***Please note that this itinerary can start and end in Kyoto at no additional cost
Start your adventure on Day 1 with a train transfer from Tokyo (or Kyoto) to Nagoya. From here you will take a local bus to Magome (not included) where you will begin your self-guided trek with a walk over scenic Magome Pass to Tsumago. On Day 2 you will hike from Tsumago to Nojiri on your longest day on the trail(you can also opt for a shorter journey). Upon arrival in Nojiri you will take a train to Kiso-Fukushima, where you can enjoy the hot springs at your Ryokan. In the morning of Day 3 you will take a train to Yabuhara, from where you will trek over the Torii pass to Narai, where your trekking ends. Explore this charming village before catching your return train transfer to Tokyo (or Kyoto).
Day by Day Itinerary:
Day 1: Transfer to Nagome & Hike from Magome to Tsumago (D)
Today you will take the train from Tokyo to Nakatsugawa, including a ride on the world-famous Shinkansen (Bullet Train) to Nagoya. At Nakatsugawa, you will board a local bus for the short journey to Magome (local bus fare not included--approx. $5 USD). You will start your self-guided trek with a walk over Magome Pass to Tsumago, one of the best-preserved and most evocative of the Nakasendo post-towns. Spend the night at a family-run Minshuku in Tsumago or the nearby hamlet of O-Tsumago, with a flavourful home-cooked Japanese dinner. After dinner, enjoy a stroll through the village streets in the magical quiet of the evening, wearing the yukata gown supplied by your inn.
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
Day 2: Hike from Tsumago to Nojiri (B/D)
Today is the longest day on the trail, with a beautiful and varied hike from Tsumago to Nojiri (or choose the shorter alternative to Nagiso instead). The trail travels through small valleys and past forests of bamboo and Japanese cedar, some of the least-developed scenery on the trek. Continue by train to Kiso-Fukushima. Stay at a lovely hot spring Ryokan set in a peaceful valley above the town (complimentary pick-up from the station is provided by the Ryokan). Enjoy the Ryokan’s lovely indoor and outdoor hot-spring baths.
Walking distance: 18.4km/ 11.5 miles
Elevation gain: 723m / 2,275 feet of ascent and 644m / 2,112 feet of descent
Time required: About 6 hours
We offer a shorter alternative of 1 hour (3.7km / 2.3 miles). You can choose which option you prefer on the day - no need to decide in advance!
Day 3: Hike from Yabuhara to Narai & Return Transfer to Tokyo (B)
The Ryokan will drive you back to Kiso-Fukushima after breakfast. Here you will catch the train for a short journey from Kiso-Fukushima to Yabuhara, the starting point for the hike over the Torii pass to Narai. Explore this atmospheric village before boarding your train for the journey onwards to Tokyo, where your adventure ends upon arrival in the late afternoon.
Walking distance: 6.2km / 3.9 miles
Elevation gain: 344m / 1,128 feet of ascent and 270m / 885 feet of descent
Time required: About 3 hours
This morning in Kiso-Fukushima we offer an optional, fairly strenuous, circular walk to a local waterfall at no additional cost. The circular walk is 7km / 4.3 miles with 632m / 2,075 feet of ascent, 637m / 2,090 feet of descent and takes 2-3 hours. You can take this walk in the morning, before heading onwards to Yabuhara.