Small Group Tour IJT Essential

Historic Mountain Trails

13 Nights: from US$4053 Trip Code: HMT

What better way to discover Japan's beautiful landscapes than to pull on your hiking boots and get out into the wilds? With plenty of culture thrown in for good measure, this is a physically challenging tour with fantastic rewards. Read more >

On this hiking tour you'll follow in the footsteps of samurai and pilgrims as you wind your way along the ancient Nakasendo Way, passing through lush rice paddies, cooling off under the glorious Metaki and Otaki waterfalls. In the Chubu Sangaku National Park you'll scale the towering, craggy peaks and stay in lodges high on Mount Hotaka.

Most impressive of all, however, you'll climb one of the most majestic peaks in the world: Mount Fuji. We run our tour to coincide with the Fuji climbing season, and as you reach your mountain hut at sundown you'll marvel at the giant shadow that Fuji casts across the Kanto plain. Rising early, you'll complete your final ascent in time to watch the sun rise from the summit.

Though the focus of this trip is hiking, it wouldn't be doing justice to this fascinating country without considerable culture interspersed throughout. In Tokyo you'll find soaring peaks replaced with equally vertiginous architecture, and lush green forest supplanted by eye-popping neon.

Glimpse Japan's traditional side in Kyoto as you gaze on grand temples, explore markets packed with delicacies and perhaps even catch sight of a geisha as you walk through the wood-panelled streets of Gion. Even here you're not too far from nature; Kyoto boasts some lovely forest trails and atmospheric bamboo groves.

For an in-depth experience of rural and urban Japan with an expert tour leader, Historic Mountain Trails can't be beaten. Be prepared for tough hikes covering distances of up to 20 km (12 mi) with some scrambling. Please see the 'fitness' section below for further information and prerequisites. 

If this sounds good and makes you want to see even more, why not extend your tour in Japan!

Important Tour Information

Group Size: 4 - 14

Fitness: Please note that this is a challenging hiking tour - you will need to have a good level of fitness and have recent hiking experience (preferably at altitudes of 3,000 m/9,800 ft) to take part.

Be prepared for tough hikes covering distances of up to 20 km (12 mi). Technical mountaineering experience is not a prerequisite, but this tour is physically challenging with early starts, snow patches, scrambling and steep ascents & descents. Please discuss with your Travel Consultant if you are unsure. 

Please do make sure to read the tour dossier day-by-day in detail to make sure you'll be able to enjoy this tour safely. All hikes and climbs are described in detail in the tour dossier (terrain, altitude, etc.)

Travel Insurance: Make sure to check you do have coverage in your travel insurance for Helicopter Evacuation, or have it added. Rescue helicopter would be the only way to get badly injured people out of the higher areas of the Northern Alps, from where they are often flown to Matsumoto Hospital.
As you can imagine, these costs are said to be very high, easily running into several thousands of pounds per hour, so it is imperative that you have the right insurance in place.

Single Supplement: There is no single supplement for this tour.  Single travellers will have a single room free of charge at all of the western style hotels (at least 8 nights). They will be asked to share with another single traveller of the same sex at the Japanese style stays (maximum 5 nights).

Weather and clothing: You will need to bring all your own gear, including, hiking boots (not 'hiking trainers/sneakers), crampons (preferably 8 spikes, rubber microspike are fine), hiking poles and a mountaineering helmet. The tour takes place in the summer and it will be hot in Tokyo and Kyoto. Temperatures in the Japanese Alps and on Mount Fuji, however, can still drop to below zero degrees centigrade. You will need good outdoor clothing and plenty of layers to stay warm and dry.

Transport and luggage: This is a hiking tour and transfers are made by public transport or on foot. You will need one main bag which can be either a large rucksack or a moderately sized suitcase. This bag will be sent from the Kiso area to Matsumoto. For your three nights in Kamikochi you will need to have a 50 litre rucksack for hiking (with space to hold at least two litres of water and hiking essentials such as fleeces, wet weather kit, hiking poles and snacks. A full kit list will be provided). A simple day pack is not sufficient for this hike.

Check-in: Please note that rooms at the Tokyo hotel are only available from 2pm. (You can, however, securely leave your luggage at the front desk at any time).

We recommend booking at least one extra night to check in and relax before the tour begins.

Accommodation: The western-style hotels all have full en suite facilities. Mountain huts and lodges have limited washing facilities. The other stays have shared (single sex) facilities. Rooming will be twin or single rooms at the western-style hotels but at the mountain huts and lodges we will be using multi-person rooms.

Please note that in Japan, Twin rooms are very much the norm, and there are far fewer Double rooms available. Please understand that even if you are being booked in a Double, this will only be in the hotels where there is availability.

International Flights: This tour starts and finishes in Tokyo for arrivals and departures at Tokyo Narita or Tokyo Haneda Airport.


At a glance

What's Included >

What's included

  • Full-time services of your InsideJapan tour leader
  • 13 nights' accommodation
  • Breakfast every day and eight evening meals
  • Geisha district walking tour in Kyoto
  • Half-day cycling tour of Kyoto
  • Mount Fuji mountain hut and transport arrangements
  • Luggage forwarding from Kiso area to Matsumoto and from Kyoto to Hakone
  • IC transport card with 4,500yen credit for city transport
  • 3-day Hakone Free Pass for transport in the Hakone area
  • All transportation between destinations in Japan
  • Your InsideJapan Tours Info-Pack
  • Shared portable Wi-Fi access throughout trip
  • Entrance and tickets to Asakusa, Sumida River Cruise, Hamarikyu Gardens, Harajuku & Meiji Shrine

What's NOT included:

  • International flights
  • Additional local transport unless covered by the included passes (in Tokyo and Hakone)
  • Entrance fees including those for temples, shrines and museums unless otherwise specified
  • Baggage handling and luggage forwarding unless otherwise specified

View full price information >

Tour Price Information

  • Tour Price: From US$4053
  • No single supplement! Guaranteed single room in Western style hotels.

Extra Nights

  • Pre-Tour: Twin Share From US$117 pp Single From US$207 pp
  • Post-Tour: Twin Share From US$123 pp Single From US$182 pp


  • Tour Price: From US$4270
  • No single supplement! Guaranteed single room in Western style hotels.

Extra Nights

  • Pre-Tour: Twin Share From US$126 pp Single From US$210 pp
  • Post-Tour: Twin Share From US$135 pp Single From US$215 pp
Disclaimer Message: Please note: Prices displayed above are all "From" prices as individual prices vary depending on time of year travelling. For full pricing information on specific departures please speak to your Travel Consultant.

Tour Highlights

  • Walk the ancient Nakasendo Way between Tsumago and Magome
  • Watch the sun rise from the summit of Mount Fuji
  • Wander through Hakone's Open Air Museum
  • Feel the thrill of achievement as you complete the challenging circuit hike at Mount Hotaka
  • Visit Kamikochi National Park, one of the most beautiful places in Japan and summit Japan's 3rd highest peak; Hotaka Dake
  • Geisha district walking tour in Kyoto
  • See Matsumoto's "Black Crow" castle
  • If all this sounds great and makes you want to see even more, why not extend your stay in Japan!

For more information email us: [email protected] or call: 303 952 0379

What, where, when and how...

Historic Mountain Trails - 14 Days - Accommodation

Historic Mountain Trails - 14 Days - Booking

No single supplement! Guaranteed single room in Western style hotels.

Tour Reviews

(12 month average based on 4 reviews)

Tour Reviews

(12 month average based on 4 reviews)

4.8 out of 5 from 4 reviews Show all Historic Mountain Trails Reviews

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