Nakasendo and the Kiso Valley Tour Overview
The Nakasendo is the historic road running inland from Kyoto to Edo (modern day Tokyo). The trail passes through picturesque historical post towns proudly restored and preserved by the local people and through valleys with beautiful rolling countryside.
On this eight night tour starting in Nagoya, we walk approximately 100 kilometres over seven days. Our tour takes us to a section of the Nakasendo in the central Kiso region.
For five days we walk the prettiest sections of the Nakasendo trail through the Kiso valley. We then detour off the Nakasendo trail, walking past waterfalls and through forest into the highlands of the Kaida plateau, famous for its blueberry farms, native Kiso horses and wonderful views of Mount Ontake. After spending the night at a traditional inn, we return to the Nakasendo trail for a final morning of walking into the picturesque Edo period post town of Narai before finishing our tour in the castle town of Matsumoto.
Along the Nakasendo trail we stay in a variety of traditional Japanese inns steeped in history, some of which have onsen or traditional Japanese hot spring baths. Meals are one of the highlights of staying at these traditional inns and we are treated to meticulously prepared regional cuisine with locally sourced ingredients. With the exception of dinner on the first night, all dinners and breakfasts are included in the tour price.
Luggage shuttles are provided on this tour as per the itinerary and we carry light packs for walking. On a few nights of the tour (not consecutive) our luggage is forwarded one night ahead and we need to carry our overnight requirements in our packs. As the Japanese inns provide a cotton yukata for wearing to dinner and to bed and also towels and basic toiletries (toothbrush, shampoo, body wash), items required for overnight can easily be kept to a minimum to keep our packs light on these days.
Our Nakasendo tour through the Kiso valley is suitable for active healthy people prepared to walk for 5 – 6 hours per day. On three days we walk approximately 20 kilometres, although we are able to offer options if required to shorten these days. The trail is hilly in parts and has some steep sections but these are relatively short. Generally speaking the terrain is even underfoot.