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Nakasendo self-guided walking 5 Days

Nakasendo self-guided walking 5 Days

In feudal times people travelling between Kyoto and Tokyo would use the Nakasendo way – the road through the central mountains – one of a network of ancient highways. Along the route travellers rested at juku - post towns -and it is still possible to walk the original route by day, and stay at the small local minshuku - guest houses - by night.
The walking is mostly paved village paths and unpaved mountains trails, with some gentle ascents and descents. This walk is highly customisable; there are 5 Days of walking ranging from 1 to 6 hours, and we can advise on which days to leave out if you want a shorter or more gentle walk.

We also offer 3-day and 4-day versions of this trip.


Tour StartsTour EndsPrice
Twin ShareSingle
Nakasendo self-guided walking 5 Days
Tour StartsKyoto or Tokyo Tour EndsTokyo Twin ShareAUD2,625 SingleAUD3,315

Duration :

4 Nights 5 Days

Visit :

Kyoto or Tokyo - Magome - Tsumago - Nojiri - Yabuhara - Narai - Hirasawa - Matsumoto - Karuizawa - Yokokawa - Tokyo

Includes :

4 nights accommodation, 4 Breakfasts and 4 Dinners, Train tickets (from Kyoto or Tokyo / To Tokyo), Detailed day-by-day itinerary and walking instructions, Topographical map, Local phone support

Exclusions :

Flights, Airport transfers, Pay locally for drinks with meals and for lunches, Pay locally for bus journey on Day 1, Single room supplement(s) if required, Daily Luggage Transfer - Please enquire for luggage options

Departure Dates

Recommended from April to November

Download :

PDF Itinerary


Day 1 (Meals : D)
From Kyoto or Tokyo; Nakasendo Trail from Magome to Tsumago
Walking distance : 8.3km
Elevation gain : 326m of ascent and 430m of descent
Time required : About 3 hours
Welcome to Japan! We will have transportation services to take you to your hotel. Please refer to your tour handbook for more information. Rest at the hotel and be ready to start your exciting tour tomorrow.
We supply train tickets for your journey from Kyoto or from Tokyo to Nakatsugawa, including a ride on the world-famous Shinkansen (Bullet Train) to Nagoya. At Nakatsugawa, you board a local bus for the short journey to Magome. 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 delicious home-cooked Japanese dinner and breakfast included. After dinner, enjoy a stroll through the village streets in the magical quiet of the evening, wearing the yukata gown supplied by your inn.
Hotel : Minshuku (Family-run Guesthouse) in Tsumago
Day 2 (Meals : B/D)
Nakasendo Trail from Tsumago to Nojiri
Walking distance : 18.4km
Elevation gain : 723m of ascent and 644m of descent
Time required : About 6 hours *
The longest day on the trail is 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, through some of the least-developed scenery on the tour. Continue by train to Kiso-Fukushima. Stay at a lovely hotspring Ryokan set in a peaceful valley above the t. Complimentary transfer from the station is provided by the Ryokan. The Ryokan has lovely indoor and outdoor hot-spring baths.

* We offer a shorter alternative of 1 hour (3.7km). You can choose which option you prefer on the day - no need to decide in advance!

Hotel : Onsen Ryokan (Hot-spring Travellers Inn) in Kiso-Fukushima
Day 3 (Meals : B/D)
Nakasendo Trail from Yabuhara to Narai and on to Kiso-Hirasawa
Walking distance : 8.7km
Elevation gain : 344m of ascent and 270m of descent
Time required : About 4 hours
We supply train tickets for the short journey from Kiso-Fukushima to Yabuhara, the starting point for the hike over the Torii-tōge Pass to Narai. Explore this atmospheric village before you continue on today's journey to the small town of Kiso-Hirasawa, famous for its lacquerware. There are many small shops selling beautifully crafted tableware and furniture. From Kiso-Hirasawa, transfer by train to the castle town of Matsumoto for your overnight stay. Your hosts will serve a home-cooked Japanese dinner and breakfast.
Hotel : Minshuku (Family-run Guesthouse) or Ryokan (Traditional Japanese Inn)
Day 4 (Meals : B/D)
Sightseeing in Matsumoto and transfer to Karuizawa
After breakfast, you will have time dedicated to sightseeing around Matsumoto. Highly recommended is a visit to Matsumoto Castle, one of only 12 castles in Japan that has retained its original interior and exterior structures. When you are finished in Matsumoto, you will travel by train to your final stop for your onward journey to Karuizawa or Komoro for your final overnight stay. Both locations have lovely inns with a real sense of history and fine Japanese baths. Arrive at your accommodation in time for a wonderful dinner featuring local produce
Hotel : Ryokan (Travellers Inn) in Karuizawa
Day 5 (Meals : B)
Nakasendo Trail from Karuizawa to Yokokawa and transfer to Tokyo
Walking distance : 16.7km
Elevation gain : 372m of ascent and 862m of descent
Time required : About 5-6 hours *
After breakfast, your final walk on the Nakasendo Trail is from Karuizawa to Yokokawa. Leaving Karuizawa, the trail takes you over the Usui-toge Pass and down a gentle descent along one of the most beautiful sections of the Nakasendo, and certainly the least-developed. From Yokokawa, board the local train to Takasaki and change there for your ride on the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) to Tokyo. The train journey takes around two hours and you will arrive in Tokyo in the late afternoon or early evening.

* The walk can be shortened by 3.3km by a taxi ride at the start of the day.

Hotel : N/A


Tour Operator :
Oxalis Holidays Limited
Participants :
Minimum 1
Hotels :
4 nights Japanese-style Rooms
Meals :
4 Breakfasts, 4 Dinners
Level of walking :
Active - Our Active tours generally have dedicated days of trail walking, with some days of over four hours and with some ascent and/or descent.
Walking Season :
Recommended from April to November
Departures :
Any day Accommodations are busy and may charge extra during the following Japanese holiday periods: Golden Week (29 April - 05 May), and O-bon (09 - 17 August). Please enquire for availability and pricing if your trip falls within those dates.
International Flight :
We offer the option of purchasing air inclusive tour packages, or land only tour packages, giving our customers the freedom to source their own flights. However, we are always more than happy to arrange your flights.
Optional extra days :
We can arrange extra days at the beginning or end of the trip in the following destinations :
Additional Night in Kiso-Fukushima
If you would like to have a rest day during the hike, we recommend spending a second night in Kiso-Fukushima, between Day 2 and Day 3. On this extra day, you can explore the old Nakasendo area of Kiso-Fukushima town and there are also optional hiking courses to Gongentaki Waterfall and Kiso-Fukushima-Jo, the former site of the town's castle. Please note that if you request this additional night, your trip will end a day later than the regular tour.


Japan Package

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02-9264-7384 Mon-Fri: 10:00-18:00 | Sat: 12:00-16:00


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The Galeries 500 George St
Sydney NSW 2000

Japan Package

C/O Kinokuniya Bookstores
The Galeries 500 George St
Sydney NSW 2000

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