• Backroads Japan Walking & Hiking Tour
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  • Backroads Japan Walking & Hiking Tour
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  • Japan Walking Tours
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  • Backroads Japan Walking & Hiking Tour
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Japan Walking & Hiking Tour

Imperial Kyoto & the Northern Alps

  • Visit ancient shrines, sacred temples and the World Heritage sites of Mikumari and Shirakawa-gō
  • Dive deep into Japanese culture and history with local friends and off-the-beaten-path walking routes
  • Savor the delicate flavors of green tea, mochi, fresh edamame, soba noodles, sushi and sake
  • Admire Edo-era architecture and stay in a traditional ryokan hotel complete with open-air hot tubs and tatami-matted flooring
  • The incomparable city of Kyoto, a remarkable place to start your vacation

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. Mountain ridges covered in thousands of cherry trees. A world of natural beauty combined with ancient culture—grace and tradition unlike anywhere else.

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 in the hills above the city  Discover the "Philosopher's Walk," a tranquil treelined path  Sample local figs and soba noodle soup followed by a private sake tasting.

Days 3-4 Visit picturesque Yoshino and experience the fragrance of more than 5,000 cherry trees lining a ridge through the town  400-year-old Mikumari Shrine, a World Heritage site, is sure to move you  The journey aboard a Japanese bullet train is just as fast as you imagine  Explore 17th- and 18th-century merchants' houses and shops in Takayama's old quarter.

Days 5-6 Relish a quiet morning in the extraordinary Shogawa River 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 marked with dense birch and larch forests  Explore Chūbu-Sangaku National Park's breathtaking alpine landscape, keeping an eye out for antelope, deer, monkeys and bears.

Days 7-8 Get a feel for "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  Savor homemade mochi, a sweet rice pastry  Be mesmerized by the stone and woodwork at Matsumoto Castle  Sip green tea during a traditional tea ceremony.

Japan has beautifully woven its threads of history and tradition into the tapestry of 21st-century progress. On this unforgettable walking & hiking trip we'll immerse you in a landscape as rich and fascinating as the country's incredible culture. You'll hike on centuries-old paths as forests and misty hillsides unfurl before you like an ancient Asuka scroll. You'll visit shrines and sacred temples, soak in an open-air tub, marvel at historic architecture and savor the luxury and comfort of a traditional ryokan-inspired hotel. We hope to welcome you in Japan this year!
Christian Chumbley- Regional Manager - Asia

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. Read the Straight Talk

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 Inn 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!  
$9,298 - $9,798
pp dbl. occ.
(+$2,300 for sgl. occ.)

Reviews

8 days, 7 nights
Route Rating

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Open 7 Days a Week
6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

Start / End
Kyoto, Japan/Nagano, Japan

Meals
All breakfasts, 8 lunches, 6 dinners included


C Classic Dates

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Premiere Inns

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

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)

Guest Reviews

There's no better way to find out about Backroads than by hearing it from the people who have traveled with us. For more about the Backroads Experience, read our Guest Testimonials.

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

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5.0

Unforgettable Walking & Hiking

By 

from Asia

Staff Reviewer

Comments about Japan Walking & Hiking Tour:

Japan has beautifully woven its threads of history and tradition into the tapestry of 21st-century progress. On this unforgettable walking & hiking trip we'll immerse you in a landscape as rich and fascinating as the country's incredible culture. You'll hike on centuries-old paths as forests and misty hillsides unfurl before you like an ancient Asuka scroll. You'll visit shrines and sacred temples, soak in an open-air tub, marvel at historic architecture and savor the luxury and comfort of a traditional ryokan-inspired hotel. We hope to welcome you in Japan this year!

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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.

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

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

AVAILABLE TO BOOKi LIMITED AVAILABILITYi PRIVATE TRIP - RESERVEDi WAITLIST ONLYi

Interested in a Private Trip? Check out the Make It Private tab for private dates available, or call us at 800-462-2848.

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.

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

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 2* 100 4* 400
2 2* 300 4* 400 7* 650
3 2* 100 5* 800 7* 900
4 3* 200 5* 300
5 2* 100 5* 800
6 2* 200 4* 500 7* 900
7 3 600 4* 900 5 1300
 

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 route ratings 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.

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 Premiere Inn trip, 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

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

Private Trips Options & Pricing

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.

800-462-2848 Open daily, 6 am - 6 pm Pacific time

Pricing for Private Trips

2017

  • 10 or more guests: from $8,998 pp dbl occ
  • 8 - 9 guests: from $9,398 pp dbl occ

2018

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

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

8 AVAILABLE TO BOOK FOR 8 OR MORE GUESTS 16 AVAILABLE TO BOOK FOR 16 OR MORE GUESTS RESERVED

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

C 2017 Classic Trips
2017 May
2017 October
C 2018 Classic Trips
2018 May
2018 August
2018 November
For groups of 2 to 7 guests, please call for Custom Trip Pricing.

Other Trips in Asia

Easy to Book Private Trips

Invite your family and friends on an adventure that's entirely your own - for your group of 8 or more. Find out more