Self Guided Adventure


Pilgrim's Paths

14 Nights: from US$6466 per person (twin share) Trip Code: PPS

Our Pilgrim's Paths itinerary showcases a selection of the stunning natural environments navigated by the Kumano Kodo network of pilgrimage routes, juxtaposing unspoilt nature with two of Japan's most iconic cities. Read more >

Your journey begins and ends in Tokyo, Japan's remarkable capital city. Here, a visit to bustling Senso-ji Temple, where incense permeates the air and crowds of visitors queue to purchase their fortunes, gives a glimpse of a bygone Tokyo amongst the steel, glass and neon of a skyscraper world.

From the old town atmosphere of Senso-ji to the όber-modern, fast-paced districts of Shinjuku and Shibuya, you'll be excellently placed to discover the many faces of Japan's capital city.

A ride on Japan's iconic Shinkansen will bring you to Kyoto, the "City of Ten Thousand Shrines", where historical monuments lie hidden around every corner and you may even catch a glimpse of one of the elusive geisha!

From Kyoto you will make your way through valleys and peaks to sacred Mount Koya, perched on a mountaintop in deepest Wakayama Prefecture, where you'll stay in traditional temple lodgings surrounded by thick forests and witness an early morning meditation ceremony.

From here you'll make your way even deeper into the Kii Peninsula, with stays in Kawayu Onsen and Yunomine Onsen - tiny, traditional spa towns that form part of the Kumano Kodo network of pilgrimage trails.

The Kumano Kodo has been trodden by pilgrims from diverse religious and social backgrounds for over a millennium, linking the three great shrines of Hongu Taisha, Nachi Taisha and Hatayama Taisha.

During your stay you'll visit all of these shrines as well as hiking through ancient forests, admiring the tallest waterfall in Japan, staying in traditional accommodations, soaking in some of the country's finest natural hot springs and walking a section of the Daimonzaka cobblestone stairway.

After your exploration of the Kumano Kodo and a stay on a tiny, forested island in Katsuura Bay, a scenic coastal train will bring you to the pilgrimage town of Ise, one of Shinto's most sacred sites.

Finally you'll round off your trip in Tokyo, where the towering skycrapers, glaring neon and cacophonic karaoke booths will provide an arresting contrast to your rural exploration!

At a glance

What's Included

What's included

  • 14 nights' accommodation (seven nights Japanese style)
  • Breakfast each morning, seven evening meals, four lunches
  • Transport between destinations unless otherwise specified
  • First class (green) train tickets between destinations (where available)
  • Airport transfers by private car
  • Eight-hour private guide service in Tokyo including entrance fees and lunch
  • Full day private guide service in Mount Koya
  • Manaca transport card with 2,500 yen credit for use on local transport
  • Private cycling tour of Kyoto with lunch included
  • Japanese home-cooking class in Kyoto
  • Kansai Thru Pass
  • Same-day luggage forwarding service between destinations on the Kumano Kodo (From Kawayu Onsen to Yunomine and from Yunomine to Kii-Katsuura)
  • Your personalised InsideJapan Info-Pack

What's NOT included:

  • International flights
  • Some local buses
  • Any entrance fees including those for shrines, temples and museums unless otherwise specified
  • Baggage handling and luggage forwarding unless otherwise specified

What, where, when and how...

Pilgrim's Paths - 15 Days - Accommodation

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