See Japan from a different angle

Walking and Hiking in Japan

Set foot on pathways forged by pilgrims and roads paved by merchants as you explore the rugged wilderness of Japan’s lesser known locations. Our Japan walking tours combine the best of cultural destinations with off-the-beaten-path walking and hiking. From village-to-village discovery through the Kiso Valley, to climbing the volcanic landscape of Kyushu, allow the diversity of Japan’s countryside to unfold before your eyes. 

Oku Japan has hiked some of the best routes and compiled them into amazing journeys for you to try for yourself - be they hikes in less trodden corners of the country, or pilgrimages teeming with centuries of history. Journey into the heart of the country as you walk from the ancient capitals of Nara and Kyoto to the modern metropolis of Tokyo using the Nakasendo Trail. You can also discover the sweeping vistas once inhabited by the indigenous Ainu people of the northernmost prefecture, Hokkaido.

Or why not walk with Kobo-Daishi along the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage, experience spiritual reawakening on the Dewasanzan in Tohoku, or learn the importance of inclusivity on the Kumano Kodo trail? Walking in Japan is made all the more comfortable thanks to the abundance of natural hot springs, and the freshest Japanese food, beautifully prepared by hosts with a fantastic level of service. Anyone can explore Japan off-the-beaten-path.

Fully Tailored Itineraries:

We can also arrange tours to suit your dates or even put together a trip customised to your needs, with or without an element of walking or hiking. Please fill out our enquiry page to discuss your requirements.

Guided

Kumano Ancient Trail

  • Duration: 9 days
  • Level: Strenuous

In the footsteps of Emperors, our small-group guided walking tour starts in imperial Kyoto before exploring the highlights of the ancient Kumano Kodo Trail, a UNESCO World Heritage site

USD 3395
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Self-Guided

Hiroshima & Shimanami Kaido self-guided 6 Days

  • Duration: 6 days
  • Level: Active

Enjoy the slow island life on the Setouchi Inland Sea with cycling, kayaking and walking

USD 1845
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Self-Guided

Hiroshima, Shimanami & Shikoku self-guided 9 Days

  • Duration: 9 days
  • Level: Active

Explore the peaceful Setouchi Inland Sea with cycling and kayaking before walking on lovely parts of the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage trail in Ehime

USD 2725
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Self-Guided

Kumano Kodo Complete self-guided walking 11 days

  • Duration: 11 days
  • Level: Strenuous

The full Kumano Kodo pilgrimage experience to Mount Koya. See the Grand Shrines at Hongu and Nachi while walking the full Nakahechi and Kohechi route, with wonderful views over the valleys, mountains and the Pacific Ocean

USD 2315
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Self-Guided

Kumano Kodo Complete self-guided walking 9 days

  • Duration: 9 days
  • Level: Strenuous

Experience a full Kumano Kodo pilgrimage experience to Mount Koya, walking along the Nakahechi and Kohechi routes, ending with an authentic stay at a Shukubo pilgrims lodging on Mount Koya

USD 1905
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Self-Guided

Kumano Kodo self-guided walking 4 days

  • Duration: 4 days
  • Level: Active

Walk along the wonderful Nakahechi route of the Kumano Kodo Trail ending at Hayatama Shrine.

USD 995
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Self-Guided

Kumano Kodo self-guided walking 5 days

  • Duration: 5 days
  • Level: Strenuous

Experience the Nakahechi route walking from Takijiri to Nachi waterfall, visiting the Grand Shrines at Hongu and Nachi along the way

USD 1210
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Self-Guided

Kumano Kodo self-guided walking 6 days

  • Duration: 6 days
  • Level: Strenuous

Travel along the full Nakahechi route on the enchanting Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail, experience Grand Shrines at Hongu and Nachi and bathe in the thermal waters at a hot-spring Ryokan

USD 1455
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Self-Guided

Kumano Kodo self-guided walking Upgrade 5 days

  • Duration: 5 days
  • Level: Strenuous

Walk in Nara and on highlight sections on the Kumano Kodo, experiencing the best inns and local food in the Kumano region

USD 2270
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Self-Guided

Kumano to Koya self-guided walking 5 days

  • Duration: 5 days
  • Level: Strenuous

Hike the challenging Kohechi route of the ancient Kumano Kodo trail, from Hongu Taisha Grand Shrine to Mount Koya, enjoying wonderful views over valleys and mountains each day

