QUEST JAPAN TOURS 2016

As well as arranging tailor-made tours for individuals and families, we can arrange our most popular itineraries (shown below) for small groups. If you'd like to know more about these itineraries and prices, please get in touch with us.  We also suggest joining the Hike Japan Club. The club arranges a range of tours exclusively for members Hike Japan Club.

TourBest SeasonDurationType of TourWalking Grade

NEW for 2017

Birdwatching tours to Hokkaido and the Southwestern Islands.

 

Hokkaido Birdwatching Tour 2 - 9 March 2017

Southwest Islands Birdwatching Tour 4 - 15 September 2017

Walking Tours

IMPERIAL PILGRIMAGE ROUTE

 

SPRING/SUMMER/AUTUMN2 weeksHikingModerate/Vigorous
Exploring the Kii Mountains as we walk to the Three Grand Shrines along the Old Road to Kumano, before heading north for Yoshino, Asuka, Nara, and Kyoto. An inspiring mountain journey through an entire peninsula designated an important World Heritage site.
Along with the Mountains of Central Japan and our Kyushu Explorer, one of the most popular itineraries.
MOUNTAINS OF CENTRAL JAPAN SUMMER/AUTUMN
(late June - early October)
2 weeksMountain hikingVigorous
A journey for mountain-lovers featuring four days of hiking in the North Alps, starting from Kamikochi. The second week of the tour has a more cultural focus, with some gentle country walking. One of our classic tours.
ROOF OF JAPAN
TATEYAMA TO KAMIKOCHI
ALPINE ROUTE
SUMMER/AUTUMN
(late June - early October)
10 daysMountain hikingStrenuous
Japan's Haute Route. An awesome 6-day hut-to-hut trek along almost the full length of the North Alps, staying in well-managed mountain accommodation which provide half-board and bed. Last night in a luxurious mountain hotel in the Kamikochi Valley. We think it's up there with the classic treks of the world. Start/finish Tokyo.
SLOW TRAINS TO KYOTO SPRING/SUMMER/AUTUMN2 weeksCulture/walkingModerate
On local trains, mainly, to Kyoto, along the Japan Sea Coast. A journey exploring the quieter towns and villages, and the Sanin Coast National Park.
WALKS IN THE HEART OF JAPAN SPRING/SUMMER/AUTUMN 10 daysCulture/WalkingModerate
A week in the cultural heart of Japan, visiting Mount Koya, Yoshino, Odaigahara, Asuka, Nara and Kyoto - important historical and cultural sites, and hiking in areas of great natural beauty.
JAPAN WINTER SECRETS WINTER12 nightsWinter highlightsGentle
The very best things to do and see in mid-winter in Japan, including the Sapporo snow festival, the elegant Japanese cranes in the Kushiro National Park, snow monkeys in Nagano, Shirakawago - the important World Heritage village, and the cultural centres of Kanazawa and Kyoto.
NORTHERN EXPOSURE SPRING/SUMMER/AUTUMN
(May - October)
2 weeksUpland hikingModerate
Exploring of the far north of the main island Honshu. Hiking in forests and on upland marshes, with stays in traditional, family-run inns, and little-known natural hot springs. Delicious food!
KYUSHU EXPLORER SPRING/SUMMER/AUTUMN2 weeksMountain hiking/cyclingVigorous
Off-the-beaten track in Kyushu. Hiking a trail which traverses the mountains on Yakushima Island with its 7,000 year-old cedar trees, Mount Aso - volcano with the largest caldera in the world. and on to the small port of Usuki. Ending up in dynamic Fukuoka. This tour starts and finishes in Tokyo.
OCEAN DEEP MOUNTAIN HIGH SUMMER/AUTUMN2 weeksIslands and mountainsModerate
First by boat south to the Ogasawara Islands - the Galapagos of Japan- lying in the Pacific Ocean 1,000 kilometres south of Tokyo. Then hiking in the Yatsugatake Range with good views of Mt Fuji, Matsumoto, Nagano, Karuizawa, and dynamic Tokyo!
Japan Style
AUTUMN GOLD -A JOURNEY OVER THE ROOF OF JAPAN SUMMER/AUTUMN10 daysLuxuryGentle
Gourmet food, secluded town and country getaways. Experience the best of Japanese style and sophistication. All in summer or glorious autumn colour as you travel over the high mountains, from Tokyo, via Kanazawa, to Kyoto.
Special Interest
WILDLIFE & PHOTOGRAPHY Tailor-made tours in association with Wildlife Japan@Wildlife@
Tailor-made, specialist wildlife and photography tours led by an English-speaking Japanese expert guide and photographer.

GUIDE TO WALKING GRADES AND FITNESS

The following is a guide to help you make the right decision about your holiday. Hike Japan tours are for people who enjoy the outdoors and are looking for a holiday which offers the chance to explore the higher mountains, islands, and more remote rural areas. Your fitness level is important. Some of our tour itineraries include more walking days than others. Others might have fewer days walking, but more challenging routes. Whilst we introduce many of the finest and most important aspects of Japanese culture and society, bear in mind that most Hike Japan walking holidays are not cultural or sightseeing tours with a few strolls along the way! Please read the following carefully, together with the itineraries you are interested in.

GradeDescription
Gentle (G)Typically up to about 4 hours walking in a day. Easier, slower paced walks on several days. These will be partly on quiet roads or along paths in rural areas, although they may include occasional steep uphill sections on smaller mountains. More time to sightsee and stop along the way.

Suitable for anyone who is happy to walk around town for a few hours and who enjoys country walks. Decent trainers or lightweight boots/light day sack for essentials and snacks (about 25 litres)/waterproofs.
Moderate (M)Up to 6 days of walking from 2 to 5 hours per day. Hikes include routes to easy mountain peaks up to 2,000m (6,562'). May include the very occasional fixed ladder.

Suitable for hill walkers. Lightweight walking boots/ light day sack for essentials and snacks (about 25 litres)/waterproofs.
Vigorous (V)Up to 7 days of walking from 5-9 hours per day. Ascents and descents of mountains including higher 3,000m (9,843') peaks. Note that The Imperial Pilgrimage Route tour is graded M/V as although the main hike is only four days, and the maximum altitude is below 1,000m (3,281'), some of the paths are steep and the walks are up to 8 hours per day.

A good level of fitness is required for the longer ascents and descents. May include fixed ladders, chains, bridges (similar to via ferrata). Easy scrambling in the higher mountains. Should be confident on ridges and negotiating broken, rocky ground.

Suitable for fit enthusiasts who enjoy mountain walking. Recent hill or mountain walking experience important. Thanks to the extensive network of mountain lodges, it is not necessary to carry sleeping bags or other camping equipment, so medium-size back packs with a change of clothes and personal belongings are sufficient. More substantial walking boots with ankle supports recommended/larger back pack (about 55 litres)/waterproofs.
Strenuous (S) 6 days or more of continuous walking 6-9 hours per day, or sometimes longer, in remoter mountain country with ascents to 3,000m (9,843') peaks.

Continuous ascents and descents along mountain trails with have fixed ladders and chains in remoter areas demands a good level of fitness and recent mountain hiking or trekking experience. Easy scrambling in the higher mountains. Accommodation is in mountain lodges so a medium-size back pack with a change of clothes and personal belongings is sufficient. More substantial walking boots with ankle supports recommended/larger back pack (about 55 litres)/waterproofs.