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Guided Walking : Asia & South Pacific

Japan: Kyoto, Nara & the Kumano Kodo

Easy to Moderate Terrain: 2-6 Miles Daily

Japan: Kyoto, Nara & the Kumano Kodo

Discover a mix of ancient traditions and modern cityscapes on a Japan walking tour that takes you from historic Kyoto to dazzling Osaka. Marvel at tranquil Buddhist temples, scattered amongst towering skyscrapers or perched on dramatic mountaintops. Breathe the cool morning air as you hike through misty cypress forests, past stone jizo statues and ancient cha-ya teahouses. Take part in a traditional tea ceremony – a practice at the heart of Japanese culture – and walk in the historic footsteps of samurai on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route. Admire immense Todai-ji Temple and delight in Nara Park, where over a thousand sacred deer roam free. Our Japan walking tour showcases the culture and landscapes that make this country a truly fascinating destination.


Tour Highlights:
  • Visit a Shugendō temple and meet with a yamabushi priest to learn how endurance, meditation, and martial arts combine in this often-misunderstood religion.
  • Attend dinner in Kyoto’s Gion district hosted by a geisha and her apprentice, gaining an appreciation for the strict training underlying a geisha’s timeless grace.
  • Explore Kyoto’s famous Nishiki Market, a shopping street with over 100 tightly-packed stalls, sampling popular and traditional Japanese street food as you go.
Flight + Tour Combo

10 days, 9 nights

FROM $8,298 USD

per person, double occupancy

Tour extension available
Tokyo
2 nights $1,098*

Tour Only

8 days, 7 nights

FROM $7,298 USD

per person, double occupancy



Reserve Online Contact Us

OR Call to Book 800.234.6900

Your Tour Includes:

  • All meals except one dinner
  • Local wine and/or beer with dinner
  • Exceptional boutique accommodations
  • Local Guide(s) with you 24/7

Flight + Tour Combo Includes:

  • All tour inclusions
  • International round-trip airfare
  • Pre-tour night accommodations
  • Overseas airport transfers
  • Breakfasts
  • Business-class upgrades available

Itinerary & Accommodations

View the Tour Only Itinerary Open
Download Full Itinerary
Day 1

Join your tour, Kyoto: Nijo Castle and the Gion District

5 to 6 miles, easy

Your guide(s) will meet you at the Kyoto Tokyu Hotel at 9:00 a.m. in the lobby. After a brief introduction to the group, your adventure begins.

Discover the stunning gardens, temples, palaces, and traditional neighborhoods of Kyoto, Japan’s imperial capital for more than 1,000 years. Later, enjoy a celebratory dinner hosted by a geisha and her apprentice.

Accommodation: Kyoto Tokyu Hotel, Kyoto

A combination of serenity and natural beauty, the Kyoto Tokyu Hotel is a flawless expression of modern Japanese aesthetics. Guest rooms feature every amenity and comfort, while the public areas include three outstanding restaurants featuring fresh local delicacies, a fitness facility, and a terrace with a lovely waterfall. The hotel is ideally located a short walk from one of Kyoto’s 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Nishi-Hoganji Temple, and a major train station.

Day 2

Kyoto: Philosopher’s Path, Nanzen-ji Temple, Nishiki Market

3 to 4 miles, easy

This morning, stroll along the tranquil, cherry-tree-lined “Philosopher’s Path.” Then, visit the 13th-century Nanzen-ji Temple, walk through the Nishiki Market, and participate in a traditional tea ceremony at the historic Bikoen Tea Shop.

Accommodation: Kyoto Tokyu Hotel, Kyoto

A combination of serenity and natural beauty, the Kyoto Tokyu Hotel is a flawless expression of modern Japanese aesthetics. Guest rooms feature every amenity and comfort, while the public areas include three outstanding restaurants featuring fresh local delicacies, a fitness facility, and a terrace with a lovely waterfall. The hotel is ideally located a short walk from one of Kyoto’s 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Nishi-Hoganji Temple, and a major train station.

Day 3

Nara: Todai-ji Temple, Kasuga Shrine, Nara Park

3 to 4 miles, easy

Transfer to the former imperial capital of Nara, which boasts an astounding eight sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. See the world’s largest bronze Buddha at Todai-ji Temple, and share the trail with sacred deer in Nara’s famous park.

