Japan constantly reigns as one of the top travel destinations amongst people, and surely amongst Singaporeans. Ask anyone where they are planning for a holiday, and you’ll hear Japan come up more often times than not.
From the hypermodern Tokyo to the more tranquil Hakone, Japan’s skyscrapers, traditional ryokans, and weaving streets are well-documented across the world. It’s very possible to do a healthy amount of research and self-plan for a fulfilling and quintessential Japanese travel experience, all while zooming in a Shinkansen.
Courtesy of Walk Japan, there is another way to experience this beloved country, one that will have you exploring and seeing Japan in a whole different light. Walk Japan champions and curates transformative travel experiences by way of foot, introducing not only lesser-known destinations but lesser-known paths as well.
This Valentine’s Day, you can take your loved ones down the road less travelled, for unique experiences that are truly special, experiences that are befitting of your love for each other.
1. Oita Hot Spring Trail
We start off with the Oita prefecture on the island of Kyushu, famed for the natural beauty of its countryside. With the largest concentration of onsens (thermal hot springs) in a city, Oita is largely considered the onsen capital of Japan.
The Oita Hot Spring Trail is a fully guided tour that introduces the history, culture, and natural beauty of the Oita prefecture. The tour isn’t entirely taxing, but it would be best if you’re reasonably fit enough to walk about four hours per day.
The terrain isn’t challenging, from Fukuoka to Beppu, you’ll be traversing grassy paths, forest trails, and quiet country roads, ending the day with a soothing soak in an onsen of course. Spanning a total of 6 days, 5 nights, the Oita Hot Spring Trail is perfect if you want a nice and relaxing Valentine’s Day with your bae.
2. The Snow Country
For the adventurous couple, a trek through the Japanese Alps may be the dream experience for Valentine’s Day.
Japan’s Snow Country is located on the western coast of Japan, particularly around the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido. The Snow Country tour will bring you on a 7 days 6 nights snowshoeing trek through remote winter landscapes to hidden Shinto shrines, and even a night walk in a beech forest. It’s a Japanese winter wonderland that few get to experience, an off-the-beaten-track that is magical as they come.
A point to consider is that the tour features rather undulating terrain with steep climbs, so be prepared for a slightly more taxing journey. But hey, for that snowy picturesque view, it could be all worth it.
3. Self-Guided Kiso Wayfarer
The Kiso Wayfarer is for couples who want a tranquil and peaceful vacation with a little tinge of history and culture. Think serene vibes with rural countryside and traditional inns, and you’ve got the Kiso Valley.
Navigate your way through the historic Nakasendo Way, visiting the quiet post-town of Ochiai followed by a therapeutic stroll on the banks of the Kiso River, and exploring Naegi-jo, the remains of mountain-top castle that encapsulates the historical narrative of the tour.
You’ll get the freedom to explore all the Kiso region has to offer at your own pace, a truly romantic getaway with your partner through the rural countryside of Japan.