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Step back in time as you trek along village paths and the forested Nakasendo trail getting a unique taste of Japan at your own pace. Be welcomed at night at the best Japanese inns/ryokans along the route showcasing the traditional Japanese service and hospitality. Soak up the Kiso Valley's beautiful nature, discover the fascinating history of local Samurai connections and post towns, and indulge in the Kiso region's culinary delights. This is an incredible and unique way to experience the country, walking the most beautiful part of the original route from Tokyo to Kyoto (or reverse).
Starting from Kyoto, your action-packed three day walking journey covers the best sections of the ancient Nakasendo Trail, passing the picturesque Kiso Valley known for its rural villages and natural scenery, and visiting the exquisitely-preserved ...
Starting from Kyoto, your action-packed three day walking journey covers the best sections of the ancient Nakasendo Trail, passing the picturesque Kiso Valley known for its rural villages and natural scenery, and visiting the exquisitely-preserved post towns of Magome, Tsumago and Narai. Stretching all the way from Tokyo to Kyoto, the 533km Nakasendo trail is jam-packed with Japanese traditional culture, architecture, shops and ambiance. Walking the Nakasendo Trail from village to village is a great way to sample Japan's rural scenery.
Walk the original route by day, and stay at selected Japanese inn/ryokan by night in Tsumago, Kiso-Fukushima and Matsumoto. All rooms have an ensuite. Your last night will be spent at Tobira Onsen Myojinkan, a member of Relais & Châteaux, offering superb rooms and suites, sophisticated Japanese Kaiseki-style food as well as organic French cuisine.
Mixed with paved village paths and unpaved forested/mountain trails, the Nakasendo Trail is an easy to moderate walk with some gentle ascents and descents.
Indulge your sense on the iconic historical walking trail. Refresh your body, mind, and soul and transport you into another world with its reinvigorating natural power.
Departs daily year round on request.
The itinerary departs from Kyoto and finishes in Matsumoto. Departing from Tokyo can also be arranged. We can customise the itinerary to suit your travel needs.
Dates or itinerary don't fit? We are specialising in bespoke "tailor-made" luxury or private journeys. Please contact us for a "tailor-made" itinerary for your perfect adventure.
Baggage handling is not included in the tour cost, but Japan has a fabulous luggage forwarding service which you can use to send your luggage to your next destination. It will take between 24 and 72 hours to get the luggage to the next point so we recommend preparing an overnight bag when using this service. Luggage can be sent between any two points in Japan and the bell desks or receptions at your hotel will be happy to assist you with arranging this luggage transfer. We can assist you to arrange luggage transfers. The 3 day luggage transfer cost is approx. 4500 - 9000 yen (AUD 60 - 115) depending on the size and the weight of the luggage.
This tour is eligible to earn ONLYLUXE reward points.
Walking distance: approx. 8 km, 3 hours.
Today you will leave the ancient capital of Kyoto behind and will make your way to Magome, a post town along the Nakasendo Way. Your Nakasendo walking journey starts in Kiso Valley, one of the five routes that branched off the former capital of Japan.
Make your own way to Kyoto Station (or Tokyo Staton) and start your train journey to Tsumago. You will take the Shinkansen to Nagoya, where you will change to a limited express train for Nakatsugawa. From the station, a bus will take you to Magome (fee included). Journey time is about 2.5 hours total.
We will transfer your main luggage from Nakatsugawa Station to the hotel you will stay tonight.
The Kiso Valley is located in Nagano Prefecture, and runs alongside the mountains of the Central Alps. An ancient 70-km trade route called the Kisoji was developed along the valley and served as a very important means of commerce in the area.
Upon arrival at Magome, take some time to refresh yourself before walking the 8km stretch from Magome to Tsumago today. The trail that runs from Magome to Tsumago is perhaps the most popular section of Nakasendo. The trail is a little steep at first, but it evens out quickly and the rest slopes away gently down to Tsumago. There are plenty of rest stops and toilets along the way (some even with free WiFi!) As you make your way through the forest, you'll be treated to cascading waterfalls and beautiful mountain vistas peeking through the trees.
At the end of the walk, your reward is the picture-perfect town of Tsumago. Unlike Magome, the houses here are all over 200 years old and still house many residents to this day. Enjoy the feeling of stepping back in time as you explore this pretty town.
Tsumago is one of the post towns that flourished in the Edo Period. Tsumago was in its Golden Era during the time when merchants and other noble and prominent people frequently passed through for trade and other formal appointments. In the latter part of 1970, this small town was classified as a Nationally Designated Architectural Preservation Site, thanks to the collective effort of its locals to preserve most of the remaining historical buildings.
Overnight in Tsumago.
Your accommodation tonight is at Hotel Fukinomori. Surrounded by mountains and forest, the secluded hotel is conducive to relaxation. After a full day trekking the Nakasendo Way there's nothing better than a soothing soak in the hotel's outdoor hot springs in the cypress bathtub, with views of the forest. Rooms are Japanese or western style, but unlike many of the ryokans found in Tsumago, all have full en-suite facilities.
