Walk like an ancient Japanese pilgrim

FROM the famous cherry blossom trees, to the snow-capped peaks of Mount Fuji, Japan truly is a place where nature and history meet — and it’s where travellers on World Expeditions tours can walk in ancient shoes.

The tour company is set to release two new Japanese Pilgrim walks to its latest brochure that will take travellers on foot and immerse them in Japan’s amazing history. CEO of World Expeditions, Sue Badyari said recovery in sales for Japan took time after the devastating tsunami of 2011, however the travel appetite for the country is back — and it’s bigger than ever. “It’s all about seeing the authentic elements of Japanese culture and history, and we’ve responded to this by introducing a new creative suite of active holidays,” she said.

“There’s profound interest in both guided and self-guided walking in Japan; the country’s natural beauty, the opportunity to see snow monkeys, wonderful food and the friendly polite people all make the destination attractive to travellers.”

The first of two new walks takes place on the ancient Nakahechi route, which was used by the imperial family on pilgrimage from Kyoto from the 10th century. Guests stay in traditional lodgings in isolated villages as they traverse the historic route. The second option takes travellers to the more remote Kohechi route, cutting through the centre of the Kii peninsula from north to south and linking the Buddhist temple complex of Koyasan and the Kumano Sanzan. The path covers steep trails and crosses over three passes of more than 1,000m elevation throughout the 70km journey.

The two new walks will appeal to the active traveller, who want to appreciate a different side of Japan.