Step back in time and immerse yourself in nature on this five-day hiking trip along the historic Nakasendo Trail. Feudal lords and samurai once walked this mountain path connecting Kyoto and Tokyo, stopping at some of the historic 69 post stations to rest for the night. You'll follow in their footsteps as you trek through picturesque valleys, stay in idyllic villages, and relax in the thermal waters of hot springs along the way.
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When is the best time to visit?
Late spring and early autumn have traditionally been considered the best times to visit Japan, but more and more travelers are seeking trips to this mountainous county in the winter to take advantage of its snowy season. Skiers and snowboarders are flocking to Japan in December through March in search of the powdery, light snow the region is increasingly known for.
Where to go in Japan?
The possibilities are endless. Night owls will love the 24-hour food and drinking scene of bustling city centers like Tokyo and Osaka, older cities that are embracing the new with plenty of flair and energy. Rural travelers will enjoy the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Shiretoko National Park in the mountains of Hokkaidō and the balmy subtropical islands of Okinawa.
How many days do I need?
Since there is so much to do in Japan and travel within the country via the high-speed bullet trains is so easy, visitors can opt for trips of any duration. To do any justice to this amazing country, spend at least a week and ideally up to three.
Getting Around Japan
Most visitors to Japan fly into one of Tokyo's two airports, Narita International Airport or Haneda Airport (Tokyo International). Trains connect both airports to downtown Tokyo, and from there, extensive and efficient rail networks carry passengers to destinations on Honshu, Hokkaido, Shikoku, and Kyushu. Learn more
Get off the beaten path and onto the Kumano Kodo, a network of ancient pilgrimage trails in the remote Kii Peninsula. Trek to grand shrines, thermal hot springs, and the sacred Mount Koya, one of the most important sites in Buddhism. This self-guided trip is great for those looking to challenge themselves with full-day hikes through hilly terrain. You'll be rewarded, however, with unforgettable experiences as you follow in the footsteps of emperors.
Take a walk through time on this 10-day self-guided tour of the Nakasendo Trail, part of feudal Japan's original network of highways. Travelers on the mountain path between Kyoto and Tokyo took several days to travel the distance, staying overnight in Juku post towns. You'll retrace their footsteps as you travel through serene forests, stay in historically preserved local inns by night, and explore the vibrant cities of Kyoto and Tokyo.
Get ready for an unforgettable village-to-village trek on the Kii Peninsula along sections of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail. Perfect for avid hikers, this self-guided tour will take you past thermal hot springs, grand shrines, and waterfalls as you walk in the footsteps of emperors.
On this two-week journey to the four corners of Japan's main island, Honshu, you'll have plenty of time to enjoy its unmissable attractions. You'll visit sacred temples and shrines, go bike riding through the countryside, and roam around the capital's most famous neighborhoods. From the modern cities of Tokyo and Hiroshima to the island of Miyajima, the wonders of ancient Kyoto and beyond, there is so much to see, taste, and discover.
Eat your way through the Land of the Rising Sun on this immersive culinary tour. Get to know Japanese history and culture through its legendary cuisine, and treat your taste buds to everything from home-brewed sake to the freshest sushi, to delectable street food and a fancy gourmet feast.
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This diverse 10-day itinerary focuses on Japan's four major cities. Start in Tokyo, exploring the city's modern and ancient charms, before heading to traditional Kyoto, trendy Osaka, and inspiring Hiroshima. In between, you'll visit magical islands and bamboo forests, sample local cuisine, and experience the culture of four fascinating regions.
This two-week itinerary takes you on a whirlwind tour through Japan's greatest highlights. Walk the streets of hyper-modern Tokyo and Osaka, hike to a sacred Buddhist monastery at Koyasan, soak in hot springs under Mount Fiji, and step back in time in historic Kyoto. From ancient temples to futuristic art shows, vibrant cities to secluded mountaintops, you'll experience a little bit of everything on this adventurous journey.
October is, arguably, the best month to travel to Japan (although this will depend on what you want to experience!). Temperatures in most places are still warm, but the intense humidity and increased rainfall of summer has subsided. Autumn leaves begin appearing at higher elevations and more northern latitudes. Here are some important things to know about traveling to Japan in October.
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Best trip ever because of Kimkim · Japan - Oct 24 - Oct 28, 2019
I cannot begin to write a review that can give my friends and my experience traversing the Nakasendo Trail in Japan. I think a large part of this amazing time was the service provided by Kimkim and the team. We did not use a guide but honestly, this group is so organized, they gave us almost step by step instructions on how to hike the trail, going to far as to provide pictures of junctures so that we could not get lost even if we tried.
All our train tickets, itinerary and inn... read more
A very well thought out trip · Japan - Sep 26 - Oct 14, 2019
A very well thought out trip working around 2 Rugby world cup matches which inevitably constrained the itinerary to a degree. The information provided before and during the trip was excellent and where we had guides they were very good, it was nice to be met at the airport and talked through using the train system and to set up our japan rail pass. We became confident in using the transport systems much more quickly than we would have left to our own devices.
Hotel choices were well judged... read more
Kumano Kodo - Do it! · Japan - Oct 7 - Oct 17, 2019
Carrick was integral in making this trip happen! From booking the travel and accommodations, to answering questions, to helping me be as flexible as possible, there was no way I could have done the Kumano Kodo without her help. Through Carrick, I was able to do not only the Nakahechi Route, but the lesser traveled and (I think) more rewarding Kohechi Route. Even when things went slightly awry, their English speaking support team was able to help me work through any missed connections. I fully recommend her, Oku Japan, and their services via KimKim! Thank you for making my trip so amazing.