Winter Nakasendo Way
Fully Escorted Tour
This tour is operated by Walk Japan – the pioneer of off-the-beaten-track walking tours in Japan. This tour provides modern-day walkers with a comfortable taste of Edo Period Japan in winter. Cross several height passes, where encountering snow is likely, but the emphasis is on comfort and each day you will find warm welcomes and surroundings in Japanese inns. You will also be able to relax on the occasion around an open fire, and enjoy excellent meals of locally sourced produce that are a feature of Walk Japan’s tours. Thermal hot spring baths are another feature of the Winter Nakasendo Way. A 7 day, 6 night tour starting in Nagoya and finishing in Matsumoto. Accommodation is mainly in traditional 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 the walk on the outskirts of Nakatsugawa, an old post town and now a pleasant regional town. In the afternoon, continue along the old highway passing quiet residences with carefully tended gardens, farmhouses and stepped paddy fields and begin our climb to the Magome Pass, which will be reached tomorrow. Wonderful views over the surrounding countryside make today memorable and an ideal way to begin walking. Reach accommodation, set in a delightful location aside the old road, after a long climb, though we negotiate this at a gentle pace. A warm welcome from our hosts awaits us at the top.
Accommodation: Japanese inn Meals: Breakfast & dinner Total walking: approx. 10km (6.2 miles)
DAY 3 MAGOME – O-TSUMAGO
From the accommodation now lies the Kiso Road, the central section of the Nakasendo Way, that weaves through the beautifully verdant Kiso Valley. A short walk brings us to Magome, a delightful hill-side post town that was home to Shimazaki Toson. Toson wrote Before the Dawn. Set in the days of Japan’s change from feudal Japan dominated by the Samurai to a fledgling industrial nation, Toson’s book is considered to be Japan’s first modern novel. From here continue on over the Magome Pass for the classic hike of the old highway through forests, aside fast-flowing streams. There is a reasonable probability snow will cover the route as we descend from the Pass to an inn for the night in the hamlet of O-tsumago. After dinner, visit an onsen thermal hot spring bath for a relaxing end to the day.
Accommodation: Japanese inn Meals: Breakfast & dinner Total walking: 10km (6.2 miles)
DAY 4 O-TSUMAGO – KISO FUKUSHIMA
Walk onto Tsumago and spend time exploring this beautifully maintained, traditional post town. Visit the excellent Waki-honjin high-class inn and attached museum before walking 4.5km (2.8 miles) to Nagiso. Here, an interesting footbridge provides a hint of two colourful people once associated with the area; a geisha, who appeared on the front of Harper’s Bazaar magazine in 1900, and her tycoon partner. Catch a train to Kiso-Fukushima and enjoy lunch. An exploration of this town follows and includes a visit to the reconstructed barrier station that stood here during the Edo Period. Accommodation is in the centre of town, a Japanese inn with thermal hot spring baths.
Accommodation: Japanese inn Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner Total walking: 9km (5.6 miles)
DAY 5 KISO-FUKUSHIMA – KAIDA PLATEAU
After breakfast, transfer to the beginning of our walk using snowshoes through the snowy landscapes of the Kaida Plateau. The Plateau, regarded as one of the most beautiful areas in Japan, has a distinct alpine feel and we reach over 1,300 metres (4,265 ft.) as we crest our pass for the day. Clear weather will provide views to Mt. Ontake (3,007 metres, 9,865ft.), the active volcano that dominates the area. Depending on snow conditions we may use snowshoes to make our way. Tonight’s accommodation is another with onsen baths, is set in a small hamlet on the Plateau.
Accommodation: Japanese inn Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner Total walking: 5km (3.2 miles)
DAY 6 KAIDA PLATEAU – MATSUMOTO
Transfer to Yabuhara for a walk today over the Torii Pass, through forests to the lovely post town of Narai. Depending on the snow depth snowshoes maybe used again today to crest the pass. Free time to explore, relax in cafes and shop in Narai before travelling onto Matsumoto and our hotel, a charming and comfortable establishment in the centre of the city, where the last meal together will be enjoyed.
Accommodation: Hotel Meals: Breakfast & dinner provided Total walking: approx. 8 km (5 miles)
DAY 7 MATSUMOTO
After breakfast a guided visit to Matsumoto’s impressive castle, one of only four that are listed as national treasures in Japan. The Winter Nakasendo Way tour ends at the castle at approximately 11:00am. However, your Walk Japan Tour Leader will be on hand to help you purchase your train tickets for your onward journey within Japan. Travel to Tokyo, Nagoya and Kyoto is easily accomplished from here by train.
Meals: Breakfast Total walking: approx. 2km (1.2 miles)
|DEPARTURE DATES:||2018: 04, 10, 28 Jan, 07, 21, 28 Feb, 06, 19 Dec|
|TOUR PRICE:||$4,072 Per Person Twin Share|
|INCLUSIONS:||*6 nights accommodation with meals as stated on the itinerary
*Walk Japan tour leader for tour duration
*Travel from tour start point to finish point
|GUIDE SERVICE:||Walk Japan tour leader for entire 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. Please contact JTB for more details and price.
*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.