Kyoto, the Shima Peninsula, and Japan's Sacred Kumano Kodo

Shinto Shrines, Pearl Divers, and Pilgrim Trails

Japan

13 Days

From $9,995

Overview

    Book Online Download Itinerary

    Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

    Overview

    Marvelous Kyoto, rural sites outside Kyoto, the Shinto shrines of the Shima Peninsula, the pearl divers of Toba Bay, and the pilgrim trails of Kumano Kodo—they're all on this unique WT adventure. We'll visit I. M. Pei's masterpiece Miho Museum, set in a nature preserve, go tea- and sake-tasting in the atmospheric ancient city of Uji, then visit Nara's great Todaiji Temple, one of Japan's most famous buildings. After exploring the ancestral shrine of Japan's emperors at Ise, we meet traditional ama (female pearl divers) in beautiful Toba Bay, then finish with walks in the misty forests of Kumano Kodo, the holy ground of Japan, where pilgrims have walked for centuries.

    Arrive: Osaka, Japan

    Depart: Osaka, Japan

    Highlights

    • Meet Kyoto's traditional artisans, dine with a geisha
    • Explore the ancient pilgrim trails of the Kumano Kodo
    • Visit the sacred Shinto shrines of the Shima Peninsula
    • Meet the traditional female pearl divers of the Shima Peninsula
    • Enjoy several overnights in traditional ryokans

    Overview

      Book Online Download Itinerary

      Call 1-800-368-2794 or contact us for any questions

      Itinerary

      Download Itinerary Expand All Days

      In the rural town of Shigaraki, we visit a 5th generation indigo artisan, then continue to the Miho Museum, an architectural wonder designed by I. M. Pei. We also visit a small town known for shigaraki yaki, a ceramic style recognized as one of Japan's “six ancient kilns.” Our private dinner in Kyoto with a geisha illuminates an ancient Japanese tradition of hospitality.

      One of our workshop visits is to the Meiji-era wooden townhouse of Hakuya Noguchi, a 4th generation gold-leaf artisan. Just outside Kyoto, we explore Tofukuji, founded in the 13th century at the behest of the powerful Fujiwara clan. With its spectacular gardens and ancient wooden bridges, it is a magnificent World Heritage Site, yet less visited because of its distance outside the city.
      In the atmospheric city of Uji, featured in the 11th century Tale of Genji, we taste Uji's green-tea-infused cuisine, visit the serene Byodoin Temple, and sample the wares at a sake brewery. At Nara, explorations include the majestic Todaiji Temple, one of the world's largest wooden structures, and the mystical Horuji temples, Japan's oldest Buddhist monuments.
      A ferry brings us to Mikimoto Island, where pearls have been cultivated for centuries. We’ll meet with traditional female pearl divers, then visit the Grand Shrines of Ise, which predate Buddhism in Japan and are dedicated to Shinto’s venerated deity, the Sun Goddess Amaterasu.
      Walking the ancient pilgrim trails of the Kumano Kodo amid shrines and waterfalls is an unforgettable experience of rural Japan. Depart on Day 13 via Osaka.

      Dates & Pricing

      Pricing below is per person and based on double occupancy. The earlier you book, the more choice you’ll have. WT also has the most generous cancellation and transfer policies in the industry, we make it easy if you change your mind. Have a small group of your own? Take over an existing date or choose your own. You’ll have your own private guide–and the adventure–all to yourselves!

      Payment & Cancel Schedule

      $600 due at time of reservation
      90 days prior to departure: Balance

      Cancellation & Transfer Schedule

      Up to 91 days prior to departure: No Charge!
      61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
      46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
      45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

      Included
      • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
      • Accommodations in ryokans and hotels
      • All meals included except lunches and 1 dinner as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
      • All ground transportation and baggage handling from meeting until departure
      • All activities as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
      Not Included
      • Travel to and from the arrival and departure location as indicated in Detailed Itinerary
      • Additional hotel nights outside the trip's scheduled dates
      • Optional gratuities to Trip Leaders or staff
      • Optional travel insurance
      • Other expenses of a personal nature (some alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.)
      • Visa fees

      Accommodations

      Scroll through our signature accommodations for this trip below. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

      Noku Kyoto

      Kyoto, Japan

      Days 1-4 (4 nights)

      Noku puts us in the heart of Kyoto, right next to the Imperial Palace. While we soak up 1,000-year-old Japanese history, we also appreciate the artistry of modern Kyoto. The hotel's guest rooms are sleek and modern, embellished with art pieces reflecting the cultural essence of Kyoto, and each one...

      Hanayashiki Ukifune-en

      Uji, Japan

      Day 5 (1 night)

      Located in a tranquil setting dotted with maples and cherry blossoms, Hanayashiki Ukifune-en looks out over the peaceful Uji River. The ryokan has 28 guest rooms featuring Japanese-style bedding, tatami floor mats, and floor-to-ceiling windows. No ryokan would be complete without common baths and this one has two, both infused...

      Hotel Nikko Nara

      Nara, Japan

      Days 6-7 (2 nights)

      The Hotel Nikko Nara is connected to the JR Nara train station and is not far from the Todai-ji Temple and Nara Park, making it the perfect location to head out and explore Japan's original capital city. A respite from the bustling city, the guest rooms with western beds and...

      Toba International Hotel

      Toba, Japan

      Days 8-9 (2 nights)

      Gorgeous views of Toba Bay stretch far and wide from this sleek hotel. Rooms feature modern décor and offer a combination of Western beds and Japanese tatami floor mats. Each room has a private bathroom and either an ocean or mountain view. The hotel has two restaurants, a waterfront café,...

      Hotel Urashima

      Katsuura, Japan

      Days 10-11 (2 nights)

      This gleaming resort and spa lies along the edge of the Pacific Ocean buffered by green mountains and cavernous hot springs. Hotel Urashima has five uniquely styled bath houses teeming with fresh waters from the surrounding 200 hot springs in Nachikatsuura. Four restaurants offer up to 80 buffet items...

      Fujiya Ryokan

      Kawayu Onsen, Japan

      Day 12 (1 night)

      Set at one end of the hot-spring village of Kawayu Onsen, the family-run Fujiya Ryokan is one of the most traditional of the local ryokans. Large, comfortable guest rooms look out on the Oto River, where hot-springs bubble to the surface, and are decorated in traditional Japanese style. You can...

      Trip Leaders

      Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders have a passion and a joy for creating an unforgettable journey. We are extremely proud of them and the incredible travel experiences they make possible. For more information, including client comments about them and which specific trips they will be leading, please click on their profiles below.

      Lucy Whitehead

      View Profile

      What the Trip is Like

      The trip is Level 2, Easy to Moderate, according to our trip grading system. This adventure trip features lovely walks in cities and villages.
      Review Trip Level Details

      We make the most of our time in Japan. After rising and eating breakfast, we leave our ryokan for a walking tour. Daily mini-lectures by our Trip Leader help provide insights into the past and future, the history, politics, geography, and food of Japan. On some days, we visit temples and shrines, and other days, we follow the pathways of the shoguns or visit sites of breathtaking natural beauty. We ride the subways and buses, but we do most of our sightseeing on foot.

      Although not physically demanding, the trip will yield greater rewards if you are in good physical condition and able to stay on your feet for 6-7 hours per day. There is much to see, and a fair amount of walking is necessary to take it all in—and you will find there are many steps to climb! Japan is a land of staircases and hills and you will enjoy the trip more if you are dressed comfortably and are in good physical condition. Please remember we will be sleeping on futons and eating at floor level, so it is important that you are able to sit down on, and get up off, the floor without much difficulty.

      Japan's climate and temperature range are similar to the east coast of the US, with four distinct seasons. In March and April, the weather is turning spring-like and we hope to enjoy the cherry blossoms. Viewing the blossoms is somewhat of a national pastime in Japan. However, as the spring is a transitional season, we can expect some rain. In autumn, the weather in Japan turns pleasant, as the humidity of the summer months leave the air.  Because the occasional typhoon does occur in the autumn, we may expect some rain. Temperatures should range from the 50s to the 70s °F. In the mountains, the weather is unpredictable and we may encounter rain.

      Japan is a blend of the traditional and modern, and our trip encompasses this unique mixture. We will stay at traditional ryokans as well as Japanese-style hotels. The quiet world of the ryokan is a venerable cultural institution—a way to experience a simple, timeless way of life. After being warmly welcomed, we trade our street shoes for slippers. Once inside, we remove our slippers as we step onto the finely woven tatami mats covering our sleeping room floors. Our rooms are spacious and pleasant with low tables and comfortable futon mattresses with quilts and blankets. Ryokans have double rooms (singles are sometimes possible). Some of our rooms will have attached toilets; at other times, we share the "down the hall" facilities. Although a few ryokans have western baths in the rooms, most have an ofuro (a Japanese-style bath).

      Normally, a fresh cotton yukata (robe) is provided for each guest. These light kimonos can be worn anywhere in and around the ryokan and we often wear them to meals (make sure to wear the left side over the right). For many of our breakfasts and dinners, beautifully presented meals are served as we sit on the floor at low tables on our tatami mats.

      A highlight of any visit to Japan is its superb cuisine defined by fresh ingredients and artful presentation. We will have ample opportunity to sample both familiar and new dishes. We will sample many types of Japanese food, and usually the first "bite" is with our eyes, the presentation being a tantalizing array of fresh fish, beef, vegetables, tofu, miso soup and, of course, rice, all served on individual plates and bowls of exquisite sizes, patterns, and proportions. We eat with chopsticks and are usually seated at low tables on the floor. At some ryokans, you may choose between a Japanese breakfast of fish, rice, miso soup, tofu, vegetables, pickled condiments and tea, or a western breakfast consisting of eggs, toast, salad, and coffee. Many places, however, offer only Japanese food.

      During our stays in major cities, you will have some dinners and all lunches on your own, allowing you ample opportunity to sample the endless variety of Japanese food. When we are traveling, we may try an obento (box lunch), and we sample the snack foods of Japan and/or get a bowl of udon, ramen or soba noodles at one of the local spots. We often eat lunch at noodle shops, sushi bars and small neighborhood lunch spots, avoiding the infamous high-priced meals of Japan. Napkins are not used except at western-style restaurants; bring your own handkerchief.

      Keep in mind that Japanese food is very different from what we are used to, and with the limited availability of American foods, your food intake will be a big part of the Japanese adventure.

      Please note that vegetarian options are available, but limited. Strict vegetarian diets, vegan diets, or gluten reduced diets will be difficult to accommodate due to the pervasiveness of the fish-based stock dashi and the use of soy sauce and miso in Japanese cuisine. Gluten free cuisine will not be available.

      In Japan, bathing is a time-honored tradition, a relaxing daily event. While staying in our ryokans, we will bathe as the Japanese do—using the ofuro system. In separate men and women's sides, the custom is to wash and rinse before entering the ofuro, a large tub of hot water where we can sit back with legs extended, submerged to the neck (this trip is not for the very modest!). Early Shinto was a religion of cleanliness and purification. Ritualistic bathing began during this time and has been perfected over the centuries. Either as a divine imperative or a luxury, bathing in Japan has always been regarded as more than a hygienic chore. The ofuro is the perfect way to finish a hectic day of travel. After a relaxing bath, we gather for the evening meal.

      Client Testimonials

      "Outstanding trip! Diverse itinerary, great introduction to Japanese artisans, very, very good look at the shrines, hiking trails, and seafaring traditions of this fascinating part of Japan."

      Greg P.

