Japan Hike, Bike & Kayak
Get off the beaten track in Japan and experience parts of the country other big-city tours tend to skip. This tour of the Land of the Rising Sun includes something for every active passenger. Take in major cultural touchstones like Osaka, Hiroshima, and Tokyo, along with lesser known areas. Hike along the ancient Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route to visit spectacular temples, cycle across islands as you follow the Shimanami Kaido, and kayak around the famed floating torii gate in the Bay of Miyajima. Every view is that much sweeter when you’ve worked for it.
All hiking routes along the Kumano Kodo Trail. Wakayama Castle visit. Kyoto sightseeing and walking. Cycling along Shimanami Kaido. Miyajima visit and sea kayaking. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Hike along the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route, cycle between islands in rural Japan, walk along the Philosopher’s Walk in Kyoto, explore Wakayama castle, kayak to the famous floating torii gate at Miyajima
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
Train, bus, bike, kayak, walking.
About our Transportation
On our tours in Japan we use public transport, making use of Japan’s world famous transport system. From the super fast Shinkansen Bullet Train to Kyoto’s extensive local bus network, we ride with the locals.
There are no internal flights on this trip itinerary.
We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hotel (9 nts), traditional inn (2 nts), traditional inn with shared facilities (1 nt).
Japan is one of the most populous countries in the world and space is at a premium. Therefore, hotels rooms are small! Additionally, most Japanese hotels do not have designated non-smoking rooms. Therefore, we ask hotels to deoderise rooms before check in.
Ryokan are traditional inns found across Japan. Featuring tatami floors (soft mats of woven straw), futon beds, Japanese-style baths, cotton kimono (casual robe worn to lounge around or to head to the bath), and elaborate meals (often served in the comfort of your own room), a ryokan is the perfect place to experience traditional customs and hospitality. As ryokan are usually top tier accommodations, most guests stay only one night, often to celebrate a special occasion or holiday. Don’t be intimidated by the formalities inherent to a stay at a ryokan, your hosts will welcome you the same way they do all their guests. Have fun and enjoy this relaxing opportunity to learn more about Japan’s unique customs.
Minshuku are Japan’s answer to the Western bed and breakfast. Similar to ryokan, they have traditional features like tatami floors, futon beds, and Japanese-style baths. Minshuku are often family-run, and as such they offer a great opportunity to interact with local people and learn more about the nation’s customs. More affordable and simpler than ryokan, minshuku tend to have smaller guestrooms, shared bathroom facilities, and any included meals (traditional, local, and delicious) are served in a communal dining room.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
From Kansai Intl Airport (KIX) to Hotel Sunroute Osaka Namba
First, get some cash.
After passing through the customs, stop by a bank counter or an ATM machine on the first floor to get some Japanese Yen. This may be your last chance to exchange cash easily in Japan as only certain banks do currency exchange.
Airport Limousine Bus
Buses run twice hourly to the Namba OCAT bus station near your hotel. Journey time is 48 minutes and costs 1000 Yen.
The bus departs from Stop 11 at the International Arrival Lobby on the first floor of the airport. Tickets for buses can be purchased from vending machines located near the bus stops.
On arrival at OCAT, you can either take a taxi (recommended. 5min, 1000 Yen) or the subway. To take the subway you will need to walk to Namba subway station (NOT JR Namba station). Follow the subway signs; you will walk through the OCAT Walk and Namba Walk underground shopping plazas. It should take about 5 minutes.
See the instructions below about getting to the hotel from Namba station.
Nankai Line Train
The Nankai Line runs extremely regular trains to Namba station.
1. Follow the sign “Railways” to the second floor, exit the terminal building, then cross the pedestrian bridge outside to walk into Kansai Airport Station.
2. Go to Nankai Railways counters #1-3 under the orange sign “Ltd. Exp. Rapi:t Reservation Tickets and General Tickets” on your left.
3. Purchase a ticket for the next Rapi:t (pronounced ‘rapeet’) or Airport Express to Namba. The ticket costs 1390Yen for Rap:t (44min) or 890Yen for Airport Express (38min) .
4. Go through a gate under the orange sign, which says “Nankai” by inserting the ticket into the gate. Retrieve the ticket, which will be returned to you at the other side of the gate. You will need it when leaving the Railway.
5. Go down to a platform, and get on the train. The seats are reserved on the Rap:t and non reserved on the Airport Express. The departure time, car number and the seat number are written on the ticket.
6. Follow the signs for "Subway Sennichimae Line " down to the subway station.
1. After passing by the gates for the subway, you will find ticket vending machines.
2. Deposit 200 Yen or more (the machine will return any change) into the machine, and press the button displaying “200” to buy a ticket to Nippombashi.
3. Go to the gates with the Sennichimae Line sign. Go through a gate by inserting the ticket into it. Retrieve your ticket, which will be returned at the other end of the gate. You will need it when you leave the subway.
