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Overview

Step back in time with a three-day trek along Japan’s historic Nakasendo trails. Walk through pristine forests and enjoy the tranquillity of the Japanese countryside. On the way, stop in atmospheric post villages with well-preserved Edo period buildings to discover the rich traditions of these small, rural communities. 

Trip Highlights

Ancient Trails of Nakasendo

Trek through Japan’s countryside

Spend three days on well-marked hiking trails, enjoying fresh air and pristine natural landscapes.

Learn about a historic trade route

While walking, learn how the Nakasendo trail was used by traders to connect Tokyo to Kyoto in the 17th-19th centuries. 

Admire Edo-era architecture

See Tsumago’s well-preserved Edo-era buildings, the remarkable Rankan-bashi Bridge and one of two impressive barrier towns.

Itinerary

1

Arrival in Kiso-Fukushima

Kyoto Station to Kiso-Fukushima Station: 2 h Tokyo Station to Kiso-Fukushima Station: 3 h

Start the journey in the afternoon through Nakasendo in Kiso Valley, one of the five routes that branched off the former capital of Japan.

The short bullet train ride from Kyoto to Nagoya is then followed by the scenic journey on the limited express train Wide View. Upon arrival at Kiso-Fukushima Station, check-in into the hotel.

Overnight in Kiso-Fukushima

2

Kiso-Fukushima, Nakasendo trail walking

Kiso-Fukushima station to Nakatsugawa station: 0.5 h Nakatsugawa station to Magome: 15 min (bus or taxi)

Today start the journey to Tsumago, one of the post towns that flourished in the Edo Period. Tsumago is now a Nationally Designated Architectural Preservation Site, thanks to the collective effort of its locals to preserve most of the remaining historical buildings.

The trail that runs between Magome and Tsumago is perhaps the most popular section of Nakasendo.

Leave the accommodation in the morning after a Japanese-style breakfast, ride a train to Nakatsugawa and later, a bus to Magome, the start of the Nakasendo Trail. Today’s walk will alternate between well preserved old towns, fields of local farmers and peaceful woodlands.

This trail can be completed in about 3 hours, including some quick breaks (i.e. restroom, tea/coffee).

After concluding the trail, ride a bus to Nagiso and a train to the ryokan in Kiso-Fukushima. Upon arrival, enjoy a nice soak in the onsen before a plentiful dinner.

Overnight in Kiso-Fukushima

Optional Service: There is an optional private transfer from the end of the trail to the ryokan (extra charge).

3

Kiso-Fukushima, departure

Kiso-Fukushima Station to Yabuhara Station: 15 min

Take an optional stroll around Kiso-Fukushima after an early breakfast. Afterwards, catch the local train to the next destination.

Optional Self-Guided Itinerary: Yabuhara – Narai-juku trail

Take an optional stroll around Kiso-Fukushima after an early breakfast. Afterwards, catch the local train to Yabuhara, the starting point of the nature and ancient trail between Yabuhara-juku and Narai-juku, which used to be the most dangerous path in Nakasendo.

After about 3 hours, emerge in the old post town of Narai, also referred to as the “Narai of a Thousand Houses” for the many well-restored old buildings that now serve either as souvenir shops or as local restaurants.

Guests can also find many restaurants in Narai that serve local delicacies such as gohei-mochi (sticky-rice cakes) and soba (buckwheat noodles). Traditional inns such as ryokan and minshuku are available to travelers, making it a convenient stopover for trekkers and hikers.

From Narai Station, catch the local train to the next destination.

Important Information

Our Services Include:

  • Hotel accommodation with daily breakfast
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • PASMO Card for local transportation with 1,500 JPY worth of credits
  • Train tickets from Tokyo to Kiso-Fukushima (reserved seats, ordinary class), and from Kiso-Fukushima to Nagoya
  • All entrance fees and public transportation fees as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Self-guide app and customized travel documentation

Our Services Do Not Include:

  • International and domestic flights (quoted separately)
  • Some local transport
  • Meals other than mentioned above
  • Personal expenses (e.g. drinks, laundry, telephone, and other expenditures of a personal nature)
  • Travel insurance (please see below)
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above

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