Accommodation: Nara Hotel, Nara

This grand historical hotel, built in 1909 during Japan’s Meiji era, has retained its Old World elegance and sophistication in its original main building. A true fusion of European and Japanese décor, guest rooms combine both traditions in design and comfort. Surrounded by manicured grounds and gardens that are contiguous with Nara’s park-like setting, the hotel offers on-site dining that includes a signature French restaurant, a traditional Japanese restaurant, a lovely tea lounge, and a wood-paneled classic bar.

Day 4

Kii Peninsula and the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Route

4 miles, moderate, 820 ft. ascent and 165 ft. descent

Head for the verdant slopes, lush valleys, and rushing streams of the Kii Peninsula, where you follow in the footsteps of Kyoto’s 11th-century emperors along the revered Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route. Tonight, enjoy hot-spring baths and unsurpassed views at your intimate inn.

Accommodation: Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato-Takahara, Takahara

The Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato-Takahara is situated directly on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage walking route at about 900 feet and thus has some of the best views in the Kumano region overlooking the Hatenashi Mountain Range. Simple and comfortable guestrooms have mountain views and are either Japanese-style with tatami-mat floors, futons, and low furniture or Western-style with twin beds. Traditional meals of local organic cuisine are served with multiple courses in the dining room overlooking mountains and terraced hillsides. A traditional onsite onsen bath is fed with hot-spring water.

Day 5

Chikatsuyu to Hongu Grand Shrine

4 miles, easy to moderate, 395 ft. ascent and 1,180 ft. descent

Today’s walk leads to Hongu Grand Shrine, one of the Kumano Kodo’s three most important pilgrimage sites. Your route passes numerous ōji, small shrines where nobles would traditionally rest and compose poetry. At Hongu, meet a yamabushi (priest of the Shugendō faith).

Accommodation: Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato-Takahara, Takahara

The Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato-Takahara is situated directly on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage walking route at about 900 feet and thus has some of the best views in the Kumano region overlooking the Hatenashi Mountain Range. Simple and comfortable guestrooms have mountain views and are either Japanese-style with tatami-mat floors, futons, and low furniture or Western-style with twin beds. Traditional meals of local organic cuisine are served with multiple courses in the dining room overlooking mountains and terraced hillsides. A traditional onsite onsen bath is fed with hot-spring water.

Day 6

Boat ride on the Kumano River; Maruyama Senmaida rice fields

3 miles, easy to moderate, 600-ft. descent

Enjoy a scenic float in a flat-bottomed boat along the sacred Kumano River, along a pilgrimage route between the Hongu and Hayatama shrines. Later, wander through the terraced rice paddies of Maruyama Senmaida, and enjoy a picnic of rice balls, homemade pickles, and green tea.

Accommodation: Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato-Takahara, Takahara

The Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato-Takahara is situated directly on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage walking route at about 900 feet and thus has some of the best views in the Kumano region overlooking the Hatenashi Mountain Range. Simple and comfortable guestrooms have mountain views and are either Japanese-style with tatami-mat floors, futons, and low furniture or Western-style with twin beds. Traditional meals of local organic cuisine are served with multiple courses in the dining room overlooking mountains and terraced hillsides. A traditional onsite onsen bath is fed with hot-spring water.

Day 7

Mount Koya; Afternoon exploration of Osaka

2 to 3 miles, easy

This morning, stroll through the sprawling Mount Koya temple complex, center of Buddhism’s Shingon sect, with over 100 temples, a university, and a vast cemetery. Then, explore Osaka, Japan’s third-largest city, before tonight’s farewell dinner.

Accommodation: Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel, Osaka

Every room at the Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel is spacious and elegantly designed with floor-to-ceiling views offering spectacular views of the city. Occupying the top floors of the 60-floor Abeno Harukas cultural complex, public spaces offer endless panoramas, such as the 57th floor restaurant highlighting Japanese and international cuisine with its 360 degree views and the open-air outdoor plaza atrium on the 58th floor.

Day 8

Your Japan: Kyoto, Nara & the Kumano Kodo tour concludes

Your tour concludes.

The tour ends at breakfast and you may depart at your leisure with your guide’s assistance to the Kansai airport or Osaka train station.

Download Full Itinerary
Day 1

Join your Japan: Kyoto, Nara & the Kumano Kodo tour

Kyoto: Nijo Castle and the Gion District; 5 to 6 miles, easy

Start your Japan walking tour by acquainting yourself with ancient Kyoto. Visit 17th-century Nijo Castle, and wander beneath thousands of red torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine. This evening enjoy dinner in Gion, hosted by a geisha and her apprentice.

