Walk the pathways of ancient emperors ✦ Bed down in traditional inns ✦ Discover Japan's incredible cuisine ✦ Get an insider's perspective on life in rural Japan ✦ Immerse yourself in Japanese life
Walk the Paths of Ancient Japanese Emperors
Want to taste the Japanese cuisine in a traditional Ryokans? Join our Japan walk along the ancient Nakasendo route used by the emperors during the Edo period. Follow in the footsteps of Edo Period Emperors as you walk among valleys and forests, explore ancient villages, and dine on authentic cuisine!
The Japanese Walking Tour follows Nakasendo Way, the very path that Emperors once took on their journey to Kyoto. As you take this historic trail, you will encounter the preserved post-town of Tsumago, the peaceful hot-springs at Kiso-Fukushima, and the sacred Gongentaki Falls, whose god - the story goes- brought victory to a Japanese General. On foot and on train, gaze out at the picturesque mountains and weave through enchanting forests of bamboo and Japanese cedar. The route takes you to villages with artisan shops, restaurants and inns with delicious traditional dishes, and even the ancient Matsumoto Castle, one of the country's premier historic landmarks. As you walk in the shadow of the emperors, spend your nights in luxurious Ryokan and family style minishuku, traditional Japanese lodgings for the royalty and lesser members of the entourage.
Japan walking tour day by day details
Onward travel to Tokyo
Travel: Train to Tokyo
Always ranked in the top ten of cuisines worldwide, Japanese food is a delight both visually and for its taste. Dinners at the minshukus and ryokan on this tour are traditional Kaiseki Ryori, with many small dishes of vegetables, fish, meats and more.
A typical dinner could consist of: shiizakana (appetizers served with Japanese sake),mukouzuke (sashimi – slices of raw fish), kuchitori (a small side dish), suimono (a soup), nimono (simmered vegetables), kounomono (Japanese pickles), yakimono (grilled fish) and more.
Our Nakasendo trip features a number of nights in traditional, historic inns either minshuku or ryokan. These inns orginated back in the era of when the emperors and their courts walked from palace to palace and these inns sprung up along the trails to accommodate the parties.
Arriving at a ryokan is an experience in itself. The hostess, okami , dressed in a kimono, comes to welcome the guests. Once you take your shoes off , put on the slippers made available at the entrance. An employee, still in a kimono, then comes to take over from the okami and accompany the customers to their room.
The Walking the Nakasendo tour meets in Tokyo, Japan at the Shinagawa Prince Hotel and ends at Tokyo Station.
Guests should plan their flights to arrive in Tokyo before 06:00 (6 am) on Day 1 of the tour and their departing flights after 12:00 (noon) on Day 7.
Narita Airport code: NRT Haneda Airport cdoe: HND Local Time: GMT+9
Travel Tip: Most flight schedules require arriving in Tokyo the day before. Accommodation at Shinagawa Prince is available.
Passports are required for all guests. Visas maybe required depending on your nationality, check with the nearest Embassy of Japan.
Whatcha Gonna Get
- Expert local bilingual guides
- Entrance and activity fees
- Handpicked lodges, ensuite rooms, double occupancy
- Daily breakfast, lunch, snacks*
- Dinners featuring fine local cuisine*
- Unlimited drinking water**
- Train and bus travel*
- Pre-tour hotel in Tokyo
*as noted in itinerary
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Your Group, Your Date
You, your family and friends, your preferred date, our handcrafted tour routes, privately guided, the ultimate adventure getaway.
Classic Inns from $5575
Spring (Mar-May) & Fall (Sep-Nov) are the best times for walking.
Join a Scheduled Departure
Join a group of like minded travelers (8 guests max) on one of the dates below:
2023: 23 Oct
2024: 15 Apr ✦ 21 Oct
2025: 14 Apr
Classic Inns: $5475 per person, double occupancy
Single Room: +$n/a Deposit: $550