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Adventure Tours   >   Asia Adventure Tours   >  Japan Hike, Bike & Kayak

Japan Hike, Bike & Kayak Adventure Tour

Asia

  • Japan

There's so much to discover in the Land of the Rising Sun. So we've taken our favourite must-see highlights and major cultural touchstones like Kyoto and Hiroshima, combined them with visits to lesser known areas, and packed everything into a 13-day itinerary. Hike along the ancient Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route to visit spectacular shrines, visit the impressive site of Wakayama Castle, bike the famous Shimanami Kaido route, and kayak around the famed floating torii gate in the Bay of Miyajima. With a refreshing mix of approachable activities, beautiful landscapes, and delicious eats, this tour has something for every kind of traveller.


About Accommodation  

Japan is one of the most populous countries in the world and space is at a premium. Therefore, hotels rooms are small! Additionally, most Japanese hotels do not have designated non-smoking rooms. Therefore, we ask hotels to deoderise rooms before check in.

Ryokan are traditional inns found across Japan. Featuring tatami floors (soft mats of woven straw), futon beds, Japanese-style baths, cotton kimono (casual robe worn to lounge around or to head to the bath), and elaborate meals (often served in the comfort of your own room), a ryokan is the perfect place to experience traditional customs and hospitality. As ryokan are usually top tier accommodations, most guests stay only one night, often to celebrate a special occasion or holiday. Don't be intimidated by the formalities inherent to a stay at a ryokan, your hosts will welcome you the same way they do all their guests. Have fun and enjoy this relaxing opportunity to learn more about Japan's unique customs.

Minshuku are Japan's answer to the Western bed and breakfast. Similar to ryokan, they have traditional features like tatami floors, futon beds, and Japanese-style baths. Minshuku are often family-run, and as such they offer a great opportunity to interact with local people and learn more about the nation's customs. More affordable and simpler than ryokan, minshuku tend to have smaller guestrooms, shared bathroom facilities, and any included meals (traditional, local, and delicious) are served in a communal dining room.


Itinerary Notes  

Luggage size restriction - Effective from May 2020 onwards
All G Adventures tours in Japan use the world-famous Shinkansen bullet trains, which have a restriction on maximum luggage size. Your luggage must be less than 160cm in total. This is roughly the size that most airline companies consider as "carry-on baggage" and allow in overhead storage compartments.

We strongly recommend bringing a day pack or backpack to use during the day, in addition to your carry-on sized luggage. Please see “What to take” under Tour details for more information.


Arrival Complications  

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.


What to Take  

It's essential to pack as lightly as possible for rail travel in Japan. All G Adventures tours use the world-famous Shinkansen bullet trains, which have a restriction on maximum luggage size.

Any luggage brought on board must be less than 160cm in total (calculated as the sum of the height + width + depth of your luggage). This is roughly the size that most airline companies consider as "carry-on baggage" and allow in overhead storage compartments. We strongly recommend bringing a day pack or backpack to use during the day (for daily essentials like water, cameras, passport, etc.).

Please note that travellers who bring luggage that exceeds this restriction will be directly penalized by the Central Japan Railway Company. Any luggage between 160-250cm will require a fee of 1,000 JPY per luggage, for each leg of your train journey, and is strictly subject to availability. Any luggage over 251cm in total is prohibited on the Shinkansen trains.

If you absolutely must bring more than what fits into a single carry-on bag plus day pack, you may bring a second carry-on bag which also must be less than 160cm in total. Please note, however, that as with all G Adventures tours, you must be able to carry your luggage unassisted.

Takuhaibin - Japan's takuhaibin service is a convenient and reliable way to transfer luggage from one location to another throughout the country. Pick-up/drop-off/delivery dates and times can be easily scheduled (usually overnight) and costs are moderate. Service can be arranged at most hotels and airports. Using takuhaibin to send your luggage between hotels, or from hotel to airport, is a great way to travel light and avoid hauling a large bag on crowded trains or up and down stairs - just be sure to bring a daypack/small backpack with everything you'll need overnight until you're reunited with your luggage the following day.