      San Antonio, TX

      Book your trip today

      Our Area Specialists know every detail about our tours. They will be happy to answer any questions and help you choose the journey that’s right for you. Contact us to learn more or book your trip today!

      Itinerary

      Submit the form below to download itinerary

      Hidden

      Hidden


      Trip Levels

      With more than 200 different adventures to choose from, we want to help you find the trip that’s right for you. Our Trip Level system ranks each trip in two ways: a number rating from 1 to 6 according to the activity, and general travel rigors. 1 is the easiest and 6+ the most difficult—see descriptions below for explanations of each number. A plus (+) sign means the trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of that level. The detailed explanation of each trip—below the bar with the number rating—is perhaps more important, specifying activities, altitudes, hiking, and travel conditions. The Detailed Itinerary, available by download or mail, gives further information. Our Area Managers can also answer questions and guide you to the trip that best suits your interests.

      Level 1 – Easiest

      Non-camping journeys, optional walks, little elevation gain or loss.

      Level 2 – Easy to Moderate

      Hotel nights and/or safari-style camping, hikes of two to four hours on some days. Other physical activities are sometimes included, such as optional sea kayaking.

       

      Level 3 – Moderate

      Half- to full-day hikes (3-6 hours) over rolling countryside on most days, occasional steep trails. Many of our hotel-based walking tours are in this category, as are our snorkeling adventures.

      Level 4 – Moderate to Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-6 hours), mountainous terrain, significant elevation gains and losses (hiking up or down as much as 3,000 feet) on many days. Altitudes no greater than about 10,000 feet.

       

      Level 5 – Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (4-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Trips with hiking at average altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 feet are in this category.

      Level 6 – Very Strenuous

      Full-day hikes (5-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Most hikes take place at altitudes above 10,000 feet, with some days ascending as high as 18,000 feet.

