Sacred Japan

About the Experience

This 12-day immersion into sacred Japan is a beautifully balanced combination of relaxing walks, bike rides and intimate experiences with locals involved in tea production, sea cucumber farming and free diving.

You’ll meet the strong and dedicated female free divers known as the ama-san. Learn about the daily rhythms of tea farmers from local women who will teach us the fine art of picking and roasting the leaves before a tea tasting.

From a rural tea plantation to the thunderous taiko drumming demonstration, we’ll witness the talents of Japanese women who are carrying on generational traditions and Japanese heritage through sound, art, tea and sushi! Prepare to be wowed at the dinner prepared by a dexterous female sushi chef!

On this journey, you’ll walk 16km (10 miles) along sections of the Nakasendo Trail and the cliffside Kuniga Coast Walking Track. Meander along the trails of Mount Daisen and through the tidy gardens, serene temples and shrines that colour the landscape of Tadasu no Mori Forest.

This trip revolves around newness–you’ll taste it in the unfamiliar flavours of Kyoto cuisine that revolve around seasonality, freshness, simplicity and the visual appeal of colour, texture, garnishes, plating and most importantly, taste. 

It’s an edible education–a simple cup of tea will never taste the same as the memories of the Asamiya tea experience are evoked in an aroma. The newness is seen in emerald rice paddies and bamboo groves. You’ll feel it as you e-bike around the Oki Islands (a designated UNESCO Global Geopark) and take in the wildness of the sea and meet the free divers that depend on its bounty. You’ll feel it in the deep purification of the onsens’ healing waters and in the arduous climb to a thousand-year-old temple on Mount Mitoku. 

Join Wild Women as we introduce Japan for the very first time and unlock the mystical. Renew your senses and spirit on this adventure that offers a big taste of Japan’s traditions, menu, topography, ancient wisdom and pilgrimages.

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Sacred Japan

About the Experience

This 12-day immersion into sacred Japan is a beautifully balanced combination of relaxing walks, bike rides and intimate experiences with locals involved in tea production, sea cucumber farming and free diving.

You’ll meet the strong and dedicated female free divers known as the ama-san. Learn about the daily rhythms of tea farmers from local women who will teach us the fine art of picking and roasting the leaves before a tea tasting.

From a rural tea plantation to the thunderous taiko drumming demonstration, we’ll witness the talents of Japanese women who are carrying on generational traditions and Japanese heritage through sound, art, tea and sushi! Prepare to be wowed at the dinner prepared by a dexterous female sushi chef!

On this journey, you’ll walk 16km (10 miles) along sections of the Nakasendo Trail and the cliffside Kuniga Coast Walking Track. Meander along the trails of Mount Daisen and through the tidy gardens, serene temples and shrines that colour the landscape of Tadasu no Mori Forest.

This trip revolves around newness–you’ll taste it in the unfamiliar flavours of Kyoto cuisine that revolve around seasonality, freshness, simplicity and the visual appeal of colour, texture, garnishes, plating and most importantly, taste. 

It’s an edible education–a simple cup of tea will never taste the same as the memories of the Asamiya tea experience are evoked in an aroma. The newness is seen in emerald rice paddies and bamboo groves. You’ll feel it as you e-bike around the Oki Islands (a designated UNESCO Global Geopark) and take in the wildness of the sea and meet the free divers that depend on its bounty. You’ll feel it in the deep purification of the onsens’ healing waters and in the arduous climb to a thousand-year-old temple on Mount Mitoku. 

Join Wild Women as we introduce Japan for the very first time and unlock the mystical. Renew your senses and spirit on this adventure that offers a big taste of Japan’s traditions, menu, topography, ancient wisdom and pilgrimages.

Day 1: 今日は (HELLO) TOKYO!

Arrive at Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND) or Narita International Airport (NRT) and relax on a smooth, stress-free transfer to our hotel in Tokyo.

