Red pagoda near Mt. Fuji, Japan

Mt Fuji & the Japanese Alps

13 days
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3 805 €
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Traveller ratings
4.7 / 5 from 18 reviews >
Challenging
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Trip code: 
TOP
Way to Travel:
Guided Group Adventure Holidays
Activity:
Summits
Min age:
16
Group size:
5–16

Rewarding hikes, impressive mountain scenery and cultural treasures of Japan

Mt Fuji and Mt Yarigatake are the most famous Japanese mountains, and on this trip we ascend both of these iconic peaks while also taking in Japan's intriguing blend of ancient traditions and modern culture. As well as climbing Yarigatake, the 'Japanese Matterhorn', and the classic volcanic cone of Fuji, we stay in Kyoto, Japan's ancient capital, with its peaceful Zen gardens and Shinto temples, spend a day futuristic Tokyo, and take a short walk on the Nakasendo Way - an ancient trading route.

Highlights

  • Hike up Mt Fuji for sunrise over the Japanese Alps
  • Explore the beautiful and fascinating Kyoto
  • Climb the Japanese Matterhorn, Mt Yarigatake
  • Sleep in traditional Japanese Ryokan
  • Free time to explore the delights of Tokyo

Key information

  • 8 nights comfortable hotel, 3 nights mountain hut, 1 night ryokan (traditonal Japanese inn)
  • 6 days guided walking 
  • Group normally 5 to 16, plus local leader. Min age 18 yrs
  • Altitude maximum 3776m, average 1000m
  • Travel by train, taxi, local and private coach

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 4 dinners
  • All accommodation 
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Transfers for group flights

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request for a supplement in Kyoto and Tokyo only)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call us on
015 407 558
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

6

Pace:

Moderate. Approximately 4-5 hours walking per day, although the ascent of Yarigatake involves 6-8 hours challenging walking

Terrain:

Most of the walking is on good paths, with the exception of the higher reaches of Yarigatake where scrambling is required, as is the use of fixed ropes.

Day by day breakdown
Day 38.0km/5.0miles
Day 414.0km/9.0miles
Day 56.0km/3.0miles
Day 620.0km/12.0miles
Day 86.0km/4.0miles
Day 98.0km/4.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Kyoto
to
Tokyo
  • Day 1

    Start Kyoto.

    The tour starts in Kyoto this evening. With about 2000 temples, shrines and gardens, Kyoto is a treasure house of Japan's cultural heritage and remains undoubtedly one of the most fascinating cities in Asia. Unlike many other Japanese cities it escaped the ravages of both the Second World War and modern urban development, thereby keeping intact much of the spirit and architecture of traditional Japan. 

  • Day 2

    Free day to explore the delights of Kyoto, one of Japan's ancient capitals.

    Today we have the chance to explore this extraordinary city, perhaps visiting the famous Golden Temple of Kinkakuji, built in 1397 as a summer villa for the shogun Yoshimitsu Ashikaga and immortalised in Mishima Yukio's novel, 'The Golden Pavilion'. There will be time in the afternoon/evening for further sightseeing including a tour of Gion, Kyoto's entertainment area, for Geisha-spotting, or resting back at the hotel.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Transfer by train to Nakasendo; walk a section of the ancient Nakasendo Way.

    We speed our way, by train, out of Kyoto to Nagoya. From Nagoya we transfer by local train/bus to Nagiso and on to Tsumago. Tsumago is situated on the Nakasendo (Central Mountain) Way, and is the best preserved of the many staging posts. This route was used during the Edo period - 1603-1868 - as a main trading route through the mountainous inland area, between the main centres of Edo (now Tokyo) and Kyoto. Today it is not possible to walk the whole route, but some sections have been conserved. We will trek a short 5-mile stretch from the village of Magome, down the Kiso Valley, to Tsumago. Walking distance: approx. 8km

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Transfer to Kamikochi via Matsumoto; afternoon walk to Yarisawa.

