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Hiking in Japan
- Duration : 14 days
- Locations : Tokyo, Kyoto, Miyajima, Yakushima, Fukuoka
Lovers of nature and hiking, go on a tour in Japan with Japan Experience!
The most beautiful landscapes of Japan are waiting for you, from Tokyo to the mysterious island of Yakushima, via Kyoto and the sacred island of Miyajima.
3 hiking activities are included in this trip, and many others are available as options. Let's get walking!
2 week itinerary
- Tokyo (2 days)
- Kyoto (4 days including 1 day in Nara)
- Miyajima Island (1 day)
- Hiroshima (1 day)
- Yakushima Island (3 days)
- Fukuoka (1 day)
The first and last day are reserved for your arrival and departure from Japan (and for the last bit of souvenir shopping!).
Please find below the itinerary details.
WARNING : The tour departure and end dates presented on this page relate to your stay in Japan. On departure, you will have to leave Europe on the day before. The return flight is on the same day due to the time difference. For further details, refer to "More about your trip".
Why this trip to Japan ?
- A tour specifically designed for fans of hiking and nature!
- In Tokyo, go for an urban hike away from the skyscrapers
- Take the Shinkansen to Kyoto, where a night-time guided tour of the Gion district awaits you
- A guided day trip to the Takao Gorge, near Kyoto
- Reach Hiroshima and the sacred island of Miyajima where you will spend a night in a ryokan
- On the mystical island of Yakushima, enjoy beautiful hikes with your English-speaking guide
- Recommendations available in your travel diary
- Enjoy unlimited internet access thanks to your pocket Wi-Fi
- If necessary, contact our Japanese bilingual English-speaking assistance 24/7
- A number of guided days or other optional activities are available
- Benefit from the expertise of Japan Experience, European leading travel agency in Japan
Your trip in detail
Day 1 : Wake up in Tokyo 東京
Arrival at Tokyo airport (Narita or Haneda).
Welcome to Japan! Yokoso 日本へようこそ！
Reception at the exit from Customs in English by our airport assistant, who will give you all your travel documents.
Unaccompanied transfer from the airport to Tokyo (see details).
Check-in at Hotel B Akasaka Mitsuke or equivalent 3* (rooms available from 15:00).
You can pick up your pocket Wi-Fi at the hotel reception desk.
Day 2 : First steps in the capital
What is there to do in Tokyo on the first day?
We advise you to slowly start visiting Tokyo from its western districts:
- Harajuku: the avant-garde district
- Meiji Jingû, the imperial shrine
- Takeshita-Dori: the most famous street in Japan
- Omotesando: Tokyo's Champs-Élysées
- Shibuya and its unmistakable "crossroads"
One of our many experienced English-speaking guides can also accompany you to visit the classic sights of Tokyo (optional, from 9:00 to 17:00).
Day 3 : City or mountains?
For this second day, you can continue to visit Tokyo (Ginza, Asakusa, Tokyo Sky Tree...) or if you prefer walking in nature to urban walks, don't hesitate to go on a day trip from Tokyo! Mount Mitake or Hatanosu Canyon are good ideas for hikes accessible from Tokyo. Details in your travel diary.
Day 4 : On the way to the former capital
In 2h30, reach Kyoto by Shinkansen (direct, included in your package) and check into the Tsugu 京都三条 Hotel or equivalent 3*.
You have 3 days to visit Kyoto.
Start in the afternoon in the historic Gion district near your accommodation :
- Kiyomizu-Dera, the great water temple
- The historical streets of Sannen-zaka & Ninnen-zaka
- Kodai-ji, the maple and bamboo temple of Kyoto
Finish off seeing the sunset in Gion.
Meet your guide at 19:00 to start your late stroll around Gion, Kyoto's historic district.
More details on the exact time and location in your travel diary.
At the end of this 1 hour 30 walk, your guide will be able to advise you on the best places to eat out!
Please note that it is strictly forbidden to take photographs in the historic district of Gion.
Day 5 : Gold and Silver Treasures
We recommend the following itinerary for this second day's visit to Kyoto:
- Ryoan-ji Zen Garden
- The Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)
- Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion)
- The bewitching path of philosophy
- The Nanzen-ji temple
One of our many experienced English-speaking guides can accompany you on a tour of these symbolic sites (optional, from 9:00 to 17:00).