Tonight, we’ll meet our expert guide and gather for our inaugural Wild Women dinner in the glittery capital of Japan. Tokyo is the world’s most populous metropolis. The city is nearly vibrating with neon and yet there are countless green spaces and parks. It’s an endless mix of contemporary architecture, trendy cafes, electronic giants, anime, harajuku, Buddhist temples, Edo Castle and the spike of the 634m (2,080ft) Tokyo Skytree. 

We’ll find sleep easily after our first big introduction to the sprawling city that was formerly known as Edo.

Meals Included: Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Washington Shinjuku Hotel
How much further? Approximately 1 hour (airport transfer to hotel)
Roadmap: International Airport to Shinjuku Hotel, Tokyo

 

Day 2: THE NAKASENDO SAMURAI TRAIL

After a rise and shine breakfast at our hotel, we’ll board an early express train (approximately 3 hrs) from Shinjuku Station to Shiojiri Station. Here, we will begin our grounding walk on the ancient Nakasendo Samurai Trail. The Nakasendō was one of the five historical routes of the Edo period and one of just two that vitally connected Edo to Kyoto. There were 69 stations or post towns between Edo and Kyoto, crossing through several provinces and stretching 540km (336 miles).

Post towns (shukuba in Japanese) were originally station-like rest stops purposely built along travel routes to offer weary travellers accommodation, sundries and relaxation. Shiojiri and Nagiso are two of the post towns along the ancient trail of the Nakasendo that we will visit.

On our soulful journey visiting Shiojiri and Nagiso we will walk in the ghostly footsteps of monks, merchants and samurais along time-worn mossy cobblestones through rural villages and tall stands of forest of the Kiso River. The Kiso Valley is verdant and fragrant with sky-high Hinoki cypress, Japanese umbrella pines and cedar trees and dotted with several shrines and temples.

Today’s journey ends in Tsumago, where we will stay in a traditional Minshuku (Japanese-style inn). This old town is bewitching with its neatly restored lattice wooden houses, tiny shops, charming inns, museums and car-free main road. Local laws prohibit any demonstration of modern life–including parked cars, phone and power lines. How civilized!

Tonight we’ll experience the simplicity of a tatami stay. These traditional Japanese rooms have tatami (Japanese rush reed) flooring with sliding doors (fusuma) versus hinged doors.

Today’s pilgrimage (walking): 8km/5mi (approximately 2-3 hours, depending on the group’s pace)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Tatami, Tsumago
How much further? 2-3 hours (walking)
Roadmap: Shinjuku to Tsumago

 

Day 3: THE VILLAGES OF KISO VALLEY

After breakfast and some revitalizing green tea, we’ll walk from Tsumago to Magome. This trail will wind us through immense forests, over Magome Pass (790m/2,600ft) and along the jade rice paddies and small villages of the Kiso Valley. We’ll also see the water wheel by the granary and the Odaki and Medaki Waterfall (Male and Female Waterfall). Legend has it that the waterfall’s natural power will reinvigorate the body, mind and soul and transport us into another world. 

In Magome, we’ll reach the end of our Nakesendo route on the main street. Traditional wooden houses line the street like Tsumago, sandwiched between rustic tea houses and soba (Japanese noodles made from buckwheat flour) restaurants. 

We’ll linger a little longer in Magome before taking a 25-minute bus to Nakatsugawa station. From here, we’ll board the express train to Nagoya (approximately 1 hour), then transfer to the Kintetsu Nagoya express train to Ise (around 2 hrs). Don’t worry, our fearless guide will be navigating all the stations and transfers with us! In Ise, we’ll have a 10-minute local bus ride to our onsen hotel.

Today’s pilgrimage (walking): 8km/5mi (2-3 hours)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Ancient Rest Inn Ikyu, Ise
How much further? 25 minutes (bus), 3 hours (express train), 10 minutes (bus)
Roadmap: Tsumago to Ise

 

Day 4: WOMEN OF THE SEA

We’ll have an early start in order to beat the crowds to see Ise Grand Shrine’s glory at sunrise. Afterall, this Shinto shrine is dedicated to the sun goddess, Amaterasu.