    Using the highly efficient Japanese transport system we transfer by road and rail to picturesque Kamikochi, via the city of Matsumoto. Our main luggage will be sent out in the morning from Tsumago to the hotel in Matsumoto where we are staying after the Yarigatake hike. Kamikochi (1500m) lies in the Chubu Sangaku National Park, and is an excellent base for explorations into the North Japanese Alps. We set out for the Yarisawa mountain hut, a gentle afternoon walk (about 4 hours in duration) starting along the valley floor, through pine and birch forest, before crossing the river and climbing the Yarisawa Valley at which point the trail becomes steeper and rougher. Through the forest we may be lucky enough to glimpse a sight of some of the resident Japanese macaques. For those not wanting or unable to partake in the Yarigatake Trek, your leader can help organise accommodation in a river lodge or in Matsumoto (at extra expense). The Yarigatake Trek should only be attempted by those in good shape, with strong legs and knees. Walking distance: approx. 14km.
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 5

    Climb Mt Yari (3180m) and descend to Yarigatake Mountain Hut.

    Continuing up the increasingly steep and rocky Yarisawa Valley we ascend to the Yarigatake mountain hut, before the final pull up onto the summit of the Japanese Matterhorn - Mt. Yarigatake (Japan's fifth highest peak - 3180m). Although this is not technical, there are sections where you will need to scramble over boulders and rocks and there are snowfields that we may need to cross. The short final leg up to the summit is a very steep and challenging scramble using chains and ladders with some exposure to a steep drop - this last stretch is entirely optional and we only recommend experienced scramblers attempt it. This is a popular spot for local hikers with (on a clear day) spectacular views, including Mt Fuji to the southeast. About 6-8 hours challenging hiking. Walking distance: approx. 6km.
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Descend to Kamikochi, and transfer to Matsumoto. Here we can relax in a local hot spring or explore the magnificent Black Castle.

    We begin the long and steep descent from Yarigatake mountain hut, back down to Kamikochi (about 8-10 hours hiking). This early morning descent can be cold and begins very steep over broken ground but the views of verdant valleys are spectacular. From Kamikochi we transfer to Matsumoto. 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Transfer from Matsumoto to Kawaguchi, at the base of Mt Fuji.

    In the morning there is an opportunity, for those who wish, to visit the impressive Matsumoto Castle (optional). Founded in 1504, this castle, otherwise known as 'Crow Castle' due to its black colour, is one of the two best preserved in Japan, most others having been destroyed following the Meiji Restoration. Its imposing six story donjon has been designated a national treasure. Moving on from Matsumoto we transfer to the town of Fujiyoshida, situated near Lake Kawaguchi, one of the five lakes of Mt Fuji. Mt Fuji (or Fuji-san) is Japan's highest peak at 3776m and attracts people from all over Japan and the world, to climb it. Its near perfect volcanic cone has been celebrated by artists and photographers alike over many centuries, with perhaps the most famous representations coming in the form of Katsushika Hokusai's 'Thirty Six views of Mount Fuji'. Although not a tourist town, Fujiyoshida provides a great stopping off point for climbs of Mt Fuji, and gives those on a short visit to Japan a great insight into Japanese tourist culture.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Transfer to Station Five on Mt Fuji; climb slowly to Honhachigome - close to the summit of Mt Fuji.

    We transfer by road to Station Five (Go-gome), from where we start our trek, on a well-marked track up to Station Eight (Hachi-gome). The walk takes about 4-5 hours, but is hard work as you cross steep volcanic scree and cinder that shifts underfoot as you ascend. Walking distance: approx. 6km.
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 9

    An early start for sunrise at Japan's highest point (3776m); descend and transfer to the nearby Lake Kawaguchi.

    An early morning start, as we set off before sunrise, for the summit of Mt Fuji. It is only in the last hundred years that people have been regularly climbing Mt Fuji; previously the mountain was considered so sacred that only pilgrims and priests were allowed to climb. The summit is not a single point, but a circular crater rim, and in 'traditional' Japanese style the top features a shrine, weather station, post office, and a noodle bar! After experiencing sunrise, we descend back down to our hotel in Fujiyoshida. Walking distance: approx. 8km.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Free day to relax and explore; optional hike to Mitsutoge.

    A free day to explore and relax around the beautiful Fuji Five Lakes area. It is possible to visit Lake Sai, perhaps the quietest and least visited of the Five Lakes, or to take a short trip to Tenjo-zan where you often get a fabulous view of Lake Kawaguchi with Mt Fuji behind. Those who want to enjoy more walking can join the tour leader for an additional optional hike to Mitsutoge, a peak standing at 1786m which offers great views of Mt Fuji and Tokyo on a clear day.

     

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Morning transfer to Tokyo.

