Japan culture tour, Takayama to Kiso Valley

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Departure information

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

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

With this tour, we use local public transport exclusively - including the energy efficient bullet train from Tokyo to Kanazawa, and local train lines from Matsumoto through to Kyoto. This minimizes your environmental impact and complements the fact that this tour does not require long-distance travel around the country. Furthermore, this tour includes walking and some cycling, which further helps minimize your carbon footprint. O

n this tour, you travel at your own pace through beautiful and unspoiled scenery, including optional short, scenic walks/hikes in the Kiso valley region. Spending four nights at traditional Japanese inns, all with their own Onsen hot-spring baths, you support local communities and businesses in the rural communities of Hida and Nagano. Your hosts value locally-produced food, which has a lower carbon footprint and further encourages the economic activity in the community.

In the Kiso valley region where we feature walking in particular, we follow the principles of ‘Leave no Trace’. Additionally, we do not leave behind any waste on our tours. We avoid as much the use of paper, and do as much of our marketing as possible on-line, using internet, email and avoid printing.

The Impacts of this Trip

With rapidly-growing numbers of overseas visitors to Japan, we believe it is vital to encourage exploration of rural communities, lessening the crowding at major urban tourist sites and spreading the economic benefits of tourism more widely. We promote travels to often visit the lesser-known (but equally enchanting) areas of the countries we visit, and this helps to spread the economic benefit of tourism more evenly. More rural locations featured on this tour which support our local suppliers - (locally-run inns, local cycling guide, and local shops & restaurants) - include the towns of Hida-Takayama, Hida-Furukawa, Asama Onsen, and in the Kiso valley region, the rural post-town villages of Magome, Tsumago, Kiso-Fukushima and Narai.

In particular, the villages you will visit along the Kiso Valley section of the Nakasendo trail were, until the 1970s, falling into disrepair and with few jobs, young people were moving to the cities. The villagers then began a concerted conservation and restoration effort, repairing the old wooden houses, and turning some of them into small ‘minshuku’ guest houses. Over the past 30 years this gradual conservation has continued, and the Kiso Valley villages have enjoyed a steady stream of income and sustainable development from the visitors who come.


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