Monday, March 11, 2013

Chiang Rai & Hilltribe in Thailand

Nepal Tourism Information

Chiang Rai & Hilltribe

Travel to the ‘Gateway of the Golden Triangle’ and immerse yourself in the culture of the hilltribes in Chiang Rai. Here you will visit two major hilltribes, where each have their own distinct native dress.

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Make your own way to your Chiang Rai hotel. This afternoon visit Wat Phra Kaew, the Hilltribe Museum and a handicrafts centre.


Enjoy an excursion to Mae Salong, visiting a tea plantation, a Yao Tribe and an Akha village known as Ban Lorcha. This afternoon return to Chiang Rai. (B,L)


Travel to the H’mong Hilltribe Lodge, passing forests, farms and villages along the way. This evening enjoy a local BBQ for dinner. (B,L,D)


Drive to Thaton and board a longtail boat to Baan Pha, then continue to Chiang Rai by road. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your Chiang Rai hotel where your arrangements end.

Bridge over River Kwai

The infamous Bridge over the River Kwai was built by prisoners of War during World War II. Travel over the Death Railway and explore the Hellfire pass, both built to connect Myanmar and Thailand during the war.



Early this morning you will be met at your Bangkok hotel and transferred to the railway station for your train to Kanchanaburi. Stop at the Bridge over the River Kwai followed by a visit to the Allies Cemetery and the War Museum


Travel to the Hellfi re Pass, where you can explore the museum and hike down the pass. After lunch visit the nearby Saiyoke Noi Waterfall where you can go for a swim. (B,L)


After check-out this morning you will be transferred to your Bangkok hotel where your arrangements end. 

‘Coral Triangle Day’

Nepal Information of Travel

Above: A diver in the Coral Triangle’s Solomon Islands. Photo by James Morgan.
A new event called Coral Triangle Day will debut on June 9. It’s a regional celebration that will be held simultaneously at different locations around the Coral Triangle region, including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and other countries in the Pacific. The event aims to highlight the ecological importance of the Coral Triangle region and the need for ocean conservation in general. Anyone with photos or videos that help convey this message is welcome to post them on June 9 at
See also these articles about the region:
Raja Ampat: So Far, So GoodThe Wild Side of the Solomon Islands
Various organizations have pledged to do something to help on this day, such as beach clean-ups, sustainable seafood dinners, exhibitions, bazaars, and beach parties aimed to heighten awareness. Anyone wishing to participate or learn more should visit
Check out our interview with celebrity chef Bobby Chinn who will be cooking up a storm at a number of Bali restaurants during the event: Q&A: Celebrity Chef and Restaurateur Bobby Chinn.

Spiritual and Wellbeing Travel in Japan

Nepal festival tour

One of the purposes of travel is to get away from fast paced, stressful life.  Japan has a lot to offer when it comes to opportunities to refresh yourself and rest your body and mind.

Renew Your Spirit with Meditation

Let your busy mind settle in the peaceful environment. Zazen is one of the Zen practices to obtain the serenity of mind by seating cross-legged on the floor in the silence. Meditate yourself in front of quaint Zen garden, followed by Buddhism monk’s message. Shakyo is also a popular meditation by tracing letters of Buddhist sutra with Japanese ink brush. This is also one of the Buddhism practices to fulfill your wish by reading, understanding and tracing sutra.
For yogis or yoginis, try yoga workshop in the established temple. Harmonize your body, mind and emotions, and awaken your greater energy. 
Visitors from every country regardless of gender, race or religion will be welcomed at Japanese temples.


Rejuvenation Experiences by Japanese Therapies

Calming and soothing treatments will create a personal sanctuary with an ultimate relaxation after stress-filled challenging days. Start in the heated Jacuzzi or hot spring bath before treatments to enhance your body circulation and awaken your rejuvenation.
A variety of therapies, blended with traditional Japanese Shiatsu massage and Western-inspired therapies are created to cleanse, purify and detoxify your body and mind. Expert therapists will advise you a selection of luxurious treatments, using aromatherapy oils, minerals, herbs with holistic approach. Also, according to your condition, customized treatment can be designed by your therapist. Therapeutic experiences can be arranged at luxurious hotels, beach resort or Japanese hot spring ryokans.
Please see our accommodation page.

Sacred Destinations in Japan

Our custom travel service will help recharging your mental, physical and spiritual state. Here are suggestions for your destinations.
Mt. Fuji
Mt. Fuji is considered as one of the power centres in Japan, and the mountain has great spiritual significance for Japanese people.  The season of climbing Mt. Fuji is very limited from July to August, but there are sacred hiking paths which used to allow people who reached the summit three times. Stepping on the volcanic ash soil, escorted by English-speaking guide, you will be able to see a stark beauty of the highest mountain in Japan.