Enjoy dinner comprising of food grown and produced in the Kiso region, such as the renowned local Kiso Beef and hand kneaded soba (noodles) made from buckwheat from the nearby Kaida Highland.
Room Style: Japanese or Western Style
Bed Type: Futon or Twin Beds
Toilet: Ensuite western style
Walk from Tsumago to Nojiri, 14km, 5 hours. Easier walking option: Tsumago to Junikane, 10km (approx. 3hr) *A challenging walk to Nojiri via Yogawa Way over the mountain pass is also available (18.6km).
We will transfer your main luggage to the hotel you will stay tonight.
Today you will have an early start. Leave the old town of Tsumago and head to Nojiri. The trail goes through bamboo woods and cypress forest. Along the trail, there are some tea houses. After 4km walking, you will arrive at Nagiso, a town overflowing with deep history, fascinating culture, and beautiful nature. The breathtaking Kiso River flows through the center of Nagiso. Continue another 4km walk on the Nakasendo Way, you will arrive at Junikane, where you can take a train from Junikane Station to Kiso-Fukushima (36min train ride). If you wish to continue the walk on the Nakasendo Way to Nojiri, you can take a train from Nojiri Station to Kiso-Fukushima instead.
Overnight in Kiso-Fukushima.
Tonight you will stay at one of the best Japanese traditional guesthouses on the Nakasendo Trail with indoor and outdoor hot springs, surrounded by nature.
Room Style: Japanese Style
Bed Type: Futon
Walking distance: approx. 6.3 km, 3 hours
After breakfast, take an optional stroll around Kiso-Fukushima. Afterwards, catch the local train for 15 minutes from Kiso-Fukushima station to Yabuhara station where you start to walk on the ancient trail between Yabuhara-juku and Narai-juku (the Torii pass to Narai). It 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.
You can also find many restaurants in Narai that serve local delicacies such as gohei-mochi (stick rice cakes) and soba (buckwheat noodles). Traditional inns and minshuku along the way, making it a convenient stopover for trekkers and hikers.
At the end of the day, hop on the train from Narai Station to Matsumoto (if you are heading to a different destination, please let us know and we can make alternate arrangements). The journey time by local train is about 1 hour and the ticket is included.
Your hotel tonight is Tobira Onsen Myojinkan situated in the heart of the Northern Alps. It offers you beautiful scenery and tranquil forests. You will enjoy the hot spring with an open view of nature that can be appreciated all year round. It also offers you the refined dinning experience of Kaiseki-style food which is a marvellous balance of textures, flavours and colours. Organic French cuisine is also on offer, prepared by a talented chef who specialises in macrobiotic cuisine.
Room Style: Western / Japanese
Bed Type: Twin beds / Futon
Enjoy a morning bath. After a long traveling, there is nothing better than unwinding in our hot spring baths. Take a dip in our soothing alkaline waters and wash your aches away. For centuries these waters have been used therapeutically for various ailments and everyday tension.
Transfer to Matsumoto Station where you can catch train to your next destination.
Daily departure on request. Japanese holiday season surcharge applies. We will confirm the price at time of booking. Please contact us for group bookings.
- The departure point is Kyoto- The finishing point is Matsumoto.Departing from Tokyo can also be arranged. We can customise the itinerary to suit your travel needs.
Day 1 Magome to Tsumago WalkTotal Walking Distance: 8 km, approx. 3 hoursDay 2 Tsumago to Nojiri Walk (Yokawa Forest Route)Total Walking Distance: Tsumago to Nojiri: approx. 18.4 km, approx. 6 hours. Elevation at 723 m.Easier walking option: walk from Nagiso to Nojiri, 15.3km, 4-5 hours, by using local bus to shorten walking distance.Day 3 Yabuhara to Narai Walk (Torii Pass)Total Walking Distance: 6.3 km, approx. 3.5 hoursDay 4No Walk
Japan's weather and climate features four distinct seasons.Spring is from March to May. It's perhaps one of the very best times to visit Japan as temperatures are pleasantly warm without being too hot, with daytime temperatures ranging between 21°C to 26°C. The country is ablaze with beautiful white and pink cherry blossom and plenty festivals to enjoy.Summer is from June to August and the country experiences a three to four-week rainy season. It is hot and humid during this time and temperatures are often in the high 30’s. If you plan on visiting Japan during the summer weather, northern areas such as Hokkaido or the mountains of Tohoku or Chubu are the most comfortable places to escape the heat.Autumn is from September to November and is characterised by light breezes and cooler temperatures of around 8-10°C. It is also a wonderful time to visit Japan. The country turns into a haven of red and scarlet leaves which contrast strikingly against the deep blue clear skies and almost as impressive as the stunning cherry blossoms.Winter is from December to February. It is a magical time to visit as the landscape is turned white with snow. It's the perfect time to go skiing or check out the hot springs, especially venture to the ski slopes of Hokkaido or Nagano. It's Okinawa is a great place to visit during the winter as it is not quite as cold as the rest of Japan’s weather.
