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Japan Ocean Cruise Walking & Hiking Tour

Land of the Rising Sun

From $9,298 - $10,298 pp dbl. occ. | 9 days / 8 nights

(+$1,400 to $1,500 for sgl. occ.)

Intricate and graceful. Hand-crafted and incredibly unique. Like a beautiful origami design. Follow trails through peaceful forests of maple, pine and beech. Fold in sacred shrines, ancient temples and elegant pagodas. Vibrant pigments appear—blues of the Sea of Japan, red-orange hues of persimmon orchards and the pink blossoms of cosmos flowers. Timeless traditions somehow make you feel brand-new. Come as you are, but let the journey shape you.

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Japan & South Korea

Start Kyoto / End Osaka

Japan Ocean Cruise map

Highlights

  • Sail along Japan's spectacular coastline, where culture and history come alive with Backroads' exclusive experiences and local encounters
  • Hike in stunning landscapes to centuries-old Buddhist temples and World Heritage sites—we've uncovered the most incredible routes
  • Walk the paths of Hiroshima's sacred Miyajima Island, home to misty maple forests, graceful shrines and the iconic “floating” torii gate
  • Partake in private excursions: sample market-fresh seafood, taste local sake and don a kimono for a traditional tea ceremony
Japan & South Korea

Start Kyoto / End Osaka

Japan Ocean Cruise map

Itinerary

Day 1 Accompanied by your knowledgeable Backroads leaders, hike outside of bustling Kyoto to the peaceful mountain village of Takao | Behold the hidden Kuya-no-taki waterfall, surrounded by Buddhist images | Follow paths along the crystal-clear Kiyotaki-gawa River, weaving past temples under the shade of maple and azalea trees.

Day 2 Amid an ever-changing kaleidoscope of diverse landscapes, venture from the beech forests of Mount Daisen toward the blue Sea of Japan | Explore a region full of artisans, handcraft schools and working farms.

Day 3 Get a taste of South Korea with lunch at the impressive Jagalchi Fish Market | Climb high above Busan on a cable car to Geumjeongsanseong Fortress and walk along the ancient walls dominating the ridgeline.

Day 4 Back in Japan, kayak amid the hidden coves, high cliffs and rare volcanic formations of island-dotted Saikai National Park in Nagasaki | Sample sake and learn about the production of Japan's ubiquitous rice wine.

Day 5 Zip on a bullet train to the picturesque Izumi-fumoto Samurai Residences, where medieval warriors lived | Don a Japanese kimono for a traditional tea ceremony.

Day 6 Follow the Shikoku Pilgrimage Trail on foot and delve deeper into Japan's Buddhist beginnings with visits to some of the path's 88 temples | Walk among fields of cosmos flowers, persimmon orchards and open pastures punctuated by lovely farmhouses.

Day 7 On Hiroshima’s sacred island of Miyajima, trek through a misty maple forest to the top of Mount Misen | Visit Itsukushima Shrine, a World Heritage site known for its dazzling torii gate | Discover Miyajima’s winding alleys, charming shops and traditional architecture during a stroll.

Day 8 Art lovers rejoice! On foot, explore Naoshima, an island brimming with art studios and museums.

Day 9 Disembark in Osaka's vibrant metropolis, where 16th-century Osaka Castle beckons for a visit.

Please note: Due to the multiple stateroom options available on this trip, reservations can only be made by contacting one of our Trip Consultants at 800-462-2848 or via email.

PORTS OF CALL Maizuru | Sakaiminato | Busan | Nagasaki | Kagoshima | Uwajima | Hiroshima | Tamano | Osaka

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

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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. Call or email us to reserve your date.

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

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

View Scheduled Dates

Prices

From $9,298 - $10,298 pp dbl. occ.
9 days / 8 nights

(+$1,400 to $1,500 for sgl. occ.)

Premiere Ship

Ponant Le Laperouse
Ponant Ship

Le Lapérouse (8 nights)

Ponant Le Soleal
Ponant Ship

Le Soléal or Le Boréal (8 nights)

Activity Level

This trip is rated Levels 1-2

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 Ship

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.

Ponant Le Laperouse

Ponant Ship

Le Lapérouse (8 nights)

With just 92 staterooms, Ponant's newest ship has the intimacy and elegance of a private yacht, including comfortable open-air lounge areas with panoramic views. (pool, spa)

View the deck plans. See Dates & Prices for specific ship, stateroom category availability and embarkation/disembarkation details.

Ponant Le Soleal

Ponant Ship

Le Soléal or Le Boréal (8 nights)

This luxurious and sleek vessel has an intimate French atmosphere and boasts an open-air bar, three lounges and a team of master chefs crafting gourmet dishes. (pool, spa)

View the deck plans. See Dates & Prices for specific ship, stateroom category availability and embarkation/disembarkation details.

This Trip Is Rated Levels 1-2

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 Mount Takao Hike & Temple Visits (6 Hours)
2 Mount Daisen Hike (3 Hours)
3 Geumjeongsanseong Fortress & Seokbulsa Temple Hike (3 Hours)
4 Kayaking in Saikai National Park (2 Hours)
Coastal Walk (1.5 Hours)
5 Izumi Walk & Samurai Residence Visit (3 Hours)
6 Shikoku Pilgrimage Trail Hike (3 Hours)
7 Mount Misen Hike (3 - 5 Hours)
Miyajima Walk & Itsukushima Shrine Visit (2 Hours)
8 Naoshima Art Island Walk (3 Hours)
9 Disembarkation
 

Note: The terrain on this trip ranges from relatively level to rolling, with some steeper inclines. We walk primarily on dirt trails and cobblestone footpaths, as well as some paved routes through more urban areas.

