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Japan walking & trekking tours

Japan walking & trekking tours

Travel beyond frenetic, modern-day Japan and you will discover a profoundly spiritual country steeped in ancient traditions and beliefs along with a captivating landscape of high mountains and inviting trekking trails.

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2 Holidays

Gentle Trekking Nakasendo Trail

13 day Gentle Walking & Trekking

  • Trek on Japan's Nakasendo trail with beautiful scenery, picturesque villages and historic post-towns
  • Stay in traditional accommodation, enjoy hot spring baths and get under the skin of Japanese life
  • Discover modern high-rise Tokyo and the cultural city of Kyoto
  • Explore the many temples and monasteries of atmospheric Mount Koya

Flight inclusive from £5980, Land only from £4520

Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Trek

13 day Moderate Walking & Trekking

  • Trek on ancient pilgrimage trails that now form a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Enjoy beautiful and varied scenery from coast to country to high mountains
  • Experience traditional Japanese accommodation including a Buddhist temple
  • Explore cultural Kyoto and historic Mount Koya

Flight inclusive from £5875, Land only from £4740

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Japan is an exhilarating mix of old and new. It blends a 21st century love of technology with a profoundly spiritual and traditional culture, and alternates ultra-modern, high rise cities with secluded, mountainous countryside dotted with monasteries, temples and ancient trails. This world of contrasts, together with a language, cuisine and lifestyle so startlingly different from the west, makes Japan a fascinating place to visit. The popular perception of Japan is of a frenetic, overcrowded country, but since mountain ranges cover about 80% of the islands, the vast majority of the population are concentrated in cities and urban centres built on the fertile plains and valleys. The mountains and countryside are therefore surprisingly undeveloped and little-populated – home to small, remote villages and the Kami – the spirits and gods. The mountains are criss-crossed by networks of pilgrimage trails and ancient trading routes that once linked sacred and commercial centres.

Following in the footsteps of pilgrims, merchants, noblemen and even emperors, these paths now offer superb trekking opportunities in Japan. Walking through a landscape that has inspired poets and painters; visiting isolated monasteries, natural hot springs and traditional post towns, and staying in authentic country inns there is no better way to visit Japan and discover an ancient way of life and Japan's natural wonders. We offer two trekking holidays in the hills and mountains of Japan: Gentle Trekking Nakasendo Trail a Japan trek along the historic Nakasendo Trail in the Kiso Valley, as well as visiting historic Nara and beautiful Mount Koya – famed for its numerous temples and monasteries; and the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Trek Japan that follows the ancient pilgrimage routes of the Kii Peninsula before travelling to Mount Koya and cultural Kyoto. Accommodation for both is in traditional Japanese inns – ryokan and minshuku – renowned for their warm hospitality, delicious cuisine and high standards of service.

Join our new Definitive Cultural Tour of Japan for an immersive mix of main attractions and ancient hidden gems. Travelling by ultra-efficient Japanese trains, and with time also spent in modern-day Tokyo or Kyoto, these holidays to Japan offer encapsulating contrasts guaranteed to make your experience there absorbing, intriguing and utterly enjoyable.

Key Facts

  • Capital city: Tokyo
  • Population: 127.1 million (2015 census)
  • Size of country: 377,435 sq km
  • Currency: Yen
  • Power supply: 100V (Eastern Japan 50Hz). Plug Type: 2 flat pin plug
  • Language: Japanese
  • Time difference: +9 hours GMT
  • Visas: British visitors do not require a visa to enter Japan (for up to 90 days)
  • Religion: Shinto and Buddhism are the main religions of Japan. Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Hinduism are among the minor religions along with other religions from East Asia.
  • Popular dishes: There are many variations of what has collectively become known in the west as sushi including tempura, sukiyaki, sashimi and yakitori. Udon and soba noodles are also very popular.
  • Popular drinks: Saki (rice wine) and tea (normally green tea) are Japan’s national drinks.
  • Did you know: There is almost no immigration in Japan. The population is 98% ethnic Japanese.
  • FCDO advice: FCDO travel advice


Best time to visit Japan

With hot summers, cold winters (especially in the mountains) and a rainy season in June and July, the best time for trekking in Japan is during the spring and autumn months.

May is one of the best months to visit Japan as its warm and sunny in most of the country but not too hot or humid. In fact, perfect for trekking. It’s best to visit after the first week of May though as this is the Golden Week – when a series of national holidays make it one of the busiest times of the year for domestic travel and holidays.

During early September the summer heat breaks, temperatures cool to a very pleasant level and skies clear making the autumn months of September and October an ideal time for walking, trekking and sightseeing in Japan.

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