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WALK JAPAN: Travels on the Tokaido  

Fully Escorted Tour

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JTB invites you on an exploration of the Tokaido, the greatest of Japan’s ancient highways, and a journey through the heartland of Japan between Tokyo and Kyoto. This leisurely journey connects the Tokaido’s best remaining sections through now little-known places seemingly forgotten since their heyday over 140 years ago. 

Woodblock artist Ando Hiroshige’s (1797-1868) most famous work, The Fifty-Three stages of the Tokaido, is our historical and visual companion. Hiroshige’s depictions of the old road contributed to popularising the Tokaido and cemented its iconic status in Japan’s modern mythology. It is still possible to match the scenery with Hiroshige’s prints, which also feature the famous food delicacies that you will have ample opportunity to sample during the tour.

 
  1. Day
  2. 1
Tokyo

Meals: Dinner 
Accommodation: Western Hotel
Total Walking: Approx 4km (2.5miles)

Your journey will begin in Nihonbashi, Tokyo which was the centre of Japan in the Edo period and all the nation’s principal roads, including the Tokaido, led here. Meet with your tour leader for briefing in the evening, followed by dinner at a local restaurant to get to know your group.

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  1. Day
  2. 2
Tokyo – Hakone – Mishima

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodation: Western hotel with onsen thermal hot spring baths 
Total Walking: Approx 11km (6.8miles)

Your journey will begin in the morning departing Tokyo on the bullet train to the Hakone area and first walk along the old Tokaido. The road still has some original sections laid with stones from the Edo Period. Following a picnic lunch at a local teahouse, descend to Lake Ashino-ko. Here, weather permitting; a famous view of Mt. Fuji can be enjoyed across the lake. 

Arriving at the lake shore, make your way through an avenue of giant cedar trees to visit the excellent Hakone Barrier Museum. Along with Arai Barrier, this was one of two main checkpoints on the Tokaido.

Transfer over the Hakone pass to nearby Mishima and accommodation for the evening. Tonight’s dinner is at a lively Izakaya (Japanese pub style) restaurant.

Hakone

  1. Day
  2. 3
Mishima – Kanbara – Yui – Okitsu 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Japanese Inn 
Total Walking: Approx 12km (7.5miles)

Transfer by local train to Kanbara. Alighting here you will walk to the Tokaido Hiroshige Art Museum to view originals of the famous series of woodblock prints, “53 Stations of the Tokaido”, and sample Sakura Ebi, a local shrimp delicacy, for lunch.

Continue through the post town of Yui over the Satta pass (another of Hiroshige’s famous Tokaido views, incorporating Mt. Fuji, is set here) and descend to the post town of Okitsu, made famous by Oliver Statler in his book, “A Japanese Inn”. Although a modern building, the accommodation tonight, the Okaya, has maintained a presence on the Tokaido for over 200 years and seven generations.

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  1. Day
  2. 4
Okitsu – Mariko – Okabe – Shida Onsen 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Japanese Inn with onsen thermal hot spring baths
Total Walking: Approx 12km (7.5miles)

After breakfast, head to Shizuoka and the mighty Abe river, before stopping at Ishibe-ya for Abekawa Mochi rice cakes, famous since the Edo Period.

Continuing along the highway, our next culinary stop is the post town of Mariko, and a lunch of Tororojiru (grated yam soup) at the Chojiya, made famous in Hiroshige’s woodblock print series. Now in the 14th generation of owners, Chojiya has been serving tororojiru since 1596 at this exact location.

Following lunch, transfer to the hamlet of Utsunoya, and the old road over the still-scenic Utsunoya Pass. Descending to the nearby post-town of Okabe, visit the excellently preserved old travellers’ inn Kashibaya. The current building dates to 1836 and welcomed Yaji-san and Kita-san, fictional characters from the famous picaresque novel Shank’s Mare by Jippensha Ikku (along with Statler’s “A Japanese Inn”, another book we suggest you read before joining us on tour). 

Transfer to Shida Onsen for the night.

Tokaido 4

  1. Day
  2. 5
Shida Onsen – Kanaya – Nissaka – Kakegawa – Lake Hamana-ko 

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodation: Japanese Inn with onsen thermal hot spring baths               
Total Walking: Approx 11km (6.8miles)

Morning transfer from Shida Onsen to Fujieda before embarking on a short train ride across the Oi River, one of a number of large rivers which the Shogunate used as lines of defence.

