- duration 15 days
- tour type Small group
- age requirement 18+ years old
- max group size 14
- guiding method Fully guided
- Footprint carbonneutralCO2 emissions resulting from all trips on Bookmundi will be offset via investments in carbon reduction projects.
- 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
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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
- All transportation by train, 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
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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
For any tour departures within 26 July 2022, full payment is required. For tours that depart later than 26 July 2022, a deposit of 1500 USD is required to confirm the tour, and the remaining balance will be charged 69 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. 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 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.
- What is the maximum group size for the Backroads of Japan tours?
Is Asia open for tourists?
Despite the initial fears of the Covid-19 pandemic, most Asian countries have managed to mitigate its effects. As such, many popular destinations throughout the continent are currently open for travelers with precautionary measures like mandatory vaccinations. A few countries, however, require newly arrived travelers to spend a couple of days in quarantine.
As of February 2022, countries like Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia are officially open for vaccinated tourists without the need for quarantine. Meanwhile, India and Indonesia are two of the countries that may require you to quarantine for up to a week on arrival. However, Japan, Vietnam, and Myanmar are yet to open their doors to visitors.
How to plan an Asia tour?
Asia is a relatively large continent, so there are a wide variety of destinations to explore. Therefore, if you are planning a multi-country trip to Asia, the first thing you need to prepare is the list of countries you are interested in along with your starting and ending points. You would also need to decide on the best time for your trip depending on seasonal variations that affect each country.
After finalizing when and where to travel in Asia, you should make arrangements for all the necessary travel documents. These would include visas, insurances, Covid-19 test reports, vaccine cards, and so on.
Which countries should I visit in Asia?
Asia has more than enough destinations to meet every traveler’s needs and desires. If you are into adventure, look no further than the mighty Himalayas. Go on an exhilarating hike to the base camp of Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, or head for the Indian states of Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh instead. Thailand, with its blend of dazzling nightlife, rich history, and striking monuments, is the perfect destination not just for those who wish to let their hair down but also for travelers looking forward to being part of a memorable cultural experience.
Go on a tour to Cambodia, home to the monumental Angkor Wat, if you are into off-the-beaten-path destinations, or choose a Japan tour if you wish to discover how traditions and modernity can be seamlessly blended. The Maldives, with its numerous islands and beaches, is sure to provide you with countless opportunities to kick back on sandy stretches, swim in turquoise waters, and go island-hopping, while the rainforests of Malaysia and Indonesia are a haven for wildlife enthusiasts.
What country in Asia is fluent in English?
English is a widely spoken language in Asia, which means that you would not have much difficulty conversing with locals during your trip. Singapore ranks the highest in terms of its proficiency in the English language. The Philippines comes second, followed by Malaysia. Other countries where you will not face much trouble if you can speak English are South Korea, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, China, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
You will find that English is part of life of a section of the population in all these countries. They have road signs in English (along with those in their native languages) as well as English newspapers. Public announcements are often translated into English in these countries, and it is not difficult to come across store banners and product labels written in the language. In addition to all this, locals are also accustomed to tourists, which means they can at least carry out basic conversations in the language.
However, please keep in mind that it is the urban population in the continent that has had the most exposure to the language and is better at communicating in it. The more you travel to the countryside, the fewer English speakers you will meet.