Walk the Nakasendo
Walk through rural Japan on the Nakasendo Trail, a route used since the feudal times linking Kyoto and Tokyo through the central mountains of Japan. On this unforgettable journey, you will experience wonderful scenery, beautiful guesthouse lodging, amazing food, and the rich tradition and culture of the Land of the Rising Sun.
Day 1: Nakatsugawa > Magome > Tsumago (8km) Travel by train to Nakatsugawa and onwards by bus to Magome, where you begin your walk on the Nakasendo Trail to Tsumago, over the Magome-toge Pass. This is one of the most challenging parts of the Nakasendo, rising to 801m above sea level. Overnight in a family-run minshuku in Tsumago.
Day 2: Tsumago > Nojiri > Kiso-Fukushima (18km) Leaving Tsumago, the trail travels through small valleys and past forests of bamboo and Japanese cedar, through some of the least-developed scenery on the tour. At six hours this is the longest day of walking on the Nakasendo Trail and from Nojiri you continue by train to Kiso-Fukushima. Overnight in a lovely hot spring ryokan set in a remote valley above Kiso-Fukushima.
Day 3: Kiso-Fukushima > Yabuhara > Narai (6km) Your journey continues first by train from Kiso-Fukushima to Yabuhara, where you start today's walk. Between Yabuhara and your destination, Narai, the trail climbs the Torii-toge Pass. Narai was once the most prosperous of the 69 post towns along the Nakasendo Trail and the historic homes have been well maintained. Overnight in an Edo-period house converted into a family-run minshuku in Narai.
Day 4: Narai > Kiso-Hirasawa > Karuizawa (2.5km) From Narai you walk the short distance to Kiso-Hirasawa, then continue to Karuizawa by train via Matsumoto and Nagano. Kiso-Hirasawa flourished on the Nakasendo Trail as a centre of lacquerware production and today you will find many small shops selling beautifully-crafted tableware and furniture. Overnight in a Meiji-era ryokan in Karuizawa.
Day 5: Karuizawa > Yokokawa > Tokyo (17km) Start with a hike up to the Usui-toge Pass, and then a long, gentle descent to the town of Sakamoto, continuing to Yokokawa. From there, board your train to Tokyo. Perhaps shorten this day by taking a short taxi to Usui-toge in the morning.
• Tailor-made journey • 4 nights' accommodation in minshuku (family-run inn) or ryokan (guest house) on the Nakasendo Trail • Train Kyoto/Tokyo > Nakatsugawa & Yokokawa > Tokyo • Detailed information packs • 4 breakfasts, and 4 dinners
Pricing (per person) $NZD
Booking conditions Accommodation is in local family-run minshuku or ryokan. They are generally simply furnished and less formal, but have excellent food and wonderful personalised service.
Accommodation is in local family-run minshuku or ryokan. They are generally simply furnished and less formal, but have excellent food and wonderful personalised service.