On offer

Walking & Sightseeing in Japan

Downhill Path South Entry Magome Nakasendo Trail H
Duration: 13 nights
Type: Worldwide walking holidays
Walking Grade: 2
from £6,899pp

Japan’s dramatic contrasts never lose their capacity to draw you in. Honshu’s spiritual and natural attractions shine on this holiday, plus there are ever-present nods to ancient heritage alongside a showcase of the country’s progressive future. You’ll experience tech-fuelled Tokyo before journeying to a land of samurai, sake, and haiku-inspiring scenery. Visit Kyoto’s tranquil zen gardens, walk along Japan’s oldest roads, follow Asuka’s ancient monuments trail, and take in a wealth of beauty spots such as Arashiyama – home to the famous bamboo forest.

What you’ll love

  • Marvelling at Japan’s modern side in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka
  • Walking the historic Nakasendo Way and the Yamanobe-no-michi
  • Exploring temples and shrines in ancient Kyoto, Nara, and Asuka
  • Spotting the snow monkeys bathing in Yudanaka Onsen’s hot springs
  • Staying in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn
  • Trying a variety of Japanese food, including a street food tour in Osaka

What’s included

  • Full programme of guided walks and sightseeing led by local HF Holidays Leaders
  • Comfortable accommodation
  • Half-board (13 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 12 dinners)
  • All sightseeing and entrance fees (as per itinerary)
  • Air-conditioned transport
  • Return flights from the UK including hold baggage and airport transfers

    Please note: On days 4 & 5 we stay in traditional Japanese inns. We can’t guarantee single rooms at these accommodations and guests may be asked to share with someone of the same gender within the group.

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

Depart the UK on an overnight flight to Tokyo.


Your local leader will meet you at Haneda airport to transfer you to our hotel where you’ll have free time to relax before dinner. If you’re arriving independently, your local leader will meet you in the hotel lobby at 6.30pm.

Prince Hotel, Tokyo - Japan

Combining contemporary décor with classic Japanese design touches, this stylish hotel puts everything you need in one place. Alongside an outdoor pool and three on-site restaurants, it has a rooftop café with outstanding city views, a Japanese tea house, and its very own shopping arcade. And after a long day of sightseeing, relax in spacious guest rooms that offer all mod cons including a coffee machine. Location-wise, the hotel is just steps from the temples and tranquil garden spaces of the immaculate Shiba Park as well as the city’s famous Tokyo Tower. Public transport links are just a five-minute walk away.


Explore Japan’s present-day capital on a walking tour that begins at Tokyo Tower, where on a clear spring or autumn day you’ll catch sight of Mount Fuji. Then soak up the city’s past at Nihonbashi, a centuries-old commercial district known as the ‘centre of Japan’. 

Window shopping is on a whole other level in Ginza - elegant department stores and craft shops are sure to lure you in. Afterwards, we’ll ride the subway to Harajuku to visit the Meiji Shrine, a Shinto shrine dedicated to the first emperor of modern Japan. 

Prince Hotel, Tokyo - Japan

Combining contemporary décor with classic Japanese design touches, this stylish hotel puts everything you need in one place. Alongside an outdoor pool and three on-site restaurants, it has a rooftop café with outstanding city views, a Japanese tea house, and its very own shopping arcade. And after a long day of sightseeing, relax in spacious guest rooms that offer all mod cons including a coffee machine. Location-wise, the hotel is just steps from the temples and tranquil garden spaces of the immaculate Shiba Park as well as the city’s famous Tokyo Tower. Public transport links are just a five-minute walk away.


Distance: 3.5 miles (6 km)

Travel by coach from Tokyo to the traditional hot spring village of Yudanka Onsen, nestled in the mountains of Nagano, stopping along the way for lunch at a local restaurant. We’ll visit the snow monkeys, which come and bathe in the outdoor hot springs.

Biyu no Yado Ryokan, Yudanaka Onsen - Japan

A relatively large ryokan with just under 50 guest rooms, Biyu no Yado is just a 10-minute walk from Yudanaka station. Most appealing here are the spacious onsen (natural hot springs) complete with gender-specific indoor and outdoor communal baths which are open round the clock. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms, tatami matting, and on-floor futons. Dinner is a multi-course kaiseki affair with dishes created using fresh and local ingredients. A Japanese breakfast is served in the dining room.