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, 8 dinners

Also Included

  • Expert Backroads Trip Leaders, on ship and on shore
  • Off-the-beaten path exploration
  • Access to all ship amenities
  • Impeccable and personalized service from ship staff and Backroads Leaders
  • Exclusive activities that amplify your appreciation and understanding of the local culture
  • Exclusive hiking routes with multiple options at varied paces
  • Gratuities on ship and on shore handled by your Backroads Leaders
  • Exploring lesser known routes away from busy ports
  • Dedicated support vans
  • Easy-to-use route directions so you're free to explore independently
  • Access to all ship activities and excursions
  • Wine included with all onboard meals

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 & Group Size

The ships we sail on are your floating luxury hotel for the entire trip, letting you visit a new city or country each day without having to unpack and pack up your bags! These 100- to 250-passenger ships are exclusive by ocean standards and are custom‐designed with a variety of inviting common spaces so you'll have plenty of room for both relaxing and socializing.Due to the unique nature of our active Ocean Cruise trips, we welcome more guests on each departure than on our land-based trips, which are limited to 20 guests for Walking & Hiking and 26 guests for Biking and Multi-Adventure trips. This allows us to create our own robust active community with that special Backroads camaraderie during our week-long journey. Sometimes walkers and bikers—and occasionally families—will travel aboard the same ship, but participate in separate activities with their own dedicated leaders.With our usual choice of fantastic route options each day, rest assured that you'll have plenty of like-minded travelers with whom to ride, hike or enjoy cultural interests. Our unique logistics model—which includes both onboard and onshore Backroads staff, plus additional leaders and vans—allows for meals and shore activities to be organized into smaller groups, ensuring the same unparalleled support and service as on any other Backroads trip.

Itinerary

Our daily itinerary is based on scheduled sailing times and as a result some days have more opportunities for exploring on land while other days have more time aboard ship.

Stateroom Categories

In contrast to our usual land-based trips, which have similar room categories, the Ponant ships offer a wide range of stateroom categories. The top-tier staterooms often fill fast so book as early as possible if this is important to you.

Why Travel with Backroads in Japan

We Reinvented the Ocean Cruise

Backroads pioneered the active ocean trip, partnering with Ponant, the leader in ocean cruising, to create a new kind of travel experience featuring biking, walking and multi-adventure explorations from an elegant floating hotel.

The Best Leaders in Japan

Backroads has the best-qualified people to lead your trip in Japan, and our guests back that up, rating our Trip Leaders an average of 9.75 out of 10 for all-around quality of performance. Get the facts (and no fluff) on how we recruit and develop the very best people for your trip.

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.

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'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

Quality You Can Measure

Since 1979, Backroads Founder and President Tom Hale has shown that staying #1 means constantly evaluating our performance using the best possible source of information: our guests. As we systematically analyze your feedback on our trip consultants, leaders, hotels, meals and on-trip activities, we never stop working to make a great company even better.

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.

Photo Gallery

Miyjima - Japan Ocean Cruise Walking & Hiking Tour
Geisha - Japan Ocean Cruise Walking & Hiking Tour
Japanese Gardens - Japan Ocean Cruise Walking & Hiking Tour
Ponant Cruise Ship - Japan Ocean Cruise Walking & Hiking Tour
Japanese Food - Japan Ocean Cruise Walking & Hiking Tour
Lanterns - Japan Ocean Cruise Walking & Hiking Tour
Pagoda - Japan Ocean Cruise Walking & Hiking Tour
Bar onboard Ponant Ship - Japan Ocean Cruise Walking & Hiking Tour
Alley - Japan Ocean Cruise Walking & Hiking Tour
Buddha - Japan Ocean Cruise Walking & Hiking Tour
Bar - Japan Ocean Cruise Walking & Hiking Tour
Japan Ocean Cruise Walking & Hiking Tour
Japan Ocean Cruise Walking & Hiking Tour

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 & Group Size

The ships we sail on are your floating luxury hotel for the entire trip, letting you visit a new city or country each day without having to unpack and pack up your bags! These 100- to 250-passenger ships are exclusive by ocean standards and are custom‐designed with a variety of inviting common spaces so you'll have plenty of room for both relaxing and socializing.Due to the unique nature of our active Ocean Cruise trips, we welcome more guests on each departure than on our land-based trips, which are limited to 20 guests for Walking & Hiking and 26 guests for Biking and Multi-Adventure trips. This allows us to create our own robust active community with that special Backroads camaraderie during our week-long journey. Sometimes walkers and bikers—and occasionally families—will travel aboard the same ship, but participate in separate activities with their own dedicated leaders.With our usual choice of fantastic route options each day, rest assured that you'll have plenty of like-minded travelers with whom to ride, hike or enjoy cultural interests. Our unique logistics model—which includes both onboard and onshore Backroads staff, plus additional leaders and vans—allows for meals and shore activities to be organized into smaller groups, ensuring the same unparalleled support and service as on any other Backroads trip.

Itinerary

Our daily itinerary is based on scheduled sailing times and as a result some days have more opportunities for exploring on land while other days have more time aboard ship.

Stateroom Categories

In contrast to our usual land-based trips, which have similar room categories, the Ponant ships offer a wide range of stateroom categories. The top-tier staterooms often fill fast so book as early as possible if this is important to you.
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