To avoid additional costs during the cycling portion of this tour we recommend you only bring 1 large piece of luggage and 1 day pack/small backpack with you on tour. See "Important Notes" for more information.


Joining Hotel  

For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.


Packing List  

Cold Weather:
• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
• Scarf
• Warm gloves
• Warm hat
• Warm layers

Conservative Dress:
• Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders (Long pants, long skirts, shirts that cover shoulders)
• Shawl or scarf (for temple visits)

Documents:
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)

Essentials:
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Footwear
• Hat
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Moneybelt
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Shirts/t-shirts
• Sleepwear
• Small travel towel
• Sunglasses
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket

Health & Safety:
• Face masks (required)
• Hand sanitizer (required)
• Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.)
• Quick Covid Test/Antigen Test
• Rubber gloves

Trekking:
• Gloves
• Hat
• Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes
• Hiking pants (Convertible/Zip-off and quick dry recommended)
• Snacks (Protein bars, chocolate, dried fruits, candies, energy sweets.)
• Socks (Trekking socks (woollen or synthetic, not cotton).)
• Thermal base layer (Woollen or synthetic, not cotton.)
• Walking poles (Highly recommended.)

Warm Weather:
• Sandals/flip-flops
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
• Swimwear

Note: During the colder months (Nov-Apr) the mountains can be very cold, so please make sure you pack warm clothes. During summer (Jun-Sep) temperatures be very hot and humid. Lightweight breathable clothing is recommended.

Note: Hand sanitizer is a rare commodity in Japan, so it is best to bring this with you.


Emergency Contact  

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Office (Japan)
During office hours, Mon-Fri (Excluding national holidays) 9:00-18:00 Local Time
From outside Japan: 1st contact +81 3-6659-9074 (2nd contact +81 80 6779 1851)
From within Japan: 1st contact +81 3-6659-9074 (2nd contact +81 80 6779 1851)

After office hours emergency number
Primary phone: +81 80 6779 1851 (from within Japan: 080 6779 1851)

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below which will connect you directly with our Sales team who will happily assist you. Hours of operation by region can be found here.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999


Joining Instructions  

From Kansai Intl Airport (KIX) to Shin-Osaka Esaka Tokyu REI Hotel:

First, get some cash.
After passing through the customs, stop by a bank counter or an ATM machine on the first floor to get some Japanese Yen. This may be your last chance to exchange cash easily in Japan as only certain banks do currency exchange.

Airport Limousine Bus
Buses run twice hourly to the Namba OCAT bus station near your hotel. Journey time is 48 minutes and costs 1050 Yen.
The bus departs from Stop 11 at the International Arrival Lobby on the first floor of the airport. Tickets for buses can be purchased from vending machines located near the bus stops.
http://www.kate.co.jp/pc/e_time_table/e_ocat.html

On arrival at OCAT, you can either take a taxi (recommended. 30min, 4000 Yen) or the subway. To take the subway you will need to walk to Namba subway station (NOT JR Namba station) and then ride the subway to Umeda Station. Follow the subway signs; you will walk through the OCAT Walk and Namba Walk underground shopping plazas. It should take about 5 minutes.
See the instructions below about getting to the hotel from Namba station.

Nankai Line Train
The Nankai Line runs extremely regular trains to Namba station.
1. Follow the sign "Railways" to the second floor, exit the terminal building, then cross the pedestrian bridge outside to walk into Kansai Airport Station.
2. Go to Nankai Railways counters #1-3 under the orange sign "Ltd. Exp. Rapi:t Reservation Tickets and General Tickets" on your left.
3. Purchase a ticket for the next Rapi:t (pronounced 'rapeet') or Airport Express to Namba. The ticket costs 1390Yen for Rap:t (44min) or 890Yen for Airport Express (38min) .
4. Go through a gate under the orange sign, which says "Nankai" by inserting the ticket into the gate. Retrieve the ticket, which will be returned to you at the other side of the gate. You will need it when leaving the Railway.
5. Go down to a platform, and get on the train. The seats are reserved on the Rap:t and non reserved on the Airport Express. The departure time, car number and the seat number are written on the ticket.
6. Follow the signs for "Subway Sennichimae Line " down to the subway station.