Distance: 4 miles (6.5 km)

Ascent: 650ft (200m)

Descent: 130ft (40m)

This morning we travel into the remote Kiso Valley with the Japanese Alps nearby, an area of high peaks and volcanoes, fertile valleys, mountain and ski resorts, and traditional villages.

Over the next two days we walk from village to village, staying in a small, family-run country inn (minshuku). Our luggage will be sent ahead to Kyoto, and we’ll carry a daypack with overnight items.

We start near Nagiso, one of eleven post towns along the Kiso Valley section of the Nakasendo. Post towns were resting places where travellers could find accommodation and food as they walked between Kyoto and Edo (as Tokyo was then called). Forested trails lead us to the charming post town of Tsumago, one of the prettiest and best-preserved in the area.

Keigetsu Onsen Ryokan, Hirugami Onsen, Nakasendo - Japan

Keigetsu is a modern onsen hotel with comfortable Japanese-style rooms and spacious onsen (natural hot springs) complete with gender-specific indoor and outdoor communal baths. Dinner is a multi-course kaiseki affair with dishes created using fresh, local ingredients. 

(May & October 2024 departures)

Minshuku, O-Tsumago, Nakasendo - Japan

Minshuku are family-run Japanese guest houses. The buildings are 200-year-old historical machiya, former merchants’ houses, which have been restored. Minshuku have smaller rooms and the service is less formal than ryokan, but you are assured of a personal welcome and a very traditional Japanese experience.

The rooms are Japanese style with tatami mat flooring and futons to sleep on, laid out yourself in the evening. Guestrooms do not have en suite bathrooms, however, communal bathing and washing areas are a short distance from each room. Breakfast and dinner are in the dining area, and all food is locally sourced. Guests will be given cotton yukata robes which they can wear around the inn. The group will be split between two minshuku in O-Tsumago - Hanaya and Tsutamuraya. 

(April 2024 departure)


Distance: 5 miles (8 km)

Ascent: 1,200ft (365m)

Descent: 590ft (180m)

We’ll continue our walk to the village of Magome over the Magome Pass, stepping through cedar forests and ascending hilly terrain.

In Magome, you’ll have some free time to explore and have lunch – we recommend you try the Gohei mochi. Later, we journey by coach and train to Kyoto, the western end of the Nakasendo Path, and transfer to our accommodation.

Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Sanjo - Japan

A 20-minute walk from Kyoto Imperial Palace and well-positioned in the heart of the city, the Royal Park Hotel provides comfortable and contemporary guest accommodation. Facilities include a fridge, kettle, a wide range of toiletries, and free Wi-Fi. There’s an elegant bar for end-of-day drinks as well as a restaurant serving a selection of western and local dishes.


The once-upon-a-time capital of Japan, Kyoto is bursting with must-see historic buildings and gardens. Walk along the Philosopher’s Path, a delightful canal-side walk lined with cherry trees and a number of temples. We’ll end up at Nanzen-ji temple, home to an excellent example of a zen garden.

Then we explore Gion, Kyoto’s best-known geisha district, where hopefully we’ll see a geisha/geiko or maiko (apprentice geisha) making their way through the narrow streets.

Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Sanjo - Japan

A 20-minute walk from Kyoto Imperial Palace and well-positioned in the heart of the city, the Royal Park Hotel provides comfortable and contemporary guest accommodation. Facilities include a fridge, kettle, a wide range of toiletries, and free Wi-Fi. There’s an elegant bar for end-of-day drinks as well as a restaurant serving a selection of western and local dishes.


Today we travel by coach to the north-western area of Arashiyama, designated by the Japanese government as a Place of Scenic Beauty.

 Our walk begins at the Adashino Nenbutsu-ji Temple, continuing through temple precincts, past local craft shops and gorges, and through the famous bamboo grove to Tenryu-ji, Arashiyama’s most significant temple.

Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Sanjo - Japan

A 20-minute walk from Kyoto Imperial Palace and well-positioned in the heart of the city, the Royal Park Hotel provides comfortable and contemporary guest accommodation. Facilities include a fridge, kettle, a wide range of toiletries, and free Wi-Fi. There’s an elegant bar for end-of-day drinks as well as a restaurant serving a selection of western and local dishes.


