Backroads of Japan

  • Best price guaranteed
  • No booking fees
4.9 Based on 23 Reviews
  • duration 15 days
  • tour type Small group Request as private
  • age requirement 18-99 yrs
  • max group size 14
  • guiding method Fully guided
  • Tour Code BM-16222
  • Footprint Carbonneutral CO2 emissions resulting from all trips on Bookmundi will be offset via investments in carbon reduction projects.
  • Operated in English
  • Starts Tokyo, Japan
  • Ends Osaka, Japan
HIGHLIGHTS Download trip notes
  • 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
  • Savour Japanese delicacies with many included meals
  • Explore and experience the markets of Osaka
  • Walk along ancient pilgrim trails leading to the sacred peak of Omine in Nara
  • Show more
Starting in Tokyo and ending in Osaka, the "Backroads Of Japan" tour is a guided trekking and hiking trip that takes 15 days. You will travel through Osaka, Kyoto, Mt Fuji and 5 other destinations in Japan. "Backroads Of Japan" is a small group tour which includes accommodation in hotels, transport, meals and others.

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 in the Kawaguchiko area
  • 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 Japan's oldest path in Asuka
  • 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 8 dinners
  • All transportation by public train, public bus and taxi
  • Expert bilingual guide
  • Traditional 'ryokan' inns
  • Luggage transfers as listed in the itinerary
  • 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
  • Arrival and departure transfers
4.9 - Excellent
Based on 23 reviews
  • Anonymous
  • On Jun 29 2019
5 - Excellent
This was a fantastic way to explore Japan and its wonderful culture. We spent time in the big cities but for me the best part was going out on the "Backroads". The walks, the scenery and the calmness was so enjoyable. I... Read more
  • Anonymous
  • On Jun 24 2019
5 - Excellent
We recently undertook a Backroads of Japan tour with this tour company. This is the third time we have used this company having undertaken both their Mont Blanc seven day trek from Chamonix and their Canadian Rockies tour. They... Read more
  • Anonymous
  • On Jun 18 2019
5 - Excellent
This trip exceeded in all ways my high expectations. Each day was filled with new and exciting experiences, whether it be in the bustling cities or the spectacularly beautiful countryside and its villages or the mountain... Read more
  • Anonymous
  • On Jun 12 2019
5 - Excellent
The highlight of this trip was the small villages and inns, the food (even though I'm not sure I knew what a lot of it was!), and the beautiful forest hikes. A very polite, clean and friendly country. In the end I think the... Read more
REQUEST A PRIVATE, CUSTOMIZABLE DEPARTURE By design, this is a group tour. You can however request a private, customized version of this tour for yourself or your private group of people. Private departures are usually more expensive, but come with these benefits:
  • Personal Itinerary can be tweaked and customized.
  • Protected Travel within your own bubble.
  • Professional Access our Travel Specialists' insider knowledge.
  • Privacy Enjoy a tour focused solely on you or your travel group.
Request a private and/or personalized departure To design a private tour, we'll ask you some more information in the following steps.
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GOOD TO KNOW Download trip notes

No additional cancellation fees apply for this Backroads of Japan tour. You can cancel the tour up to 72 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 71 days of departure.


For any tour departures within 28 June 2024, full payment is required. For tours that depart later than 28 June 2024, a deposit of 311 USD is required to confirm the tour, and the remaining balance will be charged 71 days before trip 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. World Nomads offers travel insurance for independent travelers and intrepid families.


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 traveling 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.

COVID-19 Safety Measures

This trip incorporates the following COVID-19 measures:

  • This tour has received the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safe Travels stamp, which provides travellers with assurance that COVID-19 health and hygiene global standardised protocols have been adopted.
  • Smaller group sizes have been implemented on this tour to protect against COVID-19 and to ensure that the tour complies with local authorities’ guidelines.
  • Rigorous hygiene safety measures will be followed in transportation, accommodation and meal venues.
  • Guides are trained in our COVID-19 response plan that has been developed in line with state government medical provisions.
  • All travellers 18 years and older will be required to be fully vaccinated atleast 14 days prior to departure.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about this tour.
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