'Forever grateful. Your love of Japan shines through.'
‘The holiday of a lifetime’. Why should anyone who travels all the way to Japan expect less? Rather than guiding yourself (pretty easy in Japan these days), we believe that expertly guided small groups are best for our clients, is a sustainable form of tourism, and the best way to understand Japanese culture.
Why Hike Japan? Well, we’re passionate about travel and very good at what we do. With 17 years experience as Japan specialists, our real strengths are in our brilliantly crafted itineraries and our guides. Highly qualified, and with knowledge, many years experience, and humour, our guides really know their stuff when it comes to managing groups, be it in the urban jungles of Japan, on country paths, or in the mountains.Find your perfect tour
Meet our guides
Guiding in every mountain range in Japan, Tom also leads groups in the USA, the European Alps and Eastern Europe, Scotland, and New Zealand.
Tom has worked with us for more than 15 years. With a family in Kyushu, Tom regularly now leads groups on the Shikoku Pilgrimage routes.
Ryoko has worked with us as a qualified trekking and tour guide since 2013. Regularly now also works in France, Spain, and the European Alps as well.
Trained in Japan and Canada, Ryoko works throughout Japan, with in-depth knowledge and experience guiding in the Japan Alps and the pilgrimage routes in Kumano and the Kii Peninsula.
A qualified mountain guide, Sam regularly works as a trainer with Wilderness Medical Associates on courses throughout Japan.
Trained in Japan and Canada, like all our guides, Sam speaks good English and loves the mountains and the outdoors in Japan.
Wildlife guiding around the world as well as Japan, photographer Tomo also does environmental research and has become a ‘big cat’ specialist.
As well as bird-watching and wildlife guiding throughout Japan, Tomo has published an excellent book of photographs focusing on big cats around the world and has worked on a snow leopard conservation project in Pakistan.
Mountain hiking and backcountry ski guiding, Michiko lives and works mainly in Hokkaido.
Michiko is a qualified guide, has done wilderness and first aid training in Canada, and lived and worked in Kenya.
2003 / Hike Japan established. First tour Imperial Pilgrimage Route.
Hike Japan was established as a UK company by Bob Heffill. First tour was the Imperial Pilgrimage Route tour to Kumano (covered by local newspaper as a first on the Nakaheji pilgrimage for an overseas group!) in autumn 2003.
Hike Japan advises British travel companies on how to arrange and run tours in Japan, running tour itineraries for them for several years.
2007 / Our busiest year since Hike Japan was established.
2010 / Quest Japan established with company office in Tokyo
Hike Japan adventure walking tours was reborn as the Quest Japan Limited, although the Hike Japan brand and website remain in place. Partners in the newly named business are Bob Heffill and Isao Matsuzawa, Isao has 30 years’ experience in the travel industry in Japan where he was appointed General Manager (Inbound) at NTA, Japan’s second largest travel company.
Quest Japan is a company bonded with the Japanese government.
Localizing the business brings advantages, whilst bonding guarantees client financial protection under the new banner.
2013 / 10th Anniversary Roof of Japan Trek
The highlight of this tour, celebrating 10 years since Hike Japan was founded in 2003, was a full 8-night traverse of the North Japan Alps from Tateyama to Yarigatake and the Hotaka Ridge to Kamikochi.
A world class trek. Three guides and ten clients.
2019 / New Hike Japan website
Development of a well-designed, more easily navigable, and informative new website with Authentic Style.
New tour line-up. Itinerary, dates, and price details available on request.
In addition to our direct client business, we operate as an inbound destination management partner with specialist tour operators, notably in the United States, Canada, Russia, and the Netherlands, a role we will continue to develop in partnership with other travel companies.