trip
Book with confidence – $0 depositSee Terms & Conditions
3
Introductory
Activities
  • 5 days self-guided walking
Accommodation
  • 2 nights traditional minshuku
  • 2 nights ryokan
Meals
  • 4 Dinners
  • 4 Breakfasts

5 Days$2290USD

Hit the trails with confidence

COVID safety measures
are in place with extra cleaning and hygiene protocols

Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally

Small groups only
Guided group sizes are strictly limited to maximum 16 people, average of 8-10


 
 
Trip Code: NT5

Trip highlights


  • Wander through the lovely, historic Nakasendo post towns
  • Gain an insight into Japanese culture and history
  • Visit Matsumoto Castle, one of Japan's best historic castles
  • Enjoy wonderful home-cooked Japanese cuisine
  • Hike along forest trails through the picturesque Kiso Valley
  • Bathe in the thermal waters at a hot-spring ryokan

Hike one of Japan's ancient routes, the Nakasendo Way, the road through the central mountains. Along the trail you will discover scenic post towns, and stay in local Minshuku's. These family-run guesthouses offer insight into the culture and cuisine of Japan as you walk, self-guided, along village paths and mountains trails - with beautiful forests and countryside along the way.


We supply train tickets for your journey from Kyoto or from Tokyo to Nakatsugawa, including a ride on the world-famous Shinkansen (Bullet Train) to Nagoya. At Nakatsugawa, you board a local bus (payable direct) for the short journey to Magome where you'll be met by a driver who will transfer your luggage to your evening's accommodation. From here you walk over the Magome Pass to Tsumago, one of the best-preserved and most evocative of the Nakasendo post-towns. Tonight you will spend the night at a family-run Minshuku in Tsumago or the nearby hamlet of O-Tsumago, with a delicious home-cooked Japanese dinner and breakfast included. After dinner, enjoy a stroll though the village streets in the magical quiet of the evening, wearing the yukata gown supplied by your inn. Walking distance: 8.3km / 5.2 miles Elevation gain: 326m / 1069 feet of ascent and 430m / 1410 feet of descent Time required: ~3hrs Note: luggage transfer from Magome included Accommodation: Minshuku (Family-run Guesthouse)

Meals:  D

The longest day on the trail is a beautiful and varied hike from Tsumago to Nojiri. Or perhaps you would prefer to choose the shorter alternative to Nagiso instead. The trail travels through small valleys and past forests of bamboo and Japanese cedar, through some of the least-developed scenery on the tour. After your walk you continue by train to Kiso-Fukushima (tickets provided). Tonight enjoy staying at a lovely hot-spring Ryokan set in a peaceful valley above the town. A complimentary transfer from the station is provided by the Ryokan. The Ryokan has lovely indoor and outdoor hot-spring baths. Walking distance: 18.4km / 11.5 miles Elevation gain: 723m / 2275 feet of ascent and 644m /2112 feet of descent Time required: ~6hrs We offer a shorter alternative of 1 hour (3.7km / 2.3miles). You can choose which option you prefer on the day - no need to decide in advance. Note: please leave your luggage for transfer at the front desk of your accommodation by 08:30am Accommodation: Onsen Ryokan (Hot-spring Travellers Inn)

Meals:  B,D

The Ryokan staff will drive you back to Kiso-Fukushima after breakfast. We supply train tickets for the short journey from Kiso-Fukushima to Yabuhara, which is the starting point for the hike over the Torii pass to Narai. Explore this evocative village before checking-in at your family-run inn in the heart of the village. Your hosts will serve a home-cooked Japanese dinner and breakfast. Walking distance: 6.2km / 3.9 miles Elevation gain: 344m / 1128 feet of ascent and 270m / 885 feet of descent Time required: ~3hrs In Kiso-Fukushima there is an optional, fairly strenuous, circular walk to a local waterfall. The circular walk is 7km / 4.3 miles with 632m / 2075 feet of ascent, 637m / 2090 feet of descent and takes 2-3 hours. You can take this walk in the morning, before heading onwards to Yabuhara. Note: please leave your bags at the front desk of your accommodation by 08:30am Accommodation: Minshuku (Family-run Guesthouse)

Meals:  B,D

After breakfast, you'll walk the short distance to the small town of Kiso-Hirasawa, famous for its lacquerware. There are many small shops selling beautifully-crafted tableware and furniture. At Kiso-Hirasawa station you will board a train for your onward journey to Karuizawa or Komoro for your final overnight stay. Both locations have lovely inns with a real sense of history and fine Japanese baths. Ride first to Matsumoto where you can visit the famous castle before connecting onwards to your final stop – total travel time by train is around three hours, not including the optional break of your journey in Matsumoto. You will arrive at your accommodation in time for a wonderful dinner with local produce. Walking distance: 2.5km / 1.6 miles Elevation gain: negligible ascent and descent Time required: ~1hr Note: Your accommodation will assist you to book luggage transfers (payable direct) to your post tour accommodation. You will need to carry an overnight bag today as you will not have access to your main luggage until the end of day 5. Accommodation: Ryokan - traditional inn

Meals:  B,D

After breakfast, your final walk on the Nakasendo Trail is from Karuizawa to Yokokawa. Leaving Karuizawa, the trail takes you over the Usui-toge Pass and down a gentle descent along one of the most beautiful sections of the Nakasendo, and certainly the least-developed. From Yokokawa, board the local train to Takasaki and change there for your ride on the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) to Tokyo. The train journey takes around two hours and you will arrive in Tokyo in the late afternoon or early evening. Walking distance: 16.7km / 10 miles Elevation gain: 372m / 1220 feet of ascent and 862m / 2828 feet of descent Time required: ~6hrs The walk can be shortened by 3.3km / 2 miles by a taxi ride at the start of the day.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 4 breakfasts and 4 dinners
  • 2 nights traditional minshuku on twinshare basis
  • 2 nights ryokan on twinshare basis
  • Local transportation as listed in itinerary
  • Information pack including route notes and topographical maps per room booked
  • Daily luggage transfers for 5 pieces up to Narai on day 4
  • Local support by telephone

  • International airfare, visa and travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Meals and beverages not indicated in the program
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, phone calls, alcohol etc
  • Luggage transfer from Narai payable direct

Departure dates

Daily departure from March through November

Notes

Note:
Surcharges apply during the late April into May Golden Week

Dates or itinerary don't fit?

Create a custom made itinerary for the perfect adventure. Choose when you travel, what you see and where you go.

Total Priceper person from

$2290USD

Options & Supplements*
    *Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Nakasendo Way Self-Guided trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Trip reviews


Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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