Yamadera temple

Tour operator Walk Japan has launched the latest in its series of self-guided walking tours: the Basho Wayfarer, a six-day, five-night tour offering an exploration of Japan’s northerly Tohoku region. Walk Japan drew inspiration for this tour from the acclaimed poet Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) and his classic, poetic travelogue Oku-no-hosomichi, or Narrow Road to the Deep North.

Basho is famous for haiku poetry and arguably his greatest work came from his itinerant journeys through Japan in the Edo Period (1603-1868), an age when the samurai were at their most dominant. Customers follow in Basho’s footsteps from Sendai to Yamader, from temples to coastlines, through forests to villages. Hearty regional cuisine is accompanied in nearly all the accommodation by onsen natural hot springs baths.


The Basho Wayfarer includes visits to Matsushima Bay and its pine-laden islands, known for centuries as one of the three most scenic locations in Japan; the exquisite Hiraizumi temple complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; Yamadera, a temple dramatically poised on a cliff; and Hojin-no-Ie, a venerable thatched building and the only structure that remains to this day where Basho is known to have stayed.

The Level 2 Basho Wayfarer joins the self-guided Nakasendo Wayfarer and Kumano Wayfarer tours, for an even further off-the-beaten-track holiday.

Hiraizumi temple

The Basho Wayfarer tour is for up to six participants, available from mid-May to early November. Prices start at JPY212,000 per person (approx. US$2,000 / £1,400) including accommodation for five nights; five breakfasts, four evening meals and transfers. Solo travellers pay a single supplement of JPY32,000 (US$300 / £210).

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