Ancient Trails Of Nakasendo
3 Days


3 Days: Kiso, Fukushima, Nakasendo

Tour overview:
During Japan’s pre-Meiji period five ancient roads existed to reach Edo (today’s Tokyo). The Nakasendo and Tokaido routes may well be the best known. The program allows you to experience a portion of the Nakasendo by walking it for two days. Use Kyoto as the starting point and immerse yourself in a bit of ancient Japan, its villages and post stations along these famous trails.

Day 1: Arrival in Kiso-Fukushima

Start the journey in the afternoon through Nakasendo in Kiso Valley, one of the five routes that branched off the former capital of Japan.

The short bullet train ride from Kyoto to Nagoya is then followed by the scenic journey on the limited express train Wide View. Upon arrival at Kiso-Fukushima Station, check-in into the hotel. Overnight in Kiso-Fukushima. (D)

Distance and journey time (approximation):
Kyoto Station to Kiso-Fukushima Station: 2 h
Tokyo Station to Kiso-Fukushima Station: 3 h

Day 2: Kiso-Fukushima, Nakasendo trail walking

Today start the journey to Tsumago,one of the post towns that flourished in the Edo Period. Tsumago is now a Nationally Designated Architectural Preservation Site, thanks to the collective effort of its locals to preserve most of the remaining historical buildings. The trail that runs between Magomeand Tsumagois perhaps the most popular section of Nakasendo.

Leave the accommodation in the morning after a Japanese-style breakfast, ride a train to Nakatsugawa and later, a bus to Magome, the start of the Nakasendo Trail. Today’s walk will alternate between well preserved old towns, fields of local farmers and peaceful woodlands.

This trail can be completed in about 3 hours, including some quick breaks (i.e. restroom, tea/coffee). After concluding the trail, ride a bus to Nagiso and a train to the ryokanin Kiso-Fukushima. Upon arrival, enjoy a nice soak in the onsen before a plentiful dinner. Overnight in Kiso-Fukushima. (BD)

Optional Service: There is an optional private transfer from the end of the trail to the ryokan (extra charge).

Distance and journey time (approximation):
Kiso-Fukushima station to Nakatsugawa station: 0.5 h
Nakatsugawa station to Magome: 15 min (bus or taxi)

Day 3: Kiso-Fukushima, departure

Take an optional stroll around Kiso-Fukushima after an early breakfast. Afterwards, catch the local train to the next destination. (B)

Optional Self-Guided Itinerary: Yabuhara – Narai-juku trail

Take an optional stroll around Kiso-Fukushima after an early breakfast. Afterwards, catch the local train to Yabuhara, the starting point of the nature and ancient trail between Yabuhara-juku and Narai-juku, which used to be the most dangerous path in Nakasendo. After about 3 hours, emerge in the old post town of Narai, also referred to as the “Narai of a Thousand Houses” for the many well-restored old buildings that now serve either as souvenir shops or as local restaurants. Guests can also find many restaurants in Narai that serve local delicacies such as gohei-mochi (sticky-rice cakes) and soba (buckwheat noodles). Traditional inns such as ryokan and minshuku are available to travelers, making it a convenient stopover for trekkers and hikers. From Narai Station, catch the local train to the next destination.

Distance and journey time (approximation):
Kiso-Fukushima Station to Yabuhara Station: 15 min

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Inclusions & Highlights

  • Hotel accommodation with daily breakfast
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
  • PASMO Card for local transportation with 1,500 JPY worth of credits
  • Train tickets from Tokyo to Kiso-Fukushima (reserved seats, ordinary class), and from Kiso Fukushima to Nagoya
  • All entrance fees and public transportation fees as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Self-guide app and customized travel documentation

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