The silence and stillness of the morning enhances the deep sense of spirituality and peace that visitors experience in the face of this powerful shrine known as the “Soul of Japan.”

We’ll head back to Toba via local bus (approximately 30 minutes) and hop on another local bus (around 45 minutes) to Osatsu-cho, the home of the lean and mean Ama divers. Known as the “ama-san”, this group of traditional female free divers are celebrated for their unique culture and customs as well as their exceptional diving and pearl harvesting skills. “Ama” means “woman of the sea” in Japanese and these fearless pros routinely dive down to an astounding depth of 25m (82ft) without the aid of any modern scuba equipment or tools. They collect shellfish, abalone and seaweed in addition to pearls for a living. The ama have been practicing this heroic art for over 2,000 to 3,000 years.

Traditionally, ama would wear a headscarf and simple fundoshi ( loincloth) or a garment wrapped around their hips when diving. During the pearl industry heyday, when foreign customers began to observe the ama at work, they adopted a full-body white isogi for modesty. It’s believed that white was chosen as it magnified their size under water, deterring sharks in their radius. Since the 1950s, many ama have shifted to sleek wetsuits and masks to make their job more efficient.

We’ll meet and chat with an Ama diver over lunch (or tea, depending on the time of our visit) in an Ama hut. We might have the opportunity to see one of these amazing women in action.

After this deep dive into extreme legendary female empowerment, we’ll board an express train to Kyoto (approximately 2.5 hrs) where we’ll check into our hotel, refresh and relax before dinner.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Dhawa Yura, Kyoto
How much further? 30 minutes (bus), 45 minutes (bus), 2.5 hours (express train)
Roadmap: Ise to Kyoto

 

Day 5: A BIG TASTE OF KYOTO

We’ll begin our day in the very best way at Enko-ji, a Zen temple in northern Kyoto. Our meditative stroll through the gardens will be rich in colour–either from the autumn foliage or brilliant cherry blossoms (depending on the season). In the main hall, we will be able to marvel at the Buddhist statues and traditional architecture of the temple.

Be sure to take some time to sit and absorb the peaceful atmosphere of the temple, reflective pond and the foliage of the maples that flourish here.

After our temple visit we’ll head to the nearby Ichijoji Station and take the Eizan Line to Demachiyanagi Station and walk 15 minutes to the Shimogamo Shrine, one of the oldest and most important Shinto shrines in Kyoto. We’ll have time to explore the immaculate grounds and see the impressive architecture and design of the buildings that has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

Lunch will be at a local restaurant where we’ll try traditional Kyoto cuisine like Kyo-kaiseki or obanzai. Kaiseki revolves around seasonality, freshness, simplicity and visual appeal that is enhanced by colour, texture, garnishes, plating and most importantly, taste. To be considered genuine obanzai, half the ingredients must be grown or processed in Kyoto and consider the five core spiritual elements.

After this satiating edible education, we’ll head back to the Shimogamo Shrine to participate in a traditional tea ceremony experience at a tea house. Tea will be followed by a walk along the Kamogawa River which translates appropriately to “duck river.” It’s a popular spot to wander and dine as balconies overlook the river and the steady stream of locals who run, walk, relax and paint along the banks.

We’ll also visit the tranquil Tadasu no Mori Forest next to the shrine–this forest is  known and beloved for its remarkable 600-year-old trees. Feeling hugged by the natural surroundings of our day, we’ll return to our hotel in Kyoto or continue exploring the city if the group wishes.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Dhawa Yura, Kyoto
How much further? Not far! We’ll be travelling by foot around Kyoto today!
Roadmap: Kyoto

 

Day 6: THE WOMEN TEA FARMERS OF SHIGA

Today we’ll leave the buzz of Kyoto to visit a Japanese green tea production region in the Asamiya district of southern Shiga. The surreal green tea plantations completely cover the hillsides in a mesmerizing way. 

