Walk Japan introduces two winter trail walks

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TOKYO, 18 January 2018: Extending its series of experiential walking tours through rural Japan, Walk Japan has added two new itineraries to its portfolio of journeys.

The trail walk offers travellers rich culture and heritage in an area of Japan little-visited by international travellers.

these new tours, explore two of the country’s fascinating areas; the northerly Tohoku region, and along the route of the ancient Tokaido road, which connects Tokyo to Kyoto.

The Tohoku Hot Spring Snow Tour is nine-day, eight-night guided snowshoe tour through Japan’s Tohoku; a region famed for its rice, prodigious amounts of snow, onsen hot springs and the Narrow Road to the Deep North poetic journey of Matsuo Basho, one of Japan’s greatest literary figures.

Scheduled in the middle of winter, the Tohoku Hot Spring Snow Tour includes the  combination of deep snow and warm invigorating onsen hot springs.  It starts with a trirp on the  and ultra-fast Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo passing through a landscape of increasingly deep snow. Upon arrival, however, and for the rest of the tour the pace drops significantly as the mode of travel changes to local trains, buses and snowshoes for an exploration into the depths of rural, mountainous Tohoku.

In Tohoku’s remote valleys are nestled small, close-knit communities of charming hamlets and hot spring villages. Here the locals welcome tour participants with a hospitality that has been honed over many generations.

Japanese poet, Basho, undoubtedly experienced the same hospitality on his itinerant journey. In his footsteps the tour visits a spectacularly sited temple high above a valley on a steep cliff; and a venerable farmhouse where his uncomfortable night is evocatively related in his haiku poetry.

Snow is a grand theme of this tour but no two days are the same on the Tohoku Hot Spring Snow Tour.

Highlights include a descent through the incredible juhyo snow monsters; a climb to one of Tohoku’s greatest treasures, Yamadera temple; and a visit to Sakata, a historic and elegant old port town on the Sea of Japan coast.

Evening meals draw on the wide range of fresh produce from the seas, fields, rivers and mountains of Tohoku, followed by peaceful nights of sleep in inns, most of which boast onsen hot spring baths.

Tour dates: 24th Feb – 4th March 2018

Price: From JPY480,000 (JPY = Japanese Yen) per person.

The Tokaido Trail is an eight-day, seven-night exploration of the Tokaido, the ‘Eastern Sea Road’ and the greatest of Japan’s ancient highways, through Japan’s heartland and three of its greatest cities; Tokyo, Nagoya and Kyoto. It is also a journey through the very core of Japan’s history and culture to the present day.

Most Japanese will ride the super-fast Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train or drive the modern Tokaido toll road. However, few make their way, at a necessarily sedater pace, along the original Tokaido, which retains fascinating insights into the daily life of old Japan.

Tour customers travel this road from Tokyo through Hakone, Kambara, Shida Onsen, Okazaki, Arimatsu and Seki before finishing in Kyoto.

Today, the journey from Tokyo to Kyoto on the Tokaido Shinkansen bullet train takes just over two hours. The journey on the Tokaido Trail tour, however, is a much more leisurely affair over eight days travelling along the old road over rural passes and through urban landscapes of long-forgotten towns, that once bustled with traffic.

The Tokaido Trail tells the story of Japan’s historic and cultural legacy including journeys by great emperors and powerful shoguns, and also of the everyday folk who lived along its route and those others who were occasional allowed to travel its length.

Tour dates: 18th – 25th February 2018

Price: JPY360,000 (JPY = Japanese Yen) per person.

(Source: www.walkjapan.com )