Walk Japan offers travellers unique and intriguing ways to discover the breathtaking landscapes of Japan, with a comprehensive online calendar of seasonal Summer, Autumn and Winter Tours for 2016. Tour options are listed by season and location, and can be customised to suit indivdual or group needs.
Walk Japan is the pioneering operator of walking tours across Japan, specialising in well-planned, expertly led small group tours that traverse the stunningly beautiful islands of the archipelago.
Accommodation is in charming Japanese traditional inns, or ryokans, dotted across the countryside. Occasionally, such as in the larger cities, travellers stay in centrally located, carefully selected hotels. Tours run at a maximum of 12 people, plus the tour leader, ensuring all walkers experience only the highest level of care and absolute attention.
Led by enthusiastic and informed guides, the walking tours vary not only in location and theme, but also in levels of activity; beginning with the easiest at Level 1 (walkers must be able to handle their own luggage, climb a few flights of stairs and walk less than 5km a day) to the most challenging Level 6 (in which there could be up to eight hours of moderate-paced activity per day over varied, mountainous terrain).
Walk Japan’s tours are created for people who enjoy walking as much as they are eager to learn about and appreciate the ancient culture. Original, well-paced and considerately balanced for activity, interest and pleasure, the tours introduce Japan in contexts that are authentic, informative and make sense of sights and customs to visitors. Travellers are encouraged to mix in with the wonderful Japanese locals and engage in their way of life, their culture and their food.
2016 SUMMER, AUTUMN, WINTER TOURS
A Level 3, 11-day tour starting in Kyoto and finishing in Tokyo exploring one of Japan’s ancient highways, the Nakasendo. In the 17th century, the Nakasendo was crowded with travellers, including feudal lords, samurai, itinerant merchants and pilgrims. Now largely forgotten and quiet, the road provides a pleasant path through scenic countryside and, also, the history of Japan. From 472,000 Japanese Yen / 5,960 AUD per person.
Autumn dates: Sept 7-17; Sept 14-24; Sept 21-Oct 1; Sept 23-Oct 3; Sept 28-Oct 8; Oct 5-15; Oct 12-22; Oct 19-29; Oct 26-Nov 5; Oct 28-Nov 7; Oct 29-Nov 8; Nov 2-12; Nov 9-19; Nov 16-26
Summer Nakasendo Way
A Level 3, 8-day tour starting in Nagoya and finishing in Matsumoto. It takes travellers to areas at higher altitudes and is designed to provide a comfortable walking experience in summer. It explores the best parts of one of Japan’s ancient highways, the Nakasendo; the beautiful Kaida Plateau; and Matsumoto, a delightful regional city dominated by its castle, a Japanese National Treasure. From 316,000 Japanese Yen / 3,990 AUD per person.
Summer dates: July 1-8; July 8-15; July 15-22; July 22-29; July 29-August 5; August 19-26
A Level 6, 10-day tour starting in Akan-ko and finishing in Shikotsu-ko Onsen. It explores the wild side of Japan on the sparsely populated, northerly island of the Japanese archipelago, with an emphasis on nature.
From 480,000 Japanese Yen / 6,060 AUD per person.
Summer dates: July 7-16; July 21-30; August 18-27
Nakasendo Way: The Kiso Road
A Level 3, 5-day tour starting in Nagoya and finishing in Matsumoto, traversing one of the most beautiful parts of the highway. It follows the ancient Nakasendo Way through the Kiso Valley of central Japan and also reaches the high alpine Kaida Plateau.
From 208,000 Japanese Yen / 2,625 AUD per person.
Autumn dates: Sept 6-10; Sept 12-16; Sept 14-18; Sept 21-25; Sept 28-Oct 2; Oct 5-9; Oct 13-17;Oct 20-24; Oct 26-30; Nov 3-7; Nov 8-12
A Level 5, 10-day tour starting in Fukuoka and finishing in Yufuin, that follows in the footsteps of monks who have walked through the mountains of the Kunisaki Peninsula for more than a thousand years, nestled into the western end of the Inland Sea on Kyushu, the most westerly island of Japan. Such is the authenticity of this largely untouched rural peninsula that few Japanese, and even fewer foreigners, know of its existence.
428,000 Japanese Yen / 5,400 AUD per person.
Autumn dates: Oct 5-14; Oct 19-28; Nov 2-11; Nov 16-25
A Level 1, 7-day tour based on the largely undiscovered Kunisaki peninsula. This one is for the mind and body, focusing on meditation, gentle exercise, relaxation and learning first-hand some of the traditions that make the beautiful peninsula of Kunisaki so special. It also has excellent local cuisine and a little walking. 316,000 Japanese Yen / 3,985 AUD per person.
Autumn dates: Sept 25-Oct 1; Nov 21-27
Basho Tour: Narrow road to the North
A Level 2-3, 10-day tour starting in Tokyo and finishing in Kyoto, following in the footsteps of 17th-century Japanese poet Matsuo Basho, based on his most famous poetic travelogue, Narrow Road to the North.