The Kii Mountain Range
The Kii mountain range is registered as the UNESCO World Heritage site. The area includes three sacred sites of Yoshino & Omine, Three peaks of Mt. Kumano, and Mt.Koya. Yoshino and Omine have been known as the centre of Shugendo religion (mountain worshipping) which was established in the late 7th century. There are several hiking paths in the area. In spring, Mt. Yoshino is popular destination to admire cherry blossom forest. Kumano Kodo has been a popular pilgrimage trail with grand shrine, temple, and sacred waterfalls. Surrounded by pristine woods, visitors can enjoy following the path where pilgrims visited and prayed since 1400 years ago.
Mt. Koya is the head quarter of Shingon Sect opened by Kukai. Experience staying at an established monastery (temple lodging). Try Shojin cuisine (vegetarian dishes) prepared by monks. Shojin cuisine is considered as training to be search for the road to Buddhism enlightenment by serving to worshippers. Also, Buddhism activities of sutra writing and morning chanting service can be arranged.


Japanese Festival

Nepal festival tour

Japan has a rich tradition of “Matsuri”(festivals).  Matsuri is held to pray for abundant harvest, purify villages or towns, or simply just for fun.  Most festivals are sponsored by a local shrine or temple.  The style of Matsuri is various, such as marching with floats at night, dancing on the streets, the parading with gigantic lanterns, and more.  Michi Travel Japan has selected interesting festivals in Japan for you to experience the Japanese spirit.

Michi Travel Japan is pleased to arrange accommodations for the festival dates.  Please contact us at least 6 months prior to the festival. 

 Omizutori Festival at Todaji Temple (Nara)                                 March 8-9, 2008  

Omizutori is held at Todaiji Temple in Nara, every year in the middle of March. Chosen monks with big torches in their hands walk around the Nigatsudo building, and pray for good harvest, health and peace.  The festival is held late at night, but many people gather around Nigatsudo.  It is believed that being exposed to the sparks of fire bring good fortune.  The excitement will let you forget the coldness of Nara's winter. 

Takayama Matsuri (Takayama)                       April 14 & 15, October 9 & 10, 2008  

Takayama Matsuri is held in spring an autumn every year.  It is considered as one of the most beautiful festivals in Japan.  The festival is originated back to around 1600.  On the festival day, in th daytime hundreds of people wearing traditional clothes march on the streets along with music, and at night floats with 100 lanterns are pulled around the town.

Gion Matsuri (Kyoto)                                                                                July 2008

Gion Matsuri, a festival of Yasaka shrine is widely know for its history and splendor.  About 1100 years ago the festival started to conteract the epidemic spreading across Japan at that time.  The festival is for a month of July, and the highlight is July 17 with 32 floats marching in the city of Kyoto.   

Nebuta Matsuri (Aomori)                                                              August 2-7, 2008                                          

Aomori Nebuta is held from August 2 - 7 every year with more than 3.5 million visitors from all over the world.  Nebuta, gigantic lanterns are paraded in the city, pulled by people dancing around to lively music.  These
Nebuta are based on the characters of Kabuki stories, myths and Japanese history.  The energetic and dynamic festival is to celebrate the short summer up north.

 Sapporo Yukimatsuri (Snow Festival)                                     February 5-11, 2009  

Sapporo Yukimatsuri is held every year with more than two million visitors from all over the world.  During the festival, Sapporo turns into a winter wonderland.  Hundreds of gigantic snow statues and ice sculptures are lined on the streets in the heart of the city.  The competitions of statues and sculptures are
held, as well as live music, food events, and more.  In the evening, the city is lit up, adding a fantastic atmosphere to the festivities. 

Kunisaki Trek: Yufuin & Kunisaki

Nepal festival tour

yufudakeThe Kunisaki Trek: Yufuin & Kunisaki is a fully guided, Level 5 tour suitable for reasonably fit people who can walk comfortably for 6 hours a day. The route is mainly on forest trails and includes some rock scrambling and some short, steep climbs. Read more on Tour levels below.

A 4 day, 3 night tour starting and finishing at Fukuoka Airport. Accommodation is in Japanese inns with Onsen thermal hot spring baths. The maximum group size for this tour is 12 persons.

