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Japan Hike 2023
October 14, 2023 @ 8:00 am - October 24, 2023 @ 5:00 pm
Since living in Japan for a year (2017), I have wanted to share some of the cultural and hiking experiences with others. I have contacted an American guide living in Japan (ActiveTravelJapan) to lead a hike in the Japanese alps. I think he has put together a wonderful agenda which includes two nights in a mountain hut (Sansou), 5 days hiking in the Japanese Alps, a day hiking on the famous Nakasendo trade route, and a day touring the city of Matsumoto and its incredible castle. The preliminary itinerary is attached.
I also have included two nights in Kofu prior to the hike, so that we have time to recover from jet lag. There are quite a few things to do in Kofu which I will show you, but these will be optional. This will also give us an opportunity to introduce you to Japanese bathing in an onsen; something I hope you will quickly adapt to and enjoy as much as I do.
A couple of comments: 1) hiking in Japan tends to be steep so bring poles; but the alps are incredible and worth the effort. 2) our luggage will be transported from hotel to hotel; except for the first two nights where we will be staying in Mountain Huts. We need to bring toiletries and whatever change of clothes needed for those two nights, 3) Sleeping in a mountain hut is between sheets, but on flimsy futons (think 1” low density foam), so I recommend bringing a backpacking air mattress, and maybe some kind of pillow, too. We may be sleeping in a large room next to other hikers; bring ear plugs! 4) October is typically a very nice time to visit Japan, but in the alps it may get cold, so bring warm layers. 5) Onsen bathing is a huge cultural “thing” in Japan. Often Onsen bathing is literally a family thing to do, where the boys go one way, the girls another, then they meetup for noodles at the onsen restaurant. 6) you must purchase your own trip insurance to include medical care overseas.
Flights on United or Delta out of Redmond to Haneda (not Narita!!!). are about $1700
Bus and trains out of Haneda plus two nights’ hotel and meals in Kofu will be about $500
I expect each individual to pay the above as we go.
The guided hike is $3000 for double room occupancy, and $3600 for single room occupancy. Note that lunches and alcohol are extra.
Everyone needs to arrive at Haneda Airport on Oct. 14 between 12:00 & 3:00. We will spend two nights in Kofu to adjust for jet lag. The tour actually starts on Oct 16 and ends on Oct 24, when we either go back to Haneda or extend our Japan travel experience.
Active Travel Japan will need a 20% downpayment by April 15, and the final 80% by July 15.
Group size is limited to 12 people (11 besides myself).
I plan on arriving a couple days early so I can verify where to catch the bus and trains, and how to get to the hotels (and meet some old friends in Kofu). I will return to Haneda to meet everyone arriving on October 13th. Flights arrive between 1:00p and 2:45p; then the bus leaves at 6:00pm; hopefully with all of us on board!
I would recommend you extend your stay in Japan. I will get you back to Haneda if you wish to return right away. Otherwise, you may want to return to Tokyo and enjoy the sights, returning on your own at a later time.