Nakasendo and the Kiso Valley

Nakasendo and the Kiso Valley

JTB Australia Tour
JTB Australia Tour
JTB Australia Tour


  • Stay at a charming family-run Minshuku inn, offering excellent omotenashi service 
  • Experience a bullet train journey from Kyoto 
  • Enjoy the key walks and villages along the old Nakasendo Trail 
  • Visit TsumagoMagome and Narai; three lovingly maintained historic villages along the trail 
  • Experience thermal onsen baths at multiple hot spring Ryokan inns 
  • Enjoy walking in historic Kyoto and Nara with your experienced bi-lingual guide 

A small-group guided walking tour of village-to-village walking on the Nakasendo Trail 

This 8-day guided Nakasendo tour begins in Kyoto and ends in Tokyo. The Nakasendo Road through the Central Mountains’ was a key route in feudal Japan’s network of highways. By day we will walk along the ancient route as it passes through beautifully-preserved villages along a gentle path, and by evening we will stay in traditional country inns enjoying exquisite regional cuisine prepared from the freshest ingredients, soak in natural hot springs, and enjoy the warm hospitality of our hosts.  


  • Day
  • 1
Meet in Kyoto to begin the tour 
  • Hotel Hotel
  • Meal Welcome Dinner

Meet your guide and the other group members at the tour hotel in central Kyoto in the evening.  The guide will be on hand to provide advice on local restaurants. 

  • Day
  • 2
A day of sightseeing in Kyoto
  • Walking 4km
  • World Heritage site  negligible ascent and descent
  • Walking About 2-3 hours walking 
  • Traditional Japanese Ryokan Inn  Hotel
  • Meal Breakfast

Our first full day of the tour takes in a number of key destinations in Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan. There is a guided half-day walking tour this morning, where we first visit the Sanjo-ohashi Bridge, the western end of the Nakasendo Trail. From here, we will travel north to Kurama and enjoy a gentle walk through the Kitayama Mountains from Kurama to Kibune. 

  • Day
  • 3
Hike the Yamanobe no Michi in Nara
  • Walking  16km
  • World Heritage site negligible ascent and descent 
  • Walking About 5 hours walking 
  • Hotel  Hotel
  • Meal Breakfast

Travel by train to Nara, Japan’s first permanent capital. Established in 710 and then known as Heijo, Nara abounds in cultural heritage, with many historic treasures and easy access to wonderful nature. 

Today we will hike the historic Yamanobe no Michi trail. Our first walk is an excellent hike along the varied trail before returning to Kyoto and our accommodation for one final evening. 

  • Day
  • 4
Hike from Magome to Tsumago
  • Walking 8.3km
  • World Heritage site 326m ascent, 430m descent
  • Walking About 3 hours
  • Traditional Japanese Ryokan Inn Minshuku (Family-run Guesthouse)
  • Meal Breakfast, Dinner

Journey by train from Kyoto 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, 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.

  • Day
  • 5
Hike from Tsumago to Nojiri
  • Walking  18.4km
  • World Heritage site  723m ascent, 644m descent
  • Walking  About 6 hours*
    *A shorter alternative of 1 hour
    3.7km is also possible
  • Traditional Japanese Ryokan Inn Onsen Ryokan (Hot Spring Travellers Inn)
  • Meal Breakfast, Dinner

A longer walk on the trail today offers a beautiful and varied hike from Tsumago to Nojiri. Or choose the shorter alternative to Nagiso instead. The trail heads through small valleys passing forests of bamboo and Japanese cedar, through some of the least-developed scenery on the tour. Continue by train to Kiso-Fukushima and stay at a lovely hot spring ryokan set in a peaceful valley above the town. The ryokan has lovely indoor and outdoor hot spring baths.

  • Day
  • 6
Hike from Yabuhara to Narai
  • Walking 8.7km
  • World Heritage site  344m ascent, 270m descent
  • Walking About 4 hours*
    *The final hour of the walk is skippable by train.
  • Traditional Japanese Ryokan Inn  Onsen Ryokan (Hot Spring Travellers Inn)
  • Meal Breakfast, Dinner

Travel the short train journey from Kiso-Fukushima to Yabuhara, the starting point for the hike over the Torii Pass to another juku village Narai. Explore this atmospheric village before travelling on by train to the castle town of Matsumoto and to your onsen ryokan inn for the evening.

  • Day
  • 7
Sightseeing in Matsumoto and Tokyo
  • Hotel  Hotel
  • Meal Breakfast, Farewell Dinner

This morning, explore the engaging castle town of Matsumoto, visiting Matsumoto castle, which is one of Japan’s best historic castles. 

After lunch, head onwards to Tokyo by train, which is both the end point of the Nakasendo trail and of our tour. Stay at a comfortable Japanese-style hotel in the city and enjoy a final farewell dinner at a local restaurant. 

  • Day
  • 8
Tour ends this morning
  • Meal Breakfast

Our tour ends today after breakfast at the hotel in Tokyo. Your guide will be available to provide assistance and advice for travelling onwards, whether you have homeward flights, or plan on extending your stay in Japan.



Tour Length 

8 days


From $4,905 per person, twin share

Type and Level of Trip

Active – Guided walking tour, with three 3-6 hours hikes

What is Included
  • Full-time services of an English-speaking tour guide
  • 7 nights in hotels and Japanese-style inns (Ryokan and Minshuku)
  • Due to the rural nature of this tour, some properties will only have Japanese-style bedding and shared facilities
  • Daily breakfast & five dinners
  • All transportation between tour locations
  • Entrance to museums, temples and other sights on the group’s itinerary
  • Forwarding of one item of luggage on 2 occasions
What’s Not Included
  • Flights
  • Airport transfers
  • Pay locally for drinks with meals and for lunches
  • Entrance fees to museums, temples etc. not mentioned in the itinerary
  • A single room supplement is required for solo travellers at hotels
  • When the group stays at Japanese-style properties you might be asked to share a room with another group member of the same gender

03 OCT 2020

16 OCT 2020

31 OCT 2020

10 APR 2021

20 APR 2021

14 MAY 2021

28 MAY 2021

05 OCT 2021

19 OCT 2021

09 NOV 2021

Important Due to the rural nature of this tour, slight alterations of the itinerary are possible.

< 2020s30s40s50s60s70+

JTB Australia Tour
JTB Australia Tour
JTB Australia Tour