This short-stay, fully-guided tour provides an introduction to Yufuin, one of Japan’s elegant onsen thermal hot spring resorts and the nearby Kunisaki Peninsula, one of Japan’s most beautiful yet least known areas. After a gentle respite in Yufuin our route follows in the footsteps of monks, who have walked through the mountains of the Peninsula for more than 1,200 years. Any experienced trekker will thoroughly enjoy the ancient trails, which provide excellent walking through sleepy hamlets, verdant forests, along craggy ridges and tower over the surrounding myriad valleys. On route we pass many stone Buddha statues, large and small, and sometimes caves where monks once found shelter and meditated. As with all our tours, on Kunisaki you will be immersed in Japanese culture of the past and present, enjoy Japanese cooking at its best, luxuriate in hot springs and simply gaze at the beautiful scenery. This, of course, all with expert guidance of the Walk Japan tour leader.

The tour starts at Fukuoka Airport’s International Terminal, where the Walk Japan tour leader awaits flights from South East Asian destinations. At approximately 16:30 our dedicated transport whisks us quickly into the rural interior of Kyushu to Yufuin, an elegant onsen thermal hot spring resort town. Nestled in the lee of Mt. Yufu-dake, Yufuin provides us with a delightful start to the tour. A reviving dip in our inn’s onsen is followed by dinner, a feast comprised of  locally sourced ingredients contrived into dishes of delicacy and great flavours.

We spend Day 2 firstly, savouring the town before we leave Yufuin for Kunisaki and the first walk of the tour exploring Nokogiri-yama, a spectacular ridge hike ending at two ancient Buddha relief carvings on the face of a towering cliff making it one of the classic routes in Kunisaki. Our inn is in the heart of Kunisaki. Besides a warm welcome and great food the inn also boasts an onsen. It is also adjacent to one of Japan’s most beautiful temple structures, the main hall at Fuki-ji temple. We spend two nights staying here. The following day we walk an old pilgrimage route, the Nakayama-senkyo ridge. Our path is lined with Buddha statues and as we climb superb views open up of the surrounding mountains and valleys. On a clear day we can even see the Seto Inland Sea, the route by which Buddhism first arrived in Kunisaki from China, and Japan’s main island, Honshu. Our afternoon walk takes us through the atmospheric site of a long deserted monastery now only populated by the poignant graves of the many monks who lived and died here. Rainy days may preclude the ridge walks but our alternative hikes are no less spectacular. These include climbing a sacred mountain dotted with standing stones that pre-date Shintoism and a winding walk that passes through Tashibu, which we consider to be the most beautiful village in Japan
Price: JPY159,000 (JPY = Japanese Yen) per person. There is no single room supplement for this tour (Please see below). Please use the currency converter on the right-hand side of this page to find the current rate in your local currency.

What is included and not included? A fully guided tour including local travel from tour meeting point to finishing point; accommodation for 3 nights; 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches & 3 evening meals; baggage transfers and entrance fees are included. Not included are flights; transport to and from the meeting point at Fukuoka Airport; and drinks.

Single room supplement: There is no single room supplement. Throughout this tour we are staying in traditional Japanese accommodation and single rooms cannot be guaranteed. Please note, however, that we will endeavour to provide single accommodation rooms whenever possible. No additional charge will be made for any single accommodation that we are able to provided in Japanese accommodation.

A note on traditional Japanese accommodation: Japanese cultural norms generally dictate that rooms in Japanese-style accommodation, including inns, are provided on a twin basis and individuals travelling together are traditionally expected to share. It is the case, however, that we are frequently able to secure single rooms in Japanese-style accommodation for our customers for many, if not all, days of a tour. Provision, though, is solely at the discretion of the establishment and it may not be known until the day whether it is available. Accordingly, as we cannot guarantee single rooms in Japanese-style accommodation we do not include these in the single room supplement. As mentioned above, in the case that we can provide single room accommodation we make no additional charge. Importantly, in the case that single travellers do share this will only ever be with another person of the same gender from the same tour group.

Group size: The small, intimate nature of the tour makes the maximum group size 12 people. We have no minimum size. If we accept a booking we guarantee to run the tour.

Please see the Itinerary for this tour and Tour Dates for dates and availability. These tours start on a Thursday and finish on a Sunday except the 24 December ~ 27 December 2012 tour, which starts on a Monday and finishes on a Thursday, and the 24 December ~ 27 December 2013 tour, which starts on a Tuesday and finishes on a Friday.


Yakushima Adventure

Nepal Tourism Information:

yakushima_fallsThe Yakushima Adventure is a fully guided, Level 5 tour suitable for reasonably fit people who can walk comfortably for 5-6 hours a day. The routes are on well-defined mountain and forest trails, but will include a few lengthy ascents and descents. Walking poles are recommended. Read more on Tour levels below.

