Self-Guided Walking Tour through Places with Connections to Water

Hike sacred mountains, feel the ocean breeze, and dine on delicacies at exemplary inns

Take a four-day trip through nature, history, and culture on your own two feet as you visit various sites throughout Kyoto, Fukui, and Shiga Prefectures. Following a self-guided walking tour, feel a strong sense of accomplishment after reaching each destination and oneness with the earth. Immerse yourself in the beauty of pristine nature and the religions that worship it, as you rest at three exceptional, Japanese-style accommodations.

The theme for this journey is “water.” The mountainous region close to the Sea of Japan receives ample snow during the winter. The mountain snow transforms into water that flows into rivers, the sea, and ancient Lake Biwa, the largest freshwater lake in Japan. With access to abundant water, civilizations have gathered in this region worshiping the life-giving mountains and prospering from sea trade.

Highlights of the tour include a breathtaking view of Lake Biwa from the top of Mt. Horai as well as a visit to Kumagawa-juku, a historic village near the Sea of Japan. To enhance the meditative experience, you will also hike to Enryakuji Temple and Eiheiji Temple, which are located among sacred mountains. Both temples are central to significant sects of Buddhism that have influenced Japanese history and culture.

Along the way, you will also dine on mouth-watering regional delicacies and Buddhist cuisine. At the end of each day, you will rest in luxury at lodging boasting uniquely local architectural designs.

Although self-guided, this Oku Japan tour includes detailed guidebooks, maps, and other directions in English, as well as a support team in Kyoto ready to respond to questions you have during your journey.

Access: From Shin-Osaka Station, take the shinkansen bullet train to Kyoto Station, about 10 minutes, and then take the train to Sakamoto-hieizanguchi Station, about 30 minutes.

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