Put a sturdy pair of trainers at the top of your packing list
By Krisha Ramos
Japan is absolutely stunning, rich in culture and on most people’s bucket lists. Advice on what to see and how to see it is everywhere, but what is reliable? As avid fans and travellers to the Land of the Rising Sun, we recommend using your feet to take you through this most fabulous of destinations. Here’s why you should get on the flight with a trusty pair of sneakers to hand:
- Stroll Through a Taste Sensation
Food has become synonymous with Japan, so much so that it has become one of the top gourmet destinations in the world thanks to its fresh seafood, delicious ramen and street offerings like Takoyaki (a delicious ball-shaped snack made of wheat flour and filled with octopus or vegetables) and Okonomiyaki (Japan-style pizza with shredded cabbage, octopus and chives). The Izu Geo Trail takes you on a 7-day journey to savour the country’s prized delights including seafood (spider crab, squid, lobster and fish), locally grown wasabi and soba buckwheat noodles, all washed down with local sake. Going from Tokyo to Shuzenji, Izu, guests stay in authentic Japanese hotels and inns while their tastebuds are treated to this culinary adventure.
- Step Amongst Rich Scenery
You know what they say, “If it’s not on Instagram, it didn’t happen”. Capture the perfect shot for #feedgoals on the Snow Country Trek which transports you through snowcapped mountains, pristine forests and picturesque old post towns, or opt for The Nakasendo Way which comes complete with seasonal Cherry Blossoms.
Snow Country Trek is a 7-day, 6-night tour through Japan’s snow country that records some of the heaviest snow falls found anywhere on Earth. You’ll get an intimate experience of this exquisite winter wonderland in between warming up in hotels, Japanese inns and mountain cottages.
The Nakasendo Way is Walk Japan’s pioneering tour that takes travellers through countryside, past expansive views, down hidden alleyways and along lesser-discovered paths. This 11-day, 10-night journey starts in Kyoto and finishes in Tokyo and you’ll stay in hotels and traditional Japanese inns as you trek.
- Ramble Your Way to Happiness
There’s no better way to unplug and unwind than with Walk Japan’s Kunisaki Retreat. Kunisaki is nestled at the untouched western end of Japan’s Seto Inland Sea which makes it the ideal spot for meditation, gentle rambles and relaxation dedicated to soothing your soul, reviving your senses and learning new skills. Start your days with meditation followed by an onsen bath in thermal hot springs before joining one of the daily activities like an asoba buckwheat noodle master class, ikebana flower arranging or a chado tea ceremony.
The Kunisaki Retreat is a 7-day, 6-night tour starting at Hakata Station in Fukuoka and finishing on the Kunisaki Peninsula. The retreat features easy walks through atmospheric and rural scenery and guests stay in charming local inns.
- Hike Through History
As well as revealing remote rural hideaways, Walk Japan also offers you a deeper understanding of the back streets of Tokyo and Kyoto. Walk Japan’s 2-day Tokyo Tour introduces you to sleepy neighbourhoods and architecture reminiscent of the old Japan and delves into the city’s history, focusing on how the capital transformed into being the centre of Japan’s political and economic power. On the 2-day Kyoto Tour you explore the city’s rich history, arts, crafts and people while learning about the areas that have been instrumental in making Kyoto the cultural capital that it is today.
- Trek for Adventure
For those searching for an adrenaline boost, the 7-day, 6-night land and waterborne summer tour, Yaeyama: Okinawa Voyage, goes beyond walking to include kayaking across rivers, mangroves in Iriomote, and the open sea. You also get the chance to snorkel amid coral reefs that are home to over 300 species of tropical fish in Ishigaki. If you’re seeking higher altitudes, opt for the Hokkaido Hike which takes you on a 10-day, 9-night trip to Mt. Asahidake, Mt. Tokachidake and nearby mountains and volcanoes.
All of Walk Japan’s Tour guides are proficient in Japanese and English and have an intimate knowledge of the country, culture and people. Find detailed information about all of Walk Japan’s tours at www.walkjapan.com and on the Walk Japan Facebook page