A 4 day, 3 night tour starting and finishing in Kagoshima. Accommodation will be in Japanese hotels and Onsen hot spring resorts. The maximum group size for this tour is 12 persons.

This short-stay, fully-guided tour accesses some of Japan’s most dramatic scenery, where we walk through ancient, sub-tropical rainforests and also experience the best of local food and onsen thermal hot spring baths along the way. The giant cedar trees and remarkable natural stone formations of Yakushima, an island off the southern tip of Kyushu, are the highlights of this tour. Also, we are almost guaranteed close encounters with the resident small deer and monkeys of this remarkable place, one of Japan’s few genuine wilderness areas. So spectacular and significant is the environment of Yakushima that it has UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The tour starts at Kagoshima station, with an afternoon tour of the city and visit to nearby volcanic Sakurajima for those arriving in time. We will learn how the relative independence of southern Kyushu’s ruling families in Edo-period Japan enabled the early establishment of links with the West, starting a tradition of international exchange that remains strong today. Journeying (take the ferry?) on to Sakura-jima, an volcano that is persistently active with smoke and ash billowing from its crater on an almost daily basis. An eruption here in 1914 marked the biggest in recent Japanese history and the massive lava flows connected what was once an island to the mainland.

Days 2 and 3 will be spent exploring the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site of Yakushima Island. Upon arrival, we head for Shiratani Unsuiko, an impressive area of ancient cedar trees and fast flowing streams, taking an little used route through the area enables us to spend some time wandering amongst, around and in some cases underneath these venerable and giant forest inhabitants.The following day, weather permitting, we will ascend Kuromidake, a peak of 1,831m (6,007ft) offering fabulous views over a canopy of granite monoliths and ancient, virgin forest, before making the return journey to Kagoshima for our final night together. The next day, early morning Shinkansen Bullet trains allow for an easy journey to Fukuoka in time for international flights.

Price: JPY198,000 (JPY = Japanese Yen) per person. Single room supplement JPY15,000 (Please see below). Please use the currency converter on the right-hand side of this page to find the current rate in your local currency.

What is included and not included? A fully guided tour including local travel from tour meeting point to finishing point; accommodation for 3 nights; 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 3 evening meals, baggage transfers and entrance fees are included. Not included are flights, transport to and from the meeting point in Kagoshima, 1 lunch and drinks with meals.
Single room supplement: The single room supplement is JPY15,000 per person and guarantees a single room on all nights.

Group size: The small, intimate nature of the tour makes the maximum group size 12 people. We have no minimum size. If we accept a booking we guarantee to run the tour.
Please see the Itinerary for this tour and Tour Dates for dates and availability. These tours start on a Thursday and finish on a Sunday.


Tokyo Tour


library - 05422The Tokyo Tour is a fully guided, Level 2 walk suitable for anyone who is an occasional walker and can walk for more than one to two hours in comfort. Read more on tour levels below.
A two day (Two night's accommodation included only if booking the tour with accommodation. Please see below) city tour. Each day is a full day tour and starts, depending on the day’s itinerary, at either 9:00 am and finishes at around 5 pm. The maximum group size for this tour is 12 ~13 persons.
Walk Japan's two day Tokyo Tour explores what is perhaps the most enigmatic cities of the world. Tokyo is the epitome of the ultimate modern, metropolis - bullet trains glide across the city’s roof tops and past gleaming new skyscrapers; vast TV screens looming over intersections blast their messages down over teeming masses; the pride of Japan’s industry proudly display their latest innovative products to the ever receptive Japanese consumer; a network of freeways lace above and below the city carrying a neverending stream of vehicles; and the young, in unique and eclectic dress populate many of the fashionable city quarters. Tokyo, a city of over ten million souls, bustles 24 hours a day and, never seemingly satisfied with itself, restlessly keeps on rebuilding itself at amazing speed and on a vast scale.
Tokyo is a modern mega-city par excellence. It is also a puzzling place. Whilst its modern urbanscape is recognisable around the world, little is known of its past that led some 19th Century western visitors to call it ‘The Venice of the East’. Today, the city seems so modern that its history, a great and fascinating one, is almost always overlooked by both the Japanese and visitors from overseas. Our Tokyo Tour delves into the city’s history, beginning when it was called Edo and had at its core one of the world's greatest fortress citadels. We learn how Edo, once the site of a marsh 500 years ago, came to be the samurai military stronghold that dominated Japan for much of three centuries; how it nurtured its unique Edo culture, which along with Kyoto’s refined culture has had a great impact on Japan to this day; how rebuilding has always been a major feature of the city; how it came to be Japan’s capital; and how in the present can still be found clues to its unique past. Our fully guided, gently paced walking tour reveals the unique and fascinating history of the city from its feudal samurai origins through to the development of its modern visage.