Accommodation: Kyoto Tokyu Hotel, Kyoto

A combination of serenity and natural beauty, the Kyoto Tokyu Hotel is a flawless expression of modern Japanese aesthetics. Guest rooms feature every amenity and comfort, while the public areas include three outstanding restaurants featuring fresh local delicacies, a fitness facility, and a terrace with a lovely waterfall. The hotel is ideally located a short walk from one of Kyoto’s 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Nishi-Hoganji Temple, and a major train station.

Day 2

Kyoto: Philosopher’s Path, Nanzen-ji Temple, Nishiki Market

5 miles, easy

Stroll the streets of Kyoto, making your way along the tranquil, cherry-tree-lined “Philosopher’s Path.” Admire the serene gardens of Nanzen-Ji Temple and delight in Nishki Market’s bustling food stalls. Take in the beautiful simplicity of a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.

Accommodation: Kyoto Tokyu Hotel, Kyoto

A combination of serenity and natural beauty, the Kyoto Tokyu Hotel is a flawless expression of modern Japanese aesthetics. Guest rooms feature every amenity and comfort, while the public areas include three outstanding restaurants featuring fresh local delicacies, a fitness facility, and a terrace with a lovely waterfall. The hotel is ideally located a short walk from one of Kyoto’s 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Nishi-Hoganji Temple, and a major train station.

Day 3

Nara: Todai-ji Temple, Kasuga Shrine, Nara Park

5 miles, easy

Explore the former imperial capital of Nara, home to eight UNESCO World Heritage sites including massive Todai-ji Temple and tranquil Kasuga Taisha Shrine. Wander through Nara Park where the many free-roaming deer are considered sacred messengers of the gods.

Accommodation: Nara Hotel, Nara

This grand historical hotel, built in 1909 during Japan’s Meiji era, has retained its Old World elegance and sophistication in its original main building. A true fusion of European and Japanese décor, guest rooms combine both traditions in design and comfort. Surrounded by manicured grounds and gardens that are contiguous with Nara’s park-like setting, the hotel offers on-site dining that includes a signature French restaurant, a traditional Japanese restaurant, a lovely tea lounge, and a wood-paneled classic bar.

Day 4

Kii Peninsula and the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Route

4 miles, moderate, 820-ft. ascent and 165-ft. descent

Admire the Kii Peninsula’s verdant landscape as you walk the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route through cedar forests, past small shrines and tranquil streams. Tonight, soak in a hot-spring bath and enjoy panoramic mountain views from your accommodation.

Accommodation: Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato-Takahara, Takahara

The Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato-Takahara is situated directly on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage walking route at about 900 feet and thus has some of the best views in the Kumano region overlooking the Hatenashi Mountain Range. Simple and comfortable guestrooms have mountain views and are either Japanese-style with tatami-mat floors, futons, and low furniture or Western-style with twin beds. Traditional meals of local organic cuisine are served with multiple courses in the dining room overlooking mountains and terraced hillsides. A traditional onsite onsen bath is fed with hot-spring water.

Day 5

Chikatsuyu to Hongu Grand Shrine

4 miles, easy to moderate, 395-ft. ascent and 1,180-ft. descent

Trek a scenic mountain trail on the Kumano Kodo’s final section to Hongu Grand Shrine, one of the three most important sites on the pilgrimage route. Meet with a yamabushi priest to learn about the mysterious Shugendō faith.

Accommodation: Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato-Takahara, Takahara

The Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato-Takahara is situated directly on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage walking route at about 900 feet and thus has some of the best views in the Kumano region overlooking the Hatenashi Mountain Range. Simple and comfortable guestrooms have mountain views and are either Japanese-style with tatami-mat floors, futons, and low furniture or Western-style with twin beds. Traditional meals of local organic cuisine are served with multiple courses in the dining room overlooking mountains and terraced hillsides. A traditional onsite onsen bath is fed with hot-spring water.

Day 6

Boat ride on the Kumano River; Maruyama Senmaida rice fields

3 miles, easy to moderate, 600-ft. descent

Board a traditional, flat-bottomed boat for an idyllic trip along the Kumano River to Hayatama Grand Shrine. Visit hundred-year-old terraced rice fields at Maruyama Senmaida, and enjoy a delicious picnic lunch of onigiri (rice balls), homemade pickles, and green tea.

