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Enjoy the best forest walks and Juku post towns of the Nakaendo Trail, before heading into the Oku-Hida mountains to explore Kamikochi before arriving in iconic Takayama.

Nakasendo and Kamikochi walking 6 days

Starting from USD1710 / 6 days

Nakasendo and Kamikochi walking 6 days

Village to village walking on the loveliest parts of the old Nakasendo Trail, Kamikochi, and Oku-Hida

 

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 6 days in the picturesque Kiso Valley, biodiverse Kamikochi and secluded Oku-Hida
  • Visit the the engaging castle towns of Matsumoto and Takayama

The Nakasendo or 'Road through the Central Mountains' was part of feudal Japan's network of highways. Enjoy the best forest walks and Juku post towns, before heading into the Oku-Hida mountains to explore the biodiverse Kamikochi before arriving in iconic Takayama.

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 villages at Chikatsuyu along the Kumano Kodo trail, and how we we foster relationships with, and contribute to the community by visiting our local Kumano Kodo branch page.

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

This tour offers more advanced hiking. Please see here for trips best suited to families.

What's Included

  • 5 nights at Japanese Onsen Ryokan inns
  • 5 breakfasts and 5 dinners
  • Train tickets from Kyoto or Tokyo to the trail
  • Train tickets for intermediate journeys on the Nakasendo trail
  • Detailed day-by-day itinerary and walking directions
  • Topographical maps
  • Local support by telephone
  • Our Preparing for your trip and Travelling in Japan Guidebooks
  • Optional orientation at our Kyoto office

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Airport transfers
  • Pay locally for drinks with meals and for lunches
  • Pay locally for bus journeys on Day 1 and 4 - 6
  • Single room supplement(s) if required
  • Daily Luggage Transfer - Please enquire for luggage options

Itinerary

Itinerary Map
Day 1 - Hike from Magome to Tsumago and Nagiso

We supply train tickets for your journey from Kyoto or from Tokyo to Nakatsugawa, including a ride on the world-famous Shinkansen (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 Onsen inn for the evening, a short drive from the main village of Tsumago.

Walking distance: 8.3km / 5.2 miles
Elevation gain: 326m / 1,069 feet of ascent and 430m / 1,410 feet of descent
Time required: About 3 hours
A longer option of 4 hours is also possible depending on the inn you stay at.

Accommodation: Onsen Ryokan (Hot-spring Travellers Inn) or Onsen Hotel close to Tsumago
Meals: Dinner

Day 2 - Hike from Nagiso to Nojiri

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 least-developed scenery on the tour. Continue by train to Kiso-Fukushima. Stay at a lovely hot spring Ryokan set in a peaceful valley above the town. Complimentary transfer from the station is provided by the Ryokan). The Ryokan has lovely indoor and outdoor hot-spring baths.

Walking distance: 14.7km/ 9.2 miles
Elevation gain: 625m / 1,945 feet of ascent and 530m / 1,730 feet of descent
Time required: About 5 hours
A longer option of 6 hours is also possible.

Accommodation: Onsen Ryokan (Hot-spring Travellers Inn) in Kiso-Fukushima
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Typical Accommodation

Komanoyu - A comfortable hot-spring Ryokan above Kiso-Fukushima, with indoor and outdoor baths - perfect after a day of hiking!

Day 3 - Hiking in the Kiso-Fukushima region

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 Ryokan in the town.

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

Accommodation: Onsen Ryokan (Hot-spring Travellers Inn) in Kiso-Fukushima
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4 - Hike from Yabuhara to Narai and Hirasawa

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, an historic lacquerware town. From here head on by train and bus to your inn for the evening; another wonderful Onsen Ryokan.

Walking distance: 8.7km / 5.5 miles
Elevation gain: 345m / 1,130 feet of ascent and 270m / 885 feet of descent
Time required: About 4 hours
An easier walk of 6.2km / 3.9 miles taking 3 hours is also available.

Accommodation: Onsen Ryokan (Hot-spring Travellers Inn) close to Matsumoto
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5 - Hiking in the Kamikochi wetlands

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

Walking distance: 10.2km / 6.4 miles
Elevation gain: negligible ascent and descent
Time required: About 3-4 hours of optional hiking
A shorter walk of 3.2km / 2 miles and 1.5 hours is also possible.

Accommodation: Ryokan (Travellers Inn) in Oku-Hida
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6 - Hiking in Oku-Hida and transfer on to Takayama

One final hike in the mountains of Oku-Hida, providing stunning views out over the local range. Head onwards by bus to Takayama where the tour ends. Explore this engaging town before heading onwards, which is 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. 

Walking distance: 6.6km / 4.1 miles
Elevation gain: 700m / 2,300 feet of ascent and descent
Time required: About 3-3.5 hours of optional hiking

Meals: Breakfast

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