JAPAN: 9-DAY NAKASENDO PILGRIMAGE TRAIL: WITH AN EXPERIENCED LOCAL LEADER

 

 

JAPAN: NAKASENDO TRAIL
 

Japan's Nakasendo Way trails 533km along an ancient highway, the name translating as 'the road through the mountains'.  The centuries old route was the path taken between Kyoto and Tokyo, through rural countryside into the heart of Japan's central Alps.  To support the travelling lords, merchants and samurai with places to sleep and eat along the journey many juku post towns were established. 

The remoteness of some of these villages has helped preserve their history and its a chance to step back in time as we walk from village to village along forested paths, and in some parts on the original stone paving path (ishidatami) dating back over 400 years, staying in traditional inns and enjoying fabulous local cuisine.  

WITH AN EXPERIENCED LOCAL LEADER
TRIP LENGTH: 9 days/8 nights - DEPARTURE DATE: November 4, 2021
GROUP SIZE: Maximum 12 - MEALS: 8 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 8 Dinners
OTHER: Luggage Transfer - most days
TRIP GRADE: Moderate - TRIP TYPE: Experienced local leader/guide
PRICES FROM: Yen 405,000 per person – SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: Yen 90,000 on request 
DEPOSIT: AU$1,500

Konnichiwa. Welcome to Japan.

Japan has been a country inhabited for at least thirty thousand years. During the last ice age, it was connected to mainland Asia by a land bridge allowing stone-age hunters to walk across. When the ice age ended around 10,000 BC Japan became a group of islands, which is how it sits today. 

The Nakasendo Way is an ideal introduction to walking off-the-beaten-track in Japan. Step into a world of rural villages and delightful old post towns.  There were as many as 69 ‘post towns’, where weary travelers could rest before continuing on the next leg.  

The Nakasendo Trail is a fulfilling and enjoyable experience of another little-known part of Japan.

On this village-to-village walk, we stay in traditional country inns enjoying regional cuisin
e prepared from the freshest ingredients, soak in the natural onsens and enjoy the warm hospitality of your hosts.

YOUR ACCOMMODATION SELECTED FOR AUTHENTICITY & COMFORT



DELICIOUS TRADITIONAL JAPANESE FOOD

The local cuisine is an integral part of the excitement and wonder of travel and your journey in Japan with us is no exception. From the freshest ingredients to the tastiest buckwheat noodles and various other selections, the meals and food from the Kiso region will be sure to impress.   Remember to try the delicious local sake!   


LOGISTICS ABOUT THE WALKING

Your main luggage is transferred from accommodation to accommodation, so you only need carry a light day pack. On a few nights during the trip, your luggage will not be available, as we will be remote.  However only bare essentials are required as you will be provided each day throughout your journey with a yukata, a casual summer kimono which can be worn after your evening onsen (Japanese bath).    
 
To enjoy the walking, we recommend a reasonable level of fitness and that you feel comfortable with walking distances ranging from 6km - 23km over the course of a day.  The trail is well sign posted in English and Japanese.
 

 
ITINERARY DETAILS



Day 1 / Night 1 - 4 November  
ARRIVE TOKYO

Arrival and Welcome Dinner.

This evening we enjoy a walk to the historical Nihonbashi Bridge in the Nihonbashi district of Tokyo.

The bridge is a direct link back to the city's Edo history. The first shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu, was to said to have ordered its construction as a focal point for all of the major thoroughfares leading into and out of the city. Distances throughout the country were measured from the bridge.  Much like the expressway above the current bridge, Nihonbashi Bridge was an expression of the wealth and authority of the shogunate's new capital, Edo.

Nihonbashi is the start/end of the Nakasendo in Edo, now Tokyo. After our walk we enjoy a very local welcome dinner.

 

Day 2 / Night 2
KAIDA KOGEN

Today we transfer by train from Shinjuku Station to Shiojiri (Azusa approx 2.5hr), then take a local train to Narai, the longest town, for lunch. 

Narai is a Protected Area for the Preservation of Traditional Buildings.  The highlight is the 1km long main street with its stretch of residences and shops dating from the Edo Period.  Folkcrafts abound, and you may be able to see traditional craftsman creating hand-made umbrellas or other modern artisans producing hand-painted clothing.

After lunch we will hike Narai-juku to Yabuhara, another wonderful old post town.

We then transfer from Yabuhara to your accommodation at Kaida Kogen by local train and bus.