Today you’re free to explore Kyoto independently. If you’re looking for suggestions on places to visit your local leader will be happy to help. Some places we recommend include:

Kinkaku-ji (the Golden Pavilion) – surrounded by a Japanese garden, this temple was originally built by the Ashikaga Shogun at the end of the 14th century.

Ryoan-ji – a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a famous rock garden.

Fushimi Inari shrine – on the southern fringes of the city you’ll find this Shinto shrine, where hundreds of torii gates snake up the hillside. It’s easily reached by light rail.

Nijo castle – a fascinating UNESCO site, which provides some insight into the days of the shogun in Kyoto.

Higashiyama district – in addition to the beautiful ‘Yasaka pagoda’, these atmospheric back lanes offer a wonderful opportunity to shop for traditional crafts and souvenirs.

Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Sanjo - Japan

A 20-minute walk from Kyoto Imperial Palace and well-positioned in the heart of the city, the Royal Park Hotel provides comfortable and contemporary guest accommodation. Facilities include a fridge, kettle, a wide range of toiletries, and free Wi-Fi. There’s an elegant bar for end-of-day drinks as well as a restaurant serving a selection of western and local dishes.


Ascent/ Descent: 270m

Our luggage is sent ahead as we’ll travel by train to Nara, Japan’s first permanent capital. It’s home to wow-worthy UNESCO World Heritage temples and shrines, including Todai-ji Temple, which we’ll visit after winding our way along the shops, stopping to see mochi being made the traditional way. Spend time in Nara Park, too, where tame deer wander freely.

Hotel Nikko Nara, Nara - Japan

Hotel Nikko Nara offers 330 guest rooms with bright and relaxing interiors. Guest rooms offer both air-conditioning and heating facilities. Each room is equipped with a fridge, an electric kettle, free WiFi and a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Tōdai-ji temple and the Nara Park can be reached within a 30-minute walk from the hotel. A public bath, gym, spa and massage facilities are available for guests, and bicycle rental is available. The property offers Japanese-style breakfast featuring local specialities, as well as western choices.


Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Explore the area around Nara, walking along a section of one of Japan’s oldest roads. Celebrated in the Nihon-shoki – the ancient histories of Japan, similar to the Domesday Book – the Yamanobe-no-michi skirts the mountains and meanders through villages past ancient temples and shrines. Walking on a mixture of paved and dirt trails and village roads, we’ll step into another element of Japan’s fascinating heritage.

Hotel Nikko Nara, Nara - Japan

Hotel Nikko Nara offers 330 guest rooms with bright and relaxing interiors. Guest rooms offer both air-conditioning and heating facilities. Each room is equipped with a fridge, an electric kettle, free WiFi and a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Tōdai-ji temple and the Nara Park can be reached within a 30-minute walk from the hotel. A public bath, gym, spa and massage facilities are available for guests, and bicycle rental is available. The property offers Japanese-style breakfast featuring local specialities, as well as western choices.


Distance: 5.5 miles (9 km)

Ascent: 1,375ft (420m)

Descent: 1,390ft (425m)

We travel by train to Asuka, known as the spiritual home of the Japanese people. Our walk explores the village and surroundings, introducing us to its important landmarks, including ancient burial mounds. We then continue by train to our hotel in Osaka.

Miyako City Osaka Tennoji, Osaka - Japan

A city hotel with convenient access to public transport, the Miyako City Osaka Tennoji has comfortable and well-equipped rooms with free Wi-Fi, TV, fridge, and tea and coffee-making facilities. En-suite bathrooms offer a bathtub and shower with toiletries provided.


See all the sights in Osaka, known as the working heart of Japan. Visit the Shitenno-jo Temple, one of the oldest in Japan, followed by Osaka Castle. Once we’ve built up an appetite, it’s time to head out on a street food tour around the famous Dotonbori area, known for its neon lights and vibrant nightlife – as well as tasty treats like Takoyaki, lightly fried pieces of batter-covered octopus.

Miyako City Osaka Tennoji, Osaka - Japan

A city hotel with convenient access to public transport, the Miyako City Osaka Tennoji has comfortable and well-equipped rooms with free Wi-Fi, TV, fridge, and tea and coffee-making facilities. En-suite bathrooms offer a bathtub and shower with toiletries provided.


