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Japan Walking & Hiking Tour

Imperial Kyoto & the Alps

From $9,298 - $9,898 pp dbl. occ. | 8 days / 7 nights

(+$2,300 for sgl. occ.)

In Japan, the line between ancient and modern is often so blurred that one becomes a traveler through time. Seventh-century shrines and vibrant traditional markets. Alpine mountain ridges covered in thousands of cherry trees. A world of natural beauty combined with ancient culture—grace and tradition unlike anywhere else.

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Japan

Start Kyoto / End Nagano

Japan Walking and Hiking Tour Map

Highlights

  • Visit ancient shrines, sacred temples and the World Heritage sites of Mikumari and Shirakawa-go
  • Dive deep into Japanese culture and history with local friends and off-the-beaten-path walking routes
  • Savor the delicate flavors of fresh edamame, green tea, mochi, soba noodles, sushi and sake
  • Admire the stunning Alps and stay in a traditional ryokan with open-air hot tubs and tatami-matted flooring
Japan

Start Kyoto / End Nagano

Japan Walking and Hiking Tour Map

Itinerary

Days 1-2 Walk through quiet forests, visit ancient shrines and pass by bright orange torii, the traditional gates found at the entrance to sacred Shinto sites | Behold views of peaceful Kyoto from a summit above the city | Sip green tea during a traditional tea ceremony | Discover the “Philosopher's Walk,” a tranquil treelined path | Sample local figs, fresh edamame and soba noodle soup.

Days 3-4 Hike in the peaceful hills above Nara, then visit its vibrant markets | Take a scenic journey to the Japanese Alps aboard a bullet train | You're in for a treat with a private sake tasting | Explore 17th- and 18th-century merchants' houses and shops in Takayama's old quarter | Experience unique hospitality and atmosphere at a superb ryokan.

Days 5-6 Relish a quiet morning in the Shogawa Valley, home to World Heritage site Shirakawa-go | Enjoy a relaxing soak in an open-air hot tub | Take in the gorgeous setting of traditional mountain villages | Discover “Old Japan” in Narai, where well-preserved Edo-period architecture is set against rolling hills and beech forests | Meet members of the Tezuka family, who have lived in Narai for 22 generations.

Days 7-8 Explore the breathtaking alpine landscape above Matsumoto, keeping an eye out for antelope, monkeys and bears | Be mesmerized by the stone and woodwork at Matsumoto Castle.

The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy.

Please click on a date below for specific pricing and possible itinerary variations.

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C Classic Dates

2018 August
2018 November

View Private Dates

Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities. You can pick from the selection of dates below for your group; some dates are only available for 16 or more guests while other dates are available for 8 or more guests. If your party has fewer than 8 guests, or your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you. Call or email us to reserve your date.

2018 Private Trip Pricing
  • 10 or more guests: from $9,298 pp dbl occ
  • 8 - 9 guests: from $9,698 pp dbl occ

Please click on a date below for specific pricing and possible itinerary variations.

Don't see your ideal travel date? Make a Date

  • 8 AVAILABLE TO BOOK
    for 8 or more guests
  • 16 AVAILABLE TO BOOK
    for 16 or more guests
  • Reserved

C Classic Tours

2018 June
2018 August
2018 September
2018 October

View Scheduled Dates

Prices

From $9,298 - $9,898 pp dbl. occ.
8 days / 7 nights

(+$2,300 for sgl. occ.)

Premiere Hotels

Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto
Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto

Kyoto (1 night)

Noborioji Hotel
Noborioji Hotel

Nara (2 nights)

Hidatei Hanaougi
Hidatei Hanaougi

Takayama (2 nights)

Tobira Onsen Myojinkan
Tobira Onsen Myojinkan

Matsumoto (2 nights)

Activity Level

This trip is rated Levels 1-3

What's Included

Services and equipment are included.

Why Backroads

Why Travel with Backroads in Japan

Reviews by Power Reviews ®

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Premiere Hotels

Accommodations may vary based on departure date. Any difference from what is listed below can be found by clicking on your desired date on the View Scheduled Dates or Private Dates tabs.

Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto

Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto

Kyoto (1 night)

Fusuma panels, paper lanterns and lacquerware are among the tasteful artisanal elements at this new property in the well-preserved Higashiyama District. (pool, spa)

Noborioji Hotel

Noborioji Hotel

Nara (2 nights)

An intimate boutique hotel overlooking picturesque parkland at the foot of Kōfuku-ji Temple. A Small Luxury Hotels of the World member.

Hidatei Hanaougi

Hidatei Hanaougi

Takayama (2 nights)

Highlights of this ryokan include beautiful timber architecture, traditional hospitality and natural hot spring baths.

Tobira Onsen Myojinkan

Tobira Onsen Myojinkan

Matsumoto (2 nights)

A historic hotel surrounded by national parkland, with a serene forest setting. A Relais & Châteaux member. (spa)

This Trip Is Rated Levels 1-3

Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next—and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.

Daily Route Options (drag to see full )

Daily Route Options
Day EASYGOING ACTIVE AVID
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain
1 3 500
Philosopher's Walk & Traditional Tea Ceremony (2 Hours)
2 3 500 7 2000
3 5* 800
4 5 700
5 Takayama Market Visit (1 Hour)
Shirikawa-go Cultural Walk (2 Hours)
6 1 300 5 1400
7 8 2800
8 Matsumoto Castle Visit (2 Hours)
 

Note: The terrain on this trip includes dirt trails, cobblestones and paved footpaths. It is relatively level to rolling, with some steeper inclines. 

