Backroads Japan Walking & Hiking Tour
Backroads Japan Walking & Hiking Tour
Japan Walking Tours
Backroads Japan Walking & Hiking Tour
Hiking in forest - Backroads Japan Walking & Hiking Tour
Backroads Japan Walking & Hiking Tour
Backroads Japan Walking & Hiking Tour
Backroads Japan Walking & Hiking Tour
Japan Walking Tours
Walking on Backroads Japan Walking & Hiking Tour
Japan Walking Tours
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
Walking & Hiking
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Japan Walking & Hiking Tour

Imperial Kyoto to the Alps

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 hiking in Japan and tidy remote tea houses. A world of natural beauty combined with ancient culture—grace and tradition unlike anywhere else. Experience this incredible country on our Japan Walking & Hiking Tour.

THIS ITINERARY: 8 days, 7 nights


FROM: $9,899 - $10,599 pp dbl occ
($3,000 for sgl occ)

Japan Walking and Hiking
Japan Walking and Hiking


Start Kyoto / End Nagano

Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.

  • Visit ancient shrines, sacred temples, historic mountain villages and the sublime Kamikochi National Park
  • Dive deep into Japanese culture with our local guides as they introduce you to traditional customs and ceremonies, including a private maiko performance​
  • Savor the delicate flavors of fresh edamame, mochi, soba noodles, sushi and sake—and pick tea leaves straight from the plant
  • Hike the stunning Alps and stay in a traditional ryokan with open-air hot tubs and tatami-matted flooring
The Backroads Experience
The Backroads Experience
Backroads Walking & Hiking Trips
Backroads Walking & Hiking Trips
Backroads Trip Leader
Meet Our Leaders
Accommodations may vary based on departure date.
8 Days Premiere Hotels
Accommodations may vary based on departure.
Day 1

Walk through quiet forests and pass by bright orange torii, the iconic gates found at the entrance to sacred Shinto sites | Behold views of Kyoto from a summit above the city | Be entertained by a maiko (apprentice geisha) during a Japanese lunch. 

Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, Japan
Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto
| Premiere Hotel

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

Days 2-3

In Wazuka, hike amid lush tea plantations, then enjoy a tea tasting | Stroll to Nara's city park and visit the World Heritage Tōdai-ji temple | Embrace Japanese culture with a traditional Shinto blessing | Follow a 7th-century road through quaint villages and bucolic terrain dotted with temples and shrines. 

Noborioji Hotel
Noborioji Hotel
| Premiere Hotel

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

Days 4-5

Take a scenic journey to the Japanese Alps aboard a bullet train | Explore 17th- and 18th-century merchants' houses and shops in Takayama's old quarter | Experience unique hospitality and atmosphere at a superb ryokan| Peruse Takayama's bustling street market stalls for a one-of-a-kind souvenir | Hike on the famed Utsueshijuhatsu Falls trail, where 48 unique cascading falls await | You're in for a treat with a private sake tasting and brewery tour | Enjoy a relaxing soak in an open-air hot tub. 

Hidatei Hanaougi
Hidatei Hanaougi
| Premiere Hotel

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

Days 6-8

Explore the breathtaking alpine landscape of Kamikōchi, a spectacular slice of Chūbu-Sangaku National Park, keeping an eye out for antelope, monkeys and bears | Take in the gorgeous setting of traditional mountain villages | Go hiking in Japan amid the ever-changing scenery of the Northern Alps in the beautiful Tateyama Mountains | Along the forested trail, stop in at a charming century-old folk house | Conclude our Japan walking tour by sipping green tea during a time-honored tea ceremony.

Kamikochi Hotel Shirakabaso
Kamikōchi Hotel Shirakabaso
| Premiere Hotel

A one-of-a-kind alpine oasis nestled alongside the luminous Azusa River, with unforgettable views of the Hotaka mountain range.

Dates & Prices

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

Click on dates for pricing, itinerary variations and to book your trip. Price is per person, double occupancy.

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Activity Level: 1-3

Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. Several routes and a range of levels are offered each day so you can choose how much or how little activity you want to do. Learn more about how we determine activity levels.

Route notes

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

Daily Route Options

Day 1
Walking & Hiking
Level 1 | 2 miles | 500 ft. gain
Level 1 | 2 miles | 900 ft. gain
Day 2
Walking & Hiking
Level 1 | 3 miles | 200 ft. gain
Day 3
Walking & Hiking
Level 2 | 4 miles* | 500 ft. gain
Level 3 | 8 miles | 900 ft. gain
Shinto Purification Ceremony (1 hour)
Day 4
Walking & Hiking
Level 2 | 4 miles | 500 ft. gain
Level 3 | 5 miles | 600 ft. gain
Day 5
Walking & Hiking
Level 1 | 3 miles | 700 ft. gain
Level 3 | 5 miles | 1300 ft. gain
Takayama Market Visit (1 hour)
Private Sake Tasting & Brewery Tour (1 hour)
Day 6
Walking & Hiking
Level 2 | 5 miles | 300 ft. gain
Level 3 | 7 miles | 400 ft. gain
Day 7
Walking & Hiking
Level 3 | 5 miles | 2100 ft. gain
Day 8
Edo Period Townscape Walk & Kamitoiya Museum Visit (2 hours)
* Includes shuttle.

What's Included

  • All breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners
  • 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

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.


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).


A typical Japanese meal is comprised of several small plates with a range of vegetables, meat and seafood, with a focus on seafood. It is not common in Japanese restaurants to make substitutions and in most cases restaurants do not offer additional choices beyond their set menus. You'll find that Japanese cuisine is not well-suited to celiac or vegetarian diets.

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!  

Ask a trip expert

Have a question and need expert advice? Our team of Trip Consultants is here to help! You can also visit our FAQ's.

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