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2-DAY FROM NAGANO: MATSUMOTO CASTLE & MAGOME TO TSUMAGO POST TOWN HIKE

2-DAY FROM NAGANO: MATSUMOTO CASTLE & MAGOME TO TSUMAGO POST TOWN HIKE

Highlights:

  • Hike the postal road between Magome and Tsumago, part of the Edo Period ‘Nakasendo Road’ route between Tokyo and Kyoto, and explore the historically preserved towns to get a feel of life centuries ago
  • Enjoy free time to explore Matsumoto Castle and the postal towns of Magome and Tsumago
  • Easy transportation from Nagano between attractions of Matsumoto, Tsumago and Magome by a sit-in-coach bus
  • Stay the night at a ryokan at Magome and dine on local cuisine

 

*This tour is limited to groups of 2 people and more.

 

Description:

 

This tour will take you to some of Japan’s most historic sites. If you are looking for an active two day tour, in which you can explore the best of traditional culture in historical and beautiful settings, this itinerary is for you! Your guide will collect you from JR Nagano Station (or, if more convenient, other locations in Nagano or Matsumoto cities ) and accompany you to Matsumoto Castle, one of the only four original remaining castles in Japan. You can stroll the gardens and enter the castle, climbing all of its six stories to the top, from where you will have full view of the ground and city, with its stunning mountain backdrop.

 

After enjoying the castle and its gardens your guide will take you for a well-deserved lunch at a renowned miso factory and restaurant. Miso – made from fermented soybean – is one of Nagano’s most famous export products and a staple of Japanese cuisine. No kitchen is complete without it! You will guided through the factory, history, and rich flavors of miso before sitting down to a lunch which is the perfect introduction to this regional delicacy.

 

Following lunch, you will be transported to Magome, one of the most famous postal towns on the Nakasendo Road. The Nakasendo was a critical trade route that ran betwween the shogunate capital of Tokyo (then known as Edo) and the imperial capital of Kyoto during Japan’s fabled Edo Period. Used mainly for the transportation of traded goods, the road was monitored, controlled, and (most importantly) taxed by the local governors and authorities stationed in 69 post towns along the route. Tsumago and Magome are the 42nd and 43rd towns respectively and two of the best preserved examples of the traditional townships. Both have been carefully preserved and retain their Edo Period character.

 

Walking through Magome you can glimpse what travelers 200 years ago would have seen and experienced (save for the foreigners walking around!). Enjoy free time to wander the streets and explore the shops, museums, and traditional houses. At 16:00, when the shops close, you will be taken to your guesthouse – a traditional Japanese ‘ryokan’ – and given the evening to relax, unwind and indulge in a Magome multi-course dinner.

 

Day 2

 

Eat breakfast at 7:30 and get energized for a day of hiking. At 9:00 your guide will walk you to the highest point of Magome and then begin the 8.4km hike to Tsumago.

 

The walk will mainly take you past a landscape of rice paddies, farm fields, streams, forests and even some waterfalls. Your guide will lead you at a comfortable pace including a longer break around the halfway point to rest your feet and sock in your surroundings. The route between the two postal towns is quite well-preserved quite. Walking the road gives you an appreciation of what people making the same journey centuries earlier experienced and transforms your visit into an experience you will long remember.

 

Once the trees of the forest begin thin and the landscape opens up you will have  arrived to Tsumago, the 42nd post town and your destination. Tsumago is even better preserved than Magome, which was damaged in an infamous fire several centuries ago. Once in Tsumago you can enjoy free time for 2 hours by walking the historic streets, exploring the shops and houses, and choosing your own lunch venue (as there is no shortage of great choices in town!).

 

At 15:00 your guide will lead you to your vehicle. All you need to do is make yourself comfortable and relax for return journey to Nagano. You’ll arrive to JR Nagano Station at approximately 18:30. Your guide will accompany you to the shinkansen gate or to your accommodation location in Nagano and say his/her goodbyes to you.