Even though Kyoto is a city of 1.5 million people, it's still surrounded by forests, with many tourist sites located between city and forest.
Day 6 : Day hike
A guide will meet you at your accommodation at 8:30am to take you on a getaway to Takao Mountain. Buddhist temples set on the mountain and maple trees blazing in autumn are the scenery in the small village of Takao, an ideal place for an all-season hike less than an hour from Kyoto.
Day 7 : Between temples and deer
For your last day in Kyoto and its surroundings, we recommend taking the 50 minute journey to Nara, which is included in your package.
Details in your travel guide.
Visit to Nara, the first permanent capital of Japan in the 8th century.
- The Shinto shrine Kasuga Taisha and its thousands of lanterns
- The Todaiji, its great bronze Buddha and the imposing Nan-Daimon gate
- Kofukuji temple and its beautiful pagoda
Return to Kyoto and stop for sunset at Fushimi Inari, the huge 10,000 torii sanctuary in Kyoto. If you wish to be accompanied on this day, one of our English-speaking guides will unveil all the secrets of Japan's first capital (optional, return trip from Kyoto).
Day 8 : The Sacred Island
In the morning, we advise that you have your luggage sent to the hotel in Fukuoka (details in your travel diary, check with the hotel reception) and that you travel light for your night in Miyajima.
Shinkansen train ride from Kyoto to Miyajima (2h20, 1 change) then boat (20 minutes). The train and boat included in the Japan Rail Pass.
Reach your ryokan near the island's ferry terminal.
Explore the island: its Itsukushima-jinja shrine and its large gate (ootorii) standing in the sea. (Please note: The ootorii is under construction until an unspecified date). Take the cable car up to Mount Misen and then descend on foot. A breathtaking view of Hiroshima Bay is waiting for you!
At night at the ryokan, you will be treated to a tasty traditional Japanese dinner before retiring to your tatami room.
Day 9 : Make way for history
Traditional Japanese breakfast at the ryokan.
In the morning, make a stop in Hiroshima (30 minutes by train from Miyajimaguchi Ferry Station, included in your JR Pass), to visit the Peace Park and its memorial.
Continue from Hiroshima to the island of Kyushu and its capital, Fukuoka, in 1 hour by Shinkansen (included in your JRPass).
Arrive in the centre of the vibrant city of Fukuoka and check into your hotel near the central station.
With its 2000 years of history, the capital of Kyushu has always been the gateway to Asia (Korea and China) and Western culture (Portugal and its Jesuits, Holland). Another Japan, more Asian and further away from Tokyo, awaits you. Capital of a booming region, Fukuoka is now one of the most dynamic cities in Japan with its many high-tech companies and the hosting of a global event: the Rugby World Cup in October 2019.
Visit the lively Nakasu and Tenjin districts and their yatai - hundreds of delicious and welcoming open-air restaurants at low prices. A great way to spend one final evening!
Day 10 : The mystical island
Breakfast at the hotel.
Transfer to Fukuoka airport in 5 minutes by metro from Hakata central station, see details below.
Take a midday flight to Yakushima airport (direct, 1 hour 05).
In the afternoon, check-in at hotel Yakushima Green hotel or equivalent 3*.
Yakushima is a must for hikers and nature lovers: with its thousand-year-old cedars reputed to be the oldest trees in the country, a large part of the island's plant heritage is classified by UNESCO. Its forest is also famous for being the inspiration for the Studio Ghibli film "Princess Mononoke".
Enjoy the port of Anbo or Miyanoura (depending on your accommodation) and find a good place to have dinner. You won't be disappointed by the local specialities!
Day 11 : The thousand-year-old cedars
Breakfast at the hotel.
Go for a hike in the incredible nature of Yakushima with a local English-speaking guide!
Your guide will meet you at 8am at your accommodation.
Depending on your personal preferences and your fitness level (and the weather conditions), you will go for a day's walk in the forest and discover the wonders of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its thousand-year-old forest and its special eco-system.
Day 12 : Japan's wilderness
Breakfast at the hotel.
Continue to explore the island from your hotel or by bus on the roads around it. There is no shortage of hiking opportunities on this stunning island: waterfalls, thick forests inhabited by countless monkeys, mangroves, magnificent beaches... nature in its raw state.
