Japan: Hike, Bike & Kayak

12 Days | Hike sacred trails, bike through historic districts and kayak on the Inland Sea

4.8 out of 5 based on 27 reviews submitted.
Multi-active
From
CAD $5,678
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Embark on a cultural (and physical) workout with this 12-day active adventure across Japan. You’ll soak up some ancient history, see religious sites and explore the best of Japan’s nature on foot, boat and bike. Beginning in Tokyo, hike through post towns dotted along the Nakasendo Way, cycle and kayak on the Seto Inland Sea along the Shimanami Kaido and stop by historic Kyoto for an optional soak in a traditional bathhouse. Then, tackle the mother of all pilgrimages on a section of the historic Kumano Kodo. With the opportunity to explore diverse neighbourhoods, eat as much ramen as you can stomach and experience local hospitality along the way, this active adventure makes for a great taste of diverse Japan.

Trip overview

Map of Japan: Hike, Bike & Kayak including Japan
Start
Tokyo, Japan
Finish
Osaka, Japan
Theme
Multi-active
Destinations
Japan
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Style
Original
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 12
Trip code
CJXH
This trip generates 37 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • Hike between the preserved post towns of the Nakasendo Way and reconnect with the Edo history on this ancient trail connecting Edo (now Tokyo) and Kyoto.
  • Discover one of Japan's best cycling routes – the Shimanami Kaido, which links Honshu with Shikoku across the scenic Inland Sea – and enjoy a cycling and kayaking experience through lush seaside landscapes.
  • Temple-hop through the historic city of Kyoto with a guided bike ride past some of the major religious sites in the city – on two wheels is the perfect way to explore this ancient capital.
  • Hike a section of the Kumano Kodo – one of only two UNESCO World Heritage-listed pilgrimage trails in the world. Along the ancient route, you’ll see the spectacular Nachi Falls and Nachi Taisha Shrine.
  • Relax your muscles in Toba’s hot spring onsens and maybe even one of Kyoto’s sentos (traditional bath houses) - a must-do experience while in Japan!
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, World Bicycle Relief. Donations provide school kids, health workers, and farmers in far-out areas with bicycles that provide access to education, healthcare, and income.

Is this trip right for you?
  • The active nature of this trip means that the fitter you are, the more you’ll be able to enjoy. It’s expected that travellers joining this trip will have had some experience hiking and cycling before and you’ll need to be able to swim. On some hikes, you’ll need to be able to carry your overnight pack on the trail because we will forward your luggage to the next destination. Hiking distances vary from 3 to 15km per day with no more elevation change than 60 to 900 m. The cycling distances are around 30 km each.
  • The hikes on the Kumano Kodo and Nakasendo Way include sections rather than the whole trail, which gives you an experience of the trails without needing to commit to multiple days of strenuous trekking.
  • In some destinations you may be staying in a ryokan, which is a Japanese-style inn with shared facilities. It’s a great taste of tradition, but not everyone finds futon mattresses on the tatami mat floor, small bathrooms and proximity to other guests as comfortable as Western-style hotels. Read more about ryokans in our ‘Accommodation’ section of the Essential Trip Information.

Itinerary

Map of Japan: Hike, Bike & Kayak including Japan

Inclusions

Meals

4 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Transport

Boat, Public Bus, Metro, Bullet Train, Train, Taxi, Walking, Bike, Kayak

Accommodation

Hotel/Ryokan (11 nights)

Activities
  • Nakasendo Trail - Magome to Tsumago hiking
  • Toson Memorial Museum
  • Onomichi - Shimanami Kaido cycling
  • Ikuchijima Island- Sea Kayaking
  • Kyoto - Fushimi Inari-Taisha
  • Kyoto - Gion District walk
  • Kyoto - Ginkaku-ji (Silver Pavilion)
  • Kyoto - Mt. Daimonji-yama hike
  • Kyoto - Kyoto Cycling
  • Kyoto - Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion)
  • Kyoto - Daitokuji Temple
  • Shingu - Kumano Hayatama Taisha Shrine
  • Kumano Kudo - Hiking
  • Kumano Kodo - Kumano Nachi Taisha
  • Toba - Mikimoto Pearl Island Museum
  • Osaka - Dotombori District walking tour
Add on activities
  • Tokyo - Tokyo After 5 Urban Adventure - JPY17000
  • Tokyo - Kanpai Tokyo: Shinjuku Drinks and Neon Nights Urban Adventure - JPY15000
  • Tokyo - A Tour Through Tokyo's Kitchen (with World's Largest Fish Market) Urban Adventure - JPY11500
  • Tokyo - Made In Japan Shopping Tour: Cultural Curiosities Urban Adventure - JPY8850

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1. As this is an active, multi-activity trip you will need to have an excellent level of fitness. Please read the itinerary carefully to make sure that you'll be able to make the most of the activities on this trip and enjoy an active adventure in Japan.

2. A Single Supplement is currently not available for this trip due to limited rooms at many of our properties.

3. At some destinations, larger luggage will be forwarded on ahead of you, so ensure you also have a smaller overnight/day pack with you for essentials and a small day pack for use during activities. Please check the itinerary for details.

4. It is essential that you pack light and compact for rail travel in Japan. There are size restrictions for luggage on Shinkansen trains. Luggage from 160cm to 250cm may require an additional JPY1000 oversize luggage fee per train journey. Luggage over 251cm will NOT be permitted on the Shinkansen trains at all. Please notify your tour leader at your Welcome Meeting if your luggage is from 160cm to 250cm so they can make the necessary arrangements.

5. We are currently unable to book pre or post trip accommodation at our start and finish point hotels due to limited room availability. We recommend booking a hotel of your choice through your booking agent.

6. We are not able to book airport shuttle service for Japan now. Japan has an extensive and efficient public transport system and the joining and finishing point instructions are listed in the Essential Trip Information.

7. Please note that there are generally less double rooms in Japanese hotels, even those in Western style. While every effort will be made to accommodate double room requests, this may not always be possible.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Read Essential Trip Information

Reviews

4.8 out of 5 based on 27 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Peter · Traveled May 2024
Awesome trip! Awesome leader! Our 1st trip to Japan could not have been better organised. After being with our leader, we are now comfortable with travelling in Japan by ourselves. Thanks Intrepid, keep up the great work!
Review submitted 18 May 2024

Roger · Traveled May 2024
I would highly recommend this trip if you are wanting to see some of the more out of the way places. It is challenging at times but also very rewarding with lots of variety.
Review submitted 18 May 2024

Mike · Traveled May 2024
This trip was a super way to see a side of Japan that you just won't get if you travel around the most obvious cities. With our wonderful guide Hisa we saw smaller and more interesting places, got way out into nature and peaked with a really epic hike.
Review submitted 19 May 2024

Sharon · Traveled April 2024
Great trip but Intrepid needs to lower the price to suit the accommodation or increase the standard of the accommodation. Not enough meals included and the amount of food purchased from supermarkets in plastic containers was environmentally disastrous. Our guide Hisa was the best.
Review submitted 22 Apr 2024

Gregory · Traveled April 2024
This was a fabulous trip. It was a very nice way to see all the sites in Japan and to experience them up close and personal. It was fun to be outdoors biking, hiking and kayaking as means of transportation. The trip is physical but well worth it! Our guide Leo, was an amazing tour guide.
Review submitted 19 Apr 2024
Japan: Hike, Bike & Kayak
From
CAD $5,678