Walk Japan’s Tokyo Tour focuses on the reasons for the city’s existence and how it came to be the centre of Japanese political and economic power. Looking at both the lives of the great and powerful and also the townspeople we delve into both Edo, its subsequent development into capital and ultimately megalopolis. We will learn how the samurai ran their city and also how the townspeople, living in their shadow, developed a culture that boasts kabuki theatre, print making and the floating world. Tokugawa Ieyasu, the greatest shogun, and the near 270 year Tokugawa family domination of Japan that Ieyasu began take centre stage in our walk through Tokyo. But we also focus on the lives of the not so great, including samurai foot soldiers, merchants, craftsmen and entertainers from feudal times to the present day.

We learn how Edo and Tokyo came to be the centre of Japan’s politics, economy and its day-to-day culture. We will visit some of the greatest historical sites of Tokyo; stroll through some quiet neighbourhoods that still impart a sense of the older city; and come to understand how much of modern Tokyo has its roots in a much concealed, but fascinating history.

Day 1 of Walk Japan’s Tokyo Tour introduces us to the city of the samurai, once centred on its military citadel and highly organised life. We will learn how Edo came to be and how it developed from a samurai stronghold to modern city.

Day 2 focuses on the less well-known but no less interesting city of its people, their way of life and how they interacted with the samurai, developed the Edo culture and how it changed with the city’s growth.

Walk Japan’s Tokyo Tour consists of a two day itinerary. However, it is possible to join the tour for one day only. On both days we meet at the day's starting point as indicated in the itinerary. Walk Japan provides detailed instruction on how to get to the start point. Please note that Tokyo’s transport system is very comprehensive and easy to use.

Each day ends at around 5 pm in either Ryogoku or Asakusa depending on the itinerary for the day. The Walk Japan tour leader will help arrange onward travel to your accommodation or other desired location. Please note, that after 5 pm the tour leader will also be available to introduce some of the myriad and excellent local restaurants, which are often less accessible for travellers from overseas.
Price: Tour with two night's accommodation JPY49,000 (JPY= Japanese Yen) per person, single person supplement JPY5,800; Tour without accommodation JPY30,000 per person, single person supplement not applicable.
For customers joining our Nakasendo WayWinter Nakasendo Way and Summer Nakasendo Way tours we offer the Tokyo Tour at the special prices of: Tour with two nights' accommodation JPY42,000 per person, single person supplement JPY5,800; Tour without accommodation JPY26,000 per person, single person supplement not applicable. Please use the currency converter on the right-hand side of this page to find the current rate in your local currency.
 For customers joining from the Nakasendo Way tour.
Please note that Day 1 of the Tokyo Tour is the same day as the last day (Day 12) of the Nakasendo Way. The latter tour finishes after breakfast. Correspondingly, the first of the two night’s accommodation included with the Tokyo Tour falls on the last day of the Nakasendo Way tour and your hotel booking will run on consecutive nights.

For customers joining from the Winter and Summer Nakasendo Way tours
As for the Tokyo Tours after a Nakasendo Way tour (see above), the included two nights' accommodation is for the nights of Day 1 and Day 2 of the Tokyo Tour. However, as the night of the last day; Day 6 of a Winter Nakasendo Way tour and Day 7 of a Summer Nakasendo Way tour is not included in the Tokyo Tour  - i.e accommodation does not run consecutively - please let us know if you would like us to book accommodation for you at the Tokyo Tour hotel.
What is included and not included? A fully guided tour including local travel from tour meeting point to finishing point as noted in the itinerary. Entrance fees and tea indicated in the itinerary on Day 1 are included. For tours with accommodation both breakfast and accommodation for 2 nights are included. Lunch, dinner and drinks are not included. For tours without accommodation breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks and accommodation are not included.
Group size: The maximum group size is 12~13 people. We have no minimum size. If we accept a booking we guarantee to run the tour.
Please see the Itinerary for this tour and Tour dates for dates and availability. This two day tour starts on at 9 am on Day 1 and finishes at 5pm on Day 2, the final day. To coincide with the Nakasendo Way these tours start on a Sunday and finish on a Monday (early March to mid-June; and early September to mid-November); to coincide with the Winter Nakasendo Way these tours usually start on a Wednesday and finish on a Thursday; and to coincide with the Summer Nakasendo Way usually start on aSaturday and finish on a Sunday.