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Explore the ancient monuments, tombs and temples of Nara and Asuka on a luxury walking tour. The Kansai region, situated at the centre of Japan's main island of Honshu, is home to three historic capitals: Kyoto, Nara and Asuka. Discover fascinating histories along hiking trails connecting Nara and Asuka on an unforgettable journey back in time.
This four-day, three-night tour begins with an exploration of Asuka. From here, the first Japanese emperors established their capitals and many of the country's oldest shrines, temples, tombs and archaeological excavations can be found here. Walk or cycle the scenic hiking trails surrounding Asuka, admire the terraced rice paddies and hike the historical Yamanobe-no-michi Trail - the oldest recorded road in Japan. Nara is located 20 km north of Asuka. Due to its past as ...
This four-day, three-night tour begins with an exploration of Asuka. From here, the first Japanese emperors established their capitals and many of the country's oldest shrines, temples, tombs and archaeological excavations can be found here. Walk or cycle the scenic hiking trails surrounding Asuka, admire the terraced rice paddies and hike the historical Yamanobe-no-michi Trail - the oldest recorded road in Japan. Nara is located 20 km north of Asuka. Due to its past as the first permanent capital, the city remains full of historic treasures, including some of Japan's oldest and largest temples. Spend two nights in Nara exploring Wagyu, Yagyu, and Nara Park, home of the Todaiji temple.
Enjoy a night in Asuka at an exclusive ryokan where you will experience total privacy in a restored Edo period house featuring traditional rooms and décor yet including all modern conveniences. All the rooms overlook the elegant, traditional gardens. Nights two and three are spent at Nara Hotel, an elegant guesthouse with views over the famous sights of Nara.
This luxury tour includes three nights handpicked accommodation, all breakfasts and dinners as well as an English-speaking guide and private monuments walk in Asuka. Transport is provided from Kyoto on the first day and to Nara at the conclusion of the tour.
Travel back in time to the origins of an ancient culture, steeped in tradition and history. Experience tranquil hiking trails and paddy fields dotted with temples and monuments and explore vibrant cities built around civilisations past.
Departs daily year round on request.
Dates or itinerary don't fit? We are specialising in bespoke "tailor-made" luxury or private journeys. Please contact us for a "tailor-made" itinerary for your perfect adventure.
This tour is eligible to earn ONLYLUXE reward points.
Walking distance: approx. 9 km, 4 hours with breaks. Elevation gain: 420m of ascent, 425m of descent
Your guide will meet you at Kyoto hotel. After arranging the luggage transfer to Nara, you will catch a train to Asuka. Though little is left of its original palaces and temples, Asuka is at the centre of Japan's history as the home of the first emperor and the roots of Buddhism. Its rolling hills and terraced rice paddies hark back to simpler times. Gazing across the rich green fields acts as an instant de-stressor.
Enjoy a guided Asuka Monuments Walk. The walk gives a perfect introduction to the history and landmarks of the village.
Ancient History Preserved
The Asuka area contains the first temples, shrines, tombs, and stone monuments of Japan. Although it is not the most well-known of Japan's old capitals, it was one of the first, serving as the political, artistic, and religious center of Japan during the 5th and 6th centuries.
The origins of Japanese Buddhism in a modest temple
Asukadera is one of the oldest temples in Japan, first built around 588. The main buildings were moved to Nara City when the capital was relocated there. The current buildings were set in a nearby location between the 17th and 18th centuries. The temple still has its original bronze statue of Buddha - the oldest in Japan.
An Authentic Edo period town
Asuka is home to the largest neighbourhood of authentic Edo period (1603-1867) buildings in Japan. Stroll through the streets and appreciate the atmosphere of bygone days.
Lunch in Asuka-mura (Guest’s own expense).
After the walk, transfer by private car to your accommodation. You will stay at an exclusive ryokan that takes just one booking per day, so you get the whole restored Edo period house to yourself. All the rooms including the bath house with its cypress tub overlook the elegant, traditional gardens.
Enjoy dinner at this wonderfully regenerated old folk house.
