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Hike up Mount Kintoki for opportunities to glimpse the finest views of Mount Fuji in the distance. Experience ancient Japanese customs and lifestyles as you trek the sacred mountains of Togakushi. Explore historic cities such as Kyoto and the beautiful Matsumoto Castle, passing vast swathes of Japanese countryside and towns as you take a variety of trains and buses across the country.

  • Walk along ancient trails
  • Experience traditional Japanese life
  • Encounter exquisite peaks & pristine forests
  • Stay in traditional ryokans
  • Sample local customs & food

Your journey begins in the metropolis of Tokyo, before swiftly transitioning to the remote and sparse mountain regions that dominate the spine of Japan. After you have traversed the sacred Togakushi Mountains, explored the history and picture-perfect scenery of Kamikochi and taken the ancient Kumanokodo Pilgrimage Route, you will return to the city, this time Kyoto. Regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in Japan (and the historic capital of the nation), this is a fitting end to your trip across this majestic nation.

Across this itinerary you will get to explore some of the seldom-seen corners of Japan, visiting the most impressive attractions, embracing cultural customs such as onsens, and discovering a unique and thriving culture in one of the greatest landscapes in Asia.

Typical Itinerary

  1. Day 1: Depart UK

    Depart the UK on an overnight flight to Tokyo.

  2. Day 2: Arrive Tokyo

    From Tokyo airport, take the train to your hotel in the heart of Tokyo. This afternoon, your guide will take you the Asakusa and Ueno areas where the atmosphere of Tokyo’s past still survives.

  3. Day 3: Hike Mount Kintoki

    This afternoon, after taking the bullet train to Odawara, there will be an easy hike to the summit of Mount Kintoki for splendid views of one of Japan’s most iconic landmarks – Mount Fuji.

  4. Day 4: Visit the Japanese Alps

    Travel to Nagano in the heart of the Japanese Alps. Here you will visit the Zenkoji Temple, famous for being the centre of Japan’s Buddhist faith. Later this afternoon, take the bus deep into the sacred mountains of the Togakushi area.

  5. Day 5: The sacred mountain of Togakushi

    Today you will be hiking in the sacred mountain of Togakushi. Walk through birch forest and stop at serene ponds reflecting the mountain landscape. Continue along a trail lined with giant cedar trees and through a forest boardwalk before returning back to the Chusha shrine. In the late afternoon, take the bus to Matsumoto city and visit the famous Matsumoto castle.

  6. Day 6: Hiking the Kamikochi Trail

    Walk along the trail through a stunning valley, surrounded by some of Japan’s highest mountains, before continuing alongside the Azusa River.

  7. Day 7: Hike the Nakasendo Trail

    Hike along the best preserved part of the Nakasendo Trail which used to be one of the main transportation routes between Kyoto and Tokyo during the Edo period 500 years ago. The trail passes through Tsumago, a well preserved post-town - take some time here for sightseeing before returning to Kiso.

  8. Day 8: Travel to Shirahama

    Today you will take the bullet train west to the Kii peninsula. On arrival, enjoy a short walk along the coast line of Shirahama, a typical onsen resort facing the Pacific Ocean.

  9. Days 9-10 : The Kumanokodo pilgrimage route

    Take a train in the morning to Takijiri which will be the starting point of your two day trek. The first part of your walk takes you through the unique cultural landscape of Kumano’s countryside.

    After an overnight stop in a ryokan or hotel deep in the sacred mountains, you will continue your walk through giant cedar and cypress trees to the
    Kumano Hongū shrine. In the afternoon, take a traditional wooden boat down the Kumano Gawa River, as the pilgrims did centuries ago, to the centre of the Kii Peninsula.

  10. Day 11: Full day in Wakayama Kumanokodo

    This morning, visit the Nachi Taisha shrine, as well as Nachi Fall, the tallest waterfall in Japan. Return to Katsuura to catch the scenic train through the mountains and along the coast to reach your final destination, Kyoto.

  11. Day 12: Full day in Kyoto

    Start your day with a visit to two small villages outside Kyoto: Kurama and Kifune. From Kurama, take a short hike up to the Kuramadera Temple and continue through the calm forest leading up to the ancient shrine. Later in the afternoon, return to Kyoto City and spend the rest of the day visiting some of the other iconic temples and shrines.

  12. Day 13: Fushimiinari Shrine

    This morning you will visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Fushimiinari, famous for its thousands of torii gates which wind through the hills behind the head shrine. The afternoon is at leisure for some final sightseeing or souvenir shopping.

  13. Day 14: Train to Osaka & fly back to the UK

    Proceed to Osaka by train in time for your return flight to the UK.

Price and Other Information

  • Duration and price excluding international flights: 13 days from £4,199 per person
  • Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 14 days from £4,899 per person
  • Single room supplement: From £750
  • Walking grade: Moderate
  • Guiding: Guided Group
  • Max alt: 1,200m
  • Group size: 4-12
  • When to go: View Dates & Prices
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  • Route map:
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  • What’s included
    • Hotel x 9 nights, ryokan x 3 nights
    • 12 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 6 dinners
    • Experienced English speaking guide

Next Steps

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Dates & Prices

Choose your preferred departure date from the 5 options below, then make a no obligation booking request, or enquire if you would like to ask us a question.

Guided Group Dates and Prices
Year Starts Ends Price From (Exc. Flights) Holiday Status Options
All prices are per person. All our guided group trips have the option to be taken as a private guided itinerary. * Available: this holiday is available to book. ** Guaranteed: this holiday is available to book and is guaranteed to run.
2019 12 May 24 May £4,199 Available* Book or Enquire
2019 19 May 31 May £4,199 Guaranteed** Book or Enquire
2019 6 Oct 18 Oct £4,199 Guaranteed** Book or Enquire
2020 24 May 5 Jun £4,299 Available* Book or Enquire
2020 10 Oct 22 Oct £4,299 Available* Book or Enquire

If you can’t see the holiday or departure date that you are looking for please contact us. We may be in the process of finalising further departures and are often able to arrange a holiday for you according to your own requirements.