Accommodation: Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato-Takahara, Takahara

The Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato-Takahara is situated directly on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage walking route at about 900 feet and thus has some of the best views in the Kumano region overlooking the Hatenashi Mountain Range. Simple and comfortable guestrooms have mountain views and are either Japanese-style with tatami-mat floors, futons, and low furniture or Western-style with twin beds. Traditional meals of local organic cuisine are served with multiple courses in the dining room overlooking mountains and terraced hillsides. A traditional onsite onsen bath is fed with hot-spring water.

Day 7

Mount Koya; Afternoon exploration of Osaka

2 to 3 miles, easy

Ascend Mount Koya to its stunning temple complex with over 100 temples, a university, and a historic cemetery. Next, transfer to Osaka, Japan’s third-largest city, where you’re free to explore its lively downtown before tonight’s delicious farewell dinner.

Accommodation: Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel, Osaka

Every room at the Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel is spacious and elegantly designed with floor-to-ceiling views offering spectacular views of the city. Occupying the top floors of the 60-floor Abeno Harukas cultural complex, public spaces offer endless panoramas, such as the 57th floor restaurant highlighting Japanese and international cuisine with its 360 degree views and the open-air outdoor plaza atrium on the 58th floor.

Day 8

Your Japan: Kyoto, Nara & the Kumano Kodo tour concludes

End your Japan hiking tour with a well-earned, leisurely breakfast at your hotel. Bid farewell to your guide and depart for nearby Kansai airport or Osaka train station for your onward travel.

View the Flight + Tour Combo Itinerary Close
Download Full Itinerary
Flight

Overnight Flight from USA to Osaka, Japan

Begin your adventure by departing from a convenient gateway city in the United States or Canada. Spend the first night aloft.

Arrival

Arrive in Osaka, Japan

Upon arrival at Kansai International Airport in Osaka, a representative holding a Country Walkers sign meets you as you exit the baggage-claim area. After an included transfer to your hotel, you’re free to spend the rest of the day exploring at your leisure.

Accommodation: Kyoto Tokyu Hotel, Kyoto

A combination of serenity and natural beauty, the Kyoto Tokyu Hotel is a flawless expression of modern Japanese aesthetics. Guest rooms feature every amenity and comfort, while the public areas include three outstanding restaurants featuring fresh local delicacies, a fitness facility, and a terrace with a lovely waterfall. The hotel is ideally located a short walk from one of Kyoto’s 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Nishi-Hoganji Temple, and a major train station.

Day 1

Join your Japan: Kyoto, Nara & the Kumano Kodo tour

Breakfast is included at your hotel.

Your guide(s) will meet you at the Kyoto Tokyu Hotel at 9:00 a.m. in the lobby. After a brief introduction to the group, your adventure begins.

Discover the stunning gardens, temples, palaces, and traditional neighborhoods of Kyoto, Japan’s imperial capital for more than 1,000 years. Later, enjoy a celebratory dinner hosted by a geisha and her apprentice.

Accommodation: Kyoto Tokyu Hotel, Kyoto

A combination of serenity and natural beauty, the Kyoto Tokyu Hotel is a flawless expression of modern Japanese aesthetics. Guest rooms feature every amenity and comfort, while the public areas include three outstanding restaurants featuring fresh local delicacies, a fitness facility, and a terrace with a lovely waterfall. The hotel is ideally located a short walk from one of Kyoto’s 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Nishi-Hoganji Temple, and a major train station.

Day 2

Kyoto: Philosopher’s Path, Nanzen-ji Temple, Nishiki Market

3 to 4 miles, easy

This morning, stroll along the tranquil, cherry-tree-lined “Philosopher’s Path.” Then, visit the 13th-century Nanzen-ji Temple, walk through the Nishiki Market, and participate in a traditional tea ceremony at the historic Bikoen Tea Shop.

Accommodation: Kyoto Tokyu Hotel, Kyoto

A combination of serenity and natural beauty, the Kyoto Tokyu Hotel is a flawless expression of modern Japanese aesthetics. Guest rooms feature every amenity and comfort, while the public areas include three outstanding restaurants featuring fresh local delicacies, a fitness facility, and a terrace with a lovely waterfall. The hotel is ideally located a short walk from one of Kyoto’s 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Nishi-Hoganji Temple, and a major train station.

