Summer Nakasendo Way
Fully Escorted Tour
This tour is operated by Walk Japan – the pioneer of off-the-beaten-track walking tours in Japan. Walk Japan’s Summer Nakasendo Way tour takes us to areas at higher altitudes and is designed to provide a comfortable walking experience in summer. It explores the best parts of one of Japan’s ancient highways, the Nakasendo; the beautiful Kaida Plateau; and Matsumoto, a delightful regional city dominated by its castle, a Japanese National Treasure. An 8-day, 7-night tour starting in Nagoya and finishing in Matsumoto. Accommodation is in Japanese inns and a hotel. The maximum group size for this tour is 12 persons.
DAY 1 NAGOYA – ENA
The tour meets at Nagoya at 2pm then transfer by train to Ena for the first Japanese inn experience of the tour. The tour leader will hold a briefing over dinner, a beautifully-presented kaiseki dinner.
Accommodation: Japanese inn Meals: Dinner
DAY 2 ENA – MAGOME
After breakfast, visit the excellent Hiroshige Print Museum before transferring to the start of our walk on the outskirts of Nakatsugawa, an old post town and now a pleasant regional town. Enjoy a leisurely lunch before venturing on into hilly countryside to Shinchaya teahouse, now a refurbished inn.
Accommodation: Japanese inn Meals: Breakfast & dinner Total walking: approx. 10km (6.2 miles)
DAY 3 MAGOME – O-TSUMAGO
Walk to nearby Magome post town through bucolic countryside scattered with farmhouses surrounded by well-tended gardens. Magome, set on the side of a hill, was the home of Shimazaki Toson who wrote Before the Dawn, considered to be Japan’s first modern novel. Time to explore the town and relax in one of the charming cafes before setting out on the classic hike of the Nakasendo over the Magome-toge pass through verdant forests, aside crystal rivers to O-tsumago, a quiet hamlet in a deep, forested valley. Overnight here in a homely Japanese inn built in the traditional, distinctive style of the region.
Accommodation: Japanese inn Meals: Breakfast & dinner Total walking: approx. 11km (6.8 miles)
DAY 4 O-TSUMAGO – KISO FUKUSHIMA
Walk to nearby Tsumago, a beautiful village and probably the best preserved example of a post-town anywhere in Japan. Time to explore Tsumago before continuing along the Naksendo Way to Nagiso for a total morning walk of about 6km (3.7 miles). Here time to explore Momosuke-bashi, an impressive wooden footbridge, suspended across the Kiso River here. It was built by Momosuke Fukuzawa, an industrialist and colourful character active in Japan’s early modernisation. Here purchase a picnic lunch in the village store before riding a local train to Junikane, a small, unmanned station deep in the Kiso Valley. Enjoy lunch under the shelter of a giant, 570-year old sugi cedar tree dominating the grounds of a nearby Shinto shrine. Replete, set off on our second walk of the day, soon passing under the Kakizore aqueduct, an impressive structure also built by Fukuzawa. Built in 1923, the aqueduct still funnels water to one of his hydro-electric dams that are found throughout the Kiso Valley. Following the course of the Kakizore River we pass through a delightful hamlet that is so peaceful that it seems the proverbial pin can be heard dropping. A gently rising path finally brings to little-visited Ushiga-taki waterfalls. Cool waters cascading over bright, almost white rock into the clear emerald-green waters of the plunge pool are the highlight of the afternoon walk. Our path continues on to Nojiri, where again board a train for Kiso-Fukushima, the main town of the Kiso Valley. Here, stay in a pleasant, modern Japanese inn with onsen thermal hot spring baths to revive us before settling down to a sumptuous evening meal.
Accommodation: Japanese inn Meals: Breakfast & dinner provided Total walking: approx. 15km (9.3 miles)
DAY 5 KISO-FUKUSHIMA – KAIDA PLATEAU
After an early breakfast enjoy a stroll around this historical town squeezed into a deep valley and include a visit to the reconstructed barrier station; a checkpoint of the Edo Period. Transfer by vehicle to the beginning of today’s main walk along an old path, which will follow up over the Jizo Pass and then down onto the Kaida Plateau. The plateau is dominated by Mt. Ontake, an active volcano that is considered sacred by a Buddhist sect. After lunch, the afternoon walk is an excursion over another high pass that, on a clear day, provides views high over the plateau to Mt. Ontake and some of the other mountains of Japan’s Central Alps. Descend from here to your accommodation, a delightful modern inn with onsen thermal hot spring baths set in a small village. Stay here for the next two nights.