After breakfast, we’ll take a short 15 minute ride on the local train from Kyoto station to JR Ishiyama station to meet our local guide at 10AM for the Asamiya tea experience.

During this 4.5 hour immersive in all things tea we’ll meet local women tea farmers or women who are in the tea business. In their skilled company, we’ll learn how to pick and roast the green tea leaves and the fine art of brewing a perfect cup of tea during a tasting session. The tasting will also help us discern the subtle differences and aroma of tea blends and how they are influenced by the seasons and weather conditions.

After the tea farm experience, with the comforting scent of roasted tea locked deep in our senses, we’ll transfer to lunch at a nearby restaurant. In the afternoon, we will visit two pottery studios, meet a talented female potter and go on an easy walking tour around the village.

We’ll return to our hotel and gather later for dinner and possibly, another cup of green tea!

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Dhawa Yura, Kyoto
How much further? 15 minutes (train)
Roadmap: Kyoto

 

Day 7: SACRED MITOKUSAN

Today we’ll take an early express train and travel deep into the expanse of the Japanese countryside as to Misasa Onsen. This 3.5 journey slices through some magnetic scenery and we’ll be warmly welcomed to the region that has been a sanctuary for those seeking resolve in Misasa Onsen’s healing waters for over 850 years.

After lunch, if Mother Nature is cooperative, we’ll embark on a short pilgrimage at nearby Mitokusan. This thousand-year-old temple is built miraculously and impossibly into a rock face of the 900m (2,953ft) Mount  Mitoku. Mitokusan is considered one of the three most sacred sites of the Shugendo religion (a form of mountain asceticism-shamanism). In keeping with the connective nature of Shugendo practices, the path utilizes tree roots and chains until pilgrims reach Nageiredo.

This pilgrimage is said to purify the “six roots of perception” and the invisible spiritual power of the founder of Shugendo, En no Ozuno, is almost palpable on this climb. However, due to the highly technical nature of this hike, it will be totally weather-dependent and up to our guide to gauge the ability and comfort level of the group. If it’s raining, the hike will not be possible.

Our group can also opt to simply enjoy the serene setting of the lower temple complex rather than make the adventurous and challenging hike up the pilgrimage trail. For those who would prefer to stay at ground level, we can join the priests and make tracings.

Please note: Due to the already slippery and daunting nature of this steep hike, it will not be possible if it’s raining.

In the evening, we’ll have time to soak in the hot springs at our hotel, a neighboring facility or possibly the open-air public hot baths (depending on the group’s interest). The baths are also said to purify the “six senses” so we will be extra perceptive and purified after today’s experiences.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Misasakan
How much further? 3.5 hours (express train)
Roadmap: Kyoto to Misasa Osen

 

Day 8: BIKES AND BAMBOO

Today we will experience the indelible scenery of Mount Daisen on foot and by bicycle. First, we will travel by bus to an area near Daisen Waterfall where we’ll hike around 8 km/5 mi (4hrs, depending on the group’s pace) through the dramatic forest to Kawadoko. This area is coveted for its spectacular autumn colors when the forests transform into an unbelievable palate.

We’ll be following an ancient nature trail used by mountain priests and warrior monks for several centuries. This is the truest description of shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing”. This practice emerged in Japan in the 1980s as an all-natural prescription for burn-out and to help inspire reconnection to wild spaces.

After lunch, we’ll embark on a mostly downhill 3-hour bike ride through swatches of forest, bamboo groves and farmland while taking in the captivating views of Mihonoseki Bay below. On our way down the mountain we can stop and visit a female potter who uses precise and ancient Jomon era techniques in her work. Her studio is located in a very unique complex of buildings made from natural materials such as grasses and bamboo.