Walking distance: approx. 11 km, 4 hours. Elevation gain: negligible ascent and descent
Asuka is famous for its terraced rice paddies. Enjoy a leisurely cycle (or walk) at the Inabuchi rice terraced fields this morning. Stop at Asukadera Temple, one of Japan's oldest temples.
Continue by train to Miwa, hike the historical Yamanobe-no-michi Trail. It's an ancient road in Nara Prefecture and the oldest road mentioned in Japanese records. This pleasant hiking trail follows through rural landscape, connecting multiple shrines, temples and other sites of interest.
Detour to visit Chogakuji Temple. This attractive temple, said to have been founded around 824 by Kobo Daishi, has spectacular traditional gardens and a beautiful pond.
After the walk, you will catch a train to Nara, the first permanent capital of Japan, then private taxi transfer to your accommodation.
You will stay at Nara Hotel (5 star) tonight, where you'll spend two nights.
This century old hotel features classic Japanese architecture and elegant rooms. Your western style room offers Nara Park view with ensuite.
Enjoy Japanese Kaiseki at Hotel Restaurant Hanakiku tonight.
Walking distance: approx. 12 - 19 km, 4 - 6 hours. Elevation gain: 240m of ascent, 535m of descent.
After breakfast, your guide will pick you up from your hotel and take a taxi to Wagyu Village, where you will start your walk back to Nara. The trail follows in the footsteps of ancient Japanese warriors who walked this route to the sword-making village of Yagyu.
After completing the Yagyu Kaido walk, enjoy a wonderful stroll through Nara Park, famous for Todaiji temple housing a 16 metre golden buddha and deer.
Return to your hotel and enjoy a delightful French dinner at Mikasa restaurant.
After breakfast, we will transfer you to Nara station by taxi to catch a train to either Kyoto or Osaka.
Daily departure on request. Please contact us to book if you have a group of more than 12 people.
- The departure point Kyoto- The finishing point Nara station
Day 1: Pick up from accommodation, guided monuments walk in AsukaDay 2: Guided cycling or walk in Asuka rice field & Yamanobe-no-Michi Trail walkDay 3: Guided walk in Yagyu KaidoDay 4: Depart from Nara station
Japan's weather and climate features four distinct seasons.Spring is from March to May. It's perhaps one of the very best times to visit Japan as temperatures are pleasantly warm without being too hot, with daytime temperatures ranging between 21°C to 26°C. The country is ablaze with beautiful white and pink cherry blossom and plenty festivals to enjoy.Summer is from June to August and the country experiences a three to four-week rainy season. It is hot and humid during this time and temperatures are often in the high 30’s. If you plan on visiting Japan during the summer weather, northern areas such as Hokkaido or the mountains of Tohoku or Chubu are the most comfortable places to escape the heat.Autumn is from September to November and is characterised by light breezes and cooler temperatures of around 8-10°C. It is also a wonderful time to visit Japan. The country turns into a haven of red and scarlet leaves which contrast strikingly against the deep blue clear skies and almost as impressive as the stunning cherry blossoms.Winter is from December to February. It is a magical time to visit as the landscape is turned white with snow. It's the perfect time to go skiing or check out the hot springs, especially venture to the ski slopes of Hokkaido or Nagano. It's Okinawa is a great place to visit during the winter as it is not quite as cold as the rest of Japan’s weather.
