• Staying in traditional ryokans
  • Hiking through forest trails
  • Wandering the bustling streets of Tokyo
  • Exploring Kyoto
  • Experiential learning on Japan's religious history, traditions & nature
  • Option to include service learning projects that address UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • Tailor this school trip in Japan to suit your school's needs & budget

Fly over Japan and you will see that the entire archipelago is mountainous except for a narrow strip of coastal shelf, a few broad inland basins and some river valleys. Those flatter lands are where the bulk of the population lives. The mountains are surprisingly unpopulated. From a distance it may seem that the old Samurai-and-Geisha traditions have given way to the mechanical marvels of consumer culture, but come closer and you will find a society shaped by deeply ingrained values, with many living traditions.

On this exceptional school trip in Japan students will first explore the beautiful remote town of Kawazu. Your group will then head to the Kii Peninsula, one of the most remote and mystical areas of Japan. Long a place of pilgrimage, it is the site of the three Grand Shrines of Kumano (Kumano Sanzan), and where, for over 1000 years people from all levels of society have made the arduous and sacred pilgrimage to Kumano, the spiritual heartland of Japan. These pilgrims used a network of routes, now called the Kumano Kodo, and it is through this lush and rugged area that we will walk, ascending and descending on unpaved and paved mountain and village trails. Walking the spiritual Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route students will also have wonderful opportunities to stay in traditional family-run ryokans, soak and relax in the healing waters of a traditional onsen, dine on delicious local cuisine and interact with the friendly locals along the way. This is a unique adventure and a must for anyone looking for a trip that encompasses spectacular hiking along ancient pilgrimage trails with the cuisine, history, art and culture of a deeply traditional society.


Starting Point:




On arrival in Tokyo you will be transferred to your hotel. There will be a group briefing this evening with your guide at the hotel followed by a visit to a delicious local restaurant for your first true Japanese meal. After dinner, we will take a walking tour of some of Tokyo’s popular sights including Shibuya, Harajuku & Omotesando. Overnight in a traditional Japanese style Inn.

Meals:  D

Today we start our sightseeing visiting Asakusa, the traditional neighbourhood of Tokyo with its famous Kaminari-mon Gate and large red lantern. Enjoy a sightseeing boat trip along the Sumida River into Tokyo Bay. Afterwards we visit the lovely Hamarikyu Gardens and finish the day off in Shinjuku. Overnight in a traditional Japanese style Inn.

Meals:  B

This morning is at leisure in Tokyo until noon when we take the Shinkansen (a high speed railway line) to Atami. From here we change trains to Shimoda at the bottom of the peninsula. This is about a 3 hour journey. Overnight at Villa Shirahama which will be your home base for the next 4 nights.

Meals:  B

Today you will explore the nearby town of Kawazu. Kawazu is a town located on the east coast of Izu Peninsula in Kamo District.

Meals:  B

We make our way up into the mists of Koya San, an ancient Buddhist retreat high in the mountains of the Kii Peninsula. Established in 816 by the founder of the Shingon sect of Buddhism, Koya San remains an important pilgrimage point for believers from all over Japan to come and worship and we have the chance to stay in one of the many working monasteries which open their doors to travelers. We take this unique opportunity to experience the life of a monk, eating pure vegetarian food designed to nurture the soul as well as fill the stomach and take part in the evening meditation. Overnight in a Japanese temple.

Meals:  B,D

Over the next few days we will be walking the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trails. The Kodo (“old ways”) are a key part of the region’s UNESCO designation, and have been in use for over 1000 years. The pilgrimage routes developed as a way for people to move between the sacred areas on the Kii Peninsula. At the center of this religious area are the three Kumano shrines: Hongu Taisha, Hayatama Taisha and Nachi Taisha, collectively known as Kumano Sanzan. Along the journey we will see some temple ruins, remains of old settlements, some active settlements, and terraced rice fields. This is a glimpse into the countryside of old Japan. Today we will walk from Mt Koya to Omata. Walking approx 17 km/6-7 hours. Overnight Nosegawa Spa. ( Japanese style Minshuku)

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we will walk from Omata to Miuraguchi, 19 km, approx 6-8 hours. Overnight in Japanese style Minshuku.

Meals:  B,L,D

Walk Miuraguchi to Totsugawa Onsen, 19km, approx 6-8 hours. Our accommodation this evening is once again in a Japanese style Minsh

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we travel to Kyoto in the morning and spend the afternoon and evening on a walking tour of the many sites , temples and shrines. This ancient Japanese capital is the epicentre of Japanese culture. Overnight in a traditional style Inn.

Meals:  D

This morning is spent at leisure before being transferred to the airport for your flight home.

Meals:  Nil

Learning outcomes for students

World Expeditions Schools journeys are designed to encourage positive personal development and the learning of life skills, while leaving the communities and environments we travel to, in a better condition than when we arrived.
The programs are designed to:
• build strong friendships and bonds with their peers, their teachers, and the local people they meet.
• increase the confidence to engage with new people, and collaboratively make informed decisions.
• discover the benefits of working cooperatively together as a cohesive team, to achieve a common objective.
• Increase the ability to face, and cope with, mental and physical challenges and therefore increase resilience.
• give students a chance to appreciate and care for the natural world. The environments we travel through are beautiful and often pristine, invariably the students will gain a deeper appreciation and understanding about how their individual actions impact on the environment.
• Learn personal skills i.e., time management, personal hygiene, responsibility for personal gear, patience, tolerance, and public speaking.
We help encourage students to learn what it means to be a true global citizen.


  • meals as stated in the itinerary
  • Expert bilingual group leader
  • Comfortable accommodation on twin share basis in hotels and inns
  • Sightseeing and entry fees as per itinerary

  • International airfare, visa and travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Meals and beverages not indicated in the program
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, phone calls, alcohol etc



Why travel with us

Why travel with us

Assisted over
14,000 Students Worldwide

Since the 1980's, we have helped students from around the globe to experience the world's most exciting destinations, allowing them to travel, give, grow.

400+ Service Learning

Together with students, we have completed over 400 Service Learning programs in developing countries. We will always continue to support causes including social justice, animal welfare, the environment and more.

Fully Customised
School Travel Programs

Want to include service learning, your school curriculum and a physical challenge, or any of the above? Contact us and we can design a program fully catered for your students and budget.

Safety and
Support - Our #1 Priority

Every school receives a detailed risk management plan that is guided by government advisories and the local partners we work with. We never compromise on the safety of your students to reduce the price of the program.


Want to find out more?

Our educational travel experts are ready to help you tailor an itinerary or service learning project to suit your school’s needs and budget. Contact us today to receive a free consultation.

Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions Schools"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions Schools</div>
World Expeditions Schools is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips