Nakasendo Way Tours
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Have tea with locals. Spend time in nature. Walk between villages. These are the highlights of the Nakasendo trail, a historic walking path through the Kiso Valley that links the villages of Tsumago and Magome. In feudal times, the Nakasendo Trail linked Kyoto to Tokyo. Samurais and feudal lords frequented the trail. Along the path were 69 villages, where the travelers could stop and rest. Today, walking the Nakasendo Trail between Tsumago and Magome provides visitors an opportunity to experience a small part of that history.
The five-mile (8-km) Nakasendo Way meanders through a wooded forest. The trail crosses over two main waterfalls, the Odaki en Medaki waterfalls – male and female. Along the path there are several old-fashioned wooden buildings, many converted into shops where local handicrafts are sold. Many people stop in at a teahouse along the way, where a guestbook tracks those who have come through.
The Nakasendo Trail is an easy to moderate hike. The trail takes about two to three hours to complete in each direction. To start the hike, make your way to either of the villages: Tsumago or Magome. To access either town from Kyoto, take the Tokaido Shinkansen from Kyoto to Nagoya and transfer to the JR Shinano limited express train to the Kiso Valley. From there, take the JR Shinano limited express to Nakatsugawa Station to reach Magoma, or exit at Nagiso Station for Tsumago. From the stations, take a short taxi or bus ride to reach the towns. The journey from Kyoto takes about 90 minutes.
Address: Kyoto, Japan
2 Tours and Activities to Experience Nakasendo Way
This is an active tour that includes many walks and challenging treks up two mountains but also includes visits to several popular sites (6 days of walking and hiking). Many of the walking and hiking paths are well maintained. If you wish to skip the hike up Mt. Yari, please consult with your tour guide who will help you organize accommodation nearby or in Matsumoto (extra expense will be incurred). The tour in brief is as follows; • Start by exploring the ancient capital of Kyoto • Walk a part of the Nakasendo Highway, one of the five cross country routes of the Edo period • Climb the Japanese Matterhorn, Mt Yarigatake • Climb Mt Fuji in time for the sunrise • Relax at Lake Kawaguchi or explore the area for its local attractions • Sleep in a traditional Japanese Ryokan • End the trip in the Tokyo metropolis • Travel will be arranged mostly by public transportation
Taking safety measures
Face masks required for travelers in public areas
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Travel by foot along a section of the historic Nakasendo Trail during this self-guided, multi-day group hiking tour. Join an intimate excursion capped at only 12 participants to cover a length of Edo-era mountain routes. Stay in traditional minshuku guesthouses in the villages of Tsumago, Kiso-Fukushima, and Narai, with home-cooked Japanese breakfasts and dinners included, plus complimentary English-language phone support.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What's the best way to experience Nakasendo Way?
The best ways to experience Nakasendo Way are:
- Hiking Yarigatake and Mt Fuji
- 3-Day or 4-Day Self-Guided Hike on Nakasendo Trail with Lodging and Transport
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