We return to Tokyo today, travelling on the famous Shinkansen – bullet train. You’ll have time to yourself before meeting up for our final dinner together, and a look back on our adventures in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Prince Hotel, Tokyo - Japan

Combining contemporary décor with classic Japanese design touches, this stylish hotel puts everything you need in one place. Alongside an outdoor pool and three on-site restaurants, it has a rooftop café with outstanding city views, a Japanese tea house, and its very own shopping arcade. And after a long day of sightseeing, relax in spacious guest rooms that offer all mod cons including a coffee machine. Location-wise, the hotel is just steps from the temples and tranquil garden spaces of the immaculate Shiba Park as well as the city’s famous Tokyo Tower. Public transport links are just a five-minute walk away.


After breakfast, we transfer to Haneda Airport.


Itinerary map for Walking & Sightseeing in Japan

Prince Hotel, Tokyo - Japan

Combining contemporary décor with classic Japanese design touches, this stylish hotel puts everything you need in one place. Alongside an outdoor pool and three on-site restaurants, it has a rooftop café with outstanding city views, a Japanese tea house, and its very own shopping arcade. And after a long day of sightseeing, relax in spacious guest rooms that offer all mod cons including a coffee machine. Location-wise, the hotel is just steps from the temples and tranquil garden spaces of the immaculate Shiba Park as well as the city’s famous Tokyo Tower. Public transport links are just a five-minute walk away.

Biyu no Yado Ryokan, Yudanaka Onsen - Japan

A relatively large ryokan with just under 50 guest rooms, Biyu no Yado is just a 10-minute walk from Yudanaka station. Most appealing here are the spacious onsen (natural hot springs) complete with gender-specific indoor and outdoor communal baths which are open round the clock. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms, tatami matting, and on-floor futons. Dinner is a multi-course kaiseki affair with dishes created using fresh and local ingredients. A Japanese breakfast is served in the dining room.

Minshuku, O-Tsumago, Nakasendo - Japan

Minshuku are family-run Japanese guest houses. The buildings are 200-year-old historical machiya, former merchants’ houses, which have been restored. Minshuku have smaller rooms and the service is less formal than ryokan, but you are assured of a personal welcome and a very traditional Japanese experience. The rooms are Japanese style with tatami mat flooring and futons to sleep on, laid out yourself in the evening. Guestrooms do not have en suite bathrooms, however, communal bathing and washing areas are a short distance from each room. Breakfast and dinner are in the dining area, and all food is locally sourced. Guests will be given cotton yukata robes which they can wear around the inn. The group will be split between two minshuku in O-Tsumago - Hanaya and Tsutamuraya.  (April 2024 departure)

Keigetsu Onsen Ryokan, Hirugami Onsen, Nakasendo - Japan

Keigetsu is a modern onsen hotel with comfortable Japanese-style rooms and spacious onsen (natural hot springs) complete with gender-specific indoor and outdoor communal baths. Dinner is a multi-course kaiseki affair with dishes created using fresh, local ingredients.  (May & October 2024 departures)

Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Sanjo - Japan

A 20-minute walk from Kyoto Imperial Palace and well-positioned in the heart of the city, the Royal Park Hotel provides comfortable and contemporary guest accommodation. Facilities include a fridge, kettle, a wide range of toiletries, and free Wi-Fi. There’s an elegant bar for end-of-day drinks as well as a restaurant serving a selection of western and local dishes.

Hotel Nikko Nara, Nara - Japan

Hotel Nikko Nara offers 330 guest rooms with bright and relaxing interiors. Guest rooms offer both air-conditioning and heating facilities. Each room is equipped with a fridge, an electric kettle, free WiFi and a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Tōdai-ji temple and the Nara Park can be reached within a 30-minute walk from the hotel. A public bath, gym, spa and massage facilities are available for guests, and bicycle rental is available. The property offers Japanese-style breakfast featuring local specialities, as well as western choices.

Miyako City Osaka Tennoji, Osaka - Japan

A city hotel with convenient access to public transport, the Miyako City Osaka Tennoji has comfortable and well-equipped rooms with free Wi-Fi, TV, fridge, and tea and coffee-making facilities. En-suite bathrooms offer a bathtub and shower with toiletries provided.

