Hike Japan's Ancient Capitals

Starting From

$1,559/person

Number of days

5

Start Location

Japan

Group Size

2-13

Operated by

World Expeditions

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Explore the scenic and culturally significant surrounds of Asuka and finish in historic Nara

Operated by:

World Expeditions

World Expeditions is an adventure travel and ecotourism company that offers guided small group trekking and adventure holidays.

Itinerary

Join Asuka

Head by train from Kyoto or Osaka to Asuka on the southern edge of the Yamato Plain. This peaceful agricultural community is an ideal location to experience the rural lifestyle of the Japanese countryside. We recommend our Asuka Monuments Walk for your first day here. The walk gives a perfect introduction to the history and landmarks of the village. Overnight at a Minshuku Japanese guesthouse or at a friendly family homestay. Walking distance: 9km / 5.5 miles (plus optional Iwaido detour) Elevation gain: 420m / 1375 feet of ascent / 425m / 1390 feet of descent (plus optional Iwaido detour) Time required: About 4 hours of optional walking Accommodation: Minshuku (Family-run guesthouse) or Japanese homestay

Walk Asuka trail to Tanzan Shrine

On your second day in Asuka, there is the opportunity to explore the village further. For a more active day, follow our walking directions along the route to Tanzan Shrine - wind your way along the pretty roads of this agricultural community and then head up along a forest trail to the atmospheric shrine. Overnight at a Minshuku Japanese guesthouse or friendly family homestay. Walking distance: 13km / 8 miles Elevation gain: 530m / 1,730 feet of ascent; 300m / 985 feet of descent Time required: About 5 hours of optional walking Accommodation: Minshuku (Family-run guesthouse) or Japanese homestay

Hike the Yamanobe no Michi in Nara

This morning you can rent bicycles to visit Asuka's wonderful terraced rice fields. Afterwards, travel by train to Nara, Japan's first permanent capital. Established in 710 and then known as Heijo, Nara abounds in cultural heritage, with many historic treasures and easy access to wonderful nature. Or make an earlier start from Asuka and hike the historic Yamanobe no Michi trail before arriving at your accommodation in Nara this evening, staying at a Japanese inn or western-style hotel. Walking distance: 16km / 10 miles Elevation gain: negligible ascent and descent Time required: About 5 hours of optional walking Accommodation: Ryokan (Travellers Inn) or Machiya Townhouse (optional upgrade)

Hike the Yagyu Kaido in Nara

Today there is a chance to undertake the Yagyu Kaido hike from Yagyu village back to Nara, following in the footsteps of warriors who took this route to the sword-making village of Yagyu. The full hike is a challenging 20km, but we offer a shorter 12km option from Enjo-ji Temple, too. Both hikes end with a wonderful stroll through Nara Park, with its famous deer and temples. Overnight at a Japanese inn or western-style hotel. Walking distance: 11.7km / 7.3 miles Elevation gain: 240m / 790 feet of ascent and 535m / 1755 feet of descent Time required: About 5 hours of optional walking Accommodation: Ryokan (Travellers Inn) or Machiya Townhouse (optional upgrade), or hotel

In Nara, trip concludes

Explore more of Nara before heading onwards by train. Spend the day visiting important cultural spots including Todai-ji and Horyu-ji temples, visit the carefully preserved Edo-period merchant district of Nara-machi, Isuien Garden. The tour ends with your train journey back to Kyoto or Osaka. You can use our train tickets to board a morning train, or you can enjoy a full day in Nara and travel onwards in the late afternoon or early evening.

Additional Information

Explore the scenic village of Asuka and take in its wonderful terraced rice fields. Wind along pastoral trails and up through a forest to the impressive Tanzan Shrine. A train journey leads you to a cultural and historic Nara, with many treasures to discover and easy access to wonderful nature. Hiking and sightseeing in Nara is enchanting with shrines to discover and Nara Park, with its famous deer and temples. Overnight accommodation throughout this self-guided adventure is made memorable at a Minshuku, Japanese guesthouse, or at a friendly family homestay.

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