Way of the Samurai - Japan's Nakasendo Trail
Japan, Discovery, 13 days - from £2,795 (land only) - from €3,355 (land only) - from $4,610 (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 at the group hotel.
Day 3: Partake in the Tea ceremony and visit to a Zen temple. Overnight at the group hotel.
Day 4: After breakfast we take the train to Asuka famous for its tombs of the first Emperors of Japan. We will stay tonight in a traditional Japanese inn (Minshuku).
Day 5: We take 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.
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: We walk for 1 hour to Hirasawa famous for its lacquer ware. We then take the train to Tokyo where we check in to the group hotel.
Day 11: 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 12: Travelling outside Tokyo we visit the forested hills of Nikko and the ornate buildings of the Shogun shrine at Tosho-gu. After the visit we return to Tokyo and this evening, we will enjoy a 'Farewell' dinner in a traditional Japanese restaurant. Our last night at the group hotel in Tokyo.
Day 13: KE Land Only package services end after breakfast. Our guide will advise and assist with arranging transfers to the airport.