Walking holiday on Japan's Nakasendo Trail
Japan, Discovery, 13 days - from £2,795 (land only) - from €3,495 (land only) - from $4,890 (land only)
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel in Kyoto. We have a 'Welcome' dinner and our guide will brief us on the week ahead. Overnight in the group hotel in Kyoto.
Day 2: In the morning we will have a guided walking tour of Kyoto. In the afternoon we visit Nijo Castle. Overnight Kyoto.
Day 3: Partake in the Tea ceremony, which over the centuries has become highly-stylized and very interesting to watch and learn about all the reasons for every little turn of the cup! We then visit a Zen temple and learn about this practice. Overnight Kyoto.
Day 4: After breakfast we take the train to Hiroshima (1.5hrs) where we visit the Peace Memorial Park and the A-bomb dome. We then transfer to the shrine island of Miyajima for a short walk. Overnight traditional ryokan, Miyajima Island.
Day 5: We then take the high speed train back to Osaka, and then another train to Mount Koya and walk approximately 4 hours along a pilgrim's trail to a temple, where we stay overnight in the temple accommodation known as shukubo near Mt Koya.
Day 6: We start the day with a guided walk around the Okuno-in gardens and cemetery. We then travel by train to the Kiso Valley where we stay in traditional inn at Magome, one of the post towns on the Nakasendo.
Day 7: Walk for 3 hours to Tsumago over the Magome Pass. We stay overnight in the this picturesque post town.
Day 8: Continuing along the Nakasendo we have the option of a longer walk of around 6 hours today as far as Nojiri, or we can enjoy a 2.5 hour walk and then train. From Nojiri we take a train to Kiso-Fukushima. Overnight in a traditional Ryokan.
Day 9: After a short train ride to Yabuhara we climb to the Torii Pass at 3927 feet where we have spectacular views over the Kiso valley and will also visit the Ontake shrine and cemetery. We descend to Narai-juku, one of the best preserved post towns on the Nakasendo, where we stay in a traditional inn. 3 - 4 hours walking.
Day 10: A relaxed monring gives us a little more time exploring the lovely village of Nari before we walk for 1 hour to Hirasawa famous for its lacquer ware. From here we take the train to Karuizawa where we overnight.
Day 11: We have a 5 hr walk on an old section of the Nakasendo, over the Usui Pass and through forest to the village of Yokokawa. From here we take the train into Tokyo where we check into our hotel.
Day 12: A day of sightseeing in the vibrant city of Tokyo. We will have a guided walking tour which will include Nihonbashi and the elegant Ginza shopping district, the park of the Imperial Palace and the Grand Meiji Shrine. The rest of the day is free for independent exploration which will undoubtedly include a visit to the Shinjuku area. Overnight at the group hotel.
Day 13: KE Land Only package services end after breakfast. Our guide will advise and assist with arranging transfers to the airport.