Optional: climb a mountain with a guide!
Day 13 : The capital of Kyushu
Traditional Japanese breakfast at the ryokan.
Around noon, return to Fukuoka for your last night. (1 hour 05, direct route, included in your offer)
Check into your 3* hotel.
In the afternoon, continue to explore the city of Fukuoka. There are still many iconic sites to see:
- Momochi district: Fukuoka Tower and other futuristic buildings - Japan in the 22nd century
- Canal City Hakata, a huge shopping centre integrated into the city, its city park and its canals
- Asian Art Museum, the world's first museum for modern Asian art
- Shofoku-ji Temple, the oldest Zen temple in Japan
- Hakata Machiya, a district of old merchants' houses
Night in your hotel.
Day 14 : Sayonara, and see you next time!
Transfer to Fukuoka International Airport (Japan's 4th largest airport, located in the heart of the city) in 5 minutes by metro from Hakata Central Station, see details below.
Return flight to Europe, North America, Australia, with a change in Tokyo, Helsinki or one of the major Asian cities.
Don't hesitate to extend your trip by one or more days, to Fukuoka or Kyushu Island: Nagasaki, Beppu, Kagoshima, Aso volcano... We will be able to advise you!
- 3 nights in a 3* hotel in the heart of Tokyo, close to public transport
- 4 nights in a 3* hotel in the heart of Kyoto, close to public transport
-1 night in a 3* ryokan in Miyajima, traditional half-board
- 2 nights in a 3* hotel in Fukuoka, near the train station
- 3 nights in a 3* hotel in Yakushima
The basic rate includes a twin room for two people.
- Airport transfers (except in Yakushima)
- Prepaid public transport card
- Japan Rail Pass for 7 days
- Flights Fukuoka <->Yakushima
Experiences and meals
- Airport welcome
- Traditional dinner and breakfast in the ryokan at Miyajima
- Breakfasts in Yakushima
- Guided night tour of Gion (1h30)
- Guided day trip to Takao Mountain, Kyoto
- Guided day trip and forest walk in Yakushima
Included in your self-guided tour
- Unlimited Wi-Fi access with pocket Wi-Fi
- Complete e-travel diary sent 20 days before your departure
- 24/7 telephone assistance in English and bilingual Japanese
Not included in the price of your trip
- Flights Europe <> Japan
- Optional insurance policies
- Personal expenses including meals (breakfast optional)
- Public transport when your transport cards have run out (see details)
- Airport transfers in Yakushima
- Anything not included in the "included in your tour" section
Your tour :
- The prices displayed on this page may vary according to the exchange rate of the Japanese ¥.
- Unfortunately, this tour is not accessible to people with reduced mobility.
- Pets are not allowed.
- Children over 3 years of age are allowed. Rates for children are available for people from 3 to 11 years old inclusive.
- This programme is subject to change due to circumstances such as weather conditions or any other case of force majeure. Please note that due to the current circumstances, any information mentioned is subject to change or modification.
- Your travel documents will be given to you as follows:
- Travel diary by email 3 weeks before departure, and other electronic documents
- Paper documents (airport transfer tickets, transport cards) when you arrive at the airport by our airport assistant.
- Your pocket Wi-Fi at the hotel reception upon arrival.
Your accommodation :
- Some hotels may ask you to pay a tourist tax on arrival. This depends on the city and even the hotel, as some do not include it in the booking price. Normally, it is 200¥/night/person (about £1.37/1.93$) but can be slightly higher in 4* hotels. It must be paid in cash at the hotel reception. For traditional Japan Experience accommodations, it is included in the initial tour price.
- Room size: in Japan, a densely populated country where everything is compact, 3-star luxury hotels are of very good quality but the rooms are often quite narrow (12 to 20m2/129 sq ft to 215 sq ft) depending on the hotel. Please note the size of the single room, between 10 and 16m2 (107sq ft and 172 fq ft). For more comfort, you can choose our luxury 4* accommodation upgrade option.
- Double room: Rooms for two people in western hotels have 2 single beds (twin rooms) by default, which can usually be joined together. As an option, you can select a double room instead of a twin if you prefer a double bed.
