Stride climate

Trip Type : Private Guided
Japanese Ancient temple in Kyoto, Japan

Rural Family Adventure: Treasures of Japan's Heartland

Oku Japan
5.0 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
8 days
From: $ 2,686 $ 336 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Visit some of the best rural regions and old capitals of JapanMeet free-roaming animals - Japanese deer and macaques
  • Cycling through peaceful countrysideOutdoor kitchen experience in the peaceful terraced rice fields with local farmers
  • Pottery making experience at one of the ancient kilns in the rural communityScenic boat ride along the Hozu River down to Arashiyama in Kyoto
  • Make your own paper lantern at the oldest studio in KyotoA thrilling Taiko drumming lesson with a famous professional team

Short Description

Experience the warmth of rural Japan on this adventure for the whole family

Our tour offers a fascinating insight into the Kansai area, heartland of Japan's culture and history. It offers a whole range of experiences from the urban sights of imperial Kyoto to rural immersion in the communities of Asuka and Sasayama. 

Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Trip Type Private Guided
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Nara
End City N/A

Trip Includes

  • Full-time services of an English-speaking tour guide
  • 7 nights in hotels and Japanese-style inns (Ryokan and Minshuku)
  • Daily breakfast, 1 lunch and 6 dinners
  • All transportation between tour locations
  • Entrance to museums, temples and other sights on the group's itinerary
  • Forwarding of one item of luggage on two occasions

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Itinerary

Day 1: Meet in Nara

Accommodation: Hotel

Arrive in Nara. Feed the freeroaming deer in Nara Park. Meet your tour guide and other group members at the tour hotel. There will be a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 2: Travel to Asuka and cycling

Accommodation: Minshuku (Family-run guesthouse)

This morning, we travel by train to Asuka, Japan’s first permanent capital. We rent bicycles and explore the village with its picturesque scenery and surrounding countryside. After lunch, we continue our leisurely exploration - watch out for the Tortoise Stone and the Monkey Stones! We divide into smaller groups for our overnight stay in charming, small Minshuku (family-run inns) in Asuka. Our Minshuku are traditional Japanese homes with tatami-mat rooms and we stay for two nights. Dinner and breakfast are delicious home-made cuisine using local ingredients.

Day 3: Harvesting and outdoor cookery lunch with a local farmer

Accommodation: Minshuku (Family-run guesthouse)

We join a young farming family in Asuka and help them harvest seasonal organic vegetables. Harvesting is great fun and a fascinating experience. After this good exercise, our hosts set up an outdoor kitchen in a rice field and show us how to cook lunch using the freshest ingredients. After lunch we have a fun Taiko drumming lesson with the local professional team. The team has given more than 1500 live performances in 38 countries around the world.

Day 4: Travel to Sasayama and make our own Tambayaki pottery

Accommodation: Minshuku (Family-run guesthouse)

Today we travel by train and bus to Sasayama, an ancient castle town which flourished as a transportation hub linking western Japan with Kyoto. We stop at an Tambayaki pottery village famous for some of the oldest kilns in Japan. The Noborigama ascending kilns are unique to the location. We visit a small private pottery studio and try our hand at pottery making. In the afternoon, a short bus ride takes us to Sasayama town. Our accommodation tonight is a delightful traditional local guesthouse.

Day 5: Sightseeing in Sasayama

Accommodation: Minshuku (Family-run guesthouse)

There is so much to see in Sasayama! There is the site of Sasayama Castle, originally built in 1609 as part of an offensive against rebels based in Osaka. We begin our own exploration of the town in the area where the Samurai warriors used to live. We’ll also see inside one of the fascinating old merchant houses and explore the town’s atmospheric streets on foot. There’ll be some free time for you to wander by yourselves, too - the town is full of interesting shops and cafes.

Day 6: By boat to Arashiyama

Accommodation: Hotel

This morning we travel to Kameoka and then enjoy a scenic two-hour boat ride along the Hozu River down to Arashiyama in Kyoto. Arashiyama is a lovely area of western Kyoto famous for its bamboo groves. We visit the monkey park on Mount Arashiyama, with its Japanese macaques and stunning views over Kyoto city. We walk through the atmospheric bamboo forest and stroll through the village.