Walk from the small post town of Kanaya along a well-preserved section of the old highway to Nissaka. The route undulates through lovingly maintained tea plantations, and a short section comprises original cobbled stones laid on the Tokaido during the Edo period. On the way, pass through the hamlet of Kikugawa, where locals take pride in maintaining their section of the old road.

Finishing the walk for today, transfer to nearby Kakegawa and journey on to tonight’s accommodation close by the shores of Lake Hamana-ko, where you will have time to relax in the thermal hot spring baths before dinner.

Tokaido Day5

  1. Day
  2. 6
Lake Hamanako – Kiga – Mikkabi – Okazaki 

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodation: Western Hotel
Total Walking: Approx 12km (7.5miles)

Today’s walk takes you along the Hime-Kaido or “Princess’ Way”, an alternate Tokaido route favoured by women.

Transfer to Okazaki where you will be staying at accommodation overlooking Okazaki Castle. The castle is featured in Hiroshige’s woodblock print, and is the birthplace of Tokugawa Ieyasu, a pivotal figure in Japanese feudal history.

Before checking in, there will be time to explore the famous Haccho Miso manufacturing area of the town, and this tasty local product will also be a feature of the evening meal.

Tokaido Day6

  1. Day
  2. 7
Okazaki – Kameyama – Seki – Kyoto 

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodation: Western Hotel             
Total Walking: Approx 10km (6.2miles)

Departing Okazaki, transfer by rail to the post town of Kameyama for a final day of walking along the old Tokaido. Our destination, Seki post town, is the 47th from Tokyo and there are over 200 buildings remaining in the town from the late Edo to Meiji periods. Here browse the architecture, enjoy refreshments, and view a number of interesting, well-preserved houses open to the public. The backdrop to the post town is the famous Mount Fudesute, the subject of Hiroshige’s woodblock print.  

Travel on to Kyoto by rail, but walking the last kilometer to cross the great bridge of Sanjo Ohashi, which marks the end of the Tokaido in Kyoto. Enjoy a farewell dinner tonight.

Tokaido Day7

  1. Day
  2. 8
Kyoto

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: N/A                
Total Walking: N/A

Tour will conclude after breakfast. JTB can arrange post tour arrangements if required.

Tokadio Day8

Departure Dates:21 March, 2017
July 2017 TBA
November 2017 TBA
Tour Price:$5,556 Person Twin Share
Tour Inclusions:*7 nights accommodation with daily breakfast
*2 lunches & 7 dinners
*Walk Japan tour leader for tour duration
*Travel from tour start point to finish point
*Baggage transfer service where applicable
Guide Service:An experienced guide, knowledgeable about Japan and the Japanese and fluent in English
Accommodation: Tour accommodation is a combination of charming local inns and 3 star hotels throughout. Japanese inns are traditional Japanese style accommodation. Here you will enjoy some excellent Japanese cuisine. Tour pre and post accommodation can also be arranged before and after the tour. 
Walking:Participants must be able to handle their own luggage, climb a few flights of stairs and walk between 1-10km each day (approx). Please note that one person’s expectations of what is easy or hard can be very different. Whilst age, physical ability and fitness are factors in deciding what a person is capable of, often a seemingly less fit person completes these tours with no problem at all. (Leisurely pace)
Luggage:*Main luggage will be sent overnight on two occasions; from Tokyo on day 2, and from Lake Hamana-ko on day 6. On these days all overnight items will need to be carried in your day pack. 
*As there is no porter service in Japan, one piece of luggage per person is advised. If you are travelling before and/or after the tour and have extra baggage this can be forwarded by a secure and efficient luggage service to the hotel at the end of the tour or another destination in Japan. The cost, not included, is between YEN 1,200-1,800 per item of luggage. 
Remarks:  *No minimum group size. Maximum is 12.
*Japanese cuisine is as varied as it is high in quality. Your tour leader will advise you how you may best enjoy meals not provided in the tour. 
*Entrance fees for visits with your tour leader to museums, etc are included. 
*Daily schedule is subject to change without notice due to weather, transport or any other unforeseen circumstances.   


1300 739 330

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