    No visit to Japan would be complete without a trip to Tokyo. From Fujiyoshida we travel by bus, arriving around lunchtime in the capital. Situated on the banks of the Sumida River, by Tokyo Bay, Tokyo grew up out of the fishing village of Edo, becoming the centre of power in 1590. This afternoon is free to explore.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Time to explore Tokyo, one of the world's most spectacular capital cities.

    Today we have a free day to explore the delights of Tokyo. Making use of the city's highly efficient tube system it is possible to visit the early morning fish market in Tsukiji and Asakusa's lively temple of Senso-ji. The possibilities for evening entertainment are almost limitless with Tokyo's nightlife as exciting as anywhere in Asia.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    End Tokyo.

    The trip ends in Tokyo this morning. Those on the group flights to London will be transferred to Tokyo airport this afternoon for the flight back to London, which arrives in the UK the following day.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Japan

Most nationalities do not require a visa to visit Japan. Australian and South African passport holders do require a visa; these will usually be issued on arrival but it is worth verifying this at your embassy before travel.

Vaccinations

Japan

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

Apart from breakfasts and four dinners, food is not included in the price.

You should allow around GBP35-45 a day to cover the cost of food and drink. It is possible to eat more cheaply than this, or to spend considerably more, depending on the standard of restaurant chosen. In many of the places we visit there are restaurants available to cater for all tastes and pockets and it is generally very easy to enjoy every aspect of Japan's excellent cuisine either as a group or on your own. Please note that choice of vegetarian food is very limited at dinner time on Mt. Fuji.

Weather

Is this trip for you?

In total there are 4 daywalks and 2 half-day walks and you will need carry only a rucksack with personal gear for a maximum of 2 nights. We usually hike between 6-8 hours on a full day and about 4 hours on a half-day. The trails are almost always well marked but are often rough and stony underfoot. This trek includes some long and challenging days on Yarigatake and Fuji, with some very rough and uneven trails and long, steep descents, therefore a good level of fitness is essential to take part in this trip. There are sections where you will need to scramble over boulders and rocks and there are snowfields that we may need to cross. The short final leg up to the Yarigatake summit is a very steep and challenging scramble using chains and ladders with some exposure to a steep drop - this last stretch is entirely optional and we only recommend experienced scramblers attempt it. While there is usually no snow on Mount Fuji from late June until October, temperatures at the summit can drop to below zero and there can be some very strong winds. It is therefore important to be well equipped for these weather conditions. 

We spend 3 nights in basic mountain huts which can get extremely crowded during the peak climbing season and 1 night in a ryokan with communal washing facilities. The rest of the nights are spent in comfortable accommodation offering Western standards. The climbing season for Mount Fuji is very short, from mid July to the end of August. Each year more than 300,000 people make the ascent to the top of the mountain, so crowds and busy trails are to be expected. However the experience of ascending the mountain among hundreds of equally minded people from across the world will be memorable!

 

Call us on
015 407 558
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels, Mountain Huts & Guesthouse

We spend 8 nights in comfortable hotel with en suite rooms, 3 nights in mountain huts and 1 night in a Ryokan a traditional local guesthouse.

Ryokan's - while comfortable and full of local character they do not always run along the same lines as western hotels. Rooms do not generally have private facilities and bedding is generally in the Japanese style with thick futon mattresses placed on tatami mats on the floor - actually very comfortable! Bathrooms are usually communal (one for men and one for women). On occasion, it may be necessary for more than two people to share a room.

The mountain huts have shared washing facilities and can be very busy in peak trekking season, particularly on Mt Fuji, when an average of 5000 people climb to the top for sunrise each day. Sleeping in the huts will be at close quarters, and should be treated more as an opportunity for a rest during the hike than a relaxing night's sleep!