Day 7: Vermilion Gates in Kyoto

Accommodation: Hotel

This morning we visit Fushimi Inari Grand Shrine and walk through thousands of beautiful vermilion gates which line the paths on Mount Inari. We continue to a traditional Japanese paper lantern studio and try our hand at making a small paper lantern to carry home as a souvenir. There will be free time in the afternoon and a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant in the evening.

Day 8: Tour ends

Our tour ends after breakfast at the tour hotel in Kyoto. Your guide will offer advice on your journey to the airport for your homeward flight, or on onward travel in Japan if you are extending your stay.

Availability

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Price From $ 2,686
Price Per Day: $ 336 per day
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Stride Featured in

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3 Oku Japan Travel Reviews & Ratings

100%
5.0 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 3
Great 0
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 0
Value
5.0
Guide
5.0
Activities
5.0
Lodging
5.0
Transportation
5.0
Meals
5.0

Rural Family Adventure: Treasures of Japan's Heartland

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Company Reviews

Everything was perfect

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We walked the self-guided Nakasendo Trail in October coordinated through Oku Japan. Everything was perfect, maps were easy to follow, accommodation was amazing and the scenery and walk was beautiful. The customer service from Oku Japan was above and beyond. We are already thinking about our next trip and will definitely be booking through them again. Well done Oku Japan we had a great time and apologies for not doing a review sooner.
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Absolutely amazing experience

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
absolutely amazing experience using oku japan for a 4 day kumano kodo trail self-guided tour (november 2016), the attention to detail and organization, the quality of materials, the fabulous experience on the trail and my evenings/mornings at local inns, and also visited the kumano kodo local office and spent some time with the lovely oku japan staff; I did underestimate the rigor of the hike, especially the opening, “passing through the womb” section of the trail, but managed to adjust, and it was a deeply moving, meaningfully, spiritual experience, much gratitude, highly recommended
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It was fabulous!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Just returned from the Nakasendo Trail walking tour. It was fabulous! Our guide, Naomi, was outstanding and Oku Japan was an excellent company to deal with. I highly recommend them and would use them again without reservation.
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Details

Trip Photos

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Private - your group only

Guides

Yumiko Sugai

I await your visit to reveal the hidden depths of this mysterious and rather wistful archipelago

Kiyoko Se

Being a guide is an opportunity to meet so many different people; it is thrilling to meet them and hear stories of their past trips and experiences.

Naomi Honda

I travelled extensively through Europe and Asia and my passion for different cultures and people inspired me to become a guide.

Cancellation Policy:

If you or any other person included on the Booking Form wishes to cancel their booking, the cancellation will be effective from the UK working day (normally Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays) on which we receive your written notification by email, mail or fax. The following cancellation charges will apply:

  • 60 days or more: deposit only
  • 59-42 days prior to departure: 30% of the total tour price
  • 41-15 days prior to departure: 50% of total tour price
  • 14 days prior to departure: 100% of the total tour price
  • We advise you to take out insurance against irrecoverable cancellation costs.

If any member(s) of your party is/are prevented from traveling, the person(s) concerned will be able to transfer their place to someone else (introduced by you) providing the following requirements are complied with. We must be notified of the transfer(s) in writing (giving full details of the original and substitute party member(s)) not less than two weeks before departure. A transfer will not be possible if there is a waiting list for places in which case the available place must be offered to the next person on that list. Where a transfer to a person of your choice can be made, all costs and charges incurred by us and/or incurred or imposed by any of our suppliers as a result together with an amendment fee of USD45 per person, per element must be paid before the transfer can be affected.

Age Notes

Suitable for children aged 5 and upwards.

Min. Age: 5

Trip ID#:

FamHeaOku

Trip Excludes

  • Flights
  • Airport transfers
  • Pay locally for drinks with meals and for lunches
  • Entrance fees to museums, temples etc. not mentioned in the itinerary

Meals Included:

8 Breakfasts, 1 lunch and 6 Dinners

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