Today’s walk in the park: 8km (5mi), approximately 4 hours depending on the group’s pace

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Sanrakusou
How much further?  4 hours (walking), 3 hours (biking)
Roadmap: Misasa Osen to Mt. Daisen

 

Day 9: KUNIGA COAST WALKING TRACK

This morning we’ll have a one-hour transfer (by private vehicle) to the small and scenic port of Shichirui. Here, we will board a ferry and cruise 2.5 hours to the volcanic Nishinoshima Island. In 1974, this isle actually grew in size when an eruption exposed submarine land. The Oki Islands and the magnificent cliffs of the Kuniga Coast are a designated UNESCO Global Geopark. Sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development under the UNESCO Global Geopark identification. Currently, there are 195 UNESCO Global Geoparks in 48 countries.

After lunch in the port area we will travel by taxi to the top of the Kuniga Coast Walking Track. This spectacular walking trail passes along the edge of Matengai Cliff, which rises 257 meters (843ft) above the Sea of Japan below. The 2km (1.2mi) trail heads down through pastures populated with grazing cows and horses to the impressive Tsūtenkyō Arch, Kuniga Bay and Kuniga Shrine and takes approximately 90 minutes on foot.

In the port area you will meet a special group of smiley senior women who play taiko drums and make traditional crafts together. We will also be able to try our hand at drumming.

After our fun in the company of the jovial drumming ladies, we’ll take a short inter-island ferry (7 minutes) to Ama Island to our luxe hotel for the night.

Today’s walk in the park: Short and sweet! It’s 2km (1.2 miles)

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Entô Hotel
How much further? 1 hour (car), 2.5 hours (ferry), 1.5 hours (walking), 7 minutes (ferry)
Roadmap: Mt. Daisen to Ama-Cho (Oki Islands)

 

Day 10: CYCLING THE OKI ISLANDS

After breakfast we’ll explore this wind and wave-sculpted archipelago in the Sea of Japan by bicycle (or e-bike) and meet some of the local women who are the entrepreneurial and environmental stewards of this UNESCO designated Global Geopark. The cluster of islands are part of the Daisen-Oki National Park and only four of the Oki Islands are inhabited.

Activities here may include visiting an organic vegetable farm, a sea cucumber farm or making traditional crafts under the tutelage of these talented women.

During the cycling tour, we’ll be sure to take five and have lunch with a group of local women  working hard to maintain cultural  traditions while also making positive, sustainable changes.

The Oki diet is testament to this as the islanders menu is based wholly on the season and a steadfast focus on life led in rhythm with nature. Fish, shellfish and seaweed are mainstays–beef from the wagyu cattle dominates menus too. The abundant and pure water springs are a lifeline to rice and Japanese sake production on the island.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Entô Hotel
How much further? ~4 hours (biking)
Roadmap: Ama Cho (Oki Islands)

 

Day 11: SUSHI ROLL

In the morning, we take a two hour ferry ride to the mainland and then transfer to the Yonago Airport to catch our flight to Tokyo. 

With full memory cards and a highlight reel spooling in our heads and hearts, we’ll transfer to our hotel to refresh and reset. Later, we gather for an unforgettable dinner at Tsurutokame—all the chefs are female! It’s a lively open kitchen serving the best seasonal ingredients for vegans and fresh fish lovers alike!

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: Washington Shinjuku Hotel
How much further? 2 hours (ferry), 30 minutes (car), 1.5 hours (flight to Tokyo)
Roadmap: Ama Cho (Oki Islands) to Tokyo

 

Day 12: 決別 (GOODBYE) TOKYO

After an early breakfast, we’ll take a group transfer to Tokyo Haneda International Airport (HND) or Narita International Airport (NRT) where we’ll squeeze each other goodbye and share a few laughs and tears after our remarkable not-long-enough 12-day journey together.