- Single room: People travelling alone and wishing to book a single room must pay a supplement at the time of booking. The single room supplement is compulsory for orders with an odd number of participants. Please note that if you request more than two people in a single room, the single room supplement will be applied to all accommodation except for the ryokans (3 and 4*). In fact, as this is traditional accommodation, people with the same reservation are grouped together in spacious rooms for up to 5 people.
- 3-person room: If there are 3, 5 or more of you and you do not select the single supplement, a triple room will be allocated to you.
- In the case of a group order (> 5 people), it is possible, depending on hotel availability, that not all members of the group will be accommodated in the same hotel. Nevertheless, we aim to keep you close.
- Names of the hotels : The names given on the site are for information only. In the event of unavailability, an establishment of equivalent standing will be scheduled. Hotels, corresponding to local standards, are given as an indication and may be changed on site for hotels of a similar category.
- In the ryokan, the rooms have a private sink and toilet. The single-sex collective Japanese baths ("onsen") then act as shared bathrooms, with showers and thermal baths. They are freely accessible, at the times in force on the site. These baths are often not accessible to people with clearly visible tattoo (s). The latter are invited to contact us to evaluate the possibilities of accommodation with private baths or shared baths that can be reserved. The 4* ryokan (see 4* option) have comfortable futons raised on either western beds in a traditional tatami room. The bathrooms and toilets of the 4* ryokans are private.
Your transport :
- Flights are not included in this tour. Do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to include flights in your order: Flights in economy class with stopovers or direct flights, eco-premium or business air upgrades, provincial departures or abroad: we will be able to advise you.
- The tour departure and end dates presented on this page relate to your stay in Japan. You will arrive in Japan via Tokyo (Narita or Haneda airports) and will leave from Fukuoka airport (FUK). You will have to leave Europe the day before and land at 18pm at the latest to make the most of the airport services of your tour (welcome and transfer to Tokyo). The return flight is on the same day due to the time difference, with a departure time of 9am at the earliest. Please do not hesitate to consult us for any uncertainty or need for precision in the choice of international flights.
- Please note that for the return flight from Fukuoka International Airport, you will need to change at Tokyo, Helsinki or one of the major Asian cities. In Tokyo and Seoul, please check that the connecting airports are the same. Fukuoka -> Tokyo and Fukuoka -> Seoul flights sometimes land at different airports (Tokyo Haneda HND or Seoul Gimpo GMP) from those from which international flights to Europe depart (Tokyo Narita NRT or Seoul Incheon ICN).
- Airport transfers: The shared shuttle bus leaves from the airport and stops in front of your hotel, and vice versa on the return journey. Our airport assistant in Kansai airport will drive you to the platform to take the airport transfer. Afterwards, this hotel transfer is unassisted. If you would like to be accompanied from the airport to your hotel reception please choose the option "Accompanied Airport Transfer".
- The return transfer from your hotel to Fukuoka International Airport is by public transport from the central station. 5 minutes by metro from Hakata Central Station, located near your hotel. It's a straightforward journey, with the train arriving directly at the airport. There are 2 terminals connected by a free shuttle bus.
Cost: 260¥ (about £1.71 / 2.42$, paid with your pre-paid transport card, already loaded with the amount for the transfer).
From 5:30am to 12:25am, with metros every 4 to 8 minutes.
If you want door-to-door transport, we recommend that you contact your hotel reception to order a taxi. It will cost you approximately £12.85 / 17.83$ for a 20 minute journey.
- These details regarding airport transfers in Fukuoka also apply to domestic flights to Yakushima; however, in Kagoshima, transfers to the hotel are by bus or taxi, at your expense.
- Included in your tour is a pre-charged transport prepayment card of ¥ 1,500 (around £10.30 / 14.54$) (suica or Pasmo brand); and a 7-day Japan Rail Pass. These cards should cover a large part of your trips during the stay. Upon expiry of the 1,500¥ Transport Prepayment Card, or if the line you are travelling on is not covered by your Japan Rail Pass, any travel will be at your own expense by recharging your pre-paid transport card (at vending machines in all stations and metro stations).
