How to travel between Kumano and Koyasan
Take the cable car and Nankai Railway from Koyasan to Hashimoto (one hour, 830 yen) and transfer to the JR Wakayama Line to Wakayama Station (about one hour). From Wakayama, take a limited express train along the JR Kinokuni Line (aka Kisei Line) down the coast to the Kumano Region (80 minutes to Shirahama, 3 hours to Shingu). The one way fare from Hashimoto to Shirahama is around 4000 yen; to Shingu it is around 6500 yen.
By train and local buses through the mountains via Gojo
Take the cable car and Nankai Railway from Koyasan to Hashimoto (one hour, 830 yen) and transfer to the JR Wakayama Line to Gojo Station (15 minutes, 210 yen). From Gojo, take the Nara Kotsu bus to Hongu (4 hours, 3200 yen one way) or Shingu (5 hours, 4500 yen one way).
By local buses through the mountains via Ryujin Onsen (no service in winter)
From April through November, there are one or two bus connections per day from Koyasan to Gomadanzan, from where it is possible to continue to Kii-Tanabe Station or Hongu Taisha. The entire one way trip between Koyasan and Kii-Tanabe Station takes around 3.5 hours and costs 4480 yen. Between Koyasan and Hongu Taisha it takes around four hours and costs 5000 yen. For online reservations, click here. During winter, there is no bus service between Koyasan and Ryujin Onsen.
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.