- duration 15 days
- tour type Group
- age requirement 18+ years old
- guiding method Live Guide/Instructor
- Wander the bustling streets of Tokyo, Japan's capital city
- Behold the iconic, perfectly formed Mt Fuji and its glistening five lakes
- Hike through postal towns & forest trails on the Nakasendo Way
- Be enthralled by the world class attractions of Kyoto, incl the geisha district and The Golden Pavilion, Kinkakuji
Our trip combines hiking ancient pilgrimage trails with visits to modern cities. The traditional, family run inns we stay at are a definite highlight. No wonder it is our most popular Japan itinerary. You may not have considered it, but Japan is a superb walking destination. Fly over Japan and you will see that the entire archipelago is mountainous except for a narrow strip of coastal shelf, a few broad inland basins and some river valleys. Those flatter lands are where the bulk of the population lives. The mountains – the main terrain of this tour - are surprisingly unpopulated. From a distance it may seem that the old Samurai-and-Geisha traditions have given way to the mechanical marvels of consumer culture, but come closer and you will find a society shaped by deeply ingrained values, with many living traditions.
This walking tour of Japan wanders around the cultural barrier and into territory that Japanese hold sacred. Accompanied by expert leaders, you will hike through places of natural beauty and hinterland sites of deep significance. The itinerary is interspersed with interesting urban explorations. It begins with a brief immersion into the maze of Tokyo, before heading into the countryside to gaze at the nation’s symbol, Mount Fuji from a suitable ringside seat: the top of one of its surrounding hills. Travelling by train and bus we head to the Kiso Valley and hike along an historic trail, the legendary trade route which connected the Sea of Japan with the Pacific Ocean.
Japan’s original Buddhist monks proved their faith on this trail in the 7th century, when the mainland religion found its place among the esoteric native Shinto. Between these hinterland adventures are a few special days in Kyoto the “Florence of Japan” due to its endless fine art treasures, unique sense of identity, and walk-friendly environment.
Keeping to the backroads theme we have discrete opportunities to experience temple gardens, peerless Buddhist arts and architecture and the bohemian street culture of the ancient capital. Our Japanese walking based journey ends in another throbbing metropolis - Osaka, a mercantile Mecca. At every step of the way craft and cuisine will round out your Japanese experience, with encounters with locals adding a memorable human dimension.
Day 1 : Arrive Tokyo
Day 2 : Explore Tokyo, to Fuji Five Lakes
Day 3 : Hiking around Mt Fuji
Day 4 : Travel to Kiso Valley
Day 5 : Old Nakasendo Highway, train to Kyoto
Day 6 : Visiting Kyoto’s Temples
Day 7 : Climb Mount Daimonji
Day 8 : In Kyoto free exploration
Day 9 : Hike & Train to Asuka
Day 10 : Hike to Yoshino
Day 11 : Hike & Bus to Dorogawa
Day 12 : Hiking around Dorogawa
Day 13 : Mitarai Gorge, travel to Osaka
Day 14 : In Osaka
Day 15 : In Osaka, trip concludes
- Comfortable accommodation on twin share basis
- 14 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 7 dinners
- Luggage transfers as listed in the itinerary
- All transportation by train, bus and taxi
- Expert bilingual guide
- Traditional 'ryokan' inns
- Sightseeing and entry fees as listed in itinerary
- Medical kit
- International airfare, visa and travel insurance (compulsory)
- Meals and beverages not indicated in the program
- Items of a personal nature such as laundry, phone calls, alcohol etc
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No additional cancellation fees apply for this Backroads of Japan tour. You can cancel the tour up to 70 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 69 days of departure.Payment
A deposit may be required to confirm this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 69 days before departure.Travel Insurance
Backroads of Japan tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.Visa
For this Backroads of Japan tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.For Solo Travelers
A twin share room may not always be available for solo travelers as it depends on the final number of people on the tour. If you have picked twin share room while booking, and that option is not available, we will get back to you after booking. A single room might then be available against an additional fee.