Essential information

It's best to be prepared for all weather conditions. To make it easier, here is a list of items you should consider packing.   

Essentials  

  • Walking boots 
  • Waterproof jacket 
  • Waterproof trousers 
  • Insulated jacket/top 
  • Walking clothing  
  • Walking socks (plus spares)  
  • Sunhat 
  • Gloves/mitts and warm hat
  • Water bottle (minimum 2 litre capacity)  
  • Headtorch 
  • High-factor sunscreen (minimum SPF 30)  
  • Sunglasses with a dark lens 
  • Rucksack (15-30 litres)  
  • Mobile phone 
  • Personal first aid kit (containing your medication, blister plasters, etc.) 
  • Passport 
  • Visa (if applicable) 
  • Copy of your travel insurance policy 
  • UK Global Health Insurance Card (formerly known as EHIC

Recommended

  • Collapsible walking poles 
  • Swimwear and travel towel
  • Snacks
  • Dry bags
  • Rubbish bags
  • Insect repellent

Optional extras

  • Camera 
  • Sit mat
  • Flask for hot drinks 
  • Durable lunch box
  • Gaiters 
  • GPS device 

Guest reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Supplements may apply.

Non-member fee: £30 per person.

All packages that include flights are ATOL protected. Advertised prices listed below show the lowest economy flight price option for that departure. On holidays where we offer local UK airports, details will appear in the “Important Information” section below and available alternative flight options will be offered when you book. Seating upgrades may be available on request and at an additional charge, please call 020 3974 8865 for a quote.

Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book
2024

08 Oct - 22 Oct 2024

13 nights

Itinerary
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

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Double Call to Enquire
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2025

23 Mar - 06 Apr 2025

13 nights

Itinerary
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single from

£9,338 £9,238

Double from

£7,999 £7,899 pp

from

£7,999 £7,899 pp

from

£9,338 £9,238

Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes
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13 Apr - 27 Apr 2025

13 nights

Itinerary
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single from

£9,338 £9,238

Double from

£7,999 £7,899 pp

from

£7,999 £7,899 pp

from

£9,338 £9,238

Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes
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14 Sep - 28 Sep 2025

13 nights

Itinerary
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

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Double Call to Enquire
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04 Oct - 18 Oct 2025

13 nights

Itinerary
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single from

£9,238 £9,138

Double from

£7,899 £7,799 pp

from

£7,899 £7,799 pp

from

£9,238 £9,138

Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes
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26 Oct - 09 Nov 2025

13 nights

Itinerary
Flight from London Heathrow Airport

Single from

£9,238 £9,138

Double from

£7,899 £7,799 pp

from

£7,899 £7,799 pp

from

£9,238 £9,138

Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes
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Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book
2024

08 Oct - 22 Oct 2024

13 nights

Itinerary

Single Call to Enquire
Double Call to Enquire
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2025

23 Mar - 06 Apr 2025

13 nights

Itinerary

Single from

£8,338 £8,238

Double from

£6,999 £6,899 pp

from

£6,999 £6,899 pp

from

£8,338 £8,238

Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes
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13 Apr - 27 Apr 2025

13 nights

Itinerary

Single from

£8,338 £8,238

Double from

£6,999 £6,899 pp

from

£6,999 £6,899 pp

from

£8,338 £8,238

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14 Sep - 28 Sep 2025

13 nights

Itinerary

Single Call to Enquire
Double Call to Enquire
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04 Oct - 18 Oct 2025

13 nights

Itinerary

Single from

£8,338 £8,238

Double from

£6,999 £6,899 pp

from

£6,999 £6,899 pp

from

£8,338 £8,238

Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes
Book Now

26 Oct - 09 Nov 2025

13 nights

Itinerary

Single from

£8,338 £8,238

Double from

£6,999 £6,899 pp

from

£6,999 £6,899 pp

from

£8,338 £8,238

Save £100 Per Person Trip Notes
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Important information

  • With flight holidays: Price includes return flights to Tokyo, hold baggage and airport transfers
Duration:
13 nights
Type:
Worldwide walking holidays
Walking Grade:
2

13 nights from £6,899pp

On offer

or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

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