Onlyluxe Travel acts as travel agency and work with different tour operators.Payment DetailAll pricing is in Australian dollars and are quoted on a per person twin share basis. A supplementary price is available (see below). Bookings are not confirmed until full payment and the signed Booking Form has been received by Onlyluxe Travel.A non-refundable 30% deposit is payable within 7 days of your booking, with the final balance due 60 days prior to departure. If a booking is made 60 days or less before departure, the full payment is payable immediately. Last minute bookings are payable before arrival. Failure to pay on time may result in automatic cancellation of a booking with cancellation penalties payable to Onlyluxe Travel. If you pay by credit card or PayPal a surcharge will be added to the total price.Single SupplementAll accommodation is twin share. Single guests will share with someone of the same gender. If a single room is demanded, a supplementary price of will apply. The supplementary price refers to our quotation and needs to be stipulated at the time of booking.General Cancellation Policies- Outside of 60 days monies will be refunded less 30% of full fee- Within 60 days prior to arrival all monies will be forfeited- No refunds will be given in the event of non-arrival, any unused services or unused nights due to flight or weather disruption- We strongly recommend guests protect themselves with travel insurance and medical insurancePlease Note: Cancellations must be advised in email and will take effect from the date they are received.LiabilityThe participant agrees to indemnify Onlyluxe Travel, and its servant, tour operator and agents, in relation to any liability, loss and damage which the tour operator, or its servants and/or agents may incur as a result of the participants, negligence or misconduct during the tour.Smoking is not permitted on the bus, or in tents or in other accommodation being used by tour operator at the time that a trip is being conducted.Child PolicyPlease consult travel consultant on age limit.Changes to ItinerariesLocal conditions may necessitate changes to sightseeing, walking and driving routes, camping and accommodation locations. While every effort will be made to provide the services and experiences as offered in our brochure, on our website, and in our trip letters, we reserve the right to vary your itinerary. In the event that we are forced to change your arrangements, substitute arrangements of a similar standard will be provided. The tour operator will not be liable where interruptions to itineraries are caused by weather conditions, technical problems to transport used by the tour operator, industrial action, political or civil commotion or other circumstances beyond our control. We refer you to the conditions regarding travel insurance.Changes in PricesWhile we will do its utmost to honour its pricing unforeseen circumstances may mean that prices may be subject to change without notice.Pre-Existing Medical Conditions and Age LimitsYou need to advise Onlyluxe travel and the tour operator on any pre-existing medical condition, mobility impairment and/or disability that might reasonably be expected to increase the risk of your requiring medical attention, or that might affect the normal conduct of a trip and the enjoyment of other trip members. Onlyluxe Travel and the tour operator may require an assessment of your medical condition from a qualified medical practitioner. If you fail to adequately notify the tour operator of any pre-existing medical conditions and/or disability, the tour operator reserves the right, at its reasonable discretion, to cancel your participation in a trip at any time, including after the commencement of your trip, with no right of refund if your medical condition, mobility impairment and/or disability could be reasonably expected to affect the normal conduct of the trip and the enjoyment of other trip members.Cancellation by The Tour OperatorThe walks take place in very special wilderness settings. The tour operator is at the mercy of nature in all her beauty and all her fury. The tour operator will under no circumstance knowingly place at risk the health and well-being of our guests and guides. In the case of natural threats, acts of God and the like (e.g. bushfires, impassable snow, etc) the tour operator may need to cancel a walk with very little notice. In some cases, this can occur after the walk has commenced. The tour operator reserves the right to cancel any walk up to 60 days prior to departure if a minimum of 4 walkers are unable to meet for a tour. If the tour operator needs to cancel for any reason, the cost of the walk or any other costs associated with travel to the designated pick up point, overnight accommodation, meals, etc will not be covered by the Onlyluxe Travel and therefore we strongly recommend travel insurance be taken out prior to travel.Force Majeure'Force Majeure' means (without restriction) any event which Onlyluxe Travel or its third party providers could not, even with due care, foresee or avoid. Force Majeure covers events such as, but not limited to, adverse weather conditions, fire and all similar events beyond our control. In the case of Force Majeure Onlyluxe Travel will not accept liability, and reserves the right to change and cancel trips.EvacuationsIn rare circumstances, due to injury or unforeseen illness, the tour operator may need to evacuate you from a remote part of the walk. Helicopter evacuations are expensive and in most cases will be at a cost to the customer.For Australian residents, under the Australian Government Medicare Act, it is prohibited for any domestic travel insurance product to provide any financial reimbursement with regard to ambulance or air ambulance services. We therefore strongly advise our customers to take specific ambulance cover through their health insurance provider. Evacuation cost will not be covered by the Onlyluxe Travel and therefore it is also strongly recommended that our customers take out travel insurance to cover (amongst other things) the costs associated with evacuation.Travel InsuranceIn view of the heavy cancellation penalties applied to cancelled reservations in certain circumstances, we strongly recommends suitable travel insurance be purchased at the time the holding deposit is paid. We recommend insurance cover that covers any loss which may be suffered due to cancellation. We also strongly recommend comprehensive travel insurance against loss of baggage and medical expenses.