A Walk Through Old Japan

15 days

Indicative cost incl. flights:

 

£4,950pp

3 star & low season

 

£5,650pp

4 star & high season

 

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Day 1
Depart from the UK on an overnight flight and arrive into the mega-metropolis of Tokyo the following day.
Day 2
Our team will meet you on arrival and will get you into central Tokyo. There's still a quiet side to this gigantic city, and we can point you in the direction of the best places to see the traditional alongside the modern. We would recommend a stay in Asakusa - the spiritual soul of Tokyo - but there are great ways to see the historical in all corners of this city, wherever you spend the night.
Day 3
Meet with your friendly and knowledgeable guide today for a full day of touring. Enjoy the landscaped gardens of Hamarikyu, and sip green tea in the peaceful surroundings. Stop at the impressive Sensoji temple and the Meiji Shrine for a sense of the spiritual, though you can also see the crazy side of Tokyo in youthful Harajuku - a mecca for the fashionable and fantastic.
Day 4
Escape Tokyo this morning and head to the scenic Kawaguchiko lake, near the imposing and iconic Mount Fuji. Hike through the wilderness of Okuniwa National Park for the chance to see this unmistakable peak up close (weather allowing!) Afterwards, proceed to the 5th Station - where summer climbers begin their ascent of Fujisan. Tonight you will stay in a ryokan inn to enjoy a wonderful dinner, hot spring baths and a traditional room with tatami mats and futon mattress.
Day 5
After a refreshing sleep in the countryside, either explore some of Kawaguchiko's wonderful museums or take a leisurely boat ride on the lake itself. This afternoon you will return to Tokyo by bus for another night in the busy city - definitely head out for dinner in a local izakaya (Japanese pub) for a true Tokyo evening.
Day 6
Board a train from Tokyo and head into the mountains of the Kiso Valley. The scenery along the way is unforgettable and gorgeous regardless of the season. Arrive into one of the traditional post towns to experience Japan as it would have looked over a hundred years ago, on the long road from Edo (Tokyo) to Kyoto. Bed down in a ryokan tonight ready for a day of hiking tomorrow.
Day 7
Get up early and embark on a hike on the Nakasendo Way - the famous ancient route taken by pilgrims, poets and merchants during Japan's feudal era. Our recommended route is the 3-hour trek from Magome to Tsumago (or vice versa) to experience great scenery, as well as seeing first-hand these well-preserved towns, away from modernity and hi-tech distractions. Return to your inn for some filling food and beautiful star-filled skies.
Day 8
As the ancient walkers did before you, continue your travels to Kyoto - the city of a thousand temples. The train journey will be a beautiful one, so sit back and enjoy it and rest your legs. The day is free upon arrival, we would recommend a stroll around the photogenic neighbourhood of Gion, where the local geikos (geisha) still work to this day.
Day 9
With help from our local guides, today will be spent checking out the key sights of Kyoto from the saddle of a bike - an energetic but incredible way to see the best the city has to offer. Colourful Buddhist temples, dazzling golden pavilions, atmospheric bamboo forests - Kyoto has a lot to offer you!
Day 10
After a week and a half of busy sightseeing, today is a day to unwind... with a difference. Jump on the train from Kyoto to Lake Biwa, a great escape from the city, where you will try some wholesome food, clear your mind with yoga, and unwind on a relaxing day on the beautiful shoreline.
Day 11
Step back in time as you head for an overnight stay in Koyasan, one of the holiest places in Japan. This mountaintop sanctuary is the perfect place to escape from modern life with a shukubo (temple stay). Tonight will be spent in a working Buddhist monastery, complete with a delicious vegan meal, as you learn how the monks live in this modern world.
Day 12
Be sure to get up early to watch the monks' daily prayers, and take a wander through the misty-morning light in Okunoin cemetery. The journey back to the 21st Century - by bus, cable-car and multiple trains - is an enjoyable one, with photo opportunities throughout. Continue by rail through the major cities to Hiroshima, and connect to a ferry to Miyajima - your home for the next few nights.
Day 13
Miyajima is a beautiful island with free-roaming deer, ancient shrines, and a wooden mountainside that is perfect for walking year-round. The traditional ryokan inns here serve up beautiful multicourse meals each evening, and your hours of hiking will be rewarded with a soak in the natural hot spring onsen baths - perfect!
Day 14
Leave Miyajima and head back along the coast, via the city of Hiroshima. We recommend a stop to visit the dazzling castle of Himeji and the atmospheric mountain temple of Enyogi along the way. Spend your final night of the trip back in Kyoto, or (for something different) in the hustle-bustle of Osaka, Japan's culinary capital.
Day 15
Bid farewell to Japan and take your return flight home, filled with a greater understanding of the traditions, history and spectacular mountain scenery of this incomparable destination.

Everything we do is tailor-made; our itineraries are just suggestions to give you an idea of what is possible. Please contact us so we can tailor the perfect holiday exclusively for you.

There’s no better way to truly appreciate the rich history and stunning scenery of Japan than by foot.  This trip is for the rambling wanderers who wish to escape to the rural parts of this beautiful country – walking through the wilderness and sleeping in traditional accommodation.

Away from the skyscrapers, robots and 24-hour karaoke bars is a calmer Japan, where age-old temples and monasteries still operate as they did a thousand years ago.  Family-run ryokan (traditional inns) still welcome guests with humble graciousness and a home-cooked dinner, exactly as it was before Western tourists arrived.  Utilising the futuristic wonders of the country’s reliable railways, enjoy quieter locales, and savour the warmth of Japanese hospitality every step of the way.  Alongside the famous major cities you will get many opportunities to stretch your legs as you hike in the hinterlands of Japan.

1 night flying – 2 nights Tokyo – 1 night Kawaguchiko – 1 night Tokyo – 2 nights Kiso Valley – 3 nights Kyoto – 1 night Koyasan – 2 nights Miyajima – 1 night Kyoto


Where you'll go

What you'll do

Where you'll stay

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