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Mt Fuji & the Japanese Alps

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Ascend Mt Yarigatake
Includes return economy airfares

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Escorted Journey
Mt Fuji and Mt Yarigatake are the most famous Japanese mountains, and on this trip you'll ascend both of these iconic peaks while also taking in Japan's intriguing blend of ancient traditions and modern culture.

Highlights

Some of the highlights included are:

  • Hike up Mt Fuji for sunrise
  • Ascend Mt Yarigatake
  • Explore Kyoto, Japan's ancient capital, with its peaceful Zen gardens and Shinto temples
  • Spend a day in futuristic Tokyo, and take a short walk on the Nakasendo Way - an ancient trading route

Holiday Type

Active
  • Y
  • Y
  • Y
  • Y
  • N
Wildlife & Nature
  • Y
  • Y
  • Y
  • N
  • N

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What's included
  • International flights
  • 8 nights comfortable hotle accommodation, 3 nights in a mountain hut, 1 night Ryokan (traditional local guesthouse)
  • 11 breakfasts, 4 dinners
  • Transport: Travel by train, taxi, local and private bus
  • All listed activities
  • 4 daywalks and 2 half-day walks
  • Travel guide throughout
Need to know
  • This is a small group adult holiday
  • The group is usually between 4 and 16 in size, with an average of 12
  • Altitude maximum 3776m, average 1000m
  • Single supplement applies
  • Speak to your travel consultant about extending your trip pre or post tour
Your route
Exodus: Mount Fuji & the Japanese Alps Map Mount Yarigatake Kyoto Tokyo

Itinerary

Day 1
Kyoto

Kyoto

The tour starts in Kyoto this evening. If you arrive early, feel free to get out and explore the city.

Day 2
Kyoto

Kyoto

Unlike many other Japanese cities it escaped the ravages of both the Second World War and modern urban development, thereby keeping intact much of the spirit and architecture of traditional Japan. Today, you have the chance to explore this extraordinary city, perhaps visiting the impressive Imperial Palace grounds on a guided tour, or the famous Golden Temple of Kinkakuji, built in 1397 as a summer villa for the shogun Yoshimitsu Ashikaga and immortalised in Mishima Yukio's novel, 'The Golden Pavilion'. There will be time in the afternoon/evening for further sightseeing including a tour of Gion, Kyoto's entertainment area, for Geisha-spotting, or resting back at the hotel.

Day 3
Nakasendo

Nakasendo

From Nagoya we transfer by local train/bus to Nagiso and on to Tsumago. Tsumago is situated on the Nakasendo (Central Mountain) Way, and is the best preserved of the many staging posts. This route was used during the Edo period - 1603-1868 - as a main trading route through the mountainous inland area, between the main centres of Edo (now Tokyo) and Kyoto. Today it is not possible to walk the whole route, but some sections have been conserved. Trek a short 5-mile stretch from the village of Magome, down the Kiso Valley, back to Tsumago.

Day 4
Kamikochi

Kamikochi

Using the highly efficient Japanese transport system, transfer by road and rail to picturesque Kamikochi, via the city of Matsumoto. Kamikochi (1500m) lies in the Chubu Sangaku National Park, and is an excellent base for explorations into the North Japanese Alps. We set out for the Yarisawa mountain hut, a gentle afternoon walk (about 4 hours in duration) starting along the valley floor, through pine and birch forest, before crossing the river and climbing the Yarisawa valley at which point the trail becomes steeper and rougher. Through the forest you may be lucky enough to glimpse a sight of some of the resident Japanese macaques. For those not wanting or unable to partake in the Yarigatake Trek, your leader can help organise accommodation in a river lodge or in Matsumoto (at extra expense). The Yarigatake Trek should only be attempted by those in good shape.

Day 5
Mt Yari

Mt Yari

Yarigatake (Japan's fifth highest peak - 3180m). Although this is not technical, there are sections where you will need to scramble over boulders and rocks and there are snowfields that we may need to cross. The short final leg up to the summit is a very steep and challenging scramble using chains and ladders with some exposure to a steep drop - this last stretch is entirely optional and we only recommend experienced scramblers attempt it. This is a popular spot for local hikers with (on a clear day) spectacular views, including Mt Fuji to the southeast.

Day 6
Matsumoto

Matsumoto

This early morning descent can be cold and begins very steep over broken ground. From Kamikochi you'll transfer to Matsumoto.

Day 7
Fujiyoshida

Fujiyoshida

Its imposing six story donjon has been designated a national treasure. Moving on from Matsumoto we transfer to the town of Fujiyoshida, situated near Lake Kawaguchi, one of the five lakes of Mt Fuji. Fuji-san is Japan's highest peak at 3776m and attracts people from all over Japan and the world to climb it. Its near perfect volcanic cone has been celebrated by artists and photographers alike over many centuries, with perhaps the most famous representations coming in the form of Katsushika Hokusai's 'Thirty Six views of Mount Fuji'. Although not a tourist town, Fujiyoshida provides a great stopping off point for climbs of Mt Fuji, and gives those on a short visit to Japan a great insight into Japanese tourist culture.

Day 8
Honhachigome

Honhachigome

The walk takes about 4-5 hours, but is hard work as you cross steep volcanic scree and cinder that shifts underfoot as you ascend.

Day 9
Lake Kawaguchi

Lake Kawaguchi

It is only in the last hundred years that people have been regularly climbing Mt Fuji; previously the mountain was considered so sacred that only pilgrims and priests were allowed to climb. The summit is not a single point, but a circular crater rim, and in 'traditional' Japanese style the top features a shrine, weather station, post office, and 24hr noodle bar! After experiencing sunrise, you'll descend back down to our hotel in Fujiyoshida.

Day 10
Fuji Five Lakes area

Fuji Five Lakes area

It is possible to visit Lake Sai, perhaps the quietest and least visited of the Five Lakes, or to take a short trip to Tenjo-zan where you often get a fabulous view of Lake Kawaguchi with Mt Fuji behind. For those who want to experience something of the modern and adrenalin-filled side of Japanese life, a day spent on the rollercoasters of the Fuji-Q Highland theme park is recommended!

Day 11
Tokyo

Tokyo

From Fujiyoshida, travel by bus, arriving around lunchtime in the capital. Situated on the banks of the Sumida River, by Tokyo Bay, Tokyo grew up out of the fishing village of Edo, becoming the centre of power in 1590. This afternoon is free to explore this bustling metropolis.

Day 12
Tokyo

Tokyo

Making use of the city's highly efficient tube system it is possible to visit the early morning fish market in Tsukiji and Asakusa's lively temple of Senso-ji. The possibilities for evening entertainment are almost limitless with Tokyo's nightlife as exciting as anywhere in Asia.

Day 13
Tokyo

Tokyo

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