USD 1185
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Guided

Land of Fire Kyushu

  • Duration: 15 days
  • Level: Active

Volcanic wonders of Kyushu

USD 4955
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Guided

Mountain Spirits Tohoku

  • Duration: 13 days
  • Level: Strenuous

Dramatic peaks and soothing hot springs of the north

USD 4745
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Self-Guided

Nakasendo and Kamikochi walking 10 days

  • Duration: 10 days
  • Level: Active

Explore the Nakasendo trail before heading into the Oku-Hida mountains to explore the biodiverse Kamikochi, ending with excellent hiking and Onsen in Oku-Nikko

USD 2940
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Self-Guided

Nakasendo and Kamikochi walking 6 days

  • Duration: 6 days
  • Level: Active

Enjoy the best forest walks and Juku post towns of the Nakaendo Trail, before heading into the Oku-Hida mountains to explore Kamikochi before arriving in iconic Takayama.

USD 1640
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Guided

Nakasendo and the Kiso Valley

  • Duration: 8 days
  • Level: Active

Highlights of the old Edo road through the Kiso Valley region, enabling you to walk from village-to-village along forested trails, overnighting in traditional inns, with excellent local cuisine and baths.

USD 2940
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Self-Guided

Nakasendo self-guided walking 3 days

  • Duration: 3 days
  • Level: Active

Visit the exquisitely-preserved villages of Magome, Tsumago and Narai over 3 days of walking in the picturesque Kiso Valley

USD 1005
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Self-Guided

Nakasendo self-guided walking 4 days

  • Duration: 4 days
  • Level: Active

Walking over 4 days in the picturesque Kiso Valley with overnight stays in Tsumago, Kiso-Fukushima and Narai

USD 1175
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Self-Guided

Nakasendo self-guided walking 5 days

  • Duration: 5 days
  • Level: Active

Village to village walking on the loveliest parts of the old Nakasendo Trail, before visiting Matsumoto with it's historic castle and onward to picturesque Karuizawa

USD 1425
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Guided

Nakasendo Trail

  • Duration: 12 days
  • Level: Active

From Tokyo, visit the 'road through the mountains' once traveled by feudal lords, staying in traditional country inns, enjoying exquisite regional cuisine and soak in natural hot springs before ending in Kyoto

USD 4325
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Self-Guided

Nara Ancient Capitals self-guided walking 5 days

  • Duration: 5 days
  • Level: Active

Explore the historic and culturally significant hiking trails of lesser-known Kansai

USD 1165
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Self-Guided

Nikko and Self-guided Walking in Yumoto Onsen

  • Duration: 4 days
  • Level: Moderate

Explore historic Nikko and hike in the beautiful Oku Nikko plains around Yumoto Onsen

USD 1165
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Self-Guided

Walk on the loveliest parts of the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage trail in Tokushima, Kagawa and Ehime, spending nights in Shukubo temple lodgings and the natural baths of Dogo Onsen

USD 2205
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Self-Guided

Shikoku 88 Pilgrimage self-guided 4 days

  • Duration: 4 days
  • Level: Active

Abundant nature, and varied temples with walks on sections of the ancient 88 Temple Pilgrimage in Ehime Prefecture in Shikoku

USD 1325
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Self-Guided

Shikoku 88 Pilgrimage self-guided 5 days

  • Duration: 5 days
  • Level: Challenging

The trail towards enlightenment

USD 1380
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Self-Guided

Shikoku 88 Pilgrimage self-guided 6 days

  • Duration: 6 days
  • Level: Strenuous

Walk on the best parts of the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage trail in Tokushima and Kagawa, enjoying wonderful views over cedar forests and rural villages

USD 1425
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Self-Guided

Shikoku 88 Pilgrimage self-guided 8 days

  • Duration: 8 days
  • Level: Challenging

Walks parts of the Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage trail in Tokushima, Kagawa and Ehime, spending nights in Shukubo temple lodging with days of up to 8 hours of hiking

USD 2030
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Guided

Temples and Trails of Shikoku

  • Duration: 13 days
  • Level: Active

A small-group guided walking tour to Sacred Mount Koya & The Shikoku 88 Temple Pilgrimage Trail, visiting remote Iya Valley, hidden temples and bathing in the natural thermal waters at historic Dogo Onsen

USD 4875
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Guided

Wild Lands of Eastern Hokkaido

  • Duration: 9 days
  • Level: Active

Japan's rugged and remote wilderness

USD 3965
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Guided

Winter Nakasendo Trail

  • Duration: 8 days
  • Level: Active

Experience the tranquil magic of winter on the Nakasendo trail with this small-group guided winter tour, visiting beautifully-preserved old post towns in the snowy Kiso Valley

USD 2905
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