Nakasendo Trail walking tour, Japan

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16 Jul 2018
US $ 4140
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10 Sep 2018
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24 Sep 2018
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07 Oct 2018
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12 Oct 2018
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14 Oct 2018
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04 Nov 2018
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08 Nov 2018
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11 Nov 2018
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24 Mar 2019
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01 Apr 2019
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07 Apr 2019
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09 Apr 2019
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18 Apr 2019
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05 May 2019
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07 May 2019
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13 May 2019
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17 May 2019
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20 May 2019
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15 Jul 2019
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02 Sep 2019
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09 Sep 2019
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23 Sep 2019
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01 Oct 2019
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11 Oct 2019
US $ 4140
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13 Oct 2019
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04 Nov 2019
US $ 4140
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07 Nov 2019
US $ 4140
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10 Nov 2019
US $ 4140
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Nakasendo Trail walking tour, Japan

Environment

1. Protection of Local environment
Our tours are all small-group, both avoiding the need for large vehicles and hotels, and ensuring we dont overwhelm the places we visit.
Where our tours use mountain or countryside trails, we ensure that we dont damage vegetation by using only established trails. We leave what we find, so no taking of plants, rocks, archaeological artefacts, etc.

2. Wild life
We respect wildlife by avoiding quick movements, loud noises, getting too close and feeding animals. We help with the preservation of local culture by educating visitors about local traditions and crafts, and making the history and culture a central theme of their visit.

3. Energy
We reduce the consumption of energy by unplugging all electronic appliances when leaving the office. During the day when it is bright we use natural sunlight and avoid turning on the light. During the summers we use electric fans instead of air conditioners.

4. Waste
We follow the principles of Leave no Trace on our walking tours. We do not leave behind any waste on our tours. On our walking tours we dispose of all waste properly to avoid contamination of water sources. We avoid as much the use of paper, and do as much of our marketing as possible on-line, using internet fax and avoid printing out paper. When we do print we use double side as much as possible.

5. Transport
We use local public transport as much as possible where this is an option, lessening the environmental impact of extra vehicles on small country roads.
We encourage our employees to walk/bike to the office

Community

A fair deal
We work only with small local businesses rather than international chains, and where possible we source goods and supplies locally, using only small, locally-owned and run accommodation and restaurants. This ensures that as much as possible of the money remains within the local economy.

For our accommodations where possible we choose to use locally family inn run by family for generations. On this Nakasendo Trip we use Daikichi an accommodation that has run in the family for three generations.

We higher local staff and provide sickness and vacations benefits. The local staff is given full responsibility of tour operations encouraging great responsibility and fostering management skills.

Our tours often visit the lesser-known (but equally enchanting) areas of the countries we visit, and this helps to spread the economic benefit of tourism more evenly.
Small group tourism encourages young people who would otherwise leave to find work in the cities to stay and start small-scale sustainable enterprises that cater to visitors. We try to avoid the destinations that cater to mass-market tourism, taking our guest to the lesser-known but if not more rewarding places that larger tour companies tend to avoid due to their unsuitability for large groups. This means our clients money will end up in small community that may have little in the way of work for its young people.

2. Local Crafts & Culture
To offer unique, engaging and educative tours which take visitors to lesser-known countries and regions, and introduce them to the culture, history and traditions of the people who live there. We provide cultural classes which help spread and preserve the culture, knowledge and traditions of the locals. We also encourage our tour leaders to have a deep knowledge of the local people and culture. They have often lived and worked locally for many years. By traveling the quieter backroads and encouraging personal contact with the local people, we reveal a side of these countries that most visitors never see.

1 Reviews of Nakasendo Trail walking tour, Japan

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 11 Apr 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


It was outstanding and hard to pinpoint a single thing. Experiencing the Onsens, seeing a whole valley flowering with cherry blossom, eating lots and lots of extraordinary food. A guide who was always patient and smiling and couldn't do enough to make sure every single person got what they wanted. Walking though beautiful valleys and mountains..... I could go on and on.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Carry as little as possible - all the ryokans and hotels do provide sleepwear and toiletries and you really need very little. Layers are essential if you go early spring - it went from 27 degrees (sunhat needed) to 12 degrees and windy. In the villages they are still very traditional and covering shoulders is appropriate so t-shirts not vest tops. Take a small pillow. Japanese pillows are often filled with grain and hard to get used to. Choose your level - I did 'active' but could have done 'challenging - however the leisurely pace allowed for lots of photos'. Do bother to learn a few japanese phrases - it is so appreciated.

Be chilled about seeing the cherry blossom - nature is fickle!. I went early so didn't expect to see much and the flowering was two weeks early so I was
extremely lucky everywhere and it was outstanding. But by the time the next group went sadly it would be over. It is luck so make sure that there are plenty
of other things you want to get from your vacation.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Definitely - all the inns were small and very traditional. My group happened to be small so we ate in a range of restaurants all very unique. Tourism is definietly growing and essentail to keep the villages thriving.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


The tour company were excellent in every way - from communication at the start when I booked through every aspect. Our guide Taichi was exceptional. Can't rate them highly enough.

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Ruth - thank you for taking the time to review our tour. We are delighted that you enjoyed your time with us and hope that we might have the pleasure of welcoming you on another of our trips in the future. Jeremy Spencer

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