- Kumano Kodo is one of two UNESCO-listed pilgrimages
- Kumano Kodo is a network of seven pilgrimage routes and Nakahechi is the most popular
- For the big trek-averse, travelers can choose to take short hikes easily accessed by public transport
Wakayama, Japan (CNN)I knew I was going to have to climb 538 stairs to get to Kamikura Shrine in Wakayama, Japan. What I didn't know was that those steps -- leading to the lofty highlight of my Kumano Kodo pilgrimage -- would be on a 70-degree incline.