4. Take a train bound for Nipponbashi. It is the next (and final) stop.
5. Take Exit 2, you can see your hotel across the main road on the left hand side.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Office (Japan)
During office hours, Mon-Fri 9:30-18:00 Local Time
From outside Japan: 1st contact – +81 3-3830-0451 ( 2nd contact – +81 80 2725 5133)
From within Japan: 1st contact – +81 3-3830-0451 (2nd contact = +81 80 2725 5133)
After office hours emergency number
G Adventures Office Bangkok, Thailand
During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time)
From outside Thailand: +66 2 381 5574
From within Thailand: 02 381 5574
After hours emergency number
From outside Thailand: +66 87 049 6074
From within Thailand: 087 049 6074
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
Takuhaibin – Japan’s takuhaibin service is a convenient and reliable way to transfer luggage from one location to another throughout the country. Pick-up/drop-off/delivery dates and times can be easily scheduled (usually overnight) and costs are moderate. Service can be arranged at most hotels and airports. Using takuhaibin to send your luggage between hotels, or from hotel to airport, is a great way to travel light and avoid hauling large bags on crowded trains or up and down stairs – just be sure to pack an overnight bag with everything you’ll need until you’re reunited with your luggage the following day.
▪ Windproof / waterproof jacket / umbrella / poncho
▪ Small towel / swimsuit
▪ Day pack for daily personal items
▪ Small overnight bag (for convenience while using takuhaibin service – see “What to Take” for details)
▪ Sun hat / sun block / sunglasses
▪ Wet wipes / Moist towelettes / Hand sanitizing lotion
▪ Alarm Clock
▪ Hiking pants /track pants / long trousers
▪ Hiking footwear/sturdy walking shoes
▪ Ear plugs for light sleepers
▪ Moisturizer, Lip balm
▪ Toiletries (biodegradable)
▪ Water bottle / Plastic mug / Cutleries
▪ Money belt
▪ Insect Repellent
▪ Protein bars, chocolate, dried fruits, candies and snack foods.
▪ First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, band aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re hydration powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
Camera, reading/writing material, binoculars, cover for backpacks.
▪ Passport (with photocopies)
▪ Travel insurance (with photocopies)
▪ Airline tickets (with photocopies)
▪ USD cash
▪ Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
▪ G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and dossier
▪ Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveler. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. For the most up to date information please check your governments foreign ministry website or with your travel agent as rules do change.
JAPAN: Most nationalities receive A 90-DAY PERMIT ON ARRIVAL
Detailed Trip Notes
Travel in Japan is easy, clean, fast and efficient, however please be aware that English is still not widely spoken, however a lot of patience, a sense of humour and a respect for the local culture goes a long way in any Asian country and will greatly enrich your experience.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
Trip Specific Safety
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org
Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our G Adventures for Good projects.
To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at email@example.com and we will send it on to you.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
Allow USD480-625 for meals not included.
12 breakfasts, 3 dinners
PRODUCT_LINE: AJHB, ID: 23623
Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.
Day 1 Osaka
We highly recommend booking pre-accommodation in Osaka to see more of this interesting city.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Osaka/Chikatsuyu (1B, 1D)
Take the train from Osaka to Chikatsuyu to begin the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage hike.
Local train (1.00 hour(s), 80km)
Day 3 Chikatsuyu/Katsuura (1B, 1D)
Enjoy a day hike along the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route. Reach the Hongu Taisha Shrine with the largest torii gate in Japan. Afterwards, board a bus for coastal Katsuura.
Kumano Hongu Taisha Hike
Local bus (0.25-0.50 hours)
Local bus (1.00 hour(s))
Day 4 Katsuura/Wakayama (1B)
Hike to Japan’s largest waterfall and the Kumano Nachi Taisha, an ancient site along this pilgrimage trail, before heading to Wakayama for the night.
Kumano Nachi Taisha Hike
Local train (1.00 hour(s))
Day 5 Wakayama/Kyoto (1B)
Visit the impressive site of Wakayama Castle before transferring by train to Kyoto.
Wakayama Castle Visit
Local train (1.50 hour(s))
Bullet train (60km)
Day 6 Kyoto (1B)
Stroll along the Philosopher’s Walk and explore the historic side of Kyoto, visiting the famous sites of the Golden and Silver pavillions.
Kinkaku-ji Golden Pavilion Visit
Silver Pavilion Visit
Day 7 Kyoto/Hiroshima-shi (1B)
The large Peace Park in the centre of the city is an extremely moving place dotted with memorials of those killed by the atomic bomb and others who subsequently died. The burning flame in the park will only be extinguished when all nuclear weapons in the world have been destroyed. Take a tram ride through the city to reach Peace Park.
Peace Park and Museum Visit
Day 8 Hiroshima-shi (1B)
Head out from Hiroshima to visit the island of Miyajima. Explore the temples and kayak out to the torii gate which floats in the bay.
Miyajima Island Visit
Day 9 Hiroshima-shi/Matsuyama (1B)
Transfer by ferry to Matsuyama, home to the oldest hot springs in Japan. Opt for a relaxing dip during some free time.
Day 10 Matsuyama/Ikuchi Jima (1B, 1D)
Enjoy a day of cycling across bridges and between islands in the south of Honshu. Explore small villages and spend the night on Ikuchijima.
Imabari City to Ikuchi Jima Cycle
Local bus (1.25 hour(s), 40km)
Day 11 Ikuchi Jima/Onomichi (1B)
Cycle along the Shimanami Kaido towards Onomichi. Spend the night in this sleepy town and enjoy the satisfaction of completing the trail.
Ikuchi Jima Cycle
Day 12 Onomichi/Tokyo (1B)
Transfer to Tokyo by train.
Day 13 Tokyo (1B)
Depart at any time. We highly recommend booking post-accommodation to fully experience this vibrant city.