Call us on
015 407 558
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

The mountains will always draw us back to this majestic country: and now, with the return of a very special trip, the

As the days get longer and brighter, and the morning air begins to lose its bite, we slowly start to see the first sh

  • Reviewed September 2016
    Mark Billington

    My best adventure to date

    From start to finish this trip was fantastic, we packed so much into the time we had in Japan and our tour guide Mayuko had everything so well organised the holiday ran like a dream.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Summiting Mt Fuji for sunrise without a doubt, although we didn't see a sunrise we did a 5k crater walk which gave stunning views.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mayuko was an outstanding group leader, always helpful and attentive, she went above and beyond to ensure our climb up Mt Fuji went ahead after a typhoon curtailed our intended day of ascent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There are plenty of opportunities to wash on the trip, so maybe an idea to pack a bit lighter. Despite contrasting advice with luggage I'd go with a case with wheels as there's lots of stations, and platforms to negotiate.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Although the total cost of the trip is fairly expensive it's well worth it, and I'd certainly reccommend the trip.
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Camille Hickey

    Mt Fujo and the Japanese Alps

    The trip title is misleading. There were 2 climbs made, Mt. Yaragatake and Mt. Fuji, both strenuous and spectacular but no hiking through the Alps as we had thought. There was a SIGNIFICANT amount of time spent in public transport, trains, buses, to get between the mountains. The time to take making these transfers was not mentioned in the trip notes. One day after 3 changes all carrying our cases, we arrived at 10.30pm to then get a taxi to our accommodation. In the trip, time spent hiking was only the 4 days (or in part) of the 2 climbs and one simple hike along the Edo walk which was not in the alps. The majority of time was spent in down time or in travel between accommodation. The overall cost of the trip was more than I have paid for hiking holidays with Exodus and I believe that was due to the significant cost in transport between sites.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The predawn climb to the summit of Mt.Fuji.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Inexperienced. He had never done this trip before and so there were points along the way he was totally unsure about. Did not give adequate information in advance of each day or night activity. Poor communication was his mantra. The (on site) guide who supervised the 2 mountain walks was the opposite, brilliant on every level.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip is not for those wishing to see a wider perspective of the Japanese Alps. Too much public transport where you carry own luggage.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Group meals are variable in cost and content. Twice when told in advance of expected price pp the actual price was more.
  • Reviewed August 2016
    William Ferguson

    Quite a trip

    So many aspects of Japan : Mountains, climbed the Japanese way Interesting Food always available Unfailingly polite people A culture to immerse yourself in

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The trip was full of highlights, some large and some smaller scale, but all were full of pleasure. The sunrise from the lodge at Mount Yarigatake, Mt Fuji visible in the distance. Taking part in the annual climb Mt Fuji pilgrimage The way in which, no matter the circumstances, immaculately presented, ready cooked food was available. Having the chance to appreciate the depth and breadth of Japanese culture. We travelled out ahead of the group and stayed on afterwards. This gave us the chance, for example, to visit Hiroshima & Miyajima on a day trip and to take more time over Tokyo. We'd strongly recommend this to anyone doing this tour. It also allows more time to acclimatise.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Etchuri-san(aka Tats) grew into the role as the tour went on. We were really grateful for his suggestions related to things to see in Matsumoto and Tokyo. It would be wrong not to mention the Mountain Guide, Ishihara-san(aka Tomo) who was a mine of information and looked after the whole group impeccably.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We have never had a climbing experience like the lodge on Mt Fuji and the final ascent for sunrise at the top. Resting on shelves in a room with ~100 others was new to us. Similarly, climbing as part of a river of head torches, two people wide, policed by rangers was a novel experience. Then getting to the top to find hot soup, vending machines and temples. It's best to throw yourself into it, do as the Japanese do, smile, bow and say 'konichiwa'

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    As above, this trip doesn't give enough time to really explore Tokyo or Kyoto and the opportunity to experience life in Japan. Travel out early, stay late. Enjoy it. A great trip
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Graham Aitchison

