Honshu hiking holiday in Japan

“A tailor made, 17 day hiking holiday in Japan, following a superb itinerary from Tokyo to Kyoto, with walks throughout including five days on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail.”

Highlights

Tokyo | Mt. Takao | Matsumoto | Tsumago | Magome | Narai | Nakasendo Way | Kyoto | Walk in Kitayama Mountains | Five day hike on Kumano Kodo Trail | Osaka

Description of Honshu hiking holiday in Japan

With over 70% mountainous terrain, Japan is a hiker’s paradise. From the peaks of the Japanese Alps to valleys and ancient pilgrimage trails, there is an incredible array of routes to suit walkers of any level.

On this 16-night self-guided adventure you’ll cover some of the best hiking trails on the main island of Honshu interspersed with stays in a few of Japan’s top cities; Tokyo, Kyoto and Matsumoto.

Walking is very much the focus of this itinerary – amongst sightseeing in Tokyo, there’s an opportunity for a day-hike to Mount Takao where, on a clear day, you can see Mt Fuji from the summit. Matsumoto is the gateway to the historic Nakasendo Way in the Kiso Valley; an ancient samurai route dotted with little wooden postal towns and delightful forest paths. For keen hikers though, the highlight will undoubtedly be a five-day hike along the famous Kumano Kodo in the beautiful Kii Peninsula; voted one of the top ten regions in the world in Lonely Planet’s ‘Best in Travel 2018’. This is one of the top hikes in Japan, offering not only a fulfilling personal challenge, but also a great chance to learn about traditional Japanese culture, meet the locals and experience Japan’s rural side.

After all that walking, you’re sure to build up quite an appetite. The trip concludes in urban Osaka – nicknamed the ‘Kitchen of Japan’ on account of the wonderful array of Japanese street food on offer.

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Honshu hiking holiday in Japan

Environment

Since this is first and foremost a walking holiday in rural Japan, the carbon footprint of this trip will be particularly low. The focus for this trip is getting out and about in the fresh air, embracing nature and promoting a sense of well-being.

In order to get to and from hub destinations, clients will be using Japan’s excellent public transport system and shared transfers only. There are no private car transfers included in this itinerary.

With this trip, we are also making a conscious effort to promote small towns that have taken valiant steps to act in a sustainable manner. Tsumago and Magome have made a huge effort to preserve the Edo Period ambience by hiding power lines and banning cards form the main roads during the daytime so that the beautiful, traditional buildings and flag-stone streets can be seen in their true glory. This is the side of Japan that we are keen to raise awareness of and support.

Community

As a general rule we include as many small, local and independent accommodation options in our trips as possible. As well as providing a quintessentially Japanese experience for our clients, in supporting these small businesses, we help to play a small part in keeping these traditional establishments alive.

Owing to the rural nature of this itinerary, this trip includes a particularly high number of nights in traditional family-run accommodation. Throughout the Kumano Kodo portion of the trip, clients will be staying in minshuku inns, eating home-made, locally sourced dinners, interacting with Japanese families and getting a taste of local, rural life. Likewise, in the Kiso Valley, clients will stay in small family-run minshuku and eat home-cooked seasonal specialities.

We also pride ourselves on employing local guides – serving the dual benefit of supporting local workers and offering clients a genuine and knowledgeable insight from people who have spent their lives getting to know the area.

This trip also includes a visit to a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Tsuboyu hot spring bath in Yunomine Onsen. This is one of the oldest hot spring resorts in Japan and a lot of care has been taken to preserve this aspect of ancient pilgrimage tradition for future generations.

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