How to travel between Kumano and Tokyo
JAL operates multiple flights per day between Tokyo's Haneda Airport and Nanki-Shirahama Airport. Flight duration is 70 minutes. The regular one way fare is around 35,000 yen, however discount tickets are usually available for around 17,000 to 20,000 yen. You can fly even cheaper with an air pass.
By train via Osaka (for western Kii Peninsula)
Take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo to Shin-Osaka (2.5 to 3 hours) and then a JR limited express onto the Kii Peninsula. The limited express trains stop at Kii-Tanabe (2 hours), Shirahama (2 hours 15 minutes), Kushimoto (3 hours) and Kii-Katsuura (3.5 hours) before terminating at Shingu Station (4 hours).
The one way trip from Tokyo to Shirahama takes about five hours, costs around 17,000 yen and is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass if using a hikari train (as opposed to a nozomi) along the Tokaido Shinkansen.
By train via Nagoya (for eastern Kii Peninsula)
Take the JR Tokaido Shinkansen from Tokyo to Nagoya (1.5 to 2 hours) and then the JR Nanki limited express onto the Kii Peninsula. The limited express trains stop at Owase (2.5 hours), Kumano-shi (3 hours) and Shingu (3 hours 15 minutes) before terminating at Kii-Katsuura Station (3.5 hours).
The one way trip from Tokyo to Shingu takes about five hours and costs around 16,000 yen. Because the JR Nanki limited express train partially uses the tracks of a different railway company, Japan Rail Pass holders have to pay a supplemental fee of 840 yen (one way). Otherwise, the trip is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass if using a hikari train (as opposed to a nozomi) along the Tokaido Shinkansen.
Above fees and schedules are subject to change. For the current yen exchange rate, click here.
The sights of Kumano are spread over a wide area around the southern tip of the Kii Peninsula. Distances and travel times in between them are considerable, not at last due to the absence of high speed trains and expressways in the region.
Trains run only along the coast and connect all coastal towns and cities with each other, including Tanabe, Shirahama, Kushimoto, Katsuura, Shingu and Kumano City. Buses complement the coastal train line by providing connections from the train stations to inland attractions, such as the Hongu and Nachi Shrines.
Despite the presence of a relatively convenient public transportation network, a rental car can be the more convenient means for getting around the Kumano area. Rental car outlets can be around Shirahama, Kii-Tanabe Station, Kushimoto Station, Kii-Katsuura Station and Shingu Station.