 

Cost Breakdown

 

Please refer to the costs displayed below to see the general costs for a private tour. The base cost is made up of a private vehicle, driver, and English-speaking tour guide for 2 days.

 

Please note, that the total tour cost will be comprised of 1. base cost + 2. per person fee.

 

1.Private Vehicle & English-speaking tour guide for 2 days:

Up to 12 people (8 w. luggage)¥180,000 per group

From 13 to 21 people (14 w. luggage)¥210,000 per group

More than 21 people: calculated per inquiry.

 

2.Per person fee: Matsumoto Castle, Lunch, Magome Accommodation w. dinner & breakfast.

¥11,000 per person

 

For example: a tour for 7 people will include 1. ¥180,000 (base cost) + 2. ¥11,000 × 7 (per person fee) = total of ¥257,000.

 

ITINERARY

Day1 8:45Meet-up with guide at the Information Board of JR Nagano Station (guide will be there at 8:30)
10:15Arrival at the castle gardens of Matsumoto. Explore the castle and its surroundings.
12:00Meet-up with guide at the castle gate and make your way to Ishii, a miso factory where you can get a taste of Nagano local specials.
13:00Get on the bus and drive to Magome where you should arrive at 15:00. After arrival, enjoy free time to explore the post town for an hour.
15:00Meet your guide who will take you to your accommodation. Get rested and enjoy a traditional dinner at 18:00.
Day2 7:30 Enjoy breakfast and start your preparations for the hike to Tsumago. Your guide will meet you at 8:45.
9:00Start your hike to Tsumago. To get to Tsumago from Magome you walk past farm lands, next to a river, and through a dense forest. Take a break halfway through to energize yourself.
13:00Approximate arrival at Tsumago. Enjoy free time for 2 hours to walk around the post town.
15:00Meet-up with guide and leave Tsumago to Nagano.
18:15Approximate arrival to Nagano Station.

NOTES

Included:

  • Transportation from and back to Nagano Station and between attractions
  • Entrance fee to castle of Matsumoto
  • English-speaking guide
  • Accommodation at Magome (incl. dinner and breakfast. Please note that vegetarian options might be limited)
  • Lunch for 1 day (vegetarian options are available)*

 

Excluded:

  • Bullet train tickets.
  • Extra drinks/foods separately ordered at the hotel.
  • Lunch (Day 2)

 

Other Information:

  • Please wear suitable shoes for the walking trail.
  • Confirmation of your reservation will be sent to your email address within 48 hours after booking.
  • Place of accommodation might be changed due to unforeseeable circumstances such as no vacancy, etc.
  • Fee of accommodation might be changed according to the number of people in the group.
  • If you prefer to start your tour from Matsumoto instead of Nagano, please let us know. We will adapt our tour schedule accordingly.

MEETING PLACE

Google Map

JR Nagano Station Information Board

(TW) JR長野站信息委員會

FAQ

What time of the bullet train should I ride to arrive in Nagano on time? What time does the bullet train depart back to Tokyo after the tour?

The start and finish of the tour are arranged according to the bullet train (called Hokuriku Shinkansen) timetable. See below for specific timetables on the bullet train departure and arrival times to/from Nagano Station.

 

Departing Tokyo Station – Arriving Nagano Station:
Tokyo: 06:28 – Nagano: 08:06 – Hakutaka
Tokyo: 06:52 – Nagano: 08:40 – Asama
Tokyo: 07:20 – Nagano: 08:43 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only) *

*You can still take 07:20 – 08:43 train since JR Nagano Station isn’t big at all and there is only one Shinkansen ticket exit. The tour meet-up is just after the Shinkansen ticket exit so please come straight up to there.

 

Departing Nagano Station – Arriving Tokyo Station:
Nagano: 19:08 – Tokyo: 20:52  – Asama
Nagano: 19:38 – Tokyo: 21:16  – Hakutaka

 

What is the payment procedure after I submit a booking request?
Once your booking request is confirmed on our end, we will send an electric invoice to the email address you submit in the reservation form. Once you have received the email, please click on the inserted link and complete payment either via credit card or Paypal.