Nakasendo and Kamikochi walking 10 days

A perfect tour for the walking enthusiast. Enjoy 9 hikes over 10 days by complementing our Nakasendo and Kamikochi tour with hiking in the Karuizawa and Nikko areas.

Nakasendo and Kamikochi walking 10 days

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April 2024
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Tour details

Nakasendo and Kamikochi walking 10 days
x2 travellers
USD 0
Single room additional charge
USD 0
TOTAL
USD 0

Due to accommodation restrictions on this tour, we require guests to travel in groups of at least 2. We apologise for the inconvenience.

If you would like to do multiple tours in one trip or have a question about any of our tours, do not hesitate to contact us with the button below.

  • Duration: 10 days
  • Trip level:
    Active
    Level
  • Availability: Recommended from May to October
  • Type:Self-guided
    Level
  • Price: USD 3,480(Price per person, based on 2 travellers sharing a room)
Highlights

 

  • Bathe in thermal waters at hot-spring Ryokan on every evening
  • Village to village walking on the loveliest parts of the old Nakasendo Trail
  • Visit the exquisitely-preserved villages of Magome, Tsumago and Narai
  • Walking 9 hikes in the picturesque Kiso Valley, secluded Oku-Hida and biodiverse Kamikochi and Nikko
  • Visit the the engaging castle towns of Matsumoto and Takayama

Enjoy the best forest walks and Juku post towns on the feudal Nakasendo route, before heading into the Oku-Hida mountains to explore the biodiverse Kamikochi, ending the tour with excellent hiking and Onsen in Oku-Nikko.

Please ask for information about our tour extensions; spend more time in the Hida region with our Takayama extension, visiting the UNESCO thatched-roof community of Shirakawa-go and the wonderful teahouses of Kanazawa; enjoy spectacular views of Mount Fuji from the Hakone hot spring area and the rural village of Oshino Mura, or the peaceful, agricultural community of Asuka at a charming Japanese inn or with a local family for a unique homestay experience.

Learn more about how our resident staff support our guests in interacting with locals in the village of Tsumago along the Nakasendo trail, and how we we foster relationships with, and contribute to the community by visiting our local Nakasendo branch page.

Daily luggage transfer is available as an optional extra service on some sections of the trail - read about luggage options here

Download PDF itinerary

IMG_3768_2000.jpgNikko bridge_2000.jpgDSC01930.jpgIMG_2845_2000.jpg
What is included
9 nights at Japanese Onsen Ryokan inns
9 breakfasts and 9 dinners
Train tickets from Kyoto or Tokyo to the trail and ending in Tokyo
Train tickets for intermediate journeys on the Nakasendo Trail and on to Nikko which can be pre-booked in advance
Detailed day-by-day itinerary and walking directions
Topographical maps
Local support by telephone
Our Preparing for your trip and Travelling in Japan Guidebooks
What is not included

ā€‹ā€‹

Flights
Airport transfers
Drinks and meals not included in itinerary
Local bus journeys which must be paid directly to the bus driver
Single room supplement(s) for solo occupancy
Daily luggage transfer

 

Itinerary

We supply train tickets for your journey starting from Kyoto or Tokyo to Nakatsugawa, including a ride on the world-famous bullet train to Nagoya. At Nakatsugawa, you board a local bus for the short journey to Magome. Walk over Magome Pass to Tsumago, one of the best-preserved and most evocative of the Nakasendo post towns. In the afternoon, you will be picked up and transferred to your accommodation for the evening, a short drive from the main village of Tsumago.

 

Walking distance: 8.3km / 5.2 miles
Elevation gain: 326 m / 1,069 ft of ascent and 430 m / 1,410 ft of descent
Time required: About 3 hours

 

A longer option of 4 hours is also possible depending on your inn for the evening.

 

Accommodation: Onsen ryokan (hot spring inn) or onsen hotel (hot spring hotel)
Meals: Dinner

 

Tsumago

The longest day on the trail is a beautiful and varied hike from Nagiso to Nojiri. The trail travels through small valleys and past forests of bamboo and Japanese cedar, through some of the most unspoilt scenery on the tour. Continue by train to Kiso-Fukushima, a historic post town that once flourished as a political and economic centre in the Kiso Valley. Tonight, enjoy kaiseki-style cuisine and hot spring baths.

 

Walking distance: 14.7 km / 9.2 mi
Elevation gain: 625 m / 1,945 ft of ascent and 530 m / 1,730 ft of descent
Time required: About 5 hours


A longer option of 6 hours is also possible.

 

Accommodation: Onsen ryokan (hot spring inn) or onsen hotel (hot spring hotel)
Meals: Breakfast, dinner

 

A day to relax and explore the historic Kiso-Fukushima. Our optional walk today travels through a quiet scenic forest before taking in key areas of the town. Stay at another lovely hot spring inn in the town.