It’s time to exchange contact info, photos and ideas for a reunion! Where next? Another pilgrimage perhaps?

Meals Included: Breakfast
Tonight’s Sweet Sleep: In the window seat of the plane home!
How much further? Three Hollywood movies, approximately 100 pages of a good book, 2 cups of nostalgic green tea and a few extended naps.

Click here to see upcoming trip dates to book your spot!


Wild Women Expeditions and our local partners intend to adhere to the described itinerary. This is only a general guide to follow on your tour of the region. Our itineraries are subject to change, as we cannot predict the weather or other environmental conditions. We are continually striving to make improvements to all our trips based on feedback from Wild Women members, guides, partners, and other research. We reserve the right to alter itineraries based on the above at any time.

    • Arrive into Tokyo via Narita International Airpot (NRT) or Haneda Airpot/Tokyo International Airport (HND)
    • Please arrive by noon on Day 1 (this will ensure you are able to join the group orientation at 5pm)
    • Group transfer details to the hotel on Day 1 will be provided closer to departure, once flight arrival times are compiled.
    • Note that the group transfer arranged may be public rail transportation from airport to hotel with a local Japanese speaking escort, or a private shuttle van.
    • If arriving earlier than Day 1 or one day earlier that Day 1:

Train line options from NRT to Washington Shinjuku Hotel
Train link details from HND to Washington Shinjuku Hotel

Group Rendezvous Point



Departure from Tokyo:

  • A group transfer will be provided after breakfast to either NRT or HND Airports.
  • If you are extending your stay in Japan and do not require the group transfer this day, you are responsible for arranging your personal transportation.

If you wish to add extra days to your trip, you can book at the Washington Shinjuku Hotel, the last night hotel of your trip.There are also several airport hotels if you are not departing on the last day of the trip, but require an additional night near the airport:Hotels Near HND
href=”https://www.tripadvisor.ca/HotelsNear-g298184-qNRT-Tokyo_Tokyo_Prefecture_Kanto.html” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Hotel near NRT


You are responsible for booking your own flights or other transport arrangements to the trip start location. These arrangements and any other independent arrangements that you may make are not a part of the trip booked with Wild Women Expeditions and are entirely at your own risk. Wild Women Expeditions accepts no responsibility, directly or indirectly, for any loss, damage or injury to property or person in connection with such arrangements.Should you require assistance with your travel arrangements, please contact:Megan and Zale | Now Boarding Travel Travel Specialist 

Email: wildwomen@nowboarding.travel

 

Note: Now Boarding Travel only provides services of 3-star quality or greater. For budget alternatives, please refer to the Lonely Planet guide for your destination.

 

Important: For international and remote destinations, there is always the risk of flight delays, baggage delays and flight schedule changes which may cause late arrivals, which may, in return, result in you missing the group tour departure. For these reasons, we encourage you to consider arriving a day early, which will also help you overcome any jet lag from traveling!


You are fully responsible for your own visa requirements, permits, and certificates for your trip. It is the sole prerogative of each country or region to determine who is allowed to enter. It is your responsibility to check with the country’s Consulate and your country’s travel website such as Canada’s for up-to-date information about traveling internationally.

  • Passport

Most countries and airlines recommend passports be valid for at least six months beyond the date of your expected return to your home country. Before you leave, ask your transportation company about its requirements related to passport validity, which may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

 

Important: A copy of your passport must be emailed to the Wild Women Expeditions office by 130-days pre-trip.

  • Visa

Visitors from certain countries require a visa to enter.

If you would like additional assistance in securing your visa, we recommend you consider using the services of CIBTVisas: https://cibtvisas.com/?login=WildWomenExp
Note: As fees and policies can change, we highly recommend that you contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent.


Tipping is not a common practice in Japan (at restaurants, taxi drivers, etc). However, tipping your lead guide is appreciated as a quiet thank you for their passion, knowledge, leadership and a great trip experience. A guide tip of 10,000-20,000 JPY at the end of your trip (per client) is suggested but not mandatory.

