Backroads of Japan

Japan
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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

Availability

From 03/03/2024 to 30/11/2025

Departure dates & prices

Dates Availability Price
  • Mar Sun 03 2024 to Mar Sun 17 2024
    Available
    From
    $8,840*
  • Mar Sun 17 2024 to Mar Sun 31 2024
    Sold Out
    From
    $8,840*
  • Mar Sun 31 2024 to Apr Sun 14 2024
    Sold Out
    From
    $8,840*
  • Apr Sun 14 2024 to Apr Sun 28 2024
    Sold Out
    From
    $8,840*
  • May Sun 12 2024 to May Sun 26 2024
    Sold Out
    From
    $8,520*
  • May Sun 26 2024 to Jun Sun 09 2024
    Available
    From
    $8,520*
  • Sep Sun 08 2024 to Sep Sun 22 2024
    Available
    From
    $8,520*
  • Sep Sun 22 2024 to Oct Sun 06 2024
    Available
    From
    $8,840*
  • Oct Sun 06 2024 to Oct Sun 20 2024
    Available
    From
    $8,840*
  • Nov Sun 03 2024 to Nov Sun 17 2024
    Available
    From
    $8,840*
  • Nov Sun 17 2024 to Dec Sun 01 2024
    Available
    From
    $8,840*
  • Feb Tue 25 2025 to Mar Tue 11 2025
    Available
    From
    $8,950*

What's included

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.
14 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 8 dinnersComfortable accommodation on twin share basisTraditional 'ryokan' innsExpert bilingual guideLuggage transfers as listed in the itinerarySightseeing and entry fees as listed in itineraryAll transportation by public train, public bus and taxiMedical kitIn the countryside we stay in atmospheric, family-run inns, with comfortable western-style hotels in the major cities.
The Japanese “ryokan” is such a delicate environment, with compact spaces and displayed heirlooms, that for the first encounter something of a bull-in-a-china-shop feeling is inevitable - especially in the entrance as shoes are put on and removed.
But this reaction normalises as we and the innkeepers get used to each others ways.
Traditional-style accommodation means sleeping on “futon” bedding laid out on tatami floors.
In the mountains it is usual for groups to sleep together in the same room, modified by sliding partitions.
Our inns understand that westerners may be more comfortable with privacy, and assign two-person rooms when there are few other guests.
But privacy throughout is difficult to guarantee without paying a premium.
Please check with our office staff if you require more information on this.
Double rooms may be available on request, however please note these are typically smaller than twin bedded rooms and once booked, cannot be changed without cost during the trip.
We recommend twin bedded rooms if you require space whilst sleeping, double beds in Japan are not standard western size.
Please note that hot showers and tub bathing is at the end of the day when a communal bath is heated (women and men are separated), but usually only wash basins are available in the morning.
Japanese love bathing together, communing as they soak.
This is a surprisingly good opportunity to meet the locals.
However, if privacy is an issue this may be arranged by careful scheduling within the group.
Group Size: 4 - 14.
Hiking.
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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.
  • The following product terms and conditions apply in addition to our Booking Terms and Conditions (available on our website) and terms and conditions of the relevant travel service provider.
  • Prices quoted valid for sale until 02 March 2024 for travel during the period specified (if applicable) unless otherwise stated or sold out prior.
  • All prices are per person (unless otherwise stated), subject to availability and may be withdrawn or varied without notice. Accommodation (if included) is based on twin share unless otherwise stated.
  • Advertised price includes bonus nights and/or stated saving (if applicable).
  • Additional supplier conditions and travel restrictions may apply. Please enquire for further details.
  • Airfare (including internal flights) is not included unless otherwise stated and, if included, is economy class unless otherwise stated.
  • Components of the total price including local payments, "resort fees", "national park fees", "trip kitties" and food funds (if applicable) may be payable direct to the supplier on arrival or to your travel consultant prior to your departure. Where applicable, these payments are included in the total price quoted.
  • Gratuities are not included unless otherwise stated.
  • Prices shown are fully inclusive of taxes, levies and government charges current at the time of publication.
  • Additional levies, government charges & other applicable fees, including additional taxes, surcharges and visa fees specific to your departure date or flight routing, may apply and are beyond our control.
  • Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply depending on date of travel.
  • Prices shown are for payments made by cash in store or by BPAY.
  • Payments made in store by credit card will incur a surcharge (see Booking Terms and Conditions for further details).
  • These prices are a guide to the best price and are subject to change without notice, due to matters outside our control, such as adverse currency fluctuations, fuel surcharges, taxes and airfare increases. Please enquire for further details..
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  • Our liability to you is limited in certain situations, and we may charge you a cancellation fee(s) in certain circumstances. See our booking terms and conditions for further details.
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