March 30 - April 8, 2020 3 seats remaining
The tour starts from an old port city, Otsu, a short train ride away from an ancient capital Kyoto.
Walk through rural countryside deep into the mountains of Japan’s Central Alps to well-preserved charming post towns, which have somehow survived into the modern world. We stay at traditional and modern inns and enjoy hearty farmhouse cuisine.
Our last walk will be at Lake Kawaguchi to witness Japan’s holy mountain, Mt. Fuji before reaching the glistening, modern capital Tokyo.
It is a fully guided tour suitable for anyone who enjoys walking.
In general, the route is gently undulating but also includes some short, steeper climbs. This is a walking tour, not a trek. The average walking distance is 3 - 8 km. Transport, however, can be arranged for those who desire a more relaxed day.
Our main baggage is sent on a walking day so that we need only take what we need for each day in a small backpack. We climb several passes, but they have mostly gentle inclines and can be taken at a comfortable pace.
"A very special tour. Extremely well-organised to perfection and lots of fun. I would gladly recommend Rika. Special moments." - Christina Buri
March 30 - April 8, 2020
Monday, 30 March
Meet at Kansai International Airport, transfer to Otsu, Shiga. Check-in & unpack. Welcome dinner.
Stay in Otsu.
Tuesday, 31 March
Have a day trip to Omihachiman, a beautifully preserved merchant town located next to Lake Biwa.
Stay in Otsu.
Wednesday, 1 April
Take a cable car and hike up to Mt. Hiei (3.1km, 2h30min).
Stay in Otsu.
Thursday, 2 April
Have a day trip to Fushimi, Kyoto. Visit Fushimi Inari Shrine, which is well-known for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, and local sake brewery. We will visit sake brewery and have Sake tasting lunch.
Stay in Otsu.
Friday, 3 April
Transfer from Otsu to Magome by train and local bus. Visit Magomekan.
Stay in Japanese-style Ryokan in Nakatsugawa.
Saturday, 4 April
We start walking on Nakasendo trail today, from Magome to Tsumago (8.3 km/approx. 3 hours).
Stay in Japanese-style Ryokan in Nagiso.
Sunday, 5 April
Transfer to Nagiso station by shuttle bus and take a train to Kiso-Fukushima. Today, we visit Fukushima post town, Yamamura Daikan Yashiki.
Stay in Japanese-style Ryokan in Kiso-Fukushima.
Monday, 6 April
Continue our walk along the ancient route from Yabuhara to Narai via Torii Pass (6.2 km/approx. 3 hours). Travel by train from Narai to Lake Kawaguchi.
Stay in Kawaguchiko.
Tuesday, 7 April
After breakfast, we will hike or take a chairlift up to the peak of Mt. Kachikachi for a breathtaking view of Mt.Fuji. Have a relaxed afternoon, strolling around Lake Kawaguchi. Farewell dinner.
Stay at Onsen hotel or Ryokan with a view of Mt. Fuji.
Wednesday, 8 April
Take a bus to Tokyo, then transfer to Narita International Airport or Haneda Airport by bus, or embark on Kuroko’s recommended self-guided holiday extension.
I have now done two of Rika's tours to Japan. Both have been a delight and I think a third will take me back to Kyoto to indulge in a longer stay. I enjoyed her very professional weaving of nature and culture and particularly the incredible choice of venues for such a wonderful variety of Japanese style cooking and meals. I really felt so well looked after. Any special request she willingly obliged. Which made the tours special just for me. A private tea ceremony, a fun experience of elegant entertaining geisha, and traditional wagashi sweet making class. I highly recommend Rika and her tours to everyone.
I just returned from a two week customized photography-centred tour of Japan with Rika and a small group of photography friends. Although not a photographer herself, Rika had a sixth sense as to where to bring us to capture iconic as well as unique images of the country and its people. She also ensured that we experienced the culture through stays at such places as a boathouse in a remote fishing village and in a World Heritage site monastery in Koyasan. She is a warm, funny and lovely person filled with enthusiasm for her work and a passion to make sure her clients are always satisfied. I recommend her highly.
Travelling with Rika in her native Japan was an opportunity for a cultural experience like no other.
Imagine having a friend who seamlessly moves between two languages and who is able to help you interpret the traditional and contemporary customs of the Japanese way of life. Rika brings a quiet, respectful and unassuming demeanour to her responsibility as a guide and helps the mystery of Japan unfold.
Our tour to Japan was the best and most stress-free holiday we've ever had.
It was exceptionally well-organised by Rika. We learnt so much of Japan. I have always been a bit wary of tours. In fact, this was my first. It was small and personal, very much boutique style, very much my style. Rika actively sought out our wishes and preferences before and during the tour and where possible, built them in. It was fabulous having Rika there to sort out the arrangements, to smooth the way, to translate on-the-spot and to be a delightful and engaging part of the group. It was so relaxing and a lot of fun. All I dream of now is our next Japanese adventure. Next destination? Kyoto, 2018, here we come.
I have joined Rika's guided tour. Her service was exceptional. It was the best trip ever and such a luxurious way to enjoy Japan. She took me right down to the core of Japanese culture. I felt like I was a part of their culture. It was magical. Also, she really knows where to go for good local food. I highly recommend her tour especially to people like me want to travel in own pace and don't enjoy seeing only touristy sights. Thank you, Rika for your wonderful tour and I am sure I will join you again.
Thank you for the excellent tour of Japan. This was one of the best holidays we have ever been on. This was not only due to the amazing weather, the unexpected surprises around every corner and how welcoming we found the people and food but to the effort, you made to make us all feel welcome. As a group, we all got on well and with time we became friends. There were plenty of highlights and these were often the unexpected things that happen when you are in a strange land. The Autumn colours and light were stunning. The food was far better than our expectations. For 2 weeks, we were completely immersed in Japan, its people, culture and heritage. Without Rika, I am sure that our holiday would not have been so rich or complete.
Definitely 5 star service. Rika fine-tuned and honed a tour that offers a unique opportunity to experience Japan on so many levels. Culture, food, sightseeing and lots of fun being part of a special group of people. Well done Rika and Kuroko Boutique Tours.
We learnt so much of Japan. I have always been a bit wary of tours. In fact, this was my first. It was small and personal, very much boutique style, very much my style. Rika actively sought out our wishes and preferences before and during the tour and where possible, built them in. It was fabulous having Rika there to sort out the arrangements, to smooth the way, to translate on-the-spot and to be a delightful and engaging part of the group. It was so relaxing and a lot of fun. All I dream of now is our next Japanese adventure. Next destination? Kyoto, 2018, here we come.
Head to our gallery for a peak at what's in store. All photos are taken by Kuroko or our customers while on our guided tours.