      {"trip":{"TripID":10466,"Trip_Code":"JAPEARL","Trip_Name":"Shinto Shrines, Pearl Divers, and Pilgrim Trails","TripYear":"2024","BrandName":"Wilderness Travel","BrandID":1,"Trip_Tag_Line":"see custom fields","Start_Location":"Osaka, Japan","End_Location":"Osaka, Japan","Number_Days":13,"Number_Nights":12,"DisplayOnWeb":true,"Book_On_Web":true,"Featured":false,"SpecialEvent":false,"BestSeller":false,"Short_Description":"Marvelous Kyoto, rural sites outside Kyoto, the Shinto shrines of the Shima Peninsula, the pearl divers of Toba Bay, and the pilgrim trails of Kumano Kodo&mdash;they're all on this unique WT adventure. We'll visit I. M. Pei's masterpiece Miho Museum, set in a nature preserve, go tea- and sake-tasting in the atmospheric ancient city of Uji, then visit Nara's great Todaiji Temple, one of Japan's most famous buildings. After exploring the ancestral shrine of Japan's emperors at Ise, we meet traditional <em>ama<\/em> (female pearl divers) in beautiful Toba Bay, then finish with walks in the misty forests of Kumano Kodo, the holy ground of Japan, where pilgrims have walked for centuries.","Long_Description":"","ActivityHighlight":"Walking, including some steep stairs, 6-7 hours a day, Japanese-style dining (sitting on floor)","TripType":"Small Group Adventure","HeaderImage":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/trips\/placeholder-cover.jpg","HeaderImageAltTag":"","ThumbnailImage":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/trips\/thumb-JAPEARL-tori-gate-fushimi-inari-shrine-kyoto-japan-012324.jpg","MapImage":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/trips\/japearl-map.jpg","MapImageAltTag":"","FloatingImage":"","VideoLink":"","GroupSize":"","tripURL":"https:\/\/wildernesstravel.com\/trip\/japan-kyoto-kumano-kodo-walking-tour","ThisYear_Year":"2024","ThisYear_PriceDetails":"$9,995 (10-12 members)<br>\n$10,495 (7-9 members)<br>\n$10,995 (5-6 members)","ThisYear_PriceDetails2":"Single supplement: $1,985","Price":"9995","SingleSupplementPrice1":"0","SingleSupplementPrice2":"0","SingleSupplementPrice1Caption":"","SingleSupplementPrice2Caption":"","AirPrice":"0","AirPriceCaption":"","FeePrice1":"0","FeePrice2":"0","FeePrice3":"0","FeeName1":"","FeeName2":"","FeeName3":"","ShowNextYearsPrice":false,"NextYear_Year":"","NextYear_PriceDetails":"","NextYear_PriceDetails2":"Single supplement: ","PriceNextYear":"0","SingleSupplementPrice1NextYear":"0","SingleSupplementPrice2NextYear":"0","NextYearSingleSupplementPrice1Caption":"","NextYearSingleSupplementPrice2Caption":"","NextYearAirPriceCaption":"","AirPriceNextYear":"0","NextYearFeePrice1":"0","NextYearFeePrice2":"0","NextYearFeePrice3":"0","NextYearFeeName1":"","NextYearFeeName2":"","NextYearFeeName3":"","TripSavings":false,"TripSavingsDescription":"","VariablePricing":false,"PricingNoteTitle":"","PricingNotes":"","NewTrip":false,"MinAge":0,"TripRatingID":4,"TripRatingName":"2","TravelFromDate":"2022-01-01","TravelToDate":"2050-12-31","BookFromDate":"2022-01-01","BookToDate":"2050-12-31","EventID":26,"EventName":"","AccountingGroup":"Pacific","DepositRule":2,"DepositAmt":"600","FinalDays":90,"AutoConfirm":false,"AutoConfirmAmount":"0","PrivateAvailable":true,"OperationMonths":"","AccmRating":"","TripStatus":"Active"},"itinerary":[{"DayFrom":1,"DayTo":1,"Headline":"Osaka \/ Kyoto","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Arrive in Osaka and transfer to our Noku Hotel Kyoto. We gather for a Welcome Dinner this evening.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":2,"DayTo":2,"Headline":"Kyoto \/ Shigaraki Yaki \/ I. M. Pei&apos;s Miho Museum","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We depart via charter bus this morning to the Shiga area. Our first stop will be to visit a 5th generation Indigo artisan. Mori san and his son will show us how to make indigo dye from the plants and give a demonstration of the dyeing process for both silk and washi paper. We continue on to the Miho Museum, an architectural wonder designed by I. M. Pei. The museum winds through forested hills in a 247-acre nature preserve on the outskirts of Kyoto. Its design seamlessly integrates it into the natural surroundings, as we&apos;ll see when we approach the museum, walking through a mix of man-made and natural environments. The museum displays fascinating pieces from ancient civilizations around the world collected by Koyama Mihoko, one of the wealthiest women in Japan. We finish out our day in Shigaraki, a gem in the middle of Shiga's countryside. This rural town is known for its traditional shigaraki yaki, a distinctive ceramic recognized as one of Japan&apos;s &ldquo;six ancient kilns&rdquo; (or rokkoyo). Its origin dates to the making of roofing tiles for the local palace of Emperor Shomu during the 8th century Tenpyo era. We are welcomed by some of Shigaraki&apos;s potters to learn about their ancient craft.&nbsp; We visit the studio of Satoshi Arakawa who is an energetic ceramic artist working with a traditional wood kiln.&nbsp; His work has been accepted into the national traditional craft association. We return to Kyoto where we&apos;ll have dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at hotel.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":3,"DayTo":3,"Headline":"Kyoto \/ Gold-Leaf Artisan \/ Textile Center \/ Dinner with a Geisha","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"This morning we visit the Kyoto workshop of Hakuya Noguchi, a fourth-generation, gold-leaf artisan who lives and works in a Meiji-era wooden townhouse. He creates materials for exquisite obis, or kimono sashes, woven from shredded washi-paper &ldquo;threads&rdquo; covered with precious metals, and he makes stunning abstract designs on paper. We continue on to Sarah Brayer&apos;s studio where she shares her insights on being an artist in Kyoto since the \u201870&apos;s. Her work is now shown internationally. The afternoon is at leisure in Kyoto, and we&apos;ll have a myriad of choices, from temple-hopping to museums or just strolling through this ancient city of temples. We will gather back at the hotel and head to a private home for a lovely dinner and entertainment by our own geisha. Overnight at hotel.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":4,"DayTo":4,"Headline":"Kyoto \/ Tofukuji Temple \/ Fushimi Inari Shrine","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We head outside Kyoto to Tofukuji, one of Kyoto&apos;s oldest temples, with its spectacular gardens and ancient wooden bridges. Founded in the 13th century at the behest of the powerful Fujiwara clan, Tofukuji is one of Kyoto&apos;s most magnificent World Heritage Sites yet much less visited because of its distance from the city. We continue on to Fushimi for lunch and a visit to the Sake Museum before heading to the atmospheric Fushimi Inari shrine, where we walk an ancient trail crowned by over 5,000 vibrant orange torii gates as it winds up a mountainside through deep forests. There are five shrines en route, created by the Hata family in the 8th century and dedicated to the gods of rice and sake. Return to Kyoto for overnight at hotel.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":5,"DayTo":5,"Headline":"Uji \/ Byodoin Temple \/ Tea and Sake Tasting","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We travel to Uji to soak up the atmosphere of this ancient city, prominently featured in The Tale of Genji, Murasaki Shikibu's classic 11th century novel. Our afternoon in Uji finds us at the serene Byodoin Temple, a striking example of pure Buddhist architecture. The temple&apos;s large Phoenix Hall is one of the finest surviving examples from the Heian Period (794-1185 AD) and is often referred to as the most beautiful building in Japan. Uji&apos;s green tea (Uji matcha) is famous throughout Japan and used to flavor everything from pastries to parfaits. We&apos;ll have a tea tasting, then finish our day sampling sake at a local brewery before heading to our ryokan. Dinner tonight will be kaiseki-style, a traditional Japanese meal consisting of six to 15 unique small courses meant to be enjoyed slowly and deliberately, each course designed to reflect the season and the locale where it was made. Overnight at Hanayashiki Ukifune-en.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":6,"DayTo":7,"Headline":"Nara Park and Todaiji \/ Horyuji&apos;s Wooden Temples","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"A short train ride brings us to Nara, Japan&apos;s first permanent capital, founded in the early 8th century, and a surprising number of buildings survive from this era. We&apos;ll walk the trails of leafy Nara Park, with its 1,200 free-wandering deer (in Shinto, deer are considered to be messengers of the gods). The park holds the great Todaiji Temple, one of Japan&apos;s most famous buildings, with a colossal bronze Buddha. Todaiji is one of the world&apos;s largest wooden structures. We enjoy a relaxing dinner tonight at our inn. The next day, we head to the outer areas of Horyuji, where some of the oldest surviving wooden temples in the world still stand. They were the first Buddhist monuments in Japan and had a strong subsequent influence on the nation's religious architecture. The main Horyuji Temple itself was completed in 607 AD for Prince Shotoku. After returning to Nara proper, our afternoon is at leisure. Dinner is on your own (the Trip Leader will be happy to make recommendations). Overnight at Hotel Nikko Nara. (Day 6), B (Day 7)","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":8,"DayTo":9,"Headline":"Ise Shima Shrines \/ Shima Peninsula \/ AMA Divers","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"We head out to visit the Grand Shrines of Ise, the ancestral shrine of the emperors of Japan, dedicated to the sun goddess, Amaterasu, with an adjacent shrine dedicated to the food goddess, Toyouke. These shrines are completely rebuilt every 20 years at a staggering cost, reflecting an important Shinto belief in the death and renewal of nature and the impermanence of all things. In Shinto, the indigenous religion of Japan, divinity is manifested within nature itself, and Shinto practices express the Japanese people&rsquo;s relationship with their land and the cycles of the earth. We spend the afternoon exploring this atmospheric setting. The next day, we journey by train to the Shima Peninsula, with its island-dotted coastline, sacred Shinto shrines, and pearl divers. From Toba, a ferry brings us into beautiful Ago Bay, known as Japan&rsquo;s Aegean for its teal-blue waters. We first visit the more commercial but historical Mikimoto Pearl Island as the museum there has a fabulous display on farming pearls. Our bus picks us up and we continue on down the gorgeous coastline where we&rsquo;ll have an authentic visit with traditional female pearl divers known as ama (&#8220;women of the sea&#8221;), enjoy a lunch among them, and learn about the unique pearl-diving culture, which dates back to the 8th century. Nowadays these women mainly dive for shell fish, lobster, and other joys from the sea, hence our delicious lunch! We drive back stopping along the way for the views of this magnificent coast. Overnights at hotel. ","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":10,"DayTo":12,"Headline":"Shingu \/ Explore the Kumano Kodo Nachi Pilgrim Trails","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"A train journey of about 3.5 hours brings us along the coast to the small coastal city of Shingu, where we overnight before beginning our two-day exploration of the Nachi section of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage path. Kumano is the holy ground of Japan, and pilgrims have walked these trails for centuries. Shrines, mist, waterfalls, and deep forests create the perfect walking environment, and we&apos;ll be immersed in rural Japan. We'll overnight at Hotel Urashima Resort and Spa. On Day 11, we explore the precincts of the Nachi shrine as well as Nachi-no-Otaki, Japan&apos;s highest waterfall that has been protected since ancient times. It is used for ascetic training by mountain monks who practice Shugendo, a mixed religion of foreign and indigenous beliefs. We return to Urashima for another chance to enjoy the cave baths and bountiful buffet this evening. We will walk on the Kumano Kodo path on Day 12, then drive to the lovely Fujiya Ryokan, where we end our journey with a Farewell Dinner. Overnights at Hotel Urashima (Days 10-11), Hotel Fujiya Ryokan (Day 12). each day","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":1,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":13,"DayTo":13,"Headline":"Osaka \/ Depart","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Depart early in the morning via chartered bus to Osaka Airport.","Breakfast":1,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":false},{"DayFrom":1,"DayTo":2,"Headline":"Osaka \/ Kyoto \/ Miho Museum \/ Geisha Dinner","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-13T10:44:00 --><p>In the rural town of Shigaraki, we visit a 5th generation indigo artisan, then continue to the Miho Museum, an architectural wonder designed by I. M. Pei. We also visit a small town known for <em>shigaraki yaki<\/em>, a ceramic style recognized as one of Japan&apos;s &ldquo;six ancient kilns.&rdquo; Our private dinner in Kyoto with a geisha illuminates an ancient Japanese tradition of hospitality.<\/p>","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true},{"DayFrom":3,"DayTo":4,"Headline":"Kyoto Artisan Workshops \/ Tofukuji Temple","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"One of our workshop visits is to the Meiji-era wooden townhouse of Hakuya Noguchi, a 4th generation gold-leaf artisan. Just outside Kyoto, we explore Tofukuji, founded in the 13th century at the behest of the powerful Fujiwara clan. With its spectacular gardens and ancient wooden bridges, it is a magnificent World Heritage Site, yet less visited because of its distance outside the city.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true},{"DayFrom":5,"DayTo":7,"Headline":"Uji \/ Nara Park \/ Todaiji \/ Horyuji","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"In the atmospheric city of Uji, featured in the 11th century Tale of Genji, we taste Uji&apos;s green-tea-infused cuisine, visit the serene Byodoin Temple, and sample the wares at a sake brewery. At Nara, explorations include the majestic Todaiji Temple, one of the world&apos;s largest wooden structures, and the mystical Horuji temples, Japan&apos;s oldest Buddhist monuments.