- The Japan Rail Pass is a personal train pass for foreign travellers who wish to visit Japan. This pass allows unlimited travel for 7 consecutive days on all Japan Railways (JR) trains throughout Japan. You will receive a voucher to be exchanged at a JR office when you are welcomed at the airport by our assistant (list of addresses provided in your travel guide). You will be asked to show your passport and fill in a form. During this exchange, you will select the start date of your pass. Once your Pass has been activated, it will be valid for 7 consecutive days from the date chosen. To prevent wasting time when you arrive at the airport, you are requested to exchange your voucher upon arrival in Tokyo City. This is because exchanging it at the airport could delay your airport shuttle. With your Japan Rail Pass in hand, just go to the station, show your pass to the ticket inspector at the entrance gates and board any JR train. Trains in Japan are almost all open seating. If you are worried about not having a seat (on a shinkansen for example), simply go to a ticket office and reserve your seat at no extra charge. The Japan Rail Pass covers all JR and Shinkansen lines in Japan. The following journeys are not covered:
- Travel by metro and bus in the cities (payable by pre-paid transport card, included in your package)
- Transfers from the train station to the hotels (by foot, bus, metro or taxi)
- Travel on private train lines (other than JR)
- Travel on Nozomi and Mizuho high-speed trains (shinkansen)
- Trips made outside the validity period of the Japan Rail Pass
- Japan Rail Pass: It is not necessary to possess a Japan Rail Pass which covers your entire stay. This is only cost-effective if it is used for long journeys between the different stages of your stay (especially in shinkansen) which are very expensive. In large cities like Tokyo, only about ⅓ of public transport is covered by the Japan Rail Pass and getting around is relatively cheap (Tokyo metro tickets: £1.71 / 2.42$; Kyoto daily bus card: £1.71 / 2.42$). Thus, providing you with a Japan Rail Pass for more than 7 days (14 or 21) would not be cost-effective and, on the contrary, would significantly increase the cost of your trip.
- If a person taking part in the tour is a Japanese national and a resident of Japan, or a foreigner with tax residence in Japan (including a student), then that person is not eligible for the Japan Rail Pass. Please contact us to get the price of the tour without a Japan Rail Pass. They will have to buy the train tickets for the tour directly in Japan. The Kansai Thru Pass is also subject to the same nationality/residency requirements. This is not the case for the Hakone Free pass. If this person is a Japanese citizen but not a resident of Japan, then he/she can benefit from the Japan Rail Pass under certain conditions (see https://www.japan-experience.com/frequently-asked-questions).
Your activities :
- Airport reception is in English. Your airport assistant will be waiting for you at the customs exit holding a sign with the name of the reservation. They will give you your travel documents and take you to your airport transfer. They will not accompany you to Tokyo (this is possible, but optional).
- The guided tour of Gion takes place in groups of 12 people maximum, from 6pm to 7:30/8:00pm. In English. More details on the meeting place in your travel journal. Dinner is not planned but your guide will be able to give you their best spots.
- The day trips in Tokyo and Yakushima are guided, private and in English. You are responsible for all additional costs (transport, meals, sightseeing) yourself.
Your meals :
- Traditional Japanese dinner and Japanese breakfast (mostly savoury) are included in your Miyajima tour. Do not hesitate to indicate any dietary requirements you may have, we will pass them on to the ryokan so that they can take them into account when planning the meals. If the ryokan does not take any of these dietary requirements into account, we cannot be held responsible and no compensation will be issued.
- Breakfasts which are not included in your package can be added at the reception when you arrive at the hotel. However, you will find many cafés near your hotel serving copious breakfasts, often tastier than those in the hotels, which sometimes have tight schedules and are predominantly savoury. However, if you would like to add breakfast to your offer when you make your reservation, you can select it as an option.
Your additional services:
- A pocket wifi is included in your tour. It allows unlimited high-speed internet access. Your pocket wifi will be delivered to you on arrival at the first hotel on your tour, in the name of your tour reservation.
- It comes with a small booklet to operate your device (don't panic: simple operation) and a prepaid envelope to return your device at the end of your stay. Your pocket wifi will work naturally until the last day of your trip to Japan.
- A maximum of 5 devices can be connected to a pocket wifi (phone, tablet, computer).
- A single pocket wifi is provided for a circuit order of 1 to 5 people. For an order of 6 people or more, a second pocket wifi will be added automatically and at no extra cost to your reservation.
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