    Mt Fuji & the Japanese Alps

    Mt Fuji & the Japanese Alps, this trip starts in Kyoto with a day or two to see the historic former capital of Japan before taking the bullet train and walking a section of the Nakasendo way. From there the trip sets off to the national park of Kamikochi to ascend Mt Yarigatake (3180m). After this there are a few days to explore Matsumoto before catching the bus to Station Five to start the trek to the summit of Mt Fuji (3776m). The trip ends in Tokyo where there are free days to explore the mix of historic and modern Japan. The trip allows you to sample the various forms of Japanese cuisine that include noodle dishes, sushi and various other rice noodle or fish based dishes.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were many wonderful moments on this trip, from travelling on the bullet train (or Shinkansen) to visiting the golden temple, Crow castle and other temples and shrines along the way. However the most inspirational moment of the trip was reaching the summit of Mount Fuji and watching the sun rise, truly awesome and well worth the effort.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mayuko, the tour leader was fantastic and very organised. She looked after us all and ensured that the various train and bus journeys made on the trip all ran smoothly. Mayuko also packed a great number of experiences into the trip from seeing the historic castles, temples and shrines to the modern streets in Tokyo with their neon lights. Mayuko was a very attentive tour leader who made sure that we had lots of options to do on our free days and were able to find and see any attraction or holiday gift that we wanted. She was very friendly and approachable and fitted into the group well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This trip does involve using a lot of Japanese public transport, and as the trip notes state you are best taking luggage that you are able to get on and off trains with ease and stow into the luggage spaces, personally I found rucksacks the easiest. When climbing the two mountains that we trekked up (Mt Yarigatake and Mt Fuji) you really do not need to have a 40+ litre rucksack – you can get away with a smaller rucksack (around 25-30 litres) to fit the essentials for the hikes. For Mt Yarigatake we had rain all the way up so good waterproofs and a rucksack cover/dry bag was a necessity along with a set of dry clothes in a dry bag. There are really good drying rooms in the mountain huts on Mt Yarigatake and you will be able to hang and dry your kit. If you want to travel really light, on the group flights we took we got a travel toothbrush and toothpaste on each flight and most of the hotels we stayed in provided these and a razor, soap, shampoo and conditioner, so you can leave most of that behind if you are that way inclined.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We participated in the trip that was for the last two weeks of August, which coincided with a fire festival held just after we ascended Mt Fuji, though you may want to wear old clothes due to the embers in the air. This was a great opportunity to sample a wide variety of different street foods and witness Japanese drumming, which made our trip even more special.
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Louise Clark

    A brilliant holiday, Hills, Shrines, Temples, Tokyo and more.

    A brilliant holiday showcasing the best of what Honshu has to offer.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Loads...climbing the iconic Mount Fuji to see sunrise was an experience, but one of many - that included Temples, Shrines, Castles, the best that Tokyo has to offer and a fire festival!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely brilliant - wonderfully organised and really committed to giving everyone the best time that they could possibly have. She worked so hard on the " free" days to show us the best of Kyoto and Tokyo......... When met with challenges - a broken arm from one member of the group - she remained unflappable and sought to deal with everything as effectively as possible whilst not compromising our holiday at all. We were travelling firther after the Exodis trip and she sorted rail pass/shinkansen bookings gave us ideas for our destinations and was generally a star!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Travel light! There is lots of public tranport use - this is highly efficient but you will be wheeling/carrying your bag lots. I had an expedition holdall...very practical generally but not ideal for carrying a long way - Japanese stations can be huge! A bag that fits on the overhead racks (that you can lift) makes it easier on the trains. Notably all the hotels have shower gel, shampoo etc so if you are not fussy about brand then you don`t need them! Do not take a 40 litre rucksac for the overnight mountain hut trips, this is way too big... you are only out for two nights and bedding etc is provided...those that had big rucksacs carried too much weight by far. Also use dry bags NOT a rucksac cover, the rain can be torrential and only those of us with dry bags had dry kit!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Eating out is not as expensive as I anticipated...we ate in loads of brilliant local places at a fraction of the expected cost. Fabulous holiday.....!!!!
  • Reviewed September 2015
    anonymous anonymous

    Japan Mount Fuji

    What a fantastic trip. A good mixture of cities and mountains. Everything was efficient there and the people were always so obliging to help with information or directions.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the top of Mount Fuji. We were lucky and had great views as was sunny. Seeing the sun rise on Mount Fuji. Talking to local people in the mountain huts. Good atmosphere.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our guide Mayuko was brilliant, knowledgeable, professional, understanding, patient and gave us great insights into the Japanese culture and took us to some cool eating places which we'd not experienced before. Could not have asked for anyone better.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would say you need a certain level of fitness for this trip. Mount Fuji is quite steep. Carry light on the mountain trips it really helps. Our mountain guide Tomo was brilliant as well. Really professional, knowledgeable and kind. We had rain on Mount Yari so make sure you bring good waterproofs that do the job.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Really great trip saw and did a lot in the two week trip. A good balance of activities and free time. Would now like to go back to see the rest of Japan!
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Carol Merritt