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true},{"DayFrom":8,"DayTo":9,"Headline":"Pearl Divers \/ Grand Shrines of Ise","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"A ferry brings us to Mikimoto Island, where pearls have been cultivated for centuries. We&rsquo;ll meet with traditional female pearl divers, then visit the Grand Shrines of Ise, which predate Buddhism in Japan and are dedicated to Shinto&rsquo;s venerated deity, the Sun Goddess Amaterasu.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true},{"DayFrom":10,"DayTo":13,"Headline":"Kumano Kodo Pilgrim Trails","ActivityOverview":"","EstimatedLength":"","ActivityLevel":"","ItinBlock":"Walking the ancient pilgrim trails of the Kumano Kodo amid shrines and waterfalls is an unforgettable experience of rural Japan. Depart on Day 13 via Osaka.","Breakfast":0,"Lunch":0,"Dinner":0,"Overnight":"","Travel_Type":"","Quotation":"","Quotation_Attribution":"","Itinerary_Location":"","Latitude":"","Longitude":"","Brief":true}],"itinpdf":[{"ItinYear":"2024","docType":"1","FileName":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/portal\/shinto-shrines-pearl-divers-and-pilgrim-trails-itinerary-2024.pdf"},{"ItinYear":"2024","docType":"2","FileName":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/portal\/shinto-shrines-pearl-divers-and-pilgrim-trails-predeparture.pdf"}],"whattoexpect":[{}],"highlights":[{"DisplayOrder":1,"HighlightText":"","Description":"Meet Kyoto&apos;s traditional artisans, dine with a geisha","Image":"","VideoLink":"","ImageAltTag":"","image_id":32856,"caption":""},{"DisplayOrder":2,"HighlightText":"","Description":"Explore the ancient pilgrim trails of the Kumano Kodo","Image":"","VideoLink":"","ImageAltTag":"","image_id":32856,"caption":""},{"DisplayOrder":3,"HighlightText":"","Description":"Visit the sacred Shinto shrines of the Shima Peninsula","Image":"","VideoLink":"","ImageAltTag":"","image_id":32856,"caption":""},{"DisplayOrder":4,"HighlightText":"","Description":"Meet the traditional female pearl divers of the Shima Peninsula","Image":"","VideoLink":"","ImageAltTag":"","image_id":32856,"caption":""},{"DisplayOrder":5,"HighlightText":"","Description":"Enjoy several overnights in traditional ryokans","Image":"","VideoLink":"","ImageAltTag":"","image_id":32856,"caption":""},{"DisplayOrder":10,"HighlightText":"","Description":"10-JAPEARL-tori-gate-fushimi-inari-shrine-kyoto-japan-kimonos.jpg","Image":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/trips\/10-JAPEARL-tori-gate-fushimi-inari-shrine-kyoto-japan-kimonos.jpg","VideoLink":"","ImageAltTag":"","image_id":11595,"caption":""},{"DisplayOrder":11,"HighlightText":"","Description":"11-JAPEARL-pagoda-japan-nachi-falls-wakayama.jpg","Image":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/trips\/11-JAPEARL-pagoda-japan-nachi-falls-wakayama.jpg","VideoLink":"","ImageAltTag":"","image_id":11596,"caption":""},{"DisplayOrder":12,"HighlightText":"","Description":"12-JAPEARL-traditional-female-pearl-diver-mikimoto-island-japan.jpg","Image":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/trips\/12-JAPEARL-traditional-female-pearl-diver-mikimoto-island-japan.jpg","VideoLink":"","ImageAltTag":"","image_id":11597,"caption":""},{"DisplayOrder":13,"HighlightText":"","Description":"13-JAPEARL-fushimi-inari-shinto-shrine-japanese-monks.jpg","Image":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/trips\/13-JAPEARL-fushimi-inari-shinto-shrine-japanese-monks.jpg","VideoLink":"","ImageAltTag":"","image_id":11598,"caption":""},{"DisplayOrder":14,"HighlightText":"","Description":"14-JAPEARL-kumano-kodo-hiking-pilgrim-trails.jpg","Image":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/trips\/14-JAPEARL-kumano-kodo-hiking-pilgrim-trails.jpg","VideoLink":"","ImageAltTag":"","image_id":11599,"caption":""},{"DisplayOrder":15,"HighlightText":"","Description":"15-JAPEARL-byodoin-phoenix-hall-japan-temple.jpg","Image":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/trips\/15-JAPEARL-byodoin-phoenix-hall-japan-temple.jpg","VideoLink":"","ImageAltTag":"","image_id":11600,"caption":""},{"DisplayOrder":16,"HighlightText":"","Description":"16-JAPEARL-kumano-nachi-taisha-walking-tour.jpg","Image":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/trips\/16-JAPEARL-kumano-nachi-taisha-walking-tour.jpg","VideoLink":"","ImageAltTag":"","image_id":11601,"caption":""},{"DisplayOrder":17,"HighlightText":"","Description":"17-JAPEARL-shingu_-wakayama-kuwanoki-falls.jpg","Image":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/trips\/17-JAPEARL-shingu_-wakayama-kuwanoki-falls.jpg","VideoLink":"","ImageAltTag":"","image_id":11602,"caption":""},{"DisplayOrder":18,"HighlightText":"","Description":"18-JAPEARL-pagoda-japan-seigantoji-nachi-no-taki-waterfall.jpg","Image":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/trips\/18-JAPEARL-pagoda-japan-seigantoji-nachi-no-taki-waterfall.jpg","VideoLink":"","ImageAltTag":"","image_id":11603,"caption":""},{"DisplayOrder":19,"HighlightText":"","Description":"19-JAPEARL-tofuku-ji-temple-japan-group-trip.jpg","Image":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/trips\/19-JAPEARL-tofuku-ji-temple-japan-group-trip.jpg","VideoLink":"","ImageAltTag":"","image_id":11604,"caption":""},{"DisplayOrder":20,"HighlightText":"","Description":"20-JAPEARL-tofuku-ji-temple-southern-garden-local-tour-guide.jpg","Image":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/trips\/20-JAPEARL-tofuku-ji-temple-southern-garden-local-tour-guide.jpg","VideoLink":"","ImageAltTag":"","image_id":11605,"caption":""}],"weather":[{}],"accommodations":[{"VendorID":72112,"Day_Number":12,"Sequence":10,"Duration":1,"Description":"Standard Room","VendorName":"Fujiya Ryokan","CustomFields":{"Custom_slug":"fujiya-ryokan","Custom_Location":"Kawayu Onsen"}},{"VendorID":72459,"Day_Number":1,"Sequence":10,"Duration":4,"Description":"Standard Room","VendorName":"Noku Kyoto","CustomFields":{"Custom_slug":"noku-kyoto-hotel","Custom_Location":"Kyoto"}},{"VendorID":72648,"Day_Number":5,"Sequence":10,"Duration":1,"Description":"Standard Room","VendorName":"Hanayashiki Ukifune-en","CustomFields":{"Custom_slug":"hanayashiki-ukifune-en-hotel","Custom_Location":"Uji"}},{"VendorID":72649,"Day_Number":6,"Sequence":10,"Duration":2,"Description":"Standard Room","VendorName":"Hotel Nikko Nara","CustomFields":{"Custom_slug":"hotel-nikko-nara","Custom_Location":"Nara"}},{"VendorID":72653,"Day_Number":10,"Sequence":10,"Duration":2,"Description":"Standard Room","VendorName":"Hotel Urashima","CustomFields":{"Custom_slug":"hotel-urashima","Custom_Location":"Katsuura"}},{"VendorID":72657,"Day_Number":8,"Sequence":10,"Duration":2,"Description":"Standard Room","VendorName":"Toba International Hotel","CustomFields":{"Custom_slug":"toba-international-hotel","Custom_Location":"Toba"}},{"VendorID":73731,"Day_Number":8,"Sequence":11,"Duration":2,"Description":"Standard Room","VendorName":"Ryoso Uminochou","CustomFields":{"Custom_slug":"ryoso-uminochou","Custom_Location":"Toba","Custom_Additional_Emails":"","Custom_Addtional_Address":"","Custom_Accommodation_Types":"","Custom_Capacity":"","Custom_Amenties":""}}],"inclusions":[{"DisplaySequence":1,"Type":"E","Description":"Travel to and from the arrival and departure location as indicated in Detailed Itinerary","Highlight":0,"AdditionalText":"","Category":"","ProductType":0,"ImagePath":"","ImageAltTag":""},{"DisplaySequence":2,"Type":"E","Description":"Additional hotel nights outside the trip's scheduled dates","Highlight":0,"AdditionalText":"","Category":"","ProductType":0,"ImagePath":"","ImageAltTag":""},{"DisplaySequence":3,"Type":"E","Description":"Optional gratuities to Trip Leaders or staff","Highlight":0,"AdditionalText":"","Category":"","ProductType":0,"ImagePath":"","ImageAltTag":""},{"DisplaySequence":4,"Type":"E","Description":"Optional travel insurance","Highlight":0,"AdditionalText":"","Category":"","ProductType":0,"ImagePath":"","ImageAltTag":""},{"DisplaySequence":5,"Type":"E","Description":"Other expenses of a personal nature (some alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.)","Highlight":0,"AdditionalText":"","Category":"","ProductType":0,"ImagePath":"","ImageAltTag":""},{"DisplaySequence":6,"Type":"E","Description":"Visa fees","Highlight":0,"AdditionalText":"","Category":"","ProductType":0,"ImagePath":"","ImageAltTag":""},{"DisplaySequence":1,"Type":"I","Description":"Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides","Highlight":0,"AdditionalText":"","Category":"","ProductType":0,"ImagePath":"","ImageAltTag":""},{"DisplaySequence":2,"Type":"I","Description":"Accommodations in ryokans and hotels","Highlight":0,"AdditionalText":"","Category":"","ProductType":0,"ImagePath":"","ImageAltTag":""},{"DisplaySequence":3,"Type":"I","Description":"All meals included except lunches and 1 dinner as indicated in Detailed Itinerary","Highlight":0,"AdditionalText":"","Category":"","ProductType":0,"ImagePath":"","ImageAltTag":""},{"DisplaySequence":4,"Type":"I","Description":"All ground transportation and baggage handling from meeting until departure","Highlight":0,"AdditionalText":"","Category":"","ProductType":0,"ImagePath":"","ImageAltTag":""},{"DisplaySequence":5,"Type":"I","Description":"All activities as indicated in Detailed Itinerary","Highlight":0,"AdditionalText":"","Category":"","ProductType":0,"ImagePath":"","ImageAltTag":""}],"destinations":[{"DestinationID":45,"Name":"Asia","Type":"Region"},{"DestinationID":84,"Name":"Japan","Type":"Country"}],"activities":[{"ActivityID":217,"Name":"Cultural","Primary":0},{"ActivityID":225,"Name":"Hiking & Trekking","Primary":0}],"guides":[{"GuideID":851179,"First_Name":"Lucy","Last_Name":"Whitehead","BioShort":"Having grown up in rural Tasmania, Lucy developed a deep love of nature and the outdoors through exploring the bush around her home on horseback and hiking with her family. She began her independent exploration at a young age with a week in the South West World Heritage area at the age of 11, and a school exchange in Japan at the age of 15. She is a world traveler who has lived in Europe, Japan, and Central America, and has a special affinity for Japan where she spent seven years studying Japanese literature, hitch-hiking around Hokkaido, and exploring trails and temples. She currently lives in Tasmania, one of her favorite places in the world, and works as a guide in both Tasmania and Japan. Lucy is fluent in Japanese and is keen to share her love of Tasmania, Japan, and all the places in between, with travelers and friends.","BioLong":"Having grown up in rural Tasmania, Lucy developed a deep love of nature and the outdoors through exploring the bush around her home on horseback and hiking with her family. She began her independent exploration at a young age with a week in the South West World Heritage area at the age of 11, and a school exchange in Japan at the age of 15. She is a world traveler who has lived in Europe, Japan, and Central America. After a year of working in Japan, she studied Japanese at the University of Tasmania, and later returned to Osaka on a scholarship to study Japanese literature along with anthropology, film, and ceramics. During her seven years in Japan, she taught English, hitch-hiked around Hokkaido, climbed Mt. Fuji, and walked the Kumano Kodo. She currently lives in Tasmania, one of her favorite places in the world, and works as a guide in both Tasmania and Japan. Lucy&apos;s partner is a well-known sushi chef from the countryside of Wakayama. Together they relish camping and diving in Tasmania&apos;s pristine wilderness, dining on internationally inspired dishes using home-grown produce, and surfing and snorkeling on the coast. Lucy is fluent in Japanese and is keen to share her love of Tasmania, Japan, and all the places in between, with travelers and friends."}],"guestreviews":[{"GuestNames":"Greg P.","GuestLocation":"San Antonio, TX","GuestReview":"Outstanding trip! Diverse itinerary, great introduction to Japanese artisans, very, very good look at the shrines, hiking trails, and seafaring traditions of this fascinating part of Japan."}],"Extensions":[{}],"SimilarTrips":[{"TripID":10466,"SimilarTripID":10359,"Trip_Code":"HIKERSBH","Trip_Name":"Hiker's Journey to Bhutan"},{"TripID":10466,"SimilarTripID":10449,"Trip_Code":"SNOWMONK","Trip_Name":"Japan: Snow Monkeys and Winter Cranes"},{"TripID":10466,"SimilarTripID":10378,"Trip_Code":"EAGLEFES","Trip_Name":"Mongolia's Golden Eagle Festival"},{"TripID":10466,"SimilarTripID":10339,"Trip_Code":"TEMPLTEA","Trip_Name":"Temples, Treasures, and Teahouses"}],"Specialists":[{}],"TripSegments":[{"VendorID":73369,"ProductID":83957,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Vendor Ops Payment","Vendor":"OKU Japan","Address1":"Kyoei Chuo Building 5F, 762 Nishiha","Address2":"","City":"Kyoto","State":"","Postal":"600-8029","Product":"Shinto Shrines, Pearl Divers, and Pilgrim Trails","Day":1,"Sequence":0,"Duration":12,"PropertyDescription":"","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":11,"ProductID":54,"SelectType":"Optional","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Single Supplement","Vendor":"Wilderness Travel","Address1":"1102 Ninth Street","Address2":"","City":"Berkeley","State":"CA","Postal":"94710","Product":"Single Supplement","Day":1,"Sequence":2,"Duration":1,"PropertyDescription":"","ItinBlock":"<p><\/p>","VendorPhoto":"","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":72459,"ProductID":82287,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Accommodation","Vendor":"Noku Kyoto","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Kyoto","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Standard Room","Day":1,"Sequence":10,"Duration":4,"PropertyDescription":"<p>Noku puts us in the heart of Kyoto, right next to the Imperial Palace. While we soak up 1,000-year-old Japanese history, we also appreciate the artistry of modern Kyoto. The hotel's guest rooms are sleek and modern, embellished with art pieces reflecting the cultural essence of Kyoto, and each one has a private bathroom. Craft galleries, machiya (townhouses) and scrumptious restaurants are located just out the door. Noku Caf&eacute; serves fresh-roasted coffee, homemade pastries, and traditional Japanese as well as Western breakfast options, a great place to start your day in Kyoto.<\/p>","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/1-noku-kyoto-hotel-exterior.