Day 3

Nara: Todai-ji Temple, Kasuga Shrine, Nara Park

3 to 4 miles, easy

Transfer to the former imperial capital of Nara, which boasts an astounding eight sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. See the world’s largest bronze Buddha at Todai-ji Temple, and share the trail with sacred deer in Nara’s famous park.

Accommodation: Nara Hotel, Nara

This grand historical hotel, built in 1909 during Japan’s Meiji era, has retained its Old World elegance and sophistication in its original main building. A true fusion of European and Japanese décor, guest rooms combine both traditions in design and comfort. Surrounded by manicured grounds and gardens that are contiguous with Nara’s park-like setting, the hotel offers on-site dining that includes a signature French restaurant, a traditional Japanese restaurant, a lovely tea lounge, and a wood-paneled classic bar.

Day 4

Kii Peninsula and the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Route

4 miles, moderate, 820 ft. ascent and 165 ft. descent

Head for the verdant slopes, lush valleys, and rushing streams of the Kii Peninsula, where you follow in the footsteps of Kyoto’s 11th-century emperors along the revered Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route. Tonight, enjoy hot-spring baths and unsurpassed views at your intimate inn.

Accommodation: Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato-Takahara, Takahara

The Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato-Takahara is situated directly on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage walking route at about 900 feet and thus has some of the best views in the Kumano region overlooking the Hatenashi Mountain Range. Simple and comfortable guestrooms have mountain views and are either Japanese-style with tatami-mat floors, futons, and low furniture or Western-style with twin beds. Traditional meals of local organic cuisine are served with multiple courses in the dining room overlooking mountains and terraced hillsides. A traditional onsite onsen bath is fed with hot-spring water.

Day 5

Chikatsuyu to Hongu Grand Shrine

4 miles, easy to moderate, 395 ft. ascent and 1,180 ft. descent

Today’s walk leads to Hongu Grand Shrine, one of the Kumano Kodo’s three most important pilgrimage sites. Your route passes numerous ōji, small shrines where nobles would traditionally rest and compose poetry. At Hongu, meet a yamabushi (priest of the Shugendō faith).

Accommodation: Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato-Takahara, Takahara

The Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato-Takahara is situated directly on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage walking route at about 900 feet and thus has some of the best views in the Kumano region overlooking the Hatenashi Mountain Range. Simple and comfortable guestrooms have mountain views and are either Japanese-style with tatami-mat floors, futons, and low furniture or Western-style with twin beds. Traditional meals of local organic cuisine are served with multiple courses in the dining room overlooking mountains and terraced hillsides. A traditional onsite onsen bath is fed with hot-spring water.

Day 6

Boat ride on the Kumano River; Maruyama Senmaida rice fields

3 miles, easy to moderate, 600-ft. descent

Enjoy a scenic float in a flat-bottomed boat along the sacred Kumano River, along a pilgrimage route between the Hongu and Hayatama shrines. Later, wander through the terraced rice paddies of Maruyama Senmaida, and enjoy a picnic of rice balls, homemade pickles, and green tea.

Accommodation: Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato-Takahara, Takahara

The Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato-Takahara is situated directly on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage walking route at about 900 feet and thus has some of the best views in the Kumano region overlooking the Hatenashi Mountain Range. Simple and comfortable guestrooms have mountain views and are either Japanese-style with tatami-mat floors, futons, and low furniture or Western-style with twin beds. Traditional meals of local organic cuisine are served with multiple courses in the dining room overlooking mountains and terraced hillsides. A traditional onsite onsen bath is fed with hot-spring water.

Day 7

Mount Koya; Afternoon exploration of Osaka

2 to 3 miles, easy

This morning, stroll through the sprawling Mount Koya temple complex, center of Buddhism’s Shingon sect, with over 100 temples, a university, and a vast cemetery. Then, explore Osaka, Japan’s third-largest city, before tonight’s farewell dinner.

Accommodation: Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel, Osaka

Every room at the Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel is spacious and elegantly designed with floor-to-ceiling views offering spectacular views of the city. Occupying the top floors of the 60-floor Abeno Harukas cultural complex, public spaces offer endless panoramas, such as the 57th floor restaurant highlighting Japanese and international cuisine with its 360 degree views and the open-air outdoor plaza atrium on the 58th floor.