At Namba
1. After passing by the gates for the subway, you will find ticket vending machines.
2. Deposit 200 Yen or more (the machine will return any change) into the machine, and press the button displaying "200" to buy a ticket to Esaka.
3. Go to the gates with the Midosuji (red) Line sign. Go through a gate by inserting the ticket into it. Retrieve your ticket, which will be returned at the other end of the gate. You will need it when you leave the subway.
4. Take a train bound for Umeda/Shin Osaka. It is the next (and final) stop.
5. Get off at Esaka/Umeda Station
6. Walk 1 min to the Shin-Osaka Esaka Tokyu REI Hotel from Esaka Station on the Midosuji Subway Line or 11 minutes by Subway from Umeda Station

Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day during which no activities have been planned.

Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day during which no activities have been planned.
A G Adventures Representative will organize a short meeting on Day 1, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.


Visas and Entry Requirements  

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check the information yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.

Visa information specific to your destination and nationality can be found in our Important Pre-Departure Information page here


Safety and Security  

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.


Trip Specific Safety  

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.


Detailed Trip Notes  

Travel in Japan is easy, clean, fast and efficient, however please be aware that English is still not widely spoken, however a lot of patience, a sense of humour and a respect for the local culture goes a long way in any Asian country and will greatly enrich your experience.


Planeterra Foundation - the non-profit partner of G Adventures  

Planeterra International Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to turning travel into impact by helping local communities earn an income from tourism. Planeterra connects underserved local communities to the benefits of tourism by developing and supporting small community-owned businesses. These businesses support Indigenous people, empower women, grant youth access to employment opportunities, and protect the environment. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating their projects into G Adventures' itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra's largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs, so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.

G Adventures Dollar-a-day Program - Make Every Day Count - Turn your travel into impact with Planeterra Foundation.

Did you know? Most communities around the world do not benefit from tourism. Give back to the places you visit on your travels by creating opportunities for local people to earn an income, and protect the environment.

Make every day count by donating $1/day for the length of your trip, and join us in empowering the communities you will visit when you travel. 100% of your donation goes directly to Planeterra projects.


Transport  

Local train, local bus, bicycle, kayak, walking.


Accommodation  

Hotel (9 nts), traditional inn (3 nts).


Solo Travellers  

We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.


Feedback  

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at [email protected] and we will send it on to you.


Highlights  

Hike along the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route, cycle between islands in rural Japan, Visit the Fushimi Inari Shrine in Kyoto, Explore Wakayama castle, Kayak to the famous floating torii gate at Miyajima


Important Notes  

1. Luggage
It is not possible to carry a large bag with you during the cycling portion of this tour (2 days), as such the cost of forwarding one large piece of luggage from Matsuyama to Onomichi is included. Ensure you bring only 1 large bag and 1 day pack/small backpack that will carry essential items for the cycle and 1 night stay en route. You will be responsible for the cost of forwarding any additional large bags, should you choose to bring them on tour.

During the hiking and kayaking portions of this tour luggage can be left at the hotels.

2. Tattoos
Tattoos are not common or widely accepted in Japan. There is no cause for concern, but do your best to cover your tattoos when possible and note that you may not be permitted to enter public spas or onsens (hot springs).

3. Luggage size restriction - Effective from May 2020 onwards
All G Adventures tours in Japan use the world-famous Shinkansen bullet trains, which have a restriction on maximum luggage size. Your luggage must be less than 160cm in total. This is roughly the size that most airline companies consider as "carry-on baggage" and allow in overhead storage compartments.