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":72648,"ProductID":82476,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Accommodation","Vendor":"Hanayashiki Ukifune-en","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Uji","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Standard Room","Day":5,"Sequence":10,"Duration":1,"PropertyDescription":"<p>Located in a tranquil setting dotted with maples and cherry blossoms, Hanayashiki Ukifune-en looks out over the peaceful Uji River. The ryokan has 28 guest rooms featuring Japanese-style bedding, tatami floor mats, and floor-to-ceiling windows. No ryokan would be complete without common baths and this one has two, both infused with mineral-rich black silica for extra health benefits. One of the baths is on the rooftop of the third floor where views of the Uji River and Kyoto stretch across the skyline. There are two restaurants &mdash; a Japanese steakhouse which serves dinner, and a kaiseki-style Japanese restaurant which serves both lunch and dinner.<\/p>","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/10-hanayashiki-ukifune-en-double-room-suite.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":72649,"ProductID":82477,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Accommodation","Vendor":"Hotel Nikko Nara","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Nara","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Standard Room","Day":6,"Sequence":10,"Duration":2,"PropertyDescription":"<p>The Hotel Nikko Nara is connected to the JR Nara train station and is not far from the Todai-ji Temple and Nara Park, making it the perfect location to head out and explore Japan&#39;s original capital city. A respite from the bustling city, the guest rooms with western beds and private batherooms are simple, clean, and offer a quiet place to relax. Four restaurants in the Nikko Nara have different menu options ranging from steak, seafood, Chinese, Japanese, and a buffet with a both European and Japanese items. Additionally, the hotel has a large public bath, beauty salon, fitness room, and karaoke.<\/p>","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/1-hotel-nikko-nara-room.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":72657,"ProductID":82485,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Accommodation","Vendor":"Toba International Hotel","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Toba","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Standard Room","Day":8,"Sequence":10,"Duration":2,"PropertyDescription":"<p>Gorgeous views of Toba Bay stretch far and wide from this sleek hotel. Rooms feature modern d&eacute;cor and offer a combination of Western beds and Japanese tatami floor mats. Each room has a private bathroom and either an ocean or mountain view. The hotel has two restaurants, a waterfront caf&eacute;, and a library and bar with a wide range of sake and elegant seating. The Seahorse Restaurant provides a breakfast buffet with both Japanese and Western dishes. Guests are free to use Ryokan Shiojitei&#39;s indoor and outdoor hot spring baths, and the hotel has its own spa with massages incorporating the essence of pearls.<\/p>","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/1-toba-international-hotel-lobby.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":73731,"ProductID":85490,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Accommodation","Vendor":"Ryoso Uminochou","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Ise","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Standard Room","Day":8,"Sequence":11,"Duration":2,"PropertyDescription":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>The Japanese spirit of <em>omotenashi<\/em> (hospitality) will make you feel right at home at this wonderful rural hotel. We stay in western-style rooms with Japanese influences&mdash;tatami mats but a comfortable bed to sleep on. The hotel offers a private beach and an outdoor swimming pool. Be sure to indulge yourself with a soak in the outdoor bath with grand views of Ise Bay.<\/body>","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/10-umino-chou-hybrid-room.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":72653,"ProductID":82481,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Accommodation","Vendor":"Hotel Urashima","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Katsuura","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Standard Room","Day":10,"Sequence":10,"Duration":2,"PropertyDescription":"<p>This gleaming resort and spa lies along the edge of the Pacific Ocean buffered by green mountains and cavernous hot springs. Hotel Urashima has five uniquely styled bath houses teeming with fresh waters from the surrounding 200 hot springs in Nachikatsuura. Four restaurants offer up to 80 buffet items as well as chef-prepared meals. Each night chefs show off their carving skills by demonstrating how to fillet locally caught tuna. Rooms range from Western to Japanese style, some with ocean and mountain views. Within the hotel&#39;s four buildings, there are three karaoke bars, a massage parlor, shopping mall, game room, and a tea shop featuring a huge selection of rare comic books. The hotel is also home to the Spacewalker&mdash;an escalator with the longest altitude difference in Japan.<\/p>","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/1-hotel-urashima-terrace-exterior.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false},{"VendorID":72112,"ProductID":81940,"SelectType":"Operational","ChoiceGroup":0,"ProductType":"Accommodation","Vendor":"Fujiya Ryokan","Address1":"","Address2":"","City":"Kawayu Onsen","State":"","Postal":"","Product":"Standard Room","Day":12,"Sequence":10,"Duration":1,"PropertyDescription":"<p>Set at one end of the hot-spring village of Kawayu Onsen, the family-run Fujiya Ryokan is one of the most traditional of the local ryokans. Large, comfortable guest rooms look out on the Oto River, where hot-springs bubble to the surface, and are decorated in traditional Japanese style. You can have your choice of onsen for a soak&mdash;indoor, outdoor, or in ponds dug in the riverbanks (you can go for a swim afterwards to cool off!). Meals here are wonderful&mdash;seasonal and locally sourced&mdash;and the kaiseki (traditional multi-course dinner) is excellent.<\/p>","ItinBlock":"","VendorPhoto":"https:\/\/s3.us-west-1.wasabisys.com\/wildernesstravel\/vendors\/10-fujiya-ryokan-hotel-exterior.jpg","ProductPhoto":"","OnRequest":"Option","Overhead":false,"BookingNotes":"","TicketSession":"","TicketTimeOfDay":"","TicketRound":"","TicketCategory":"","TicketDate":"","TicketLocation":"","NotTicketOnly":false,"Inactive":false}],"CustomFields":{"Custom_TC_Detailed_Itin_URL":"","Custom_Trip_Name_Addendum":"","Custom_Welcome_Letter_Addendum":"","Custom_Trip_Level_5":"","Custom_Welcome_Email_Send_List":"","Custom_FI_Optional_Donation_Text":"","Custom_Final_Docs_Letter_Send_List":"","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Trip_Sales_Points":"","Custom_Sales_Email_-_TP_Trip_Sales_Points":"","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Payment_Terms":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>In order to confirm your space on this trip, we require a first deposit of $600 per person, which is fully refundable up to 91 days prior to departure.<\/body>","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Region":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>Japan<\/body>","Custom_Sales_Email_-_Region_Sales_Points":"","Custom_Emergency_Evac_Insurance":"","Custom_Welcome_Letter_Reading_List":"<strong>Reading List:<\/strong> Elevate your travel experience by delving into this <a href=\"https:\/\/bookshop.org\/lists\/wilderness-travel-japan\">curated collection of books<\/a> tailored to your upcoming adventure.","Custom_Valid_Passport_Alternative":"","Custom_Visa":"","Custom_FB_Before_You_Go_-_MISC_1":"","Custom_FB_Before_You_Go_-_MISC_2":"","Custom_Luggage_Requirements":"<strong>LUGGAGE:<\/strong> As you are responsible for carrying your own luggage through the hotels, to taxis, and through train stations, we strongly suggest using a small duffel or soft-sided roller bag. Overhead shelves on trains are about 16&#8221; high and 24&#8221; deep and cannot accommodate large items. There is usually space for two to three large suitcases behind the last row of seats in each car on most long distance trains. Furthermore, on many trains, the leg room is large enough to place a suitcase in front of you, although this may not be the most comfortable solution.","Custom_Carry-On":"<strong>CARRY-ON: <\/strong>Valuable or essential items, such as camera equipment, binoculars, and prescription medications, should be hand carried on your flights to avoid loss or damage.","Custom_Hiking_Poles":"","Custom_Daypack":"","Custom_Vaccination_Card":"","Custom_FB_Packing_Reminders_-_MISC_1":"","Custom_FB_Additional_Notes_-_MISC_1":"","Custom_FB_Additional_Notes_-_MISC_2":"","Custom_Arrival":"<strong>\nARRIVING IN KYOTO<\/strong><br>\nUpon arrival at Kansai you will need to clear customs and immigration. There is a currency exchange on the arrival floor outside the customs area, should you wish to change money into Japanese Yen. We recommend that you make use of Japan's excellent rail network and take a train to the hotel. The JR (Japanese Rail) train is located within the airport and you can purchase your tickets there. Approximate train fare is ?3500 (about $35). Trains run frequently (2-3 times per hour) to Kyoto Station. Upon arrival at the Kyoto station, take the subway Karasuma Line for an 8-minute ride to the Marutamachi Station. The Noku Kyoto hotel is directly across the street.<br>","Custom_Arrival-_Meeting_Place":"<strong>\nMEETING PLACE<\/strong><br>\nOn Day 1, please meet your Trip Leader in the lobby of the Noku Hotel at 6:30 pm.<br>","Custom_Arrival_Transfer":"","Custom_Departure":"<strong>\nDEPARTING OSAKA<\/strong><br>\nOne the final day of the trip, a group transfer will be provided from the Fujiya Ryokan to Kansai International Airport (KIX).<br>","Custom_Extra_Services":"","Custom_Contact_Information_for_Friends_and_Family":"If friends or family wish to contact you during the trip, we encourage them to call, text, or email you directly. Another option is to reach you by calling the hotel (please see the enclosed Hotel List). If they are unable to reach you directly, please instruct them to call our office in Berkeley, California, and we will get a message to you as soon as possible. If they need to reach you outside of our office hours, we ask that they reach out to your Trip Leaders and Local Agent (contact information is listed below) and also leave a message with our Berkeley office, so that we can follow up with our team on the ground. <br><br>We recommend using <a href=\"https:\/\/www.whatsapp.com\/\">WhatsApp<\/a>, and suggest you download the free app and enter the local emergency contact number(s) in advance of your trip.","Custom_Outfitter_Contacts_Left":"<strong>\nOKU JAPAN<\/strong><br>\nAttn: Tomoko Shiraki<br>\n(+81) 905-062-8552<br>\ngt.emergency@okujapan.com<br>","Custom_Outfitter_Contacts_Right":"","Custom_name_slug":"japan-kyoto-kumano-kodo-walking-tour","Custom_Meta_Description":"Walking & cultural adventure in Japan: explore Kyoto temples, Shinto shrines of the Shima Peninsula, pearl divers of Toshi-Jima, and Kumano Kodo pilgrim trails.","Custom_List_Description":"Cultural walking adventure: Kyoto temples, Shinto shrines of the Shima Peninsula, pearl divers of Toshi-Jima, Kumano Kodo pilgrim trails.","Custom_Redirect":"","Custom_PJ_-_Best_Months":"","Custom_After_Dates":"","Custom_Trip_Web_Note":"","Custom_Title_Tag":"Japan: Kyoto & Kumano Kodo Walking Tour | Wilderness Travel","Custom_Before_Days":"","Custom_After_Days_Header_1":"","Custom_After_Days_Text_1":"","Custom_After_Days_Header_2":"","Custom_After_Days_Text_2":"","Custom_Choosing_Right_Trip_Office_Contact":"","Custom_About_WT_Expeditions":"","Custom_Arrival_-_Sales":"","Custom_Departure_-_Sales":"","Custom_International_Air_Travel":"","Custom_Extra_Hotel_Nights":"","Custom_Recommended_Hotels":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Header_1":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Text_1":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Header_2":"","Custom_A_and_D_Misc_-_Text_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_1":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_1":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_2":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_3":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_3":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_4":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_4":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Header_5":"","Custom_FAQ_-_Text_5":"","Custom_file_name":"shinto-shrines-pearl-divers-and-pilgrim-trails","Custom_Passport":"A valid passport is required for your trip. Be sure to check the expiration date. Your passport must be valid for six months after your date of exit from Japan. In addition, we recommend your passport have at least two completely blank visa pages for every country you will be visiting. It is very important that the blank pages say &#8220;Visas&#8221; at the top. The last few pages of your passport, which say &#8220;Amendments and Endorsements,&#8221; and the final page of your passport, which may not have a page number, are not considered to be legitimate visa pages. The service of adding pages for visas was discontinued as of January 1, 2016. You can request a new passport through <a href=\"http:\/\/travel.state.gov\/passport\">US Passport Services Office<\/a> or use a visa service agency, which can take care of your passport renewal and expedite the process, if needed. We recommend Passport Visas Express. Be sure to allow sufficient time to acquire this before your trip. <br><br>It is very important to carry photocopies of your passport's photo page and any acquired visa pages for your trip (if applicable) in case your passport is lost or as an additional piece of identification, as well as two extra passport photos.","Custom_Visas_and_Entry_Notes":"A valid passport is required for your trip. Be sure to check the expiration date. Your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay in Japan. In addition, we recommend your passport have at least two completely blank visa pages for every country you will be visiting. It is very important that the blank pages say &#8220;Visas&#8221; at the top. The last few pages of your passport, which say &#8220;Amendments and Endorsements,&#8221; and the final page of your passport, which may not have a page number, are not considered to be legitimate visa pages. You can request a new passport through a visa service agency or the US Passport Services Office (the service of adding pages for visas was discontinued as of January 1, 2016). Be sure to allow sufficient time to acquire this before your trip. It is a good idea to carry photocopies of your passport's photo page and any acquired visa pages for your trip (if applicable) in case your passport is lost or as an additional piece of identification, as well as two extra passport photos. <br><br>US citizens do not need a visa for Japan. <strong>All foreigners, including foreign residents, are fingerprinted and photographed upon entering Japan as a measure aimed at preventing terrorism. People refusing to cooperate are not granted entry into the country.