Day 8

Your Japan: Kyoto, Nara & the Kumano Kodo tour concludes

Your tour concludes. Depart for home.

After your final tour night in Osaka, you transfer to Kansai International Airport via limousine bus, using a pre-booked ticket provided by a Country Walkers representative. The bus stop is easily accessible from your hotel.

Add a Tour Extension to Your Flight + Tour Combo
Post-Tour Extension: Tokyo

2 nights from $1,098*

  • Two nights at the Park Hotel Tokyo
  • Train transfer from Osaka to Tokyo
  • Transfer to hotel in Tokyo
  • Two Breakfasts

For those guests reserving our Flight + Tour Combo, you may wish to further extend your time in the Land of the Rising Sun and explore independently with an additional two nights in Tokyo. With its neon-spangled skyscrapers, teeming outdoor markets, serene Shinto shrines, countless sushi bars, and hidden havens of green, it’s easy to feel like Tokyo is the center of the universe. From your perfectly situated hotel in the heart of the Shiodome district, you’ll be perfectly positioned to enjoy the city’s many highlights. Use your time to prowl the Nakamise street market by Senso-ji Temple, relax in a teahouse in Hamarikyu Gardens, or witness the flamboyant street fashion of Shibuya.

Single Supplement: $398

*Please note that some hotel city taxes may need to be paid locally. For 2019, the Post-Tour Extension price is $898.

Tour Extension Available

Tokyo
2 nights from only $1,098*

Learn More

Ready to take the next step?

Reserve Online

OR Call 800.234.6900

Download Full Itinerary
Flight

Overnight Flight from USA to Osaka, Japan

Begin your adventure by departing from a convenient gateway city in the United States or Canada. Spend the first night aloft.

Arrival

Arrive in Osaka, Japan

Upon arrival at Kansai International Airport in Osaka, a representative holding a Country Walkers sign meets you as you exit the baggage-claim area. After an included transfer to your hotel, you’re free to spend the rest of the day exploring at your leisure.

Accommodation: Kyoto Tokyu Hotel, Kyoto

A combination of serenity and natural beauty, the Kyoto Tokyu Hotel is a flawless expression of modern Japanese aesthetics. Guest rooms feature every amenity and comfort, while the public areas include three outstanding restaurants featuring fresh local delicacies, a fitness facility, and a terrace with a lovely waterfall. The hotel is ideally located a short walk from one of Kyoto’s 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Nishi-Hoganji Temple, and a major train station.

Day 1

Join your Japan: Kyoto, Nara & the Kumano Kodo tour

Breakfast is included at your hotel.

Start your Japan walking tour by acquainting yourself with ancient Kyoto. Visit 17th-century Nijo Castle, and wander beneath thousands of red torii gates at Fushimi Inari Shrine. This evening enjoy dinner in Gion, hosted by a geisha and her apprentice.

Accommodation: Kyoto Tokyu Hotel, Kyoto

A combination of serenity and natural beauty, the Kyoto Tokyu Hotel is a flawless expression of modern Japanese aesthetics. Guest rooms feature every amenity and comfort, while the public areas include three outstanding restaurants featuring fresh local delicacies, a fitness facility, and a terrace with a lovely waterfall. The hotel is ideally located a short walk from one of Kyoto’s 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Nishi-Hoganji Temple, and a major train station.

Day 2

Kyoto: Philosopher’s Path, Nanzen-ji Temple, Nishiki Market

5 miles, easy

Stroll the streets of Kyoto, making your way along the tranquil, cherry-tree-lined “Philosopher’s Path.” Admire the serene gardens of Nanzen-Ji Temple and delight in Nishki Market’s bustling food stalls. Take in the beautiful simplicity of a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.

Accommodation: Kyoto Tokyu Hotel, Kyoto

A combination of serenity and natural beauty, the Kyoto Tokyu Hotel is a flawless expression of modern Japanese aesthetics. Guest rooms feature every amenity and comfort, while the public areas include three outstanding restaurants featuring fresh local delicacies, a fitness facility, and a terrace with a lovely waterfall. The hotel is ideally located a short walk from one of Kyoto’s 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Nishi-Hoganji Temple, and a major train station.

Day 3

Nara: Todai-ji Temple, Kasuga Shrine, Nara Park

5 miles, easy

Explore the former imperial capital of Nara, home to eight UNESCO World Heritage sites including massive Todai-ji Temple and tranquil Kasuga Taisha Shrine. Wander through Nara Park where the many free-roaming deer are considered sacred messengers of the gods.

