In 2010, we pioneered Self-Guided walking tours in the Kumano Kodo and Nakasendo regions. We have continued to build on this strong foundation as leading experts in sustainable off-the-beaten-path Self-Guided tours in Japan, and now offer a range of tours featuring walking, cycling and cultural experiences.
Discover Japan your own way on an Oku Japan self-guided tour. We supply train tickets for the tours, together with maps and detailed instructions. We pre-book and pre-pay your stays at comfortable Japanese inns with excellent local home-cooked food for dinner and breakfast.
In feudal times people travelling between Kyoto and Tokyo would use the Nakasendo way - the road through the central mountains - a network of ancient highways.
We offer tours with 3, 4 and 5 days of walking village to village along the Nakasendo Trail, the old route linking Kyoto with Tokyo inland through the mountains. Walking is mainly gentle and passes through rural scenery and villages, including the exquisitely-preserved settlements of Magome and Tsumago.
The Kii Peninsula points south away from Kyoto and Osaka and is one of the most remote and mystical areas of Japan, despite its proximity to these great cities. Long a place of pilgrimage, the Kii Peninsula is the site of the three Grand Shrines of Kumano (Kumano Sanzan).
- Our Kumano Kodo self-guided tours offer 4, 5, or 6 days walking village to village along the old pilgrimage route heading west to east along the Kii-peninsula.
- Our Kumano to Koya self-guided tour offers 5 days of walking village to village along another wonderful section of the pilgrimage route leading from Kumano Hongu Taisha Shine to the spiritual Mount Koya, from south to north.
- Our Kumano Kodo Complete self-guided tours, taking in both the Nakahechi and Kohechi trails, with lengths of 9 or 11 days.
Shikoku is Japan's fourth-largest island, home to some of the country's most spectacular and undeveloped scenery. The island is also the setting for an ancient walking trail, the challenging Shikoku 88 Pilgrimage. The trail connects 88 Buddhist temples and the full walk covers more than a thousand kilometres.
We have selected the best walks and the best accommodation, including Shukubo pilgrims lodgings and fine inns in appealing cities such as Tokushima and Dogo Onsen. We offer tours with 4, 6, 8 and 10 days of walking on the Shikoku 88 Pilgrimage.
On our self-guided walking tours you need to be reasonably fit and carry the correct gear. Our walks are not technically difficult and are mostly on village paths and forested trails which are generally well-maintained and well-signposted. English may not be widely spoken in rural areas, but you will have wonderful memories of staying at small country inns with your hosts and seeing Japan at your own pace.
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
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