<\/strong> <br><br>If you are a citizen of any country other than the US, check with a local consulate for entry requirements.","Custom_Money":"The unit of currency in Japan is the yen. You can exchange funds at major airports on arrival. In Japan, Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted at ATMs, though American Express remains limited. You can withdraw cash at ATMs in 7-Eleven convenience stores or at post offices (often located near train stations). Traveler's checks can be a useful backup but are more easily cashed in large cities than small towns and can take some time to exchange outside of airports. <br><br>Major credit cards can be used in larger shops and restaurants in larger cities, less so in smaller towns. Personal checks are generally not used in Japan. You will need to budget spending money for gratuities, for any meals listed as &#8220;on your own&#8221; in the trip itinerary (all lunches and a couple of dinners), personal items such as beverages, and for any optional excursions. There are also many beautiful goods for purchase. If you enjoy noodle shops or obento lunches, you can eat lunch for under $10 a day per person. Sodas from a machine are about $1-2. Coffee can range from a dollar when purchased from a machine, canned or fresh, iced or hot, to as much as $8 a cup in a coffee shop. <br><br>To use an ATM internationally, you must have a four-digit PIN. If you plan to use your credit cards, inform your credit card company before your departure that you will be using the card abroad.","Custom_Tipping":"Tipping is completely discretionary, but over the years, clients have asked us for tipping guidelines to reward guides for outstanding service. A range of reference would be $150-200 per trip member for the Trip Leader. Tipping in restaurants and hotels is not a custom in Japan. Some restaurants and hotels will add a service charge to the bill in lieu of tipping.","Custom_Food":"We will do our best to accommodate special dietary needs. However, please keep in mind that certain cultural differences or limitations due to logistics can make it extremely difficult and at times impossible to accommodate dietary restrictions. Please inform us at least eight weeks before your trip if you have a restricted diet. It is important to bring a flexible attitude and supplemental snacks. In particular, it is very difficult to accommodate gluten-free and vegan or strict vegetarian diets due to the pervasiveness of gluten in key ingredients miso and soy sauce, and the use of a fish stock called dashi in many items.","Custom_Communications":"<strong>Telephone<\/strong><br>The international dialing code for Japan is 81. Please contact your cell phone company for specific instructions for international use.<br><strong><br>Email &amp; Internet Access<\/strong><br>Internet access is available at all our accommodations (please note that some offer in-room internet access while others are in common areas like the lobby.) <br><br>You may also choose to rent a portable Wi-Fi device. You can rent one at KIX or in advance and have it sent to your hotel. Our trip leader's preferred service is <a href=\"https:\/\/www.mobal.com\/\">Mobal<\/a> or <a href=\"https:\/\/www.softbank-rental.jp\/en\/\">Softbank<\/a>, but there are many service options.","Custom_Electricity":"Japan has 100-volt current. Plugs are usually the flat, two-pronged type found in US and Canada. If you are bringing an electrical item with a three-prong grounded plug, we recommend you bring a two-prong plug adapter from home as these can be difficult to find in Japan. Typically these are available for sale in hardware stores in the US.","Custom_Laundry":"","Custom_Ship_Notes":"","Custom_Inoculations":"No inoculations are required. However, it is easy to get a small cut, so a tetanus booster is strongly recommended (good for 10 years). If you take prescription medicines, be sure to bring enough for the duration of your trip.","Custom_International_Health":"","Custom_Malaria_Prevention":"","Custom_Staying_Healthy":"Leading up to the trip, we encourage you to do everything possible to stay healthy, including avoiding close contact with anyone displaying cold or flu symptoms and washing your hands often. In the event of cold or flu symptoms while on the trip, we advise you to rest, stay hydrated, wear a mask while indoors, and move away from people before coughing or sneezing. If you are worried about a fellow traveler's flu-like symptoms, you may opt to wear a mask or distance yourself as needed. It's important to remember that there are inherent risks associated with travel and group settings.<br>","Custom_Getting_In_Shape":"","Custom_Medical_Care":"","Custom_Altitude_Considerations":"","Custom_Reading_List":"Elevate your travel experience by delving into this curated collection of books tailored to your upcoming adventure. They will not only entertain but also provide invaluable insights into the history, culture, cuisine, wildlife, mountain trails, or even folklore of the places you're about to explore. Discover the perfect companions for your journey ahead by <a href=\"https:\/\/bookshop.org\/lists\/wilderness-travel-japan\">following the link<\/a> or scanning the QR code.","Custom_Photography":"","Custom_Cultural_Considerations":"As we journey through Japan together, we will try to embrace the customs and mores of Japan, thus learning more about the history and getting a true sense of the culture. You will find that some of these customs and etiquette are not being followed by the younger generation or by all Japanese. However, as guests in the country, we will do our best to not lose face! Remember, this is only a very basic level introduction and is not meant to stereotype all Japanese people you may meet. <br><br><strong> <br><br> <br><br> <br><br>Presents<\/strong><br>If you are visiting a Japanese friend or a business acquaintance before or after the trip, you will probably be given a present. The tradition of present giving is unlike anything we have in the US. It is good to bring something for these occasions. Gifts should be wrapped and they should be made in the US. Even if you don't expect to meet a previous acquaintance, it is nice to have some little presents for an occasional kindness you may be met with while traveling. Any souvenir with a name or phrase in English printed on it is very welcome, although not necessary. Consumable items, such as a local food specialty are a good option. A smile and an &#8220;<em>arigato<\/em>&#8221; are always appreciated.<br><strong><br>The Japanese and &#8220;Face&#8221;<\/strong><br>Face is a mark of personal dignity and means having high status with one's peers. Saving face is crucial in Japanese society. The Japanese believe that turning down someone's request causes embarrassment and loss of face to the other person. If the request cannot be agreed to, they will say, &#8220;it's inconvenient&#8221; or &#8220;it's under consideration.&#8221; The Japanese will try to never do anything to cause loss of face. Therefore, they do not openly criticize, insult, or put anyone on the spot. Face can be lost, taken away, or earned through praise and thanks.<br><strong><br>Harmony in Japanese Society<\/strong><br>Harmony is the key value in Japanese society. It is the guiding philosophy for the Japanese in family and business settings and in society as a whole. Japanese children are taught to act harmoniously and cooperatively with others from the time they go to preschool. The Japanese educational system emphasizes the interdependence of all people, and Japanese children are not raised to be independent but rather to work together. This need for harmonious relationships between people is reflected in much Japanese behavior. They place great emphasis on politeness, personal responsibility, and working together for the universal, rather than the individual, good. They present facts that might be disagreeable in a gentle and indirect fashion, and they see working in harmony as the crucial ingredient for working productively.<br><strong><br>Japanese Non-Verbal Communication<\/strong><br>Since the Japanese strive for harmony and are group dependent, they rely on facial expression, tone of voice, and posture to tell them what someone feels. They often trust non-verbal messages more than the spoken word as words can have several meanings. The context in which something is said affects the meaning of the words. Therefore, it is imperative to understand the situation to fully appreciate the response. Non-verbal communication is so vital that there is a book for <em>gaijins<\/em> (foreigners) on how to interpret the signs!<br><ul><li>Frowning while someone is speaking is interpreted as a sign of disagreement.<\/li><li>Most Japanese maintain an impassive expression when speaking.<\/li><li>Expressions to watch out for include inhaling through clenched teeth, tilting the head, scratching the back of the head, and scratching the eyebrow.<\/li><li>It is considered disrespectful to stare into another person's eyes, particularly those of a person who is senior to you because of age or status.<\/li><li>In crowded situations, the Japanese avoid eye contact to give themselves privacy.<\/li><li>If you are approached by someone crossing their forearms or pointer fingers or hands in an X shape in front of them, they are communicating that something is not permitted. Conversely, making a circular shape with the hands or arms means something is OK.<\/li><\/ul><strong><br>Japanese Hierarchy<\/strong><br>The Japanese are very conscious of age and status. Everyone has a distinct place in the hierarchy, be it the family unit, the extended family, a social or a business situation. At school, children learn to address other students as senior to them (<em>senpai<\/em>) or junior to them (<em>kohai<\/em>). The oldest person in a group is always revered and honored. In a social situation, they will be served first and their drinks will be poured for them.<br><strong><br>Japanese Etiquette&mdash;The Indispensable Basics<\/strong><br>Never enter a house with your shoes on. This is one of the few rules for which the Japanese will not make allowance just because you are a foreigner. This rule is also valid for some establishments like schools. Slippers are usually provided in the entrance hall. If slippers are provided for the toilet, use them instead of the one for the rest of the house. <br><br>Some shops, cafes, or department stores provide plastic covers for umbrellas. Make sure not to enter with a dripping wet umbrella without this cover. <br><br>Refrain from blowing your nose in front of other people. Japanese only use paper tissue for this. Like in other Asian countries, it is considered rude to blow your nose in a handkerchief and stuff it in your pocket afterward. Japanese are usually aware of this Western practice, although that might make them feel uncomfortable. NEVER blow your nose at a meal! <br><br>You should not eat while standing or walking in the street. Even inside a house, you should sit down to eat. The only exceptions are for eating at a counter (e.g., ramen) or for eating ice cream in the street. This custom is one of the most difficult to adapt to for many non-Japanese, as it doesn't seem to make much sense. <br><br>Do not point your finger, feet, or chopsticks at people. If you have to indicate an object or direction to someone, wave your fingers with the palm downwards. <br><br>Avoid expressing your opinion too directly. Japanese have what they call honne (real opinion) and tatemae (public opinion). They will express the latter in most situations so as not to disturb the group harmony. It is, of course, flexible and consists in agreeing with the people around you as much as possible. This is the reason why Japanese are so bad at debating serious issues in public (including the media). <em>Honne<\/em> is what you really think but do not say openly, or only to close friends or relatives. <br><br>When you are invited into a Japanese family, bring a small present or <em>omiyage<\/em> (souvenir, usually food). If you are coming straight from your country, it is preferable to bring some local culinary specialties from your home town\/region. <br><br>Say <em>o-jama shimasu <\/em>(sorry for disturbing) when entering someone's house.<br><strong><br>Table Manners<\/strong><br>Japanese meals at our inns are carefully prepared to highlight the local ingredients of the area and the skills of the chef. Unless you have an allergy or dietary restrictions, it is considered rude to ask for a substitution or to ask for customized food as we do in the US, i.e. &#8220;Hold the dressing and no butter on my potato.&#8221; Again the harmony of the group is what matters. <br><br>It is not uncommon in private households and in certain restaurants (e.g., Izakaya) to share several dishes of food at the table rather than serving each person with his\/her individual dish. In such a case, you are supposed to move some food from the shared plates onto your own plate by yourself, using the opposite end of your chopsticks (if you have used them already) or with special chopsticks that may be provided for that purpose. Do not stick your chopsticks vertically into a bowl of rice, as this is used in Buddhist funerary ceremonies, and do not pass food to someone else with your chopsticks for the same reason. Contrary to Western manners, noodles can be and should be slurped. Likewise, bowls or plates should be brought up to the mouth rather than bending one's head toward it. <br><br>At a nomikai (e.g., while going drinking with colleagues at an Izakaya), you should (re)fill the glasses of people around you when they are empty, and they should do the same for you. If you want to refill your glass, start by serving other people. If you do not want a refill, do not empty your glass. <br><br>It is polite to say <em>itadakimasu<\/em> (Bon appetit, or thanks for the food) once before eating or drinking, and <em>gochisousama deshita<\/em> (thank you, that was delicious) to your host or to the restaurant's staff after eating or when leaving the place. <br><br>Wear socks to dinner when dining on tatami.