Accommodation: Nara Hotel, Nara

This grand historical hotel, built in 1909 during Japan’s Meiji era, has retained its Old World elegance and sophistication in its original main building. A true fusion of European and Japanese décor, guest rooms combine both traditions in design and comfort. Surrounded by manicured grounds and gardens that are contiguous with Nara’s park-like setting, the hotel offers on-site dining that includes a signature French restaurant, a traditional Japanese restaurant, a lovely tea lounge, and a wood-paneled classic bar.

Day 4

Kii Peninsula and the Kumano Kodo Pilgrimage Route

4 miles, moderate, 820-ft. ascent and 165-ft. descent

Admire the Kii Peninsula’s verdant landscape as you walk the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route through cedar forests, past small shrines and tranquil streams. Tonight, soak in a hot-spring bath and enjoy panoramic mountain views from your accommodation.

Accommodation: Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato-Takahara, Takahara

The Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato-Takahara is situated directly on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage walking route at about 900 feet and thus has some of the best views in the Kumano region overlooking the Hatenashi Mountain Range. Simple and comfortable guestrooms have mountain views and are either Japanese-style with tatami-mat floors, futons, and low furniture or Western-style with twin beds. Traditional meals of local organic cuisine are served with multiple courses in the dining room overlooking mountains and terraced hillsides. A traditional onsite onsen bath is fed with hot-spring water.

Day 5

Chikatsuyu to Hongu Grand Shrine

4 miles, easy to moderate, 395-ft. ascent and 1,180-ft. descent

Trek a scenic mountain trail on the Kumano Kodo’s final section to Hongu Grand Shrine, one of the three most important sites on the pilgrimage route. Meet with a yamabushi priest to learn about the mysterious Shugendō faith.

Accommodation: Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato-Takahara, Takahara

The Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato-Takahara is situated directly on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage walking route at about 900 feet and thus has some of the best views in the Kumano region overlooking the Hatenashi Mountain Range. Simple and comfortable guestrooms have mountain views and are either Japanese-style with tatami-mat floors, futons, and low furniture or Western-style with twin beds. Traditional meals of local organic cuisine are served with multiple courses in the dining room overlooking mountains and terraced hillsides. A traditional onsite onsen bath is fed with hot-spring water.

Day 6

Boat ride on the Kumano River; Maruyama Senmaida rice fields

3 miles, easy to moderate, 600-ft. descent

Board a traditional, flat-bottomed boat for an idyllic trip along the Kumano River to Hayatama Grand Shrine. Visit hundred-year-old terraced rice fields at Maruyama Senmaida, and enjoy a delicious picnic lunch of onigiri (rice balls), homemade pickles, and green tea.

Accommodation: Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato-Takahara, Takahara

The Organic Hotel Kiri-no-sato-Takahara is situated directly on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage walking route at about 900 feet and thus has some of the best views in the Kumano region overlooking the Hatenashi Mountain Range. Simple and comfortable guestrooms have mountain views and are either Japanese-style with tatami-mat floors, futons, and low furniture or Western-style with twin beds. Traditional meals of local organic cuisine are served with multiple courses in the dining room overlooking mountains and terraced hillsides. A traditional onsite onsen bath is fed with hot-spring water.

Day 7

Mount Koya; Afternoon exploration of Osaka

2 to 3 miles, easy

Ascend Mount Koya to its stunning temple complex with over 100 temples, a university, and a historic cemetery. Next, transfer to Osaka, Japan’s third-largest city, where you’re free to explore its lively downtown before tonight’s delicious farewell dinner.

Accommodation: Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel, Osaka

Every room at the Osaka Marriott Miyako Hotel is spacious and elegantly designed with floor-to-ceiling views offering spectacular views of the city. Occupying the top floors of the 60-floor Abeno Harukas cultural complex, public spaces offer endless panoramas, such as the 57th floor restaurant highlighting Japanese and international cuisine with its 360 degree views and the open-air outdoor plaza atrium on the 58th floor.

Day 8

Your Japan: Kyoto, Nara & the Kumano Kodo tour concludes

Your tour concludes. Depart for home.

After your final tour night in Osaka, you transfer to Kansai International Airport via limousine bus, using a pre-booked ticket provided by a Country Walkers representative. The bus stop is easily accessible from your hotel.