  • Rooming Arrangements

Our trip prices are based on a twin share (minimum of two women per room/tent), so we’ll team you up with another solo wild woman to share with if you’re on your own, or of course, you can share with your travel partner.

  • Private Upgrades

Private upgrades may be available upon request (pending availability). To request for this upgrade, please contact support@wildwomenexpeditions.com. Please note, due to the size of the some of the smaller accommodations, private rooms are not available at on all nights of this trip.

  • Potable Water

Tap water in Japan is potable and safe to drink. For environmental reasons, try to use a refillable water bottle rather than buying bottled water while traveling in Japan. Metro train stations have public water fountains, but otherwise these may be hard to find (compared to vending machines). The best way to guarantee you’ll have water when you need it is to fill up your reusable bottle at your accommodation before you leave for the day.

If you would like to join Wild Women Expeditions in its commitment to reducing single-use plastic, you can travel prepared with your own water treatment system!

Lifestraw

GRAYL Canada | OnePress™ Global Protection

Travelers Against Plastic | Take the TAP pledge

Water To Go




  • Electricity

The voltage used throughout Japan is uniformly 100 volts, A.C. There are two kinds of frequencies in use—50 Hertz in eastern Japan and 60 Hertz in western Japan (including Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka). Type A (North American/Japanese 2-pin) Type B (American 3-pin)

  • Time Zone

Time zone in Japan (GMT+9) Osaka, Sapporo, Tokyo

  • Calling Code +81
  • Food

Being vegan or vegetarian is not very common in Japan, especially in small towns. Tofu is plentiful but many tofu and veggie dishes may contain fish.

Maintaining a fish free diet will be a challenge. You may find yourself eating a lot of rice and seaweed (also delicious). But you may want to be prepared to stop at convenience stores to stock up on protein bars and nuts. We will do our best to accommodate dietary preferences and restrictions but some small hotels are not able to adjust meals.

If you are willing and able to eat sustainably sourced fish it will be easier.

A gluten free diet can be accommodated though may be a bit bland if soy sauce is a concern.


Spring in Tokyo starts from March and lasts until May. It is considered one of the best times to visit Tokyo, as the cherry blossoms bloom, creating a stunning pink and white landscape throughout the city. The temperature during this season ranges from 10 – 20°C/50 – 60°F, with occasional rain showers.

Wild Women Expeditions recommends that each participant should bring enough cash in local currency or available credit/debit funds to cover their meals during travel to and from their destination. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, meals not included in the trip package, shopping, etc. and we also suggest you have access to emergency funds.

  • Currency Exchange Offices & Banks

Japanese Yen or JPY, is the official currency of Japan.

If you need to change currency you will usually find a currency exchange counter at international airports. You may have to show your passport in order to be able to exchange money and a fee is usually associated. Best to change large amounts so you only pay the fee once.

Please check online for current exchange rates. Wild Women Expeditions likes XE Currency Converter

We highly suggest you read this article: Where to Exchange Currency Without Paying Huge Fees for more information about this for your trip.

  • Automated Teller Machine (ATM)

One of the most convenient ways to get cash is by using an ATM. You will often receive better exchange rates, even though you have to pay a service fee, as with most ATMs outside your bank network. Ask your bank if there are branches at your destination where you can avail of free cash withdrawals.

  • Credit Cards

Credit, debit and prepaid cards of international brands are generally accepted throughout the country.

  • Cash

Cash is the easiest and most reliable way to pay for inexpensive items in the smaller communities we will be visiting, but most shops will accept credit cards. Local artisans and craft shops may not have credit/debit machines. As well, cash is best for tipping your guides.