<br><strong><br>Punctuality<\/strong><br>It is important to be on time! Trains, meals, appointments are all on time and again you lose face if you are late and keep the group waiting.<br><strong><br>Bathing Etiquette<\/strong><br>Japanese wash themselves before entering the bath, as they have a customs of sharing the bath water. This is true as well for public baths (<em>sento<\/em>) as for thermal spring (<em>onsen<\/em>) and baths in individual homes. The reason is that other people will use the same water after. Therefore, you should not empty the bath after using it. Never take anything into the &#8220;tub&#8221;! <br><br>Japanese like bathing in (very) hot water (40 to 50 degrees Celsius). If it is too hot for you, you can add a bit of cold water, but not so much that it becomes tepid, or the next person won't appreciate it. <br><br>You will be given a cotton robe, a yukata, at the inns. You wear this to the bath and around the inn, even to dinner at times. Make sure you fold it left over right in front, as the opposite way is only used to bury the dead. You will also receive a modesty towel&mdash;a small, very useful towel. Once you have disrobed in the outer bath area you use the towel to cover your privates. You can take it into the bathing area with you and use it to wash and dry, making sure it never gets into the tub, though! Hence the images of towels on the head! <br><br>In public baths, take extra precautions to not mistake men and women's changing rooms, as it is extremely impolite. The men's room is usually on the left and normally has a blue curtain with <em>otoko<\/em> or <em>dono-sama<\/em> written on it. The women's room is usually on the right, with a red curtain reading <em>onna<\/em>. If you are not sure, ask.<br><strong><br>Meeting Etiquette<\/strong><br>Greetings in Japan are very formal and ritualized. It is important to show the correct amount of respect and deference to someone based upon their status relative to your own. If at all possible, wait to be introduced&mdash;it can be seen as impolite to introduce yourself, even in a large gathering. While foreigners are expected to shake hands, the traditional form of greeting is the bow. How far you bow depends upon your relationship to the other person as well as the situation. The deeper you bow, the more respect you show. <br><br>A foreign visitor (<em>gaijin<\/em>) may bow the head slightly since no one expects foreigners to generally understand the subtle nuances of bowing.","Custom_Giving_Back":"","Custom_Enviromental_Concerns":"","Custom_Shopping_and_Souvenirs":"","Custom_Seasickness":"","Custom_Explore":"","Custom_Additional_Information":"<strong>Facts and Statistics<\/strong><br>Location: Eastern Asia, island chain between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan\/East Sea, east of the Korean Peninsula.<br>Capital: Tokyo<br>Population: 125.7 million (2021 est.)<br>Ethnic Make-up: Japanese 99%, others 1% (Korean 511,262, Chinese 244,241, Brazilian 182,232, Filipino 89,851, other 237,914)<br>Religions: observe both Shinto and Buddhist 84%, other 16% (including Christian 0.7%)<br><strong><br>The Japanese Language<\/strong><br>Japanese is the sixth most spoken language in the world, with over 99% percent of the country's population speaking it. Amazingly, the language is spoken in scarcely any region outside Japan.","Custom_Essentials":"<ul><li>Air tickets (or E-tickets)<\/li><li>\nPassport<\/li><li>\nOne other picture ID, such as a driver's license<\/li><li>\nExpense money<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Luggage":"It is strongly recommended to pack lightly when traveling around Japan. Overhead shelves on Shinkansen trains are about 16\" high and 24\" deep and cannot accommodate large items. There is usually space for two to three large suitcases behind the last row of seats in each car on most long distance trains. Furthermore, on many Shinkansen trains, the leg room is large enough to place a suitcase in front of you, although this may not be the most comfortable solution. <br><br>If your bag is larger than 160cm (length+width+height), please notify us in advance so that we can make an advance reservation for an oversize bag. <br><br>As you are responsible for carrying your own luggage through the hotels to the taxis and through the train stations, we strongly suggest using a small duffel or soft-sided roller bag and a daypack or shoulder bag.You will also need an overnight bag or daypack (for our overnight on Day 4 in Kyoto. You will be reunited with your main luggage the following day.)","Custom_Clothing":"Dress for comfort, keeping in mind that in larger cities, the Japanese tend to dress more formally than Americans, but it's not necessary for you to do the same. Japanese women's clothing tends toward darker colors and muted tones, but again, it's not necessary to do the same. Jackets for men are not required anywhere on our tour, but if you are meeting Japanese friends or business acquaintances or planning an evening out, you might consider bringing a jacket. <br><br><ul><li>\nWalking shoes; comfort is most important, but slip-on shoes are very convenient for touring as we will be frequently removing our shoes<\/li><li>\n2 pairs of long pants<\/li><li>\n2 shirts<\/li><li>\nSweater or sweatshirt<\/li><li>\nSleepwear; in addition, yukatas (light robes) are provided almost everywhere.<\/li><li>\n3-4 pairs of underwear<\/li><li>\n3-4 pairs of socks&mdash;bring a warm pair to wear in ryokans with your slippers and on tatami mats, where you can't wear your slippers<\/li><li>\nRaincoat or jacket<\/li><\/ul><br>","Custom_Hiking_Boots":"","Custom_Equipment":"<ul><li>Handkerchief or bandana to use as napkins or paper towels (public restrooms do not usually provide paper towels)<\/li><li>\nPersonal toiletries including soap (Most accommodations provide basic toiletries such as soap or body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and in many cases even a comb, making it possible to pack quite light)<\/li><li>\nSmall flashlight with extra batteries<\/li><li>\nAll-weather hat for sun\/rain<\/li><li>\nFolding umbrella<\/li><li>\nStuff sacks or Ziploc-style bags to compartmentalize items within your duffel<\/li><li>\nSunglasses with case<\/li><li>\nMoney belt or neck pouch. Always carry your passport, credit cards, and cash with you in a money belt or neck pouch tucked down inside your shirt or blouse.<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Personal_First_Aid":"Every trip member must bring a small kit for personal use. Your own experience will influence your choices.Most accommodations provide basic toiletries such as soap or body wash, shampoo, conditioner, and in many cases even a comb, making it possible to pack quite light. <br><br><ul><li>Sunscreen, SPF 30 or higher. We recommend mineral-based sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide because they do not contain harsh chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Brands such as Honest Company, Badger, and Alba Botanica are found in most sporting goods stores and drugstores.<\/li><li>Dramamine for curvy roads and boat rides, if needed<\/li><li>Aspirin or Tylenol for muscle pain or headaches, Tylenol PM for sleeping<\/li><li>Pepto Bismol tablets for diarrhea<\/li><li>Topical antibiotic such as Neosporin for cuts<\/li><li>Blister kit. Look for the long-lasting gel-type bandages that you can apply directly on blisters, such as Band-Aid Advanced Healing Bandages or Curad Gel Multi-Day Bandages. &#8220;Liquid band-aids,&#8221; such as New-Skin, are useful because they dry rapidly to form a tough protective cover over a blister.<\/li><li>Cold or allergy capsules. Please note: It is illegal to bring over-the-counter medicines containing pseudoephedrine or codeine into Japan.<\/li><li>Prescription medications properly labeled<\/li><li>Spare contact lenses or spare prescription glasses<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Optional_Items":"<ul><li>Camera, flashcards, extra batteries<\/li><li>\nExtra pair of shoes<\/li><li>\nReading\/writing material (think light!)<\/li><li>\nSnacks and powdered drink mixes&mdash;hot water is usually available in your rooms<\/li><li>\nConverter\/plug adapter for appliance use<\/li><li>\nWalking poles<\/li><\/ul>","Custom_Prohibited_Items":"","Custom_When_to_Go":"","Custom_Children":"","Custom_Tag_Line":"<meta charset=\"utf-8\"\/><body>Kyoto, the Shima Peninsula, and Japan's Sacred Kumano Kodo<\/body>","Custom_Lodging":"12 nights ryokans and hotels","Custom_Meals":"All meals included except 7 lunches and 1 dinner","Custom_Difficulty":"Walking, including some steep stairs, 6-7 hours a day, Japanese-style dining (sitting on floor)","Custom_Currency_Exchange_Rate":"","Custom_Fuel_Surcharge":"","Custom_Signing_Up_For_a_Trip_-_Email":"","Custom_Optional_Hotel_Upgrades_-_This_Year":"","Custom_Optional_Hotel_Upgrades_-_Next_Year":"","Custom_Trip_Cost_Misc_Header":"","Custom_Trip_Cost_Misc_Text":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like":"The trip is <strong>Level 2, Easy to Moderate<\/strong>, according to our trip grading system. This adventure trip features lovely walks in cities and villages.","Custom_Terrain":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-09T17:40:29 --><p>We make the most of our time in Japan. After rising and eating breakfast, we leave our ryokan for a walking tour. Daily mini-lectures by our Trip Leader help provide insights into the past and future, the history, politics, geography, and food of Japan. On some days, we visit temples and shrines, and other days, we follow the pathways of the shoguns or visit sites of breathtaking natural beauty. We ride the subways and buses, but we do most of our sightseeing on foot.<\/p>","Custom_Getting_in_Shape":"<p>Although not physically demanding, the trip will yield greater rewards if you are in good physical condition and able to stay on your feet for 6-7 hours per day. There is much to see, and a fair amount of walking is necessary to take it all in&mdash;and you will find there are many steps to climb! Japan is a land of staircases and hills and you will enjoy the trip more if you are dressed comfortably and are in good physical condition. Please remember we will be sleeping on futons and eating at floor level, so it is important that you are able to sit down on, and get up off, the floor without much difficulty.<\/p>","Custom_Weather":"Japan&apos;s climate and temperature range are similar to the east coast of the US, with four distinct seasons. In March and April, the weather is turning spring-like and we hope to enjoy the cherry blossoms. Viewing the blossoms is somewhat of a national pastime in Japan. However, as the spring is a transitional season, we can expect some rain. In autumn, the weather in Japan turns pleasant, as the humidity of the summer months leave the air.&nbsp; Because the occasional typhoon does occur in the autumn, we may expect some rain. Temperatures should range from the 50s to the 70s \u00b0F. In the mountains, the weather is unpredictable and we may encounter rain.","Custom_Accommodations":"<p>Japan is a blend of the traditional and modern, and our trip encompasses this unique mixture. We will stay at traditional ryokans as well as Japanese-style hotels. The quiet world of the ryokan is a venerable cultural institution&mdash;a way to experience a simple, timeless way of life. After being warmly welcomed, we trade our street shoes for slippers. Once inside, we remove our slippers as we step onto the finely woven tatami mats covering our sleeping room floors. Our rooms are spacious and pleasant with low tables and comfortable futon mattresses with quilts and blankets. Ryokans have double rooms (singles are sometimes possible). Some of our rooms will have attached toilets; at other times, we share the \"down the hall\" facilities. Although a few ryokans have western baths in the rooms, most have an <em>ofuro<\/em> (a Japanese-style bath).<\/p><p>Normally, a fresh cotton <em>yukata<\/em> (robe) is provided for each guest. These light kimonos can be worn anywhere in and around the ryokan and we often wear them to meals (make sure to wear the left side over the right). For many of our breakfasts and dinners, beautifully presented meals are served as we sit on the floor at low tables on our tatami mats.<\/p>","Custom_Cuisine":"<p>A highlight of any visit to Japan is its superb cuisine defined by fresh ingredients and artful presentation. We will have ample opportunity to sample both familiar and new dishes. We will sample many types of Japanese food, and usually the first \"bite\" is with our eyes, the presentation being a tantalizing array of fresh fish, beef, vegetables, tofu, miso soup and, of course, rice, all served on individual plates and bowls of exquisite sizes, patterns, and proportions. We eat with chopsticks and are usually seated at low tables on the floor. At some ryokans, you may choose between a Japanese breakfast of fish, rice, miso soup, tofu, vegetables, pickled condiments and tea, or a western breakfast consisting of eggs, toast, salad, and coffee. Many places, however, offer only Japanese food.<\/p><p>During our stays in major cities, you will have some dinners and all lunches on your own, allowing you ample opportunity to sample the endless variety of Japanese food. When we are traveling, we may try an <em>obento<\/em> (box lunch), and we sample the snack foods of Japan and\/or get a bowl of udon, ramen or soba noodles at one of the local spots. We often eat lunch at noodle shops, sushi bars and small neighborhood lunch spots, avoiding the infamous high-priced meals of Japan. Napkins are not used except at western-style restaurants; bring your own handkerchief.<\/p><p>Keep in mind that Japanese food is very different from what we are used to, and with the limited availability of American foods, your food intake will be a big part of the Japanese adventure. <br><br>Please note that vegetarian options are available, but limited. Strict vegetarian diets, vegan diets, or gluten reduced diets will be difficult to accommodate due to the pervasiveness of the fish-based stock dashi and the use of soy sauce and miso in Japanese cuisine. Gluten free cuisine will not be available.