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.
Oku Japan operates guided, self-guided and custom tours around Japan. Our main office is in Kyoto, and some of our sales staff are based in the UK. In spring 2015, Oku Japan opened a branch office in the village of Chikatsuyu, where we are proud to be part of the local community.
Our mission is a simple one; to introduce visitors to Japan to the beautiful scenery, delightful towns and villages, and above-all the lovely people, we have discovered on our travels. We are a small team of people passionate about Japan, and every one of us speaks Japanese and knows the country intimately. We have travelled the length and breadth of the country; stayed at hundreds of hotels, Ryokan and Minshuku, taken trains, planes, ferries and buses to the far corners of this amazing country, to discover the best food, best accommodation and best service that you can expect.
We strongly believe in travel having a positive impact on both the traveler and the local people. Our tours travel both to the famous sites, but also to the lesser-known places that have not made it into the guidebooks. You may find yourself on a super-fast bullet train one day, and the next sitting in a small country hot spring miles from the nearest town.
We try to strike a balance between easy, comfortable travel, with seeing places that require a degree more effort to get to. Some of our destinations are not visited by any other tour company, and that's because they are not suited to mass-market tourism. Our favourite inns may not have internet access or even their own website, but they have the freshest food and personal service you can't reproduce on a large scale.
Featured trips & expertise
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.
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.
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.
Looking for lesser-known, beautiful places to visit in Japan? Here is a shortlist of under-the-radar destinations to visit outside of the usual places most people go, like Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto.
Recent Trip Reviews for Oku Japan
Soaking up some rural culture without breaking our necks!, Japan - Jul 27 - Aug 2, 2018
Fantastic trip and organisation ran like clockwork... the trains.. the buses...the timetable and so on. No corners were cut, as is often the case. Each ryokan visited over-delivered. This trip allowed us to get below the surface of Japan's big cities and let us experience the real Honshu. Simply fantastic.
6 day walk, Japan - Feb 8 - Feb 18, 2018
All in all a wonderful experience very well managed, thank you.
Day 1: the first climb was almost a deal breaker. The path was not clear and we should have been warned that is was incredibly demanding.
Takahara ryokan was good. Private facilities and food were probably the best of all on the walk. Excellent packed lunch. To be able to fit around the tire at night after a private onsen was great.
Day 2: good walk with no surprises although the cold was extreme
Chikatsuyu food was good and... read more