Villages of old Japan

Nakasendo and Wider Nagano Self-guided walking 7 days

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Nakasendo and Wider Nagano Self-guided walking 7 days

Village-to-village walking on the Nakasendo Trail, Kakizore Gorge and Kaida Kogen Highlands, with seven hikes of 1-6 hours



  • Village to village walking on the loveliest parts of the old Nakasendo Trail
  • Visit the exquisitely-preserved villages of Magome, Tsumago and Narai
  • Bathe in the thermal waters at a hot-spring Ryokan
  • Walking over 7 days in the picturesque Kiso Valley, Kakizore Gorge, Kaida Highlands and Karuizawa
  • See Matsumoto castle, one of Japan's best historic castles
  • Hike country trails and quiet rural roads, with some moderate ascents and descents

The Nakasendo or 'Road through the Central Mountains' was part of feudal Japan's network of highways. Travellers moving between Kyoto and Tokyo took several days to travel the Nakasendo, staying overnight in Juku post towns. Today's visitors can walk sections of the original route by day and stay in local inns by night.

Our tour also features two scenic nature walks branching slightly from the Nakasendo. The first visits the Kakizore Gorge, a beautiful canyon walk in the Kiso Valley among aesthetic landscapes of huge granite rock formations, waterfalls and clear streams. The second nature walk heads into the mountains of the Kaida Highlands to explore the biodiverse region with excellent views of Mount Ontake off in the distance.

All our self-guided Nakasendo Trail tours offer the opportunity to spend a leisurely second night at the traditional Japanese inn in Kiso-Fukushima, part-way along the trail. 

Please ask for information about our tour extensions; 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.

Daily luggage transfer is available as an optional extra service - read about luggage options here 

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

6 day version tours
Alternatively, we also offer two 6 day versions of this tour. We offer the option to remove the day walk to Kakizore Gorge, which features on Day 2 of the 7 day tour. Alternatively, we offer the option to remove the walk to the Kaida Highlands, which features on Day 4 of the 7 day version tour. Please enquire if wishing to arrange either option.