<\/p>","Custom_Transportation":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_1":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-09T17:38:34 --><p>Japanese Bathing<\/p>","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_1":"<p>In Japan, bathing is a time-honored tradition, a relaxing daily event. While staying in our ryokans, we will bathe as the Japanese do&mdash;using the ofuro system. In separate men and women's sides, the custom is to wash and rinse before entering the ofuro, a large tub of hot water where we can sit back with legs extended, submerged to the neck (this trip is not for the very modest!). Early Shinto was a religion of cleanliness and purification. Ritualistic bathing began during this time and has been perfected over the centuries. Either as a divine imperative or a luxury, bathing in Japan has always been regarded as more than a hygienic chore. The ofuro is the perfect way to finish a hectic day of travel. After a relaxing bath, we gather for the evening meal.<\/p>","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Header_2":"","Custom_What_the_Trip_is_Like_-_Text_2":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_1":"","Custom_Trip_Level_Note_2":"","System_Choosing_the_Right_Trip":"<p>Adventure travel often involves exotic destinations, unusual levels of physical exertion, or activities you may not have participated in previously. We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please call Wilderness Travel at 1-800-368-2794 or email us at <a href=\"mailto:\/\/info@wildernesstravel.com\">info@wildernesstravel.com<\/a>.<\/p>","System_References":"<p>We&rsquo;d be happy to put you in touch with a past client that has traveled with us.<\/p>","System_Visit_Our_Website":"<p>At <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/\">saito8.com<\/a>, you can book your trip online or find out about added departures, last-minute deals, and one-time Limited Edition adventures that aren&rsquo;t listed in our catalog. You can also access our complete library of detailed itineraries filled with enticing photos and videos, read bios of our Trip Leaders, find descriptions of trip accommodations, and check real-time availability of any trips that interest you.<\/p>","System_Helpful_Links":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:52:03 --><p>Wilderness Travel has compiled a list of useful websites for travelers. Find the Toucan Club tab on the home page of our website and choose Helpful Links: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/ toucan\/links\">saito8.com\/ toucan\/links<\/a>.<\/p>","System_About_New_Trips":"This is a new adventure and one that we are particularly excited about offering. However, as with all new departures, flexibility and a spirit of adventure are always appreciated! Activities are described in the itinerary but they can vary, sometimes considerably, depending on weather conditions, the group, and other factors.","System_About_Private_Journeys":"<p>Wilderness Travel Private Journeys are designed for people who want to travel with their own small private group, but who still want to experience the same superb itinerary design, great accommodations, and signature quality of Wilderness Travel's escorted group trips. These Private Journeys allow you to choose your own dates and your traveling companions&mdash;and enjoy the WT touch on all aspects of the journey.<\/p>","System_Limited_Edition_Adventures":"This is a Limited Edition adventure&mdash;which means a unique trip we've never run before or offer only every few years. Led by our most experienced Trip Leaders, these journeys often take place in remote destinations with only the most basic infrastructure for tourism. If you see a Limited Edition trip scheduled for this year, now is the time to sign up, as spaces fill very early and the trip may not be back for a while! Planned daily activities and actual timings may vary due to local conditions or the discretion of your Trip Leader&mdash;it is important to bring your spirit of adventure for these special exploratory journeys!","System_Social_Media":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:33:43 --><p><strong>SOCIAL MEDIA:<\/strong> We invite you to share your adventure with us on social media. Tag @wildernesstravel and we may even feature your content on our pages!<\/p>","System_If_You_Miss_Your_Flight":"<p><strong>IF YOU MISS YOUR FLIGHT<\/strong><br>If you miss your flight or are otherwise delayed, contact our Wilderness Travel office, as well as our local partners, with your new flight information. Refer to the Emergency Contact Information listed in this Final Bulletin.<\/p>","System_Valid_Passport":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-06-16T10:26:21 --><p><strong>VALID PASSPORT:<\/strong> Check that your passport is valid for at least six months from the last day of your trip, and that you have at least two blank pages for any necessary visa or entry and exit stamps.<\/p>","System_Insurance_Policy":"<p><strong>INSURANCE POLICY:<\/strong> If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan, you should have received an email confirmation of your policy. Please bring a digital or printed copy of this policy with you. If you cannot find your email confirmation, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. If you have not purchased Travelex insurance already, you have the option to do so up to 24 hours prior to your departure.<\/p>","System_Covid-19_Travel_Requirements":"<p><strong>PRE-DEPARTURE INFORMATION<\/strong><strong>: <\/strong>Please review your Pre-Departure Information booklet included in this packet for important information regarding Wilderness Travel's COVID-19 protocols, packing lists, recommended reading, tipping, etc.<\/p>","System_Wilderness_Travel_Office":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:07 --><p>Our office in Berkeley, California can be reached at 510-558-2488, or by email at info@wildernesstravel.com. We are available during regular business hours (M-F, 8:30 am-5:00 pm, PST). <\/p>","System_ECI_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:38:31 --><p>If you have purchased the Travelex Travel Protection Plan through Wilderness Travel, please remember to bring your Confirmation of Coverages (COC) with you on the trip, including your Plan Number and important emergency contact information.<\/p><p>If you've purchased a travel protection plan on your own, we recommend that you bring a copy of your policy, including all coverages, with you on your trip.<\/p>","System_Face_Masks_and_Hand_Sanitizer":"","System_DidNotPurchase_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-02-28T12:27:44 --><p>Travel Insurance: We recommend that you purchase travel insurance for this trip. For your convenience, we offer Travelex travel protection. Please let us know if you would like us to add the Travelex Travel Protection Plan to this final invoice. You can learn more about the policy on our <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/toucan\/travel-insurance\">website<\/a>.<\/p>","System_Purchased_Insurance":"Please remember to bring a copy of your Travelex Confirmation of Coverage and State Specific Policy with you on your trip. You should have received an email directly from Travelex with these documents. If you need this email to be re-sent, please contact Travelex's Customer Solutions team at 844-877-1885 or e-mail customersolutions@travelexinsurance.com. <br><br><br>","System_COVID-19":"The Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 declared by the World Health Organization and the US Department of Health and Human Services expired in 2023. As of March 2024, we no longer require guests who exhibit cold or flu symptoms to test for COVID-19. <br><br>If a guest chooses to test for COVID-19 and tests positive, they will be required to wear a mask in group vehicles and during indoor activities (excluding meals) for the remainder of the trip. Any travel companion sharing a room with them will also be required to wear a mask at all times in the shared group vehicles for the remainder of the trip. If there are additional requirements in the country or region you are traveling, you will be subject to those protocols.","System_Photography":"<strong>Camera Recommendations<\/strong><br>With the many advances in digital technology, a simple compact digital camera or even your smartphone is capable of taking pictures suitable for the needs of most people. For higher quality images and the ability to use long lenses for closer wildlife pictures, a DSLR camera is well worthwhile, though heavier. Most digital cameras and phones have good video options, but you may want to consider a GoPro for a lightweight, waterproof option. Always practice ahead of time with new equipment and bring your manual with you. You may want to consider renting camera equipment for your trip from places such as <a href=\"https:\/\/www.borrowlenses.com\/\">borrowlenses.com<\/a>. This is an especially good idea for renting large zoom lenses that you may need for just one trip. Adding their extra insurance fee to cover expensive equipment is recommended. <br><strong><br>Camera Accessories<\/strong><br>We recommend bringing at least two large capacity memory cards or a small digital storage unit (or tablet) to back up your photos, freeing space on your memory cards. Don't forget to bring a battery charger and a backup battery so one is always charged and ready to use. For trips where you may be away from power sources for multiple days, consider looking into a solar-powered battery charger or buying additional backup batteries, and check that you have the appropriate adapter for the electrical outlets in your destination.<br><strong><br>Sharing Your Images<\/strong><br>We would love for you to share photos from your trip, and with your permission, may even use your photos in our marketing materials or on our photo blog. We request that you send us a small sample of your best images. Please email your photos to wtphotoblog@gmail.com or tag us @WildernessTravel on social media.<br><strong><br>Photography Etiquette<\/strong><br>When taking pictures of local people, be aware of cultural considerations. Approaching people with a warm smile and using polite gestures or simple phrases to ask permission to photograph them usually works well. It is always recommended to engage people in conversation before asking to photograph them, but if people do not wish to have their photo taken, please honor their requests. We urge travelers to avoid giving money in exchange for photo opportunities, which makes it harder for future travelers to have a meaningful personal interaction with local people. Please always heed your Trip Leader's guidelines for what is appropriate. ","System_Gear_Store":"To help you prepare for your next WT adventure, we've put together a great collection of top brands including Patagonia, Outdoor Research, Eagle Creek, and more at our WT Gear Store (<a href=\"https:\/\/wildernesstravel.newheadings.com\/\">wildernesstravel.newheadings.com<\/a>).","System_Questions?":"<p>Our Area Specialists are your single point of contact and would be happy to answer any questions about your trip!<br>800.368.2794 | 510.558.2488<\/p>","System_Pricing_Detail-Small_Group_Adventure":" <br><br>To offer the lowest possible cost, our trips are priced according to the number of participants on the trip. All costs are per person, based on double occupancy. If you wish to have a single room, you must pay the single supplement fee. Please note that Wilderness Travel staff, or guests of Wilderness Travel such as travel writers, photographers, or leaders-in-training, are not included in the tier pricing count.","System_Travel_Insurance":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-01-27T07:58:05 --><p>We highly recommend you purchase travel insurance. You can take advantage of a comprehensive Travel Protection Plan designed for Wilderness Travel by Travelex, or purchase other insurance on your own. See our website for details: <a href=\"http:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/insurance\">saito8.com\/insurance<\/a><\/p>","System_Make_it_Your_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:18 --><p>The prices above are for the ready-to-book adventure outlined in this Detailed Itinerary, a popular option that has been handcrafted by our Area Specialists to include the best of every destination. While many travelers choose to book this tour as is, our Area Specialists are also happy to work with you to customize this Private Journey to suit your specific interests and style of travel. We can arrange for longer or shorter stays, offer hotel upgrades (see below for sample costs), or add an extension to additional places of interest. We can even add special activities or customize excursions depending on your interests. We invite you to contact us to discuss your options!<\/p>","System_Signing_up_for_a_Trip":"<!-- Generated by XStandard version 3.0.0.0 on 2023-03-29T11:44:42 --><p>Early reservations are recommended since accommodations often sell out far in advance. Please call 1-800-368-2794 and ask for our [Africa Manager] or email us at [africa@ wildernesstravel.com] with any questions that you may have about this trip. To reserve your Private Journey, we will need to know your preferred dates of travel. We will then check availability and send you a proposed itinerary with exact pricing for your adventure. We can typically hold a provisional booking for one week. At that time, we must collect your initial deposit or accommodations will be released. We accept Visa, Mastercard, or American Express card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will send you a Welcome Packet that includes a letter of confirmation, Detailed Itinerary, Trip Application, Medical Form, and Pre-Departure Information Booklet with information to help you prepare for your adventure. Please see our Cancellations and Transfer Fee Schedule for specific payment information.<\/p>","System_Trip_Leaders":"<p>Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders have a passion and a joy for creating an unforgettable journey. We are extremely proud of them and the incredible travel experiences they make possible. For more information, including client comments about them and which specific trips they will be leading, please visit <a href=\"https:\/\/www.wildernesstravel.com\/leaders\/\">wildernesstravel.com\/leaders<\/a>.<\/p>"},"terms":{"PaymentSchedule":"<p>$600 due at time of reservation <br \/>90 days prior to departure: Balance<\/p>","CancelSchedule":"<p>Up to 91 days prior to departure: No Charge!<br>61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost<br>46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost<br>45 days or less: 100% of trip cost<br><\/p>"}}