepaid tourist sims are resellers and these sims mostly use the main national NTT Docomo network. Mobile coverage on the Kumano Kodo itself is quite limited but in other parts of the country it is very good.

https://www.sakuramobile.jp/short-term-sim-card-plans/
https://t.iijmio.jp/en/
Great! I already have Skype on my phone so I'll just go for Data-only sims. I will check both Sakura and iijmio out. Thank you very much!!!
 


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    Votes: 3 0.6%
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