Yamabushi 16-day tour of Japan - Kichi Japan

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About

Not your average tourist experience, this tour is specifically designed for the nature lovers out there. Leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind as you traverse the well-worn paths of the mountain mystics or breathe in the history of forests which have endured for centuries. Drink in the afternoon sun with a boat ride down Takachiho Gorge or test your endurance as you hike the three sacred mountains of Dewa Sanzan. You can expect all this and more on this 16-day adventure. Look forward to remote destinations rarely seen by tourists, beautiful hikes with stunning scenery, and islands brimming with life. Not for the faint-hearted, if you’re someone who enjoys the outdoors and doesn’t mind a bit of physical activity to get there, this tour and the rewards that it offers, are well worth it.

Highlights
  • Island hopping, and discovering places most have never heard of. Truly off the beaten path!
  • Japanese Shugendo mountain mystics. Learn about meditation, and the ascetic practices of the men and women who live off of the mountains. Mummified Buddhist monks, and trips to the three sacred mountains included.
  • Yakushima UNESCO World Heritage island. The island that inspired Princess Mononoke's forests. Canyoning, and beautiful hikes.
  • Kendo martial arts lesson. Learn about Japanese bushido as you put your fighting skills to the test!
  • Filmmaking contest. Group together to make a short film to memorialize your time in Japan.

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Gibwa Cole
Gibwa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A completely different view of Japan.

If you’re looking for an experience outside of the cliche tourist hotspots, then this tour is great for you. I love seeing the big city attractions, but I also love nature and this tour catered to the latter part of me. Full of beautiful hikes, stunning islands and super interesting experiences with the yamabushi mountain men, it was quite restorative to get away from urban busyness and to just enjoy and appreciate the simpler things around us. It was a completely different side of Japan I hadn’t seen before. It was also really great having a guide who spoke Japanese, which was a huge relief in a country where English is not very widely spoken. The organisation was great and the guide’s knowledge about local Japanese culture really added to the whole experience. The tour is packed with activities and was quite full-on at times, but we also had some time to just chill. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

What would you improve about this program?
There was a lot of walking, but as long as you’re prepared for it and the other physical activities, it’s fine.
2 people found this review helpful.