• Nakasendo Self-Guided Walk Tour

  • 3 nights 4 Days

Japan Package - Nakasendo 3 nights / 4 days In feudal times people travelling between Kyoto and Tokyo would use the Nakasendo way – the road through the central mountains – one of a network of ancient highways. Along the route travellers rested at juku - post towns -and it is still possible to walk the original route by day, and stay at the small local minshuku - guest houses - by night. The walking is mostly paved village paths and unpaved mountains trails, with some gentle ascents and descents. This walk is highly customisable; there are 5 days of walking ranging from 2 to 6 hours, and we can advise on which days to leave out if you want a shorter or more gentle walk.

We also offer 3-day, 5-day and 10-day versions of this trip.

Price : From AUD1,580 (Per person twin share)
Tour Start : Tokyo or Kyoto Tour End : Tokyo or Kyoto
Walking days : 4 days Departure Date : Daily (March - November)
Hotels : 3 nights Japanese-style hotel
Meals : 6 meals (3 breakfasts and 3 dinners)
Route : Tokyo or Kyoto ⇒ Magome ⇒ Tsumago ⇒ Nojiri ⇒ Kiso-Fukushima ⇒ Yabuhara ⇒ Noriji ⇒ Hirasawa ⇒ Tokyo or Kyoto
Include : ✔ 3 nights accommodation ✔ 3 Breakfast and 3 Dinner ✔ Train tickets (From and to Tokyo or Kyoto) ✔ Detailed day-by-day itinerary and walking instructions ✔ Topographical map ✔ Local phone support

Route Map :

Nakasendo Self-guided Walking Route Map

Accommodation :

CityHotel NameRoom Type / Overview
[Day 1] Tsumago Daikichi Minshuku

Daikichi Minshuku Daikichi Minshuku

Japanese-style Room /
Located along the Nakasendo trail in the post-town of Tsumago-juku, Daikichi is run by three generations of the same family and is one of the family-run minshuku we use in Tsumago.
Address : 902−1 Tsumago Koino, Nagiso-cho, Kiso-gun, Nagano (map)
[Day 2] Kiso-Fukushima Koma-no-yu

Koma-no-yu Koma-no-yu

Japanese-style room /
A luxurious hot spring ryokan in the mountains above Kiso-Fukushima, perfect after a day of hiking!
Address : 47-2 Fukushima, Kiso-machi, Kiso-gun, Nagano (map)
[Day 3] Narai Ise-ya

Ise-ya Ise-ya

Japanese-style room /
One of several family-run minshuku in the village of Narai that we use. The building is a traditional merchants house.
Address : 388 Narai, Shiojiri, Nagano (map)

Tour Itinerary :

DayEvent / VisitHighlight
1 Nakasendo Day 1 - Train to Magome and walk to Tsumago

Walking distance : 8.3km
Elevation gain : 326m of ascent and 430m of descent
Time required : About 3 hours

Send your main luggage ahead from your accommodation before the Nakasendo Trail to the ryokan in Kiso-Fukushima where you will stay tomorrow night. You can manage with your overnight essentials in your daypack for your stay in Tsumago tonight. Alternatively, if you are accustomed to travelling light, you may prefer to send your main luggage from your accommodation before the Nakasendo Trail to wherever you are staying after the trail. You would then manage with overnight essentials in your daypack for all four nights on the trail. Use one of the wonderful Japanese luggage-forwarding services which are ultra-efficient and secure.

We supply train tickets for your journey from Kyoto or Tokyo to Nakatsugawa, including a ride on the world-famous Shinkansen (Bullet Train) to Nagoya. At Nakatsugawa, you board a local bus for the short journey to Magome. There is a walk of around 3.5 hours over Magome Pass to Tsumago, one of the best-preserved and most evocative of the Nakasendo post-towns. Overnight at a family-run minshuku in 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.

Nakasendo - Magome Nakasendo - Nakasendo Trail Nakasendo - Odaki Nakasendo - Tsumago
Meals : Breakfast : O / Lunch : X / Dinner : O
Hotel : Tsumago
2 Nakasendo Day 2 - Tsumago to Nojiri

Longer Option :
Walking distance : 18.4km
Elevation gain : 723m of ascent and 644m of descent
Time required : About 6 hours

Shorter Option :
Walking distance : 3.7km
Elevation gain : 101m of ascent and 117m of descent
Time required : About 1 hours

The longest day (about 6 hours) involves a beautiful and varied hike from Tsumago to Nojiri. There is an alternative option with just 1 hour of walking 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. Continue by train to Kiso-Fukushima. Stay at a lovely hot spring ryokan set in a remote valley above the town (complimentary pick-up from the station is provided by the ryokan). The ryokan has lovely indoor and outdoor hot-spring baths. Japanese dinner with fresh local produce and breakfast are included. If you sent your main luggage ahead to Kiso-Fukushima, it will be waiting for you when you arrive at the ryokan. The ryokan concierge will help you send it onwards again tomorrow morning to wherever you are staying after the Nakasendo Trail ; remember to pack overnight essential in your daypack for your remaining two nights on the trail.
Nakasendo - Tsumago2 Nakasendo - Tsumago3 Nakasendo - Nakasendo Trail2
Meals : Breakfast : O / Lunch : X / Dinner : O
Hotel : Kiso-Fukushima
3 Nakasendo Day 3 - Yabuhara to Narai

Walking distance : 6.2km
Elevation gain : 344m of ascent and 270m of descent
Time required : About 3 hours

The ryokan will drive you back to Kiso-Fukushima after breakfast. Use the tickets we supply to travel by train from Kiso-Fukushima to Yabuhara, then hike over the Torii pass to Narai (about 3.5 hours). Explore this evocative village before check-in at your Edo-period minshuku (family-run inn for travellers) in the heart of the village. Your hosts will serve a home-cooked Japanese dinner and breakfast.
Nakasendo - Kiso-Fukushima Nakasendo - Narai1 Nakasendo - Narai2 Nakasendo - Narai3
Meals : Breakfast : O / Lunch : X / Dinner : O
Hotel : Narai
4 Nakasendo Day 4 - Narai to Hirasawa

Walking distance : 2.5km
Elevation gain : negligible ascent and descent
Time required : About 3 hours

After breakfast, follow our map and walking instructions on the short walk (about 1 hour) to the small town of Kiso-Hirasawa, famous for its lacquerware. There are many small shops selling beautifully-crafted tableware and furniture. After spending a little time exploring the town, you board a train at Kiso-Hirasawa station with the train tickets we provide for your onward journey. If you are heading towards Kyoto, you will ride back along the Kiso valley to Nagoya, where you change trains. If you are heading towards Tokyo, you will ride first to Matsumoto where you can visit the famous castle before connecting onwards to Shinjuku station in central Tokyo. If you sent your main luggage on ahead, it can be waiting for you when you reach the accommodation you have arranged for this evening.
Nakasendo - Taiho Shrine1 Nakasendo - Taiho Shrine2 Nakasendo - Taiho Shrine Maria Statue Nakasendo - Suwa Shrine
Meals : Breakfast : O / Lunch : X / Dinner : X
Hotel : N/A

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