Accommodation: Japanese inn with onsen thermal hot spring baths Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner Total walking: approx. 12km (7.5 miles)
DAY 6 KAIDA PLATEAU – NOMUGI PASS – KAIDA PLATEAU
Today, set out by vehicle to the start of our walk along part of the old Nomugi Road, which ran from Takayama to Matsumoto over the Nomugi Pass (1,672m/5,485.5ft.). A busy thoroughfare in both the Meiji Period (1868-1912) and Taisho Period (1912-1926), when young women walked this way to find work in the silk factories of the Matsumoto region, it is now a quiet backwater. Following the trail aside streams through forests of cedar, oak, beech and maple climb a series of switchbacks to reach the pass. At the top stop to enjoy the spectacular views to Mt. Norikura in Japan’s Central Alps and to also relax over a picnic lunch. The descent finally brings us to a reconstructed inn built in the local vernacular of Japan’s mountainous central region. Here travelers of old, including the silk workers, would have found shelter for the night or rested awhile before journeying on. We take the latter option before transferring by vehicle back to our inn on the Kaida Plateau.
Accommodation: Japanese inn with onsen thermal hot spring baths Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner Total walking: approx. 7.4km (4.6 miles)
DAY 7 KAIDA PLATEAU – MATSUMOTO
Return to Kiso-Fukushima to take a short, local train ride to Yabuhara. From the station walk 8km (5 miles) over the Torii-toge Pass through forests to another lovely post-town, Narai. Free time here to explore, relax in cafes and shop before we transfer together by train to Matsumoto, which is settled into Japan’s Central Alps on a plateau famous in Japan for its apples, grapes and wine. Spend the night in one of the city’s venerable hotels.
Accommodation: Hotel Meals: Breakfast & dinner Total walking: approx. 8km (5 miles)
DAY 8 MATSUMOTO
Breakfast in the hotel followed by a guided visit to Matsumoto castle, one of only five listed as national treasures, and the city centre. The tour finishes around lunchtime but Matsumoto has plenty more to explore if you wish to spend more time in the city on your own. Express trains connect Matsumoto to Tokyo and Nagoya, where onward Shinkansen bullet trains speed to Kyoto. Your tour leader will help you organise your tickets, etc. as required.
Meals: Breakfast Total walking: 2km (1.2 miles)
|DEPARTURE DATES:||2018: 29 Jun, 06, 13, 20, 27 Jul, 17 Aug|
|TOUR PRICE:||$4,340 Per Person Twin Share|
|TOUR INCLUSIONS:||*7 nights accommodation with daily breakfast
*1 lunch & 7 dinners
*Walk Japan tour leader for tour duration
*Travel from tour start point to finish point
*Baggage transfer service where applicable
|GUIDE SERVICE:||Walk Japan tour leader for the entire tour duration|
|ACCOMMODATION:||Tour accommodation is a combination of charming local inns and 3 star hotels throughout. Tour bookings are accepted based on the understanding that, whilst Walk Japan will try to provide the best standard of accommodation available, you are fully aware that the standard of accommodation may vary from place to place. JTB can also arrange pre/post accommodation. Enquire at time of booking.|
|WALKING:||Participants must be in reasonable health, mobile and able to participate in 4~6 hours of walking with breaks in between at a moderate 2kph to 4kph pace.|
|REMARKS:||*No minimum group size. Maximum is 12.
*Single Supplement: Where single accommodation at Japanese inns and temples cannot be provided, you will share a room with a person or persons of the same sex. Subject to room availability.
*Daily schedule is subject to change without notice due to weather, transport or any other unforeseen circumstances.
*Children must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian and must be over 12 years of age before the tour start date.
*Meals: Where meals are not included, each tour participant may be expected to pay between JPY 700-1,500 (AUD$8-$17) per person for breakfast, and lunch, and JPY 3,000 (AUD$35) or more for dinner.
*25% non refundable deposit is required at time of booking and full payment due 60 days prior to the tour date.