From the majestic walking paths and quirky gardens of Kyoto to the wonderfully preserved temples and districts of Kanazawa, this is truly a land of contrasts. As walkers, we have sought out the most serene and picturesque pockets to explore, taking in the wonderful views and winsome character of the region. We’ll soak in mountain hot springs, visit centuries-old temples, experience the time-honoured tea ceremony, and marvel at meticulously tended landscapes. This is the Zen garden of the world—where serenity surrounds and tradition abounds in an enchanting whirlwind of adventure. Yōkoso!
Trip designed by Travel Expert Orsolya KakoView Orsolya’s Profile
We’ll start our exploration today at UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tōdai-ji temple—famous for the giant bronze Buddha inside. Then, stop for a visit in Nara's famous deer park, home to herds of wild, yet very tame (and hungry) deer!
After breakfast this morning we’ll travel by car to the agricultural area of Asuka, situated on the edge of the Yamato Plain in Nara Prefecture. See ancient burial mounds of Japan’s first emperors and other historic sites of cultural importance scattered across this tranquil scenery of terraced rice fields.
Head to the Fushimi Inari-Taisha, perhaps one of Japan’s most recognizable symbols. We’ll hike through colourful hillside paths, finishing with some of the most amazing views overlooking the valley below. After lunch, we'll head to Kyoto with time to visit the famous geisha district.
Travel with your guide by private car to the northern mountain area called “Sambi”. Enjoy the beauty of the trees and the stream as we walk our way towards Tenryuji—one of the most important Zen temples in Kyoto. After lunch, we'll have the chance to discover Arashiyama and its famed bamboo grove!
After a morning hike, visit the famous Nishiki Market, which has been in operation since 1310 (many of the shops are still run by the same families!). In the late afternoon, we’ll head over to the historical area of Ninen-zaka and Sannen-zaka, where you'll get an idea of what Kyoto looked like before modernity descended in full force.
This morning, we'll travel by train to the very special Kayotei Ryokan. We'll exlore the onsen district, featuring shops and galleries of local traditional arts and crafts, including Yamanaka Lacquerware and Kutaniyaki pottery. Be sure to have relaxing soak in the hotel's hot spring before dinner—it is divine!
Explore the samurai and geisha districts of Kanazawa, both of which narrowly escaped destruction during WWII. This afternoon we'll have the opportunity to experience Kenrokuen, one of Japan’s “three best landscape gardens” and considered to be the most beautiful of them all.
After breakfast, we’ll travel by train to Kanazawa where we can drop you off at the train station or hotel of your choice.Show All Days VIEW MAP CLOSE Want to see a full
In a word: everything. In ninety words? Signature B&R guides; local experts; unique, unforgettable biking and walking routes; private tours; authentic local cuisine; lessons and demonstrations; local artisanal wines; wine tastings; all victuals and libations; all the endorphins you can handle; new insight; interesting, fun and like-minded travel companions; a feeling of total freedom. In short: an extraordinary, hassle-free journey of discovery.