Oku no Hosomichi

Following the footsteps of Matsuo Basho as he set out on a journey to Tohoku and Hokuriku with his companion Sora.

In March of 1689, Haiku poet Matsuo Basho set out with companion Sora on a journey north to Tohoku and Hokuriku.Starting in Senju, Tokyo, the journey first took the pair to Nikko, Kurobane, Shirakawa, Matsushima, and Hiraizumi of Oshu Province. Entering Dewa Province at Naruko Onsen, the pair went to Yamadera, along The Mogami River, up Dewa Sanzan “The Three Sacred Mountains of Dewa”, and all the way to Kujuku-shima. To mark their arrival in the Hokuriku Region, the pair travelled to Niigata via Sakata and Nezugaseki, before arriving at Ogaki in Mino Province. Altogether, the journey of over 2,400 km took 150 days.


A 21st version of the Oku no Hosomichi on E-Bikes

Basho and Sora spent 150 days covering the 2,400 km (1,500 mile) journey from Fukagawa in Tokyo to Ogaki in Gifu Prefecture.
On this tour, we travel 1,400 km on what could be considered the outward Oku no Hosomichi journey from Fukagawa in Tokyo to Nezugaseki in Yamagata, all the while following a 20-day schedule on E-Bikes built for us in the 21st century.
We average about 70 km per day, however for those worried about whether their fitness, or lack thereof, means they cannot enjoy the tour, we provide thorough support in the form of E-Bikes complete with a power adjust function.
While on the path, just as Basho and Sora visited Matsushima and The Mogami River by boat, we shall also travel by pleasure boat or on a charter boat, so we too can enjoy the views they had.

Tour Route

The tour can be split into three main parts.

The Nikko Route (Fukagawa, Tokyo, to Shirakawa Barrier, Fukushima)

Oshu Route (Shirakawa Barrier, Fukushima, to Shitomae Barrier, Miyagi)

Dewa Route (Shitomae Barrier, Miyagi, to Nezugaseki, Yamagata)


The E-Bikes prepared are both mountain and cross bikes. These bikes are fitted with plenty of battery for long distances and a powerful assist function making riding a breeze.

For each of the temples that Basho visited, either the monks of the temples will guide us, or we will have a local specialist guide so that we can better get a feel for the history and the sights Basho would have seen.

A tour guide will explain the path as well as where there are monuments to Basho. As well as explanations based on literature and historical fact, each guide will provide the information in their own unique way.

Where Basho and Sora travelled by boat, we will also take a tour pleasure boat or a charter boat to stay historically accurate. Also, in order to maintain safety along the tour, there is one section where we will use the railways.

During the tour, there will be exclusive Kagura (traditional dance) performances, and we will also get to enjoy interacting with locals while fishing, having BBQs, or doing other activities.

Each week of the tour includes a rest day where we don’t travel very far. On these days, we hope you can refresh and enjoy a bit of sightseeing or shopping.

While reflecting on the day’s activities and developing friendships, we will have plenty of opportunities to share haiku and maybe learn a thing or two.

The tour comes with a comprehensive support system. The support team will come along as well to help with things such as looking after luggage, fixing E-Bike problems, or taking photos.

On this tour you can get a feel for Oku no Hosomichi by following in the footsteps of Basho. By seeing Utamakura, scenes that inspired Basho, and the route Saigyo and Minamoto no Yoshitsune took, you can further deepen your own haiku poetry. We will get in touch with what Basho describes as Fueki Ryuko, immutability and fluidity, first hand, and would love for you to compose a haiku whenever the desire arises.


The Beauty of the Landscapes of Japan

Japan’s landscapes that change by the season allow us to understand the beauty in the breathless. Beauty like this abounds in the landscapes evoked through words of the seasons in the world of haiku poetry.


The beauty in compiling the sentiment of your soul

Japan’s spiritual culture is all about praying for peace with an affectionate soul.
This is sure to be a journey where we can sense the soul of the poet in their haiku.


Japan’s History and Culture

Japan’s history and culture has developed ceaselessly for over 2,000 years.
Each generation has buildings built in their own style, and each region has traditional and spiritual culture that has been passed down.
On this tour, we aren’t just observing, we also enjoy taking part in experiences and interacting with locals.


Enjoy the cuisine

Cuisine is but one of the fun parts of the journey.
We will enjoy local delicacies, but are also able to respond to your requests.


We heal your fatigue from the journey

Our accommodations for relieving your fatigue from throughout the day includes hotels, Onsen resorts complete with private baths, and a one of a kind medicated bath.

Tour Guides

Tak (Kobayashi Takashi)
AKA Reiwa Basho
Certified Japan Cycle Tourism Promotion Council Cycle Guide.
British Government Certified Cycling Tour Guide.
Yukio (Yukio Sato)
AKA Reiwa Sora
Certified Japan Cycle Tourism Promotion Council Cycle Guide.
British Government Certified Cycling Tour Guide.
Yamagata Prefecture certified Shonai coast cultural evangelist.
Tsuruoka City certified Tsuruoka Food Guide.
Japan E-Bike Tours President
Japan Cycling Tourism Promotion Council President.
Japan Cycling Tourism Promotion Council certified cycling tour guide.
British Government Certified Cycling Tour Guide.


Support system over the 20 days of the Oku no Hosomichi Tour

Support Vehicle
Throughout the whole tour there will be a support vehicle complete with back-up E-bikes on the off chance the bikes break down.

For each of the experiences on the tour there will be a guide to give thorough explanations and support.

Special guides
An expert on the Oku no Hosomichi who can give added explanations about locations we visit will be on hand.

Company Staff
The staff travelling with the group will act as a concierge so they can respond to participant requests.


Oku no Hosomichi E-Bike Tour (20D19N)

Tour price: 1,650,000 JPY (tax inclusive)
Price includes: E-Bike rental, guides (tour guide, local guides, instructors), all accommodation, all meals, entrance fees, train tickets (Matsushima to Ichinoseki), boat tickets (Shiogama to Matsushima, Mogami River), insurance, support car.

* Prices per person
* Guests are to arrange their own transport (and accommodation) to and from the meeting points