    Japanese Alps

    An amazing trip with an exciting and full on itinerary

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the top of Mt. Yarigatake and Mt. Fuji.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely excellent in every way. My experience with previous Exodus trips is most guides are very good but on this trip Mayuko was exceptional. A truly first class guide who not only was extremely knowledgeable, but sacrificed any amount of personal free time to our group to share with us her personal favourite sights and experiences during unscheduled activities on our itinerary.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The optional summit of Mt. Yarigatke is approx. 200m almost vertical climb with ladders and chains so be aware you need a head for heights. Tomo, the mountain guide was absolutely fantastic and extremely professional and is very understated in his role as 'assistant guide' as mentioned in the trip notes. Only take minimum in day pack for Yarigatake and Fuji treks ie one set of spare clothes, not a huge 70L pack re trip notes.
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Nour Maurice

    Wonderful trip!

    Great trip, you get to see many different aspects of Japan and get to do things which wouldn't be possible/wouldn't know about without a guide! It's a shame the stay in Kyoto and Tokyo is so short!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The culture there is very inspirational! People are really friendly, and polite, everything is super clean and the food is really good!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Absolutely fantastic! She gave us so much information for everything, and even took her time to show us things on the free days if we wanted to join her! Really great, and a lovely person, really easy to get on with!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take ear plugs and a eye mask for the Mount Fuji mountain hut! It's so difficult to sleep! And take plenty of snacks with you because the meals included are way to small to keep you going!
  • Reviewed September 2015
    Elizabeth Leece

    Japanese Alps

    Great mix of trekking and culture (as well as weather!)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting above the clouds on Mount Fuji... Breathtaking sunrise and sunset

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Amazing tour leader, dealt with everything that was thrown at her with a smile! Even managed to keep us in order on the public transport

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring a small day pack for hiking, and wheeled main luggage for all the train transfers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Brilliant mix of walking and relaxation
  • Reviewed August 2015
    Jo G

    Mt. Fuji and the Japanese Alps

    I’ve been on quite a few small group holidays and this tour definitely had the most varied and contrasting itinerary to date. I loved the mix of hiking, history, culture, city, countryside, hi-tech and low-tech; the balance between busy days and time to relax and enjoy the fabulous scenery Japan has to offer was perfect. Particular highlights for me include the extraordinarily good food, the scramble to the summit of Mt Yarigatake, the buzz of the mountain huts and the friendliness of all the people we came across on our travels.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The exhilaration of getting to the top of Mt Yarigatake; the final scramble has an edge of danger to it and you really need to focus on every step you make. Secondly, sleeping 16 to a bottom bunk-bed in the mountain hut before summiting Mt Fuji. Rising at 1 am and watching fellow hikers below, making their way up the mountain with their head torches twinkling in the darkness. This magical memory could not be captured in a photo.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mayuko. Professional, knowledgeable, exceptionally organised and great fun; she obviously adores her job! I’ve never experienced a tour leader who can so efficiently sort out the individual payments of a restaurant bill for 14 people; the amount of loose change she carries around is unbelievable! She consistently made perfect choices for where we ate, making sure we experienced a wide range of restaurants and cuisines. She was also very encouraging of us to try out traditional Japanese communal baths, and I’m so glad I acted upon her recommendation and visited the hot spring; a wonderful way to rejuvenate after the Mt Fuji hike! Mayuko never rushed us, there was no running for buses or trains, we always met in plenty of time, and when pre-booking was unavailable, we were always in front of the queue to ensure we got a seat. Mayuko often hand wrote instructions on pre-purchased tickets to avoid confusion! She also did this on maps, a very time consuming but incredibly thoughtful gesture.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Have wheels on your luggage, I took a holdall and struggled with some of the distances we had to walk when using public transport, and it was also a little tricky on occasions getting me and my bag through ticket gates. Japan isn’t as expensive as you may think, so you don’t need to take excessive amounts of cash. When you arrive in Tokyo, I’d recommend purchasing a Suica card for transport, it makes things a little easier than having to purchase an individual ticket for each trip. Lastly, I took far too many warm clothes, it was very hot during my visit, and one fleece/down jacket would have been sufficient to cover both hikes!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Japan far exceeded my expectations; this tour is a fabulous introduction to a totally unique country. If you are lucky enough to have Mayuko as your Tour Leader, ably assisted by the lovely Tomo and Kyo on the hikes, then you are in for a real treat. Finally, if you like a drink and a bit of sing, I'd recommend Karaoke for the last night in Tokyo …….

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on 015 407 558