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PO Box 3026 Asquith NSW 2077

Nara Ancient Capitals self-guided walking 5 days

Nara Ancient Capitals self-guided walking 5 days

The Kansai region, situated at the centre of Japan's main island of Honshu, is home to three historic capitals: Kyōto, Nara and the smaller, lesser-known Asuka. All three have rich and varied histories. Our tour includes scenic and culturally significant hiking trails, as well as overnight stays in charming Japanese guesthouses, allowing you to experience the rural lifestyle of the Japanese countryside in Asuka. Learn about this historic area of Japan and discover its cultural heritage on these less familiar walks.


Tour StartsTour EndsPrice
Twin ShareSingle
Nara Ancient Capitals self-guided walking 5 days
Tour StartsKyoto or Osaka Tour EndsKyoto or Osaka Twin ShareAUD1,900 SingleAUD2,340

Duration :

4 Nights 5 Days

Visit :

Kyoto or Osaka - Asuka - Yamanobe-no-Michi - Narai - Yagyu - Kyoto or Osaka -

Includes :

4 nights accommodation, 4 Breakfasts and 2 Dinners, Train tickets (from/to Kyoto or Osaka), Detailed day-by-day itinerary and walking instructions, Detailed map, Local phone support

Exclusions :

Flights, Airport transfers, Drinks and meals not included in itinerary, Local bus journeys which must be paid directly to the bus driver, Rental bicycles, Single room supplement(s) for solo occupancy, Daily luggage transfer

Departure Dates

Recommended from April to November

Download :

PDF Itinerary


Day 1 (Meals : D)
Arrive in Asuka
Walking distance : 8.5 km (plus 1.6km for optional Iwaido detour)
Elevation gain : 185m of ascent and 425m of descent (plus 90m ascent and descent for optional Iwaido detour)
Time required : About 4 hours(plus 45min for optional Iwaido detour)
Head by train from Kyoto or Osaka to Asuka on the southern edge of the Yamato Plain. This peaceful agricultural community is an ideal location to experience the rural lifestyle of the Japanese countryside. We recommend our Asuka Monuments walk for your first day here. The walk gives a perfect introduction to the history and landmarks of the village. Overnight at a minshuku in Asuka.
Hotel : Minshuku (Family-run Guesthouse) in Asuka
Day 2 (Meals : B/D)
Hike to Tanzan Shrine
Walking distance : 13km
Elevation gain : 530m of ascent and 300m of descent
Time required : About 5 hours
On your second day in Asuka, there is the opportunity to explore the village further. For a more active day, follow our walking directions along the route to Tanzan Shrine. Wind your way along the pretty roads of this agricultural community and then head up along a forest trail to the atmospheric shrine.

Overnight at a minshuku or friendly family homestay.

Hotel : Minshuku (Family-run Guesthouse) in Asuka
Day 3 (Meals : B)
Hike the Yamanobe-no-Michi in Nara
Walking distance : 16km
Elevation gain : 229m of ascent and 211m of descent
Time required : About 5 hours
You may instead choose to make an earlier start from Asuka and hike the historic Yamanobe-no-Michi trail before arriving at your accommodation in Nara this evening, a centrally located Nara hotel.

You can choose which option you prefer on the day - no need to decide in advance!

Hotel : Western-style or Japanese-style hotel in Nara
Day 4 (Meals : B)
Hike the Yagyu Kaido in Nara
Walking distance : 11.7km
Elevation gain : 245m of ascent and 535m of descent
Time required : About 5 hours
Today there is a chance to undertake the Yagyu Kaido hike from Yagyu Village back to Nara, following in the footsteps of warriors who took this route to the sword-making village of Yagyu. Your hike will end with a wonderful stroll through Nara Park, with its famous deer and temples.

Overnight at a centrally located Nara hotel.

Hotel : Western-style or Japanese-style hotel in Yaghu
Day 5 (Meals : B)
Enjoy sightseeing in Nara
Explore more of Nara before heading onwards by train. Spend the day visiting important cultural spots including Todai-ji and Horyu-ji temples and visit the carefully preserved Edo-period merchant district of Nara-machi and Isuien Garden.

The tour ends with your train journey back to Kyoto or Osaka. You can use our train tickets to board a morning train, or you can enjoy a full day in Nara and travel onwards in the late afternoon or early evening.

Hotel : N/A


Tour Operator :
Oxalis Holidays Limited
Participants :
Minimum 1
Hotels :
4 nights at Japanese-style or Western-style accommodation
Meals :
4 Breakfasts, 2 Dinners
Level of walking :
Active - Our Active tours generally have dedicated days of trail walking, with some days of over four hours and with some ascent and/or descent.
Walking Season :
Recommended from January to December
Departures :
Any day Accommodations are busy and may charge extra during the following Japanese holiday periods: Golden Week (29 April - 05 May), and O-bon (09 - 17 August). Please enquire for availability and pricing if your trip falls within those dates.
International Flight :
We offer the option of purchasing air inclusive tour packages, or land only tour packages, giving our customers the freedom to source their own flights. However, we are always more than happy to arrange your flights.
Optional extra days :


Japan Package

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02-9264-7384 Mon-Fri: 10:00-18:00 | Sat: 12:00-16:00


C/O Kinokuniya Bookstores
The Galeries 500 George St
Sydney NSW 2000

Japan Package

C/O Kinokuniya Bookstores
The Galeries 500 George St
Sydney NSW 2000

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