Total Walking Distance approx. 6km

Day 3 / Night 3
KISOFUKUSHIMA

Today we hike from Yamaka via Nishino Toge to Kaida Plateau, approximately 3 hours.
 
We then take a bus transfer from Kiso Town Office to Kisoumasato. and have lunch on Kaida Plateau, near Kisoumasato.   The Plateau is considered one of the most beautiful areas of Japan, with its spectacular backdrop of Mt. Ontake, a sacred mountain and one of Japan’s largest volcanos. 
 
After lunch we will hike from Kaida Plateau to Jizo Toge and on to KisoFukushima, approx. 4 hours.

We then take a taxi transfer to your accommodation from the end of the trail.

Total Walking Distance approx. 12km.

Day 4 / Night 4 
TSUMAGO

This morning we take a taxi transfer from the accommodation to the train station for a transfer from Kiso-Fukushima to Nojiri.
 
We then hike from Nojiri to Midono on Yogawa Road via Oi Pass, or River Road (approx. 4 hours) then on to Tsumago (approx.2 hours).
 
Tsumago was the forty-second of the Nakasendo's sixty-nine post towns on the way to the Imperial capital of Kyoto.  The main street which is closed to traffic, is lined with a variety of wooden and plaster Edo-period style inns, houses, temples and shrines, with the surrounding forested mountains as a spectacular backdrop.  Tsumago has a number of wooden craft shops, noodle restaurants and Japanese confectionery shops.
 
Total Walking Distance approx. 14km.
 

 
Day 5/ Night 5
MAGOME
 
Today we hike from Tsumago to Magome, which is the most beautiful and best-preserved part of the Nakasendo Trail, then on to Shinchaya (Magome) where we will have lunch. 

Magome is the forty-third of the Nakasendo's sixty-nine post towns on the way to the Imperial capital of Kyoto.  Magome's main street is lined with Edo-style buildings, most of which date from the 20th century as the originals fell into disrepair or were burnt down in the frequent fires that affected both towns. Look out for the stones which hold down some of the wooden roofs.  A wooden watch tower guards the entrance to Magome.
 
Total Walking Distance - approx. 13kms 
 
 

Day 6 / Night 6 
ENA

Today we hike from Shinchaya to Nakatsugawa where we will have lunch.

Nakatsugawa has a number of Japanese sake shops, confectionery stores and restaurants housed in restored, wooden buildings and warehouses (kura).

After lunch, we continue our hike from Nakatsugawa to Ena, where we get a taxi from Ena Station to your accommodation.

Ena (formerly known as Oii) was an important post town on the Nakasendo.  The Edo Period heritage can still be seen at the Honjin (a lodging house for feudal lords), also on the town's manhole covers and a kosatsuba noticeboard on the edge of the city.

Total walking distance - approx. 18km 

Day 7/ Night 7
HOSOKUTE
 
Taxi from accommodation to Ena Station and then hike from Ena to Hosokute (approx. 6/7 hours).
 
For most of the way the journey to Hosokute is along narrow pathways through the woods where relics of the old highway remain, including frequent stone images of the protective deities for travelers and horses.  Hosokute village stretches up a single street in the fashion of an old post-town.
 
Total walking distance - approx. 22km 


 
Day 8/ Night 8
KYOTO

This morning we hike from Hosokute to Mitake then take a transfer by train from Mitaka to Nagoya then on to Kyoto (2.5 Hours)

We enjoy an evening walk to Sanjo Ohashi Bridge in Kyoto before our farewell dinner.

Total Walking Distance - approx 12km

Day 9 
Your trip finishes after breakfast today.

Today your adventure on the Nakasendo Trail comes to an end, however your journey will live on through the memories of this unique destination. 

Wandering the World hope you have had a journey of a lifetime and welcome your choice to wander with us again.  
 


FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO MAKE A BOOKING:  

PHONE: +61 (0) 402 910 552

EMAIL: Glenyce Johnson glenycej@wanderingtheworld.com.au  

Full booking conditions and payment details available on request.

Wandering the World specialises in creating and tailoring exceptional walking, trekking and touring holidays in some of the most beautiful places on earth. This includes both escorted small group and self-guided trips, as well as individually tailored itineraries for privately organised trips.   

We are passionate about sharing the places we love and offer our expertise to ensure our travellers enjoy rich and authentic travelling experiences. 

Wandering the World select authentic and comfortable accommodation and our itineraries are focused on immersing travellers in the local culture and uncovering the hidden gems of a destination. We are committed to ensuring our travellers have a trip of a lifetime.

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