Iconic walks of Japan

Long distance paths in Japan almost invariably have long and rich histories. Many of them originated as an ancient pilgrimage route used by the pious to visit a region’s most sacred temple. Other trails have their origins in the routes of travelling merchants, samurai or even feudal lords.

This history, coupled with a stunning landscape and an intriguing vibrant culture, means that walking in Japan offers an intoxicating mix of heritage, beauty and fascination. In contrast to the frenetic pace of its major cities, Japan’s long distance paths enable travellers to explore the country’s more remote, peaceful and slow-paced areas.

The three walks below are excellent examples of Japan’s walking offerings. The Kumano Kodo is situated on the Kii Peninsula south of Kyoto and Osaka. The Nakasendo Way follows an ancient route between Kyoto and Tokyo through Japan’s Central Alps. The Shikoku Pilgrimage takes a circular route around Japan’s fourth largest island.






An historic pilgrimage trail through remote mountainous territory.

⏱ Duration: 8 Days
🗺 Distance: 129km
⛰ Difficulty: Moderate
🗓 Best Time: March - Oct



An ancient route through through undulating scenic landscape.

⏱ Duration: 4 Days
🗺 Distance: 46km
⛰ Difficulty: Moderate
🗓 Best Time: Oct - May



A circular trail that connects 88 Buddhist temples on the island of Shikoku.

⏱ Duration: 4 days/ 5 Nights
🗺 Distance: 35km
⛰ Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
🗓 Best Time: Jan - March