* Includes shuttle.

Learn more about how we determine our activity level and fully support a range of abilities and interests.

Please note that our distance and elevation figures come from Ride with GPS. Other sources (such as Map My Ride and Garmin devices) may give differing elevation figures due to different GPS and mapping technologies. Readings from a Garmin or a smart phone are influenced by other factors such as air pressure.

Meals

All breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners

Also Included

  • Expertise and services of our experienced Trip Leaders
  • Snacks and beverages between meals
  • Additional guides and experts from the region on many trips
  • Van shuttles to support a variety of route options
  • Comprehensive Travel Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at museums, historic sites, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the Travel Planner
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Special events, including wine tastings and other select attractions as mentioned in the Travel Planner
  • On biking and multi-adventure trips, use of fully equipped Backroads titanium bike plus helmet and accessories
  • Trailercycles, carriers, and kid-sized helmets for Family Trips
  • Equipment and experienced guides for kayaking, rafting, snorkeling, sailing and canoeing as described
  • Park and other entry fees
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the Travel Planner
  • Select coach transfers
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Get the Straight Talk about This Trip

We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.

Accommodations

Even at five-star, Western-style hotels in Japan, the local preference for ordered, austere aesthetics is prioritized. This means simple rooms with fewer amenities than one might find at a typical Backroads Premiere Hotel and an emphasis on tranquility and refined onsen (Japanese-style spas).

Shuttle Time

In order to access the scenic and culturally significant hiking routes and points of interest on this trip, strategic shuttles are incorporated into our daily itinerary. Most will be limited to an hour or so at a time, but on some days you can expect to spend a bit more time in the shuttle—though always to reach a worthwhile destination! On one occasion we even combine shuttling with a high-speed train to reach the Japanese Alps—think of it as a cultural experience plus a chance to enjoy the beauty of the countryside!  

Why Travel with Backroads in Japan

More Leaders to Support You

On our Japan trips we have an extra leader supporting you along the trail—for a total of three, compared to the industry standard two. So we can be in more places at once, giving personal attention to guests traveling at their own pace. Here's more on our Trip Leaders.

Only the Best Hotels

On this trip featuring Premiere Hotels, you can count on the best lodgings Japan has to offer. In fact, the hotels we've chosen in this region have higher retail room rates than those offered by any other active travel company—even when their trips cost more.

The Right Local Pairings

Our Trip Leaders combine deep local expertise with a firm grasp of North American expectations around quality of service. By the same token, we pair experienced Backroads leaders with local guides who know how to cater to your needs while cracking open the culture or natural history in ways that are meaningful, memorable and often magical.

Everyone at Their Own Pace

We design and support our Japan trips to suit mixed abilities and varied interests—so you can set your own pace, then change things up as the day unfolds. And all guests are free to do the same, traveling together or apart, with no one cramping anyone else's style. Which sounds easy in theory, but it's hard to pull off. Here's more on how we do it.

We Stand Behind Our Trips

Most companies' trips in Japan are run by local operators. At Backroads we manage our own trips; we would never subcontract your precious vacation to a third party. So as you enjoy the support of your seasoned Trip Leaders, along with our expert local guides and drivers, you have the confidence of knowing we're with you every step of the way.

A Variety of Routes Each Day

In Japan you head off each morning after choosing among several expertly designed routes—all with detailed directions, mileage and shuttle options. Unlike trips with one fixed daily route (or worse, one guide that everyone's obliged to follow), you're free to enjoy the best of the region at your pace, stopping wherever you want to explore further.

Experts with Secrets to Share

In choosing the ideal experts to enrich your travel experience, we look for people with a wealth of local knowledge, but also the ability to convey their insights in English. Too often travelers find themselves smiling politely, not quite understanding what they're being told. Our experts share intriguing facts, anecdotes and inside stories that stay with you forever.

We've Set the Standard

For nearly four decades we've worked to earn and maintain our right to call Backroads the world's #1 active travel company. In pursuing that vision on behalf of our guests, we believe we've set the standard for our industry—captured in the Backroads Quality Guide, which clearly sets out the benchmarks of excellence, choice and support that we live by

Photo Gallery

Japan Walking Tours
Japan Walking Tours
Backroads Japan Walking & Hiking Tour
Backroads Japan Walking & Hiking Tour
Walking on Backroads Japan Walking & Hiking Tour
Japan Walking Tours
Japan Walking Tours
Japan Walking Tours
Japan Walking Tours
Japan Walking Tours
Japan Walking Tours
Japan Walking Tours
Japan Walking Tours
Japan Walking Tours
Japan Walking Tours
Japan Walking Tours
Japan Walking Tours

Videos

Straight Talk

We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.

Accommodations

Even at five-star, Western-style hotels in Japan, the local preference for ordered, austere aesthetics is prioritized. This means simple rooms with fewer amenities than one might find at a typical Backroads Premiere Hotel and an emphasis on tranquility and refined onsen (Japanese-style spas).

Shuttle Time

In order to access the scenic and culturally significant hiking routes and points of interest on this trip, strategic shuttles are incorporated into our daily itinerary. Most will be limited to an hour or so at a time, but on some days you can expect to spend a bit more time in the shuttle—though always to reach a worthwhile destination! On one occasion we even combine shuttling with a high-speed train to reach the Japanese Alps—think of it as a cultural experience plus a chance to enjoy the beauty of the countryside!  
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