Onlyluxe Travel acts as travel agency and work with different tour operators.Payment DetailAll pricing is in Australian dollars and are quoted on a per person twin share basis. A supplementary price is available (see below). Bookings are not confirmed until full payment and the signed Booking Form has been received by Onlyluxe Travel.A non-refundable 30% deposit is payable within 7 days of your booking, with the final balance due 60 days prior to departure. If a booking is made 60 days or less before departure, the full payment is payable immediately. Last minute bookings are payable before arrival. Failure to pay on time may result in automatic cancellation of a booking with cancellation penalties payable to Onlyluxe Travel. If you pay by credit card or PayPal a surcharge will be added to the total price.Single SupplementAll accommodation is twin share. Single guests will share with someone of the same gender. If a single room is demanded, a supplementary price of will apply. The supplementary price refers to our quotation and needs to be stipulated at the time of booking.General Cancellation Policies- Outside of 60 days monies will be refunded less 30% of full fee- Within 60 days prior to arrival all monies will be forfeited- No refunds will be given in the event of non-arrival, any unused services or unused nights due to flight or weather disruption- We strongly recommend guests protect themselves with travel insurance and medical insurancePlease Note: Cancellations must be advised in email and will take effect from the date they are received.LiabilityThe participant agrees to indemnify Onlyluxe Travel, and its servant, tour operator and agents, in relation to any liability, loss and damage which the tour operator, or its servants and/or agents may incur as a result of the participants, negligence or misconduct during the tour.Smoking is not permitted on the bus, or in tents or in other accommodation being used by tour operator at the time that a trip is being conducted.Child PolicyPlease consult travel consultant on age limit.Changes to ItinerariesLocal conditions may necessitate changes to sightseeing, walking and driving routes, camping and accommodation locations. While every effort will be made to provide the services and experiences as offered in our brochure, on our website, and in our trip letters, we reserve the right to vary your itinerary. In the event that we are forced to change your arrangements, substitute arrangements of a similar standard will be provided. The tour operator will not be liable where interruptions to itineraries are caused by weather conditions, technical problems to transport used by the tour operator, industrial action, political or civil commotion or other circumstances beyond our control. We refer you to the conditions regarding travel insurance.Changes in PricesWhile we will do its utmost to honour its pricing unforeseen circumstances may mean that prices may be subject to change without notice.Pre-Existing Medical Conditions and Age LimitsYou need to advise Onlyluxe travel and the tour operator on any pre-existing medical condition, mobility impairment and/or disability that might reasonably be expected to increase the risk of your requiring medical attention, or that might affect the normal conduct of a trip and the enjoyment of other trip members. Onlyluxe Travel and the tour operator may require an assessment of your medical condition from a qualified medical practitioner. If you fail to adequately notify the tour operator of any pre-existing medical conditions and/or disability, the tour operator reserves the right, at its reasonable discretion, to cancel your participation in a trip at any time, including after the commencement of your trip, with no right of refund if your medical condition, mobility impairment and/or disability could be reasonably expected to affect the normal conduct of the trip and the enjoyment of other trip members.Cancellation by The Tour OperatorThe walks take place in very special wilderness settings. The tour operator is at the mercy of nature in all her beauty and all her fury. The tour operator will under no circumstance knowingly place at risk the health and well-being of our guests and guides. In the case of natural threats, acts of God and the like (e.g. bushfires, impassable snow, etc) the tour operator may need to cancel a walk with very little notice. In some cases, this can occur after the walk has commenced. The tour operator reserves the right to cancel any walk up to 60 days prior to departure if a minimum of 4 walkers are unable to meet for a tour. If the tour operator needs to cancel for any reason, the cost of the walk or any other costs associated with travel to the designated pick up point, overnight accommodation, meals, etc will not be covered by the Onlyluxe Travel and therefore we strongly recommend travel insurance be taken out prior to travel.Force Majeure'Force Majeure' means (without restriction) any event which Onlyluxe Travel or its third party providers could not, even with due care, foresee or avoid. Force Majeure covers events such as, but not limited to, adverse weather conditions, fire and all similar events beyond our control. In the case of Force Majeure Onlyluxe Travel will not accept liability, and reserves the right to change and cancel trips.EvacuationsIn rare circumstances, due to injury or unforeseen illness, the tour operator may need to evacuate you from a remote part of the walk. Helicopter evacuations are expensive and in most cases will be at a cost to the customer.For Australian residents, under the Australian Government Medicare Act, it is prohibited for any domestic travel insurance product to provide any financial reimbursement with regard to ambulance or air ambulance services. We therefore strongly advise our customers to take specific ambulance cover through their health insurance provider. Evacuation cost will not be covered by the Onlyluxe Travel and therefore it is also strongly recommended that our customers take out travel insurance to cover (amongst other things) the costs associated with evacuation.Travel InsuranceIn view of the heavy cancellation penalties applied to cancelled reservations in certain circumstances, we strongly recommends suitable travel insurance be purchased at the time the holding deposit is paid. We recommend insurance cover that covers any loss which may be suffered due to cancellation. We also strongly recommend comprehensive travel insurance against loss of baggage and medical expenses.