Please be sure to provide complete, accurate, and up-to-date information about your health & fitness level and keep us updated if there are changes. Wild Women Expeditions trips travel to remote areas where limited or no sophisticated medical facilities exist.A medical emergency situation is extremely unlikely; however, should it arise we need to be prepared with the necessary information to help you. 

Important Note: If you choose not to disclose a condition, infirmity, injury, or ailment herein and are subsequently deemed to be unfit for expedition travel due in whole or in part to such condition, infirmity, injury or ailment, Wild Women Expeditions guides, and partners shall have the right to remove you from the trip with no refund or compensation payable. Any evacuation expenses incurred are payable by the evacuee via their medical travel insurance or personal expense.

Getting Fit

You don’t have to be a professional athlete to enjoy your Wild Women expedition. Not by a long shot! You’ll be surprised at what you can achieve with our experienced guides at your side and a little camaraderie.

That said, you’ll definitely enjoy yourself far more if you do some preparation so your body is conditioned and ready to enjoy and make the most of the outdoors.

 

Here are a few ideas to help you get ready:

  • Take every opportunity you can to be active.

You can improve your fitness a lot just by adopting some new habits; take the stairs at work, go for a walk at lunchtime, park your car away from work and walk. Aim for 30 minutes a day and keep a diary so you can look back on it and feel proud. These may sound trivial but they’re all building blocks!

  • Rev up your ticker!

Think ‘interval training’, which means doing short bursts of high-intensity work with recovery time in between. Depending on how fit you are this can mean strolling with bursts of power walking, or jogging with sprints. Either way, the aim is to get your heart rate up.

  • Join a local walking or running group.

This is a great way to get fit and you’ll also see new places, meet great people… and make them all jealous when they find out what you’re about to go on your travels.

  • Hill training.

The most spectacular views aren’t from the bottom of a valley – so the places we go on our trips aren’t flat. A little time training on hills and stairs is an investment that’ll pay off big-time when you’re on your trip. When it comes to hills there’s no hurry – get into a slow steady rhythm and you’ll be at the top before you know it.

  • Warm up, cool down and stretch.

If you’re doing a workout then make sure you start and finish gently and stretch any tight muscles – this will help you avoid any aches, pains and pulled muscles. If you’re a member of a gym try some yoga, tai chi or pilates classes to build up your flexibility, stability and balance.

  • Practice ‘backpacking’.

Grab your backpack (or borrow one) and head for the hills! If you’re bringing your own backpack, practice adjusting the various straps so you know how it feels in different positions. We aren’t multi-day hiking every day, but you’ll be carrying a day pack almost everyday, so it’s well worth a bit of practice. Backpacks sit differently and so change your centre of balance when it’s full of gear so make sure you put a few pounds of weight in it in training.

  • Break in your hiking boots.

Blisters and sore feet are no fun at all! So make sure that while you’re getting yourself ready you’re doing the same for your boots. Start by just wearing them around the house, then down the road, and walking the dog. Then ideally do a couple of decent length weekend hikes to prepare them for what is to come.

  • Hydration.

When you suddenly ask your body to walk or be active, it needs a bit more fuel than it needs when, say, sitting at a desk all day! The main thing your body needs is water, so stay hydrated and practice sipping water often. Getting a water bottle or hydration bladder is a great way to make sure you have it on hand at all times. Make a habit out of taking a bottle of water with you wherever you go.

  • Nutrition.

Eating little and often will keep your body well fuelled for outdoor exercise, especially food like nuts, dried fruit and bread. The odd bit of chocolate and a few boiled lollies are good for keeping your blood sugar levels up while you’re hiking as well!

  • Have fun!

The most important point of all! You are about to embark on the trip of a lifetime. You’re going to meet some amazing people, see some wonderful places and create memories that will stay with you for life. The more prepared you are to tackle the various challenges, the more fun you will have. Also, with all the endorphins you create from all this training, you’ll be smiling from ear to ear! It’s a great way to boost your happy vibes.


For general Wild Women Expeditions FAQs please click here.