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 32 reviews submitted.
Multi-active
From
EUR 4.975 €
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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 32 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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Liz · Traveled May 2024
This trip was fantastic and is highly recommended. It was a great mix of physical activity and culture. The more physically fit you are, the more enjoyable the hike will be as parts are steep, but it is definitely achievable by young and old. Our guide Leo was an absolute superstar and full of energy….even teaching us origami on the long train trips!
Review submitted 06 Jun 2024

Jake · Traveled May 2024
An incredible trip that has a good variety of activities that offer a different way of seeing Japan.
Review submitted 06 Jun 2024

Bruce · Traveled May 2024
This was my first Intrepid trip and it won’t be my last! Everything about it was brilliant - the leaders, the destinations In Japan, the range of activities and the excellent company from the other travellers.
Review submitted 06 Jun 2024

Jessica · Traveled May 2024
Fantastic trip, lets you see a slightly different side of Japan outside of major cities! Hike was definitely a challenge but the view at the end was very rewarding, recommend increasing your fitness prior to ensure maximum enjoyment!
Review submitted 06 Jun 2024

Sarah · Traveled May 2024
My first ever organised trip. I loved the genuine connection to the local people and businesses. It did not feel like 'organised fun' but more like a bunch of friends who had gone on holiday. A wonderful introduction to a country and culture.
Review submitted 13 Jun 2024
Japan: Hike, Bike & Kayak
From
EUR 4.975 €