Join us on this adventure in Japan and your generous support will allow Mater to continue giving the best possible start to life for all babies.

Mater Foundation’s Miles for Miracles is your chance to discover the Nakasendo Trail and raise funds to continue vital research into preventing neurodevelopmental problems that can arise in premature babies.

Explore Japan’s fascinating history and unique culture on this 12-day adventure through one of the historic highways of Japan—the Nakasendo, known as ‘the road through the mountains’.

The Nakasendo Way brings to life the majesty and ancient tradition of Japan. On this trek, you will gain insight into feudal Japan, the samurai warriors of the Edo Period and modern village life, while following some of the best-preserved sections of this ancient highway.

We begin in Kyoto, for a full-day city sightseeing tour before making our way through trees, parks and small villages, enjoying fine regional cuisine along the way—prepared by the friendly Japanese locals. You’ll cross towns Magome, Tsumago and Narai towards the bustling city of Tokyo, where you are free to explore its museums, grand temples, atmospheric zen gardens and fascinating modern sci-fi streetscapes.

Challenge yourself on the trail, gain an authentic cultural experience in Japan and raise funds to improve the odds for babies born prematurely.

The funds you raise on Miles for Miracles will go towards further research into magnesium sulphate therapy. This therapy has been shown to reduce the risk of adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes, such as cerebral palsy, in pre-term infants.

Mater has already undertaken a pilot study of 100 mothers and babies led by Associate Professor Paul Dawson and Dr Elizabeth Hurrion at Mater Research. The study found that premature babies rapidly become deficient in nutrient sulphate, which is important for brain development. However, this deficiency could be prevented in most infants if those babies vulnerable to sulphate deficiency can be identified and administered a protective dose of sulphate after birth.

To further this research, Mater is collaborating with other Queensland hospitals to recruit another 1,500 babies over the next five years. These babies will be followed up after two years, helping researchers to determine if blood levels of nutrient sulphate at one week after birth correlate to infant development.

Mater is the first hospital in the world to have conducted this validated sulphate testing.


18 – 29 May 2019


12 Day Trip
5 Day Challenge


Twin-share in 2-3 star hotels


Registration fee: $770 (non-refundable)
Travel quote: $4,999 Land Only
Fundraising Target: $6,000

icon-difficulty 3/5

Moderate difficulty

Want to learn more? Enter your details in the form to instantly receive your information pack.

Questions or ready to register? Give us a call on 1300 905 188.


Enter your details to receive the full itinerary and info pack with more about how the Miles for Miracles: Japan Trek will help give the best possible start to life for all babies.

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