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Contact | Secretariaat
Martine Pollier
Zandstraat 324, 8200 Brugge
T +32 50 322 420


Backpacking through Japan

An adventurous backpack trip full of architecture
01.04 15.04
Still some places available!

The programme and practical information was updated on 20/03/2023

Period: Easter holidays 2023 – five groups

Cost: €1,550 per person excl. flight ticket

more info

With the support of:

Seize this opportunity to get to know Japanese architecture, art and culture while backpacking with other architecture lovers. The route takes you along the ancient city of Kyoto, the art islands in the Setouchi Sea and the hi-tech metropolis of Tokyo.

Archipel invites you to this second edition of the adventurous and popular backpack trip to Japan. The program of th 2019 trip has been supplemented with recently completed projects.

The city of Kyoto functioned as the imperial capital for over a thousand years and is currently known as one of the highlights of heritage in the world. You will get to know Japanese culture through Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines and gardens that capture the imagination, you can also visit the work of contemporary architects, such as Tadao Ando and Yoshio Taniguchi.

After immersing ourselves in traditional architecture, we head via the important port city of Kobe to the art islands in the Setouchi Sea where we stay for a couple of nights. On the islands Naoshima, Teshima and Inujima, we will discover installations that explore the border between art, architecture and nature; works by Rei Naito, Hiroshi Sambuichi, Ryue Nishizawa, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Kazuyo Sejima and Yayoi Kusama.

Next, the famous bullet train, the Shinkansen, takes us to Japan’s mountain region, where we stop in Karuizawa to experience in sublime lightness the works of Hiroshi Senju in a setting designed by Ryue Nishizawa. Deeper into nature awaits the fabulous Biotope Garden of Junya Ishigami in Nasu.

On this high wave, we surf on to Tokyo in a matter of time. This city is not only the home of Japanese pop culture and the host city of the Olympic Games, it also has the highest concentration of buildings by iconic architects per square meter. We visit fantastic works by known and lesser known architects; Toyo Ito, Sou Fujimoto and Kengo Kuma. With this climax, the guided part of the trip is over and travelers are free to explore Japan further.

The number of participants is limited to 20 people per group. The comfort is modest and every sustainable form of mobility is covered; (fast) train, ferry, metro and bicycle. Travelers carry their luggage during the trip. The group stays in hostels and traditional guesthouses. The three groups are accompanied by enthusiastic Japan experts Hera Van Sande, Arnaud Tandt and Eva Lo.

Arnout Fonck Kanagawa Institute of Technology
Junya Ishigami, 2008

Arnout Fonck Tofuku-ji Hojo

Arnout Fonck Yokahama waterfront

Arnout Fonck Nakanotani gazebo, rabbit chairs Kazuyo Sejima, chairs by SANAA

Arnout Fonck Cloud like pavilion
SANAA, 2017

Arnout Fonck Naoshima Hall
Hiroshi Sambuichi, 2015


Kinkaku-ji golden temple
Ryoan-ji temple and rock garden
Fushimi Inari
Kyoto station – Hiroshi Hara, 1997
Ni-jo castle
Okochi Sanso villa
Arashiyama bamboo grove

On the road…
Takenaka Carpentry Museum – Takenaka Corporation, 2014
Okayama pavilionsSANAA, 2015

Art islands
Inujima Seirensho Art Museum – kunstenaar Yukinori Yanagi & architect Hiroshi Sambuichi, 2008
Art House Project Inujima – verschillende kunstenaars, architect Kazuyo Sejima, 2010-…
Teshima Art Museum – kunstenares Rei Naito & architect Ryue Nishizawa, 2010
Chichu Art Museum – Tadao Ando, 2004
Art House Project Naoshima – verschillende kunstenaars, 1998-…
Naoshima Ferry TerminalSANAA, 2006
Naoshima Hall – Hiroshi Sambuichi, 2016

Hiroshi Senju Museum – Ryue Nishizawa, 2011
Uchimura Kanzo concrete church – Kendrick Kellogg, 1988
St. Paul’s church – Antonin Raymond, 1935

Tokyo | Yokohama
Okurayama ApartmentsSANAA, 2006
KAIT – Kanagawa Institute of Technology – Junya Ishigami, 2008
Osanbashi Ferry TerminalFOA, 1995
Museum of Western Art – Le Corbusier, 1959
Tokyo Bunka Kaikan – Kunio Maekawa, 1961
Gallery of Horyu-ji Treasures, Tokyo National Museum – Yoshio Taniguchi, 1999
Yoyogi National Stadium, gymnasium 2 – Kenzo Tange, 1964

Program adjusted on March 20th, 2023. The program can still be adjusted.


Travel conditions

Since it is an adventure edition of an Archipel Japan trip, it is very important to us that you are correctly informed about the travel conditions. Indeed, in order to limit the budget, these are different from the well-known Archipel formula. You can read them via this link


Easter vacations 2023
GROUP 1 – Hera Van Sande: Saturday 1 April 2023 to Sunday 9 April 2023
GROUP 2 – Arnaud Tandt: Sunday 2 April 2023 to Monday 10 April 2023
GROUP 3 – Eva Lo: Monday 3 April 2023 to Tuesday 11 April 2023
GROUP 4 – Ilona Lo: Wednesday 5 April 2023 to Thursday 13 April 2023
GROUP 5 – Dominique Pieters: Friday 7 April 2023 to Saturday 15 April 2023


€1,550 per person excl. flight ticket
9 days and 8 nights

  • Domestic transportation
  • Domestic Accommodation
  • Access to programmed buildings
  • The Archipel – travel navigator
  • The printed Archipel – travel guide
  • Cancellation insurance
Not included
  • Flight ticket: these have to be arranged by the travelers themselves. We meet in Tokyo in the hostel.
  • Food and drink
  • Travel assistance and baggage insurance: see below

PLANOPLI bvba is our partner in the travel organization.


Fill out the registration form on the Archipel website.

After your registration PLANOPLI bvba will send you an order form. You return this form dated and signed and pay 1.550 € per person as confirmation of your participation into the account BE04 7360 5669 3231 of PLANOPLI bvba
This transfer makes your registration final.
By registering you accept the travel conditions mentioned in the program and you confirm that Archipel is not responsible for any accidents.

Being or becoming a member of Archipelago in the year the trip takes place is the prerequisite for participating in our architecture trips.
We will send you a reminder for your membership in early 2023.

Package Travel Act & Insurance
The change in the Package Travel Act of 1 July 2018 now also affects travel insurance.
For group travel, this means that as of January 1, 2020, travel assistance, cancellation and baggage insurance policies can no longer be obtained on a group basis.
Only on an individual basis: please contact your individual insurance company.

Cancellation costs
See special travel conditions article 13 of Planopli bvba.