Region Overviews: Japan Travel Guide: Overview
From bubbling hot springs and white-sand beaches to ornate temples and metropolitan chaos, Japan is a land of almost mythic beauty and diversity.
Couples, Friends & Solos
8 days 7 nights
Activity Levels 2-4
From: $9,499 - $10,549 pp dbl occ
($3,000 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 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.
Start Karuizawa / End Kyoto
Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.
Hike among lush forest and rocky outcroppings on Mount Asama, a stratovolcano that towers above historic Karuizawa | Stunning views of the volcano's peak and the Japanese Alps await | Keep an eye out for Japanese serows and Asian black bears.
Set amid mountain scenery, this sophisticated hotel features a traditional onsen and peaceful ambiance.
Go hiking in Japan amid the ever-changing scenery of the Northern Alps | Explore the breathtaking alpine landscape of Kamikōchi, a spectacular slice of Chūbu-Sangaku National Park | Take in the gorgeous setting of traditional mountain villages | With a backdrop of dense birch and larch forests and soaring snow-blanketed peaks, this landscape is among Japan's most celebrated | Savor a delicious kaiseki-style dinner | Walk along beautifully crafted wooden suspension bridges that span rushing streams | Visit the serene Myojin Pond, whose emerald waters are steeped in legend.
A one-of-a-kind alpine oasis nestled alongside the luminous Azusa River, with unforgettable views of the Hotaka mountain range.
Walk 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 (or onsen) | Experience unique hospitality and atmosphere at a superb ryokan.
Highlights of this ryokan include beautiful timber architecture, traditional hospitality and natural hot spring baths.
Explore 17th- and 18th-century merchants' houses and shops in Takayama's old quarter | Peruse Takayama's bustling street market stalls for a one-of-a-kind souvenir | Take a scenic journey to Kyoto aboard a bullet train | Follow a scenic wooded path along the crystal-clear Kiyotaki River | Visit superb Buddhist temples and a beautiful Shinto shrine | Partake in a traditional tea ceremony.
An intimate Japanese-style haven set along the serene Hozu River and surrounded by woodland. (spa)
Behold views of Kyoto from a summit above the city | Be entertained by a maiko (apprentice geisha) during a Japanese lunch | Walk through quiet forests and pass by bright orange torii, the iconic gates found at the entrance to sacred Shinto sites.
Fusuma panels, paper lanterns and lacquerware are among the artisanal elements at this refined property in the well-preserved Higashiyama District. (pool, spa)
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.
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.
The terrain on this trip includes dirt trails, cobblestones and paved footpaths. It is relatively level to rolling, with some steeper inclines.
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.