Add a Tour Extension to Your Flight + Tour Combo
Post-Tour Extension: Tokyo

2 nights from $1,098*

  • Two nights at the Park Hotel Tokyo
  • Train transfer from Osaka to Tokyo
  • Transfer to hotel in Tokyo
  • Two Breakfasts

For those guests reserving our Flight + Tour Combo, you may wish to further extend your time in the Land of the Rising Sun and explore independently with an additional two nights in Tokyo. With its neon-spangled skyscrapers, teeming outdoor markets, serene Shinto shrines, countless sushi bars, and hidden havens of green, it’s easy to feel like Tokyo is the center of the universe. From your perfectly situated hotel in the heart of the Shiodome district, you’ll be perfectly positioned to enjoy the city’s many highlights. Use your time to prowl the Nakamise street market by Senso-ji Temple, relax in a teahouse in Hamarikyu Gardens, or witness the flamboyant street fashion of Shibuya.

Single Supplement: $398

*Please note that some hotel city taxes may need to be paid locally. For 2019, the Post-Tour Extension price is $898.

Tour Extension Available

Tokyo
2 nights from only $1,098*

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Dates & Prices

Tour Only

Availability 2019 Dates Per person, double occupancy Single Supplement
more info
Reserve Online
Filling Fast! Sep 23 - Sep 30 $7,298 $1,248 Reserve Online

Flight + Tour Combo

Availability 2019 Dates LOS ANGELES Change Departure Airport
Flight + Tour Combo
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Single Supplement
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Reserve Online
Filling Fast! Sep 21 - Sep 30 $8,598 $1,548 Reserve Online
Additional gateway cities available; please call for details. Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. Prices include all airline surcharges and Government taxes and fees. Call for details. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only. We reserve the right to correct errors.

Tour Only

Availability 2020 Dates Per person, double occupancy Single Supplement
more info
Reserve Online
Apr 20 - Apr 27 $7,298 $1,348 Reserve Online
May 13 - May 20 $7,298 $1,348 Reserve Online
Sep 21 - Sep 28 $7,298 $1,348 Reserve Online
Oct 21 - Oct 28 $7,298 $1,348 Reserve Online

Flight + Tour Combo

Availability 2020 Dates LOS ANGELES Change Departure Airport
Flight + Tour Combo
more info
Single Supplement
more info
Reserve Online
Apr 18 - Apr 27 $8,598 $1,598 Reserve Online
May 11 - May 20 $8,598 $1,598 Reserve Online
Sep 19 - Sep 28 $8,498 $1,598 Reserve Online
Oct 19 - Oct 28 $8,498 $1,598 Reserve Online
Additional gateway cities available; please call for details. Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. Prices include all airline surcharges and Government taxes and fees. Call for details. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only. We reserve the right to correct errors.

Guides

Guides

Our guides' experience, dedication, and enthusiasm make them ideal ambassadors for your destination. They chart the course, finesse the details, and speak the language (English, as well as the local language). They also possess a truly rare skill, knowing when to let serendipity and inspiration take the lead.

Kana Hattori
Kana Hattori

Kana Hattori was born in Nagoya, raised in Kobe, and studied in Kyoto and the United States. A student of the traditional Tea Ceremony and the philosophy of Zen, living in the moment has always been a core tenet of her life. Kana loves to sing, regularly giving concerts, and is passionate about traditional Japanese culture. She looks forward to sharing her extensive knowledge with our guests through her guiding.

Kozue-Hisaoka
Kozue Hisaoka

Born on the island of Kyushu, Japan, Kozue Hisaoka lived in the United States as an exchange student in high school and now resides in Tokyo. Kozue managed to plan and execute an impressive around-the-world trip with her family, fulfilling her passion for travel and exploring the cultures (and cuisine, especially!) outside her native Asia. When not introducing the nature and culture of Japan to visitors through her guiding, she enjoys cooking, cycling, gardening, and flower arranging.

Kaoru Teshima
Kaoru Teshima

Kaoru Teshima was born in Kyoto, moved to Osaka, and, after 10 years living in London acting as a tourist, student, amateur flautist, and Japanese language tutor, she returned to Japan and currently lives in Nara. She has been guiding on a volunteer and professional basis for many years and considers the revered Tea Ceremony a valued hobby. In addition, she continues to teach Japanese and enjoys Latin dance.

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