QUEST JAPAN TOURS 2017

Please click on links for more information about the highlighted tour itineraries below. In addition to these tours, we are always happy to advise and create bespoke, customized itineraries.

 

Tour Itineraries Summary Page

Tour  DurationType of TourWalking Grade

IMPERIAL PILGRIMAGE ROUTE

 

  16 days (15 nts) HikingModerate/Vigorous
We first ran the IPR in 2003. Exploring the Kii Mountains as we walk to the Three Grand Shrines along the Old Road to Kumano, before heading north for Yoshino, Asuka, Nara, and Kyoto. An inspiring mountain journey through an entire peninsula designated an important World Heritage site.
NORTH JAPAN ALPS   15 days (14 nts) Mountain hikingVigorous

The Kamikochi Valley, jewel in the crown of the mountains of the Main Island of Honshu, one of the pearls in smouldering necklace that encompasses the Pacific Ocean

Great views of Yari Peak

Sensational ridge hiking along the Omote Ginza route, one of the finest in the North Japan Alps

A traverse of the amazing Alpine Route to Tateyama

Climbing Tateyama which, along with Mount Fuji, and Haku-san, is one of the three sacred peaks of Japan

Tokyo, Matsumoto, and the old capital cities of Kyoto and Nara.
WALKS IN THE HEART OF JAPAN   13 days (12 nts) Culture/WalkingModerate
A week in the cultural heart of Japan, visiting Mount Koya, Yoshino, Odaigahara, Asuka, Nara and Kyoto - important historical and cultural sites. Hiking in areas of great natural beauty, notably the Odaigahara Plateau and the Yamanobe no Michi connecting Miwa Taisha Grand Shrine and Isonokami Jingu Shrine.
ROOF OF JAPAN
TATEYAMA TO KAMIKOCHI
ALPINE ROUTE
  10 days (9 nts) Mountain hikingStrenuous
Japan's Haute Route. An awesome 6-day hut-to-hut trek along almost the full length of the North Alps, staying in well-managed mountain accommodation which provide half-board and bed. Last night in a luxurious mountain hotel in the Kamikochi Valley. We think it's up there with the classic treks of the world. Start/finish Tokyo.
SLOW TRAINS TO KYOTO   14 days (13 nts) Culture/walkingModerate
On local trains, mainly, to Kyoto, along the Japan Sea Coast. A journey exploring the quieter towns and villages, and the Sanin Coast National Park. Includes climb of Mt Daisen and other shorter hikes.
JAPAN WINTER SECRETS   13 days (12 nts) Winter highlightsGentle
The very best things to do and see in mid-winter in Japan, including the Sapporo snow festival, the elegant Japanese cranes in the Kushiro National Park, snow monkeys in Nagano, Shirakawago - the important World Heritage village, and the cultural centres of Kanazawa and Kyoto.
NORTHERN EXPOSURE in TOHUKU   2 weeksUpland hikingModerate
Exploring of the far north of the main island Honshu. Hiking in forests and on upland marshes, with stays in traditional, family-run inns, and little-known natural hot springs. Delicious food!
KYUSHU EXPLORER   15 days (14 nts) Mountain hiking/cyclingVigorous
Off-the-beaten track in Kyushu. Hiking a trail which traverses the mountains on Yakushima Island with its 7,000 year-old cedar trees, Mount Aso ? volcano with the largest caldera in the world. Dynamic Fukuoka and other great places en route.
OCEAN DEEP MOUNTAIN HIGH   2 weeks (14 nts) Islands and mountainsModerate
First by boat south to the Ogasawara Islands ? the Galapagos of Japan- lying in the Pacific Ocean 1,000 kilometres south of Tokyo. Then hiking in the Yatsugatake Range with good views of Mt Fuji, Matsumoto, Nagano, Karuizawa and Mt Asama, and dynamic Tokyo.
AUTUMN GOLD -A JOURNEY OVER THE ROOF OF JAPAN   10 days Style and Comfort Gentle Walks
A touch of luxury, with fine Japanese food, secluded country inns, and top city hotels. Experience the best of Japan style and sophistication. All in glorious autumn colour as you travel over the high mountains.

We also have a range of shorter itineraries including Tokyo, Kyoto, and Nara day walking tours, and hiking trips ranging from 3 to 10 days focused on the Nakasendo, the Oze Plateau, Yatsugatake, the Shinetsu Trail, and the Bandai Asahi and Hakone Ito National Parks. Please get in touch to discuss your ideas and interests.

Special Interest
WILDLIFE & PHOTOGRAPHY Tailor-made tours in association with Wildlife Japan
Please contact us to discuss your ideas and prices.
Wildlife in a range of ecosystems
Tailor-made, specialist wildlife and photography tours led by an English-speaking Japanese expert guide and photographer.

GUIDE TO WALKING GRADES AND FITNESS

The following is a guide to help you make the right decision about your holiday. Hike Japan tours are for people who enjoy the outdoors and are looking for a holiday which offers the chance to explore the higher mountains, islands, and more remote rural areas. Your fitness level is important. Some of our tour itineraries include more walking days than others. Others might have fewer days walking, but more challenging routes. Whilst we introduce many of the finest and most important aspects of Japanese culture and society, bear in mind that most Hike Japan walking holidays are not cultural or sightseeing tours with a few strolls along the way! Please read the following carefully, together with the itineraries you are interested in.

GradeDescription
Gentle (G)Typically up to about 4 hours walking in a day. Easier, slower paced walks on several days. These will be partly on quiet roads or along paths in rural areas, although they may include occasional steep uphill sections on smaller mountains. More time to sightsee and stop along the way.

Suitable for anyone who is happy to walk around town for a few hours and who enjoys country walks. Decent trainers or lightweight boots/light day sack for essentials and snacks (about 25 litres)/waterproofs.
Moderate (M)Up to 6 days of walking from 2 to 5 hours per day. Hikes include routes to easy mountain peaks up to 2,000m (6,562'). May include the very occasional fixed ladder.

Suitable for hill walkers. Lightweight walking boots/ light day sack for essentials and snacks (about 25 litres)/waterproofs.
Vigorous (V)Up to 7 days of walking from 5-9 hours per day. Ascents and descents of mountains including higher 3,000m (9,843') peaks. Note that The Imperial Pilgrimage Route tour is graded M/V as although the main hike is only four days, and the maximum altitude is below 1,000m (3,281'), some of the paths are steep and the walks are up to 8 hours per day.

A good level of fitness is required for the longer ascents and descents. May include fixed ladders, chains, bridges (similar to via ferrata). Easy scrambling in the higher mountains. Should be confident on ridges and negotiating broken, rocky ground.

Suitable for fit enthusiasts who enjoy mountain walking. Recent hill or mountain walking experience important. Thanks to the extensive network of mountain lodges, it is not necessary to carry sleeping bags or other camping equipment, so medium-size back packs with a change of clothes and personal belongings are sufficient. More substantial walking boots with ankle supports recommended/larger back pack (about 55 litres)/waterproofs.
Strenuous (S) 6 days or more of continuous walking 6-9 hours per day, or sometimes longer, in remoter mountain country with ascents to 3,000m (9,843') peaks.

Continuous ascents and descents along mountain trails with have fixed ladders and chains in remoter areas demands a good level of fitness and recent mountain hiking or trekking experience. Easy scrambling in the higher mountains. Accommodation is in mountain lodges so a medium-size back pack with a change of clothes and personal belongings is sufficient. More substantial walking boots with ankle supports recommended/larger back pack (about 55 litres)/waterproofs.