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Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Terraced rice fields in rural Asuka
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Highlights

  • The culturally-rich city of Kyoto with its 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • The fascinating burial tombs of Ishibutai Tomb and Takamatsuzuka Tomb.
  • Leisurely cycling through terraced rice fields.
  • The wonderful hospitality of a traditional Japanese minshuku.

The peaceful, rural village of Asuka located on the southern edge of the Yamato Plain makes an excellent side-trip from Kyoto or Osaka.

Enjoy two nights in the culturally-rich city of Kyoto, the ’City of Ten Thousand Shrines’. From here, a short train journey will take you to Asuka (approx. 1 hour), arriving around lunchtime. Stay overnight at a small family-run minshuku where the personal service and tasty traditional meals, made with fresh local ingredients, are sure to be a highlight of your time here. Asuka is also perfect for some leisurely cycling with its outlying rural landscapes and terraced rice fields.

This add-on package includes all your accommodation as well as return rail tickets from Kyoto to Asuka. We will provide you with suggestions of what to see and do, along with maps of the area.

This package is designed to booked in conjunction with either our Kumano Kodo Trail or the Nakasendo Trail walking tours.

DAY 1: Overnight in Kyoto

Check in to your hotel before heading out to explore. In the evening, take time to explore the famous Gion district and perhaps even glimpse an elusive geisha or meiko making their way through the narrow streets.


Overnight: 4* Kyoto Royal Hotel, Kyoto or similar


DAY 2: Explore Kyoto at Leisure

Kyoto is one of the world’s most culturally rich cities, scattered with hundreds, if not thousands, of pockets of incredible beauty. The city has 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites, 1600 Buddhist temples, over 400 Shinto shrines and 24 museums. As home to the Japanese Imperial family from 794 to 1868, it has been central to Japanese history and is a city that must feature on your list. If you would like a guided tour of Kyoto, we can arrange this at a supplement for you.


Overnight: 4* Kyoto Royal Hotel, Kyoto


DAY 3: By Train to Asuka

Leaving Kyoto mid-morning, you should reach Asuka by lunchtime. Call in at your inn to leave your bags with them before heading out to explore. Enjoy a delicious home-cooked dinner this evening at your traditional inn.


Overnight: Traditional family-run minshuku, Asuka


DAY 4: Explore Asuka at Leisure

Bicycles are available to rent directly from your minshuku. Take one of these and go for a leisurely sightseeing ride around Asuka with its outlying rural landscapes, terraced rice fields and fascinating burial tombs.


Dinner & Overnight: Traditional family-run minshuku, Asuka


DAY 5: By Train to Kyoto, Onward Travel

Return by train back to Kyoto and onward travel.

Accommodation

In Kyoto, we use a carefully selected 4* western-style hotel.  In Asuka you will stay in a traditional minshuku. Minshuku are family-run accommodations, simply furnished and less formal with shared bathrooms, but have excellent food and a wonderful personal service.


If the accommodations detailed in the itinerary are not available, we will book accommodation of a similar or a better standard.


Meals

Japanese cuisine is the highlight of many people’s visit to Japan and this is especially the case on this tour. Your trip includes all breakfasts and 2 evening meals.


Most meals will be Japanese cuisine, though breakfast in western-style hotels usually includes more familiar choices.


Dinner and breakfast in the minshuku are set meals, usually with a whole succession of different dishes which will delight you.  Alcoholic and soft drinks are not included with meals. Tipping is not customary at hotels and restaurants in Japan.


Single Rooms

Single rooms are available should you require them and a supplement is applicable.

Availability

Accommodations are busy and may charge extra during the following Japanese holiday periods: New Year (29 December to 04 January), Golden Week (29 April to 05 May) and O-bon (09 - 17 August).


Time of Year

It is tough to beat the spring months of April and May but the summer months from June to September are also great as are the autumn colours in October and November.


Single Rooms

Single rooms are available, although a supplement is payable.


Grade & Terrain

As the activity is flexible and your choice on this tour, we grade this add-on as easy.


Equipment

Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, lightweight clothes, waterproofs and a day pack.


Baggage Transfers

Luggage transfer is not included during this tour.  In Japan there is an overnight luggage forwarding service which is cheap, reliable and costs about £12 per bag per day if you would like to have your bags transported for you. We provide full details of this in your pre-departure information pack.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


Getting to and from Japan

By Air: The best airport to arrive at is Osaka International Airport (KIX), which has flights from international destinations.


Getting around

Your package includes all the train tickets required as per the itinerary. The public transport system in Japan is world class and your pre-departure information pack has detailed information on how to use your tickets and the trains and how to travel internally. It really is a piece of cake.


Local buses are not included and should be paid for locally.


Our specialist Laura travelled to Japan in 2014 and you can read her experience of using public transport, on the blog.


Visas

Please check your visa requirements with the foreign office or the embassy in your country of residence before travelling to Japan.


British nationals wishing to visit Japan for three months or less for business, tourism or family purposes etc (but not to work for a local employer) may do so without a visa. You must have a valid passport and an onward/return ticket. Please visit www.fco.gov.uk for up to date information.

Getting to and from Japan

By Air: The best airport to arrive at is Osaka International Airport (KIX), which has flights from many international destinations.


Getting around


Your package includes all the train tickets required as per the itinerary. The public transport system in Japan is world class and your pre-departure information pack has detailed information on how to use your tickets and the trains. Local buses are not included and should be paid for locally. Again your information pack will have detailed information on how to do this and it is very easy.


Our specialist Laura travelled to Japan in 2014 and you can read her experience of using public transport, on the blog.


Visas


Please check your visa requirements with the foreign office or the embassy in your country of residence before travelling to Japan.


British nationals wishing to visit Japan for three months or less for business, tourism or family purposes etc (but not to work for a local employer) may do so without a visa. You must have a valid passport and an onward/return ticket. Please visit www.fco.gov.uk for up to date information. US Nationals can visit www.state.gov to check on entry requirements. 

Included

  • 2 Nights 4* hotel accommodation in Kyoto.
  • 2 Nights in a traditional Japanese minshuku.
  • 5 Breakfasts.
  • 2 evening meals (in Asuka)
  • Return rail tickets between Kyoto and Asuka.
  • Detailed information pack with local travel information and suggestions for walks and sightseeing activities.
  • Telephone support from our local, English speaking, representative.

Excluded

  • International flights.
  • Travel to/from Kyoto
  • Local buses and travel in Asuka.
  • Entrance Fees
  • Drinks with meals.
  • Lunches.
  • Evening meals in Kyoto.
  • Baggage forwarding is not included, though we provide instructions for how this can be easily arranged.

Extras

  • Additional nights
  • Guided sightseeing tour in Kyoto.
  • Singe room supplement if single rooms required.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the region is extremely popular especially during the spring and autumn months. However, we will always try our best to accommodate your plans.

Which is the best airport to fly to?

The best airport to arrive at is Osaka International Airport (KIX), which has flights to many international destinations. Return rail tickets are included between Kyoto and Asuka.

Can you accommodate specific dietary requirements?

Yes, please just let us know at the time of booking.  It is worth mentioning however that many dishes do contain the ubiquitous Japanese fish stock called dashi which is an ingredient in many soups and sauces so it is helpful if you are able to accept dishes containing this.

Do I need to speak Japanese?

No, our detailed info pack and a little bit of effort on your part will get you by. Most signs are also in English. Our specialist Laura travelled to Japan in 2014 and you can read her experience of travelling in Japan with little language skills on the blog.

When is the best time of year?

It is tough to beat the spring months of April and May but the summer months from June to September are also great as are the autumn colours in October and November.

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