Walk Japan Historic Tours Travel Japan’s Ancient Feudal Paths

[30/03/12] 

Walk Japan has been running walking tours for over 20 years but the best of the lot is the historic Nakasendo Way, a guided journey between Kyoto and Edo, modern-day Tokyo. What makes the trip special is the heritage of the route (originally it was only used by feudal lords and their retinues) as well as the historic inns you stay at, some of which have been run by the same family for hundreds of years. They've got the katsu curry down to a T.

You'll wander through ancient hamlets and over remote mountain passes, stopping along the way at places like Shinchaya where you're welcomed into a beautiful inn. Seated on a tatami-mat floor, you're given a cotton yukata gown and haori jacket (traditional traveller's clothes) before gorging on Japanese delights. If that's not enough, the 70-year-old host often shoots wild boar from the surrounding forest and serves it at the inn his family has managed for eight generations. It's a bit like Disney for adults.

At HK$34,500 the 11 day tour is far from cheap but neither is Japan and where else can you stop for nourishment at a 250-year-old tea house or explore Kiso-Fukushima? The latter is the historic check point where samurai used to search travellers for unlicensed guns, illegal Christian motifs and to make sure hostage wives weren't being smuggled out of Tokyo. Japan is revered throughout Asia (nothwithstanding internet forums in Mainland China) and the best way to see it is to Walk with Japan.

The way.


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