From 484,000 Japanese Yen / 6,100 AUD per person.
Summer dates: July 5-14
Autumn dates: Sept 11-20; Sept 25-Oct 4; Sept 27-Oct 6; Oct 16-25; Oct 30-Nov 8
A Level 5, 8-day tour starting in Yufuin and finishing in Kagoshima, offering excellent trekking through the volcanic heartlands of Kyushu and through the ancient rainforests of Yakushima, one of the wettest places on earth.
From 386,000 Japanese Yen / 4,860 per person.
Autumn dates: Nov 11-18
Kunisaki Trek: Yufuin & Kunisaki
A Level 2-3, 5-day tour starting at Fukuoka’s Hakata Station and finishing at Yufuin, providing an introduction to the Kunisaki Peninsula, one of Japan’s most beautiful yet least known areas, and nearby Yufuin, one of Japan’s elegant onsen thermal hot spring resorts.
216,000 Japanese Yen / 2,725 AUD per person.
Autumn dates: Sept 4-8; Sept 11-15; Oct 1-5; Oct 12-16; Oct 26-30; Nov 9-13; Nov 23-27
Winter dates: Dec 7-11
A Level 2, 2-day tour exploring the city of Tokyo, from its history as the city of the samurai to its modern-day culture.
72,000 Japanese Yen / 900 AUD per person with two nights’ accommodation; 32,000 Japanese Yen / 400 AUD per person without accommodation.
Summer dates: July 4-5; July 9-10; July 16-17; July 23-24; July 30-31; August 6-7; August 27-28
Autumn dates: Sept 10-11; Sept 17-18; Sept 24-25; Oct 1-2; Oct 3-4; Oct 8-9; Oct 15-16; Oct 22-23;Oct 29-30; Nov 5-6; Nov 7-8; Nov 12-13; Nov 19-20; Nov 26-27
Winter dates: Dec 15-16
A Level 2, 2-day tour that takes visitors through the city’s rich history while exploring in depth some famous and some less well-known areas that were instrumental in making Kyoto the cultural capital of Japan.
From 78,000 Japanese Yen / 980 AUD per person with two nights’ accommodation; 48,000 Japanese Yen / 600 AUD per person without accommodation.
Summer dates: July 7-8; July 14-15; July 21-22; July 28-29; August 18-19
Autumn dates: Sept 6-7; Sept 13-14; Sept 20-21; Sept 22-23; Sept 27-28; Oct 4-5; Oct 11-12; Oct 18-19; Oct 25-26; Oct 27-28; Nov 1-2; Nov 8-9; Nov 15-16
Winter dates: Dec 7-8; Dec 20-21
East Hokkaido Walk
A Level 3, 8-day tour starting in Kushiro and finishing in Memanbetsu, exploring the rural and sometimes wild lands of the Japanese archipelago’s sparsely populated, most northerly main island. From 368,000 Japanese Yen / 4,640 AUD per person.
Autumn dates: Sept 10-17; Sept 17-24; Oct 8-15
Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage
A Level 4, 9-day tour starting in Osaka and finishing in Ise. One of only two pilgrimage routes on UNESCO’s World Heritage list, this walk moves from the modern, vibrant city of Osaka to the mountain temple community of Koyasan and the Japanese Imperial shrine at Ise. It is a journey through a thousand years of Buddhist history on Japan’s beautiful Kii Peninsula. From 362,000 Japanese Yen / 4,560 AUD per person.
Autumn dates: Sept 14-22; Oct 12-20; Oct 19-27; Oct 27-Nov 4; Nov 4-12; Nov 10-18; Nov 17-25; Nov 21-29
Shikoku Temple Pilgrimage
A Level 3-4, 11-day tour starting in Tokushima and finishing in Takamatsu, following part of the1200-year-old 88 Temple Pilgrimage in Shikoku, a sparsely populated and beautiful rural region on Japan’s fourth main island. From 479,000 Japanese Yen / 6,040 AUD per person.
Autumn dates: Sept 29-Oct 9; Oct 12-22; Nov 2-12
Izu Geo Trail
A Level 3, 7-day tour starting in Tokyo and finishing in Shuzenji on the Izu Peninsula. A geological treasure trove to explore, the peninsula is bubbling with seismic and geothermal activity, peppered with volcanoes and carved by both river and sea. From 348,000 Japanese Yen / 4,390 AUD per person.
Autumn dates: Nov 15-21
Winter dates: Nov 29-Dec 5; Dec 13-19
Winter Nakasendo Way
A Level 3-4, 7-day tour starting in Nagoya and finishing in Matsumoto, it follows some of the most scenic and enjoyable sections of the ancient Nakasendo highway in the brisk winter months. Thermal hot spring baths are an enjoyable feature of this walk, and are a great way to wind down at the end the day. From 282,000 Japanese Yen / 3,560 AUD per person.
Winter dates: Dec 8-14; Dec 21-27