Oct 23 - Nov 3, 2017
US $5690 (based on double occupancy)
11 nights, 12 days
Machiya restored houses
3-5 star hotels
Easy walking tours (some include lots of steps); easy hiking; kayaking in stable doubles (for beginners, previous introductory lessons are advisable).
Please note: Some meals are served on low tables and some beds are futons on tatami mats, so you should be able to get up from floor level without assistance.
Japan! Nowhere else in the world have we found such a graceful balance of the modern and ancient, of art and utility, of spirituality and respect for nature.
On our brand new Japan adventure tour we explore this land of contrasts: hyper-modern cities, bucolic farmlands, rugged coastlines and ancient cultural sites. We visit the ‘must sees’ such as Kyoto’s UNESCO World Heritage sites and downtown Tokyo, but also some truly hidden places. These range from little visited temples and shrines, perfectly proportioned and embedded in Zen gardens, to sea caves on the wild East coast.
As we tour Japan you’ll find the local people to be civility personified - calm, gracious, kind and welcoming. They lovingly nurture old traditions, incorporating them into their daily lives. Along our journey of discovery we meet very special individuals, including a Shinto priest who gives us a private audience; a man whose life work is making soba noodles; and a craftsman whose knives are sought after around the world.
During our Japan trip we discover the country’s amazing cuisine. Every ingredient is treated with the utmost respect. Each meal becomes a performance and a visual and gustatory delight. We sample a wide array of local specialties, in a variety of local restaurants specially picked by our local guide who happens to be a devout ‘foodie’!
Our Japan adventure begins in the fascinating harbour city of Yokohama. From here we head to the ancient town of Kamakura, home of an important Shinto shrine and the oldest Zen monasteries in Japan. Our next destination is the diverse Izu Peninsula, where we visit a fabulous art museum, and are introduced to the traditions and rituals of the onsen: hot spring bathing pools.
Kayaking Japan! For two days we explore the remote coastline of the Izu Peninsula by kayak, discovering caves and rock gardens. Here, and on our gentle hikes in the interior of Izu Peninsula, we gain a truly unique and rare perspective of this fascinating country.
Our Japan adventure tour continues in Kyoto, where we spend two days fully immersed in the city’s history and beauty. Finally, in Tokyo, the contrasts reach a zenith as we explore both its futuristic core and one of its most ancient and beautiful temples.
To explore Japan we travel mostly by rail – aboard the super fast Shinkansen ‘bullet train’ and the leisurely but no less comfortable local trains. Our accommodations vary from modern hotels, to historic ryokans– a type of inn that originated in the 17th century Edo period for travellers on Japan’s old highways, to private houses now converted into lovely machiya inns.
This is Japan adventure travel at its best! We have fabulous experiences of the culinary, cultural and kayaking kind. We get fully immersed in traditions (including that of the onsen - hot springs!), meet some remarkable souls, get a taste of the ‘real’ Japan and eat incredible food. We guarantee you will fall in love with this extraordinary country!
Adventure Travel has been our specialty since 1991 when we started to explore the world's most spectacular places as photographers and writers. Several years (and several books) later we began sharing our experiences with others by developing and leading adventure tours. We founded Hidden Places Travel in 2000 and quickly became renowned for our unique, off-the-beaten-track itineraries. Our support of local communities and conservation projects gives our trips unprecedented access and our loyal following of repeat guests is a testament to our professionalism and nurturing approach.
We invite you to join us on one of our life-changing adventures.
Dag Goering and Maria Coffey