We strongly recommend bringing a day pack or backpack to use during the day, in addition to your carry-on sized luggage. Please see “What to take” under Tour details for more information.


Max Pax  

15


What's Included  

Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group. Hike the Kumano Kodo Trail (3 days). Wakayama Castle visit. Fushimi Inari Shrine visit. Shimanami Kaido Cycling Route (2 days). Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum visit. Miyajima Island visit with sea kayaking. Traditional ryokan stay with kaiseki meal. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.


About our Transportation  

On our tours in Japan we use public transport, making use of Japan's world famous transport system. From the super fast Shinkansen Bullet Train to Kyoto's extensive local bus network, we ride with the locals.


Itinerary Disclaimer  

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.


Meals Included  

3 breakfasts, 3 dinners


Optional Activities  

Kyoto
- Gion Walk (Free)
- Nijo Castle and Gardens Visit (600JPY per person)

Tokyo
- Ueno Park Visit (Free)


Dossier Disclaimer  

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.


Tipping  

Tipping is not practiced in Japan. Leaving money at restaurants, in taxis etc will simply cause confusion!

Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is highly appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $5 USD per person, per day can be used.


A Couple of Rules  

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of people in the sex trade is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they utilize the services of paid sex workers, in any capacity.


Minimum Age  

You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.


International Flights  

Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.


Group Leader  

CEO (Chief Experience Officer) throughout, local guides.


Local Flights  

There are no internal flights on this trip itinerary.


My Own Room  

Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops

Day 1 Osaka

Arrive at any time.

We highly recommend booking pre-accommodation in Osaka to see more of this interesting city.

Day 2 Osaka/Chikatsuyu

Take the train from Osaka to Chikatsuyu to begin the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage hike.

Day 3 Chikatsuyu/Katsuura

Enjoy a day hike along the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route, reach the Hongu Taisha Shrine with the largest torii gate in Japan. Afterwards, board a bus for coastal Katsuura.

Day 4 Katsuura/Wakayama

Hike to one of Japan's best-known waterfalls and the Kumano Nachi Taisha, an ancient site along this pilgrimage trail, before heading to Wakayama for the night.

Day 5 Wakayama/Kyoto

Visit the impressive site of Wakayama Castle before transferring by train to Kyoto.

Day 6 Kyoto

Take in the vibrant colours of Fushimi Inari shrine and explore the historic side of Kyoto.

Day 7 Kyoto/Onomichi

Explore more of Kyoto with free time before taking the train to Onomichi.

Day 8 Onomichi/Ikuchi Jima

Enjoy a day of cycling across bridges and islands to the south of Honshu, exploring small villages along the way. Spend the night in a ryokan inn on Ikuchi Jima and savour a traditional kaiseki meal.

Day 9 Ikuchi Jima/Matsuyama

Cycle along the Shimanami Kaido towards Imabari City. Continue on to Matsuyama to rest for the night.

Day 10 Matsuyama/Hiroshima

Transfer by ferry to Hiroshima. This afternoon visit the Peace Park and Museum to learn more about the city's tragic history.

The large Peace Park in the centre of the city is an extremely moving place dotted with memorials of those killed by the atomic bomb and others who subsequently died. The burning flame in the park will only be extinguished when all nuclear weapons in the world have been destroyed. Take a tram ride through the city to reach Peace Park.

Day 11 Hiroshima

Travel to the island of Miyajima from Hiroshima. Hop into a kayak and paddle out to the iconic torii gate which floats in the bay.

Please note the floating Torii Gate will be under construction from June 2019 to Aug 2020.

Day 12 Hiroshima/Tokyo

Transfer to the bustling metropolis of Tokyo by train and explore with some free time in the afternoon.

Day 13 Tokyo

Depart at any time. We highly recommend booking post-accommodation to fully experience this vibrant city.

Details

Duration: 13 Days

Service Level: Standard

Travel Style: Active

Physical Grading: 3 - Average

Trip Type: Small Group



Call Us: 01 2311889



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