 

Walking distance: 7 km / 4.3 mi
Elevation gain: 630 m / 2,075 ft of ascent and 635 m / 2,090 ft of descent
Time required: About 2-3 hours of optional walking

 

Accommodation: Onsen ryokan (hot spring inn) or onsen hotel (hot spring hotel)
Meals: Breakfast, dinner

 

Kiso-Fukushima

Today travel by train for the short journey from Kiso-Fukushima to Yabuhara, the starting point for the hike over the Torii Pass to Narai. Explore this evocative village before a short walk to Kiso-Hirasawa, a historic lacquerware town. From here head on by train and bus to your inn for the evening: another wonderful onsen ryokan close to Matsumoto.

 

Walking distance: 8.7 km / 5.5 mi
Elevation gain: 345 m / 1,130 ft of ascent and 270 m / 885 ft of descent
Time required: About 4 hours

 

An easier walk of 6.2 km / 3.9 mi taking 3 hours is also available.

 

Accommodation: Onsen ryokan (hot spring inn)
Meals: Breakfast, dinner

 

Narai

Travel by bus to the biodiverse wetlands of Kamikochi, a popular site for nature hiking which features dramatic mountain and lake scenery. Head onwards to a secluded village in Oku-Hida for the evening.

 

Walking distance: 10.2 km / 6.4 mi
Elevation gain: negligible ascent and descent
Time required: About 3-4 hours of optional hiking

 

A shorter walk of 3.2 km / 2 mi and 1.5 hours is also possible.

 

Accommodation: Onsen ryokan (hot spring inn)
Meals: Breakfast, dinner

 

Today enjoy a hike in the mountains of Oku-Hida, providing stunning views out over the local range. Travel by bus to Matsumoto and then Karuizawa, where you will stay this evening. As an alternative to the walk, you may like to visit Takayama, an engaging historic town well known for its crafts, particularly yew-wood carving, Shunkei lacquerware, pottery and furniture. You may also wish to explore the ruins of Takayama castle and walk along the east-side temples before visiting Karuizawa before heading onwards.

 

Walking distance: 6.6 km / 4.1 mi
Elevation gain: 700 m / 2,300 ft of ascent and descent
Time required: About 3-4 hours of optional hiking

 

Accommodation: Onsen ryokan (hot spring inn) or hotel
Meals: Breakfast, dinner

After breakfast, your final walk on the Nakasendo Trail is from Karuizawa to Yokokawa. Leaving Karuizawa, you take a taxi ride to the Usui-toge Pass, and hike down a gentle descent along one of the most beautiful sections of the Nakasendo. From Yokokawa, board the local train to Takasaki and change there for your ride on the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) to Omiya. The train journey takes around three hours and you will arrive in Nikko in the late afternoon.

 

Walking distance: 10.8 km / 6.7 mi
Elevation gain: negible ascent and 830 m / 2,800 ft of descent
Time required: About 3-4 hours

 

Accommodation: Onsen ryokan (hot spring inn)
Meals: Breakfast, dinner

This morning, take a bus further into the mountains to Oku-Nikko. The forests and mountains here have been sacred to Japanese people for 1,200 years, and your first hike in the area is a gentle introduction to the region following the Yukawa River towards the Onsen village of Nikko Yumoto, where you will spend the evening. The hike also takes in two spectacular waterfalls, Ryuzu and Yudaki Falls.

 

Distance: 8.4 km / 5.2 mi
Time required: 3-4 hours
Ascent/descent: 295 m / 970 ft of ascent and 90 m / 295 ft of descent

 

Accommodation: Onsen ryokan (hot spring inn)
Meals: Breakfast, dinner

 

ryuzu-falls

Heading north-east from Yumoto Onsen, today’s hike offers exceptional scenery along the Oku-Nikko plains, skirting both Mount Mitsudake and Mount Orogura. The trail loops around to the south before returning to Yumoto Onsen for a second night. Sightings of both monkeys and deer are common on this wonderfully rural trail.

 

Distance: 14.8 km / 9.2 mi
Time required: 6-7 hours
Ascent/descent: 560 m / 1,840 ft of ascent and 570 m / 1,870 ft of descent

 

It is also possible to reduce the hike by 4.7 km / 2.9 mi and 2 hours by skipping the final section of the walk with a local bus.

 

Accommodation: Onsen ryokan (hot spring inn)
Meals: Breakfast, dinner

 

nikko

This morning, return by bus to Central Nikko and then continue onwards to Tokyo by train. You can spend time exploring Nikko if you wish, or you may prefer to connect straight onwards to Tokyo before lunch.

 

Meals: Breakfast

 

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