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TOURS
3-DAY NAGOYA TO TOKYO: SNOW MONKEYS, MT FUJI & NAKASENDO WALKING TOUR

3-DAY NAGOYA TO TOKYO: SNOW MONKEYS, MT FUJI & NAKASENDO WALKING TOUR

Period

Every Tuesday / Apr - Nov

Time

(Day 1) 7:45 - (Day 3) 19:30

Meeting Place

JR Nagoya Station

Price

Adult (13+) 100,500 JPY
Child (6-12) 80,700 JPY

Highlights

  • Day 1: Hike along the historic ‘Nakasendo Trail’ – the Edo Period trade route which once connected Kyoto to Tokyo – through the beautiful Kiso Valley and explore two of the Nakasendo’s best preserved post towns – Magome, and Tsumago – both renowned for their historic state of preservation
  • Day 2: Visit the world-famous Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park and learn all about what makes the resident monkeys so unique and explore Zenko-ji, one of Japan’s oldest and most important Buddhist temples, and home to the first known Buddhist statue to be brought to Japan.
  • Day 3: Witness the majesty of Mt. Fuji, Japan’s tallest and most iconic mountain, tour the Suntory Hakushu Distillery and sample their acclaimed whiskies, produced using the pristine waters of Japan’s Southern Alps, and explore the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum, home to one of Japan’s most beautiful kimono collections and blessed with a spectacular view of Mt Fuji.
  • Accommodation: this tour includes accommodation at Hotel Kokusai 21 in Nagano City on Day 1 (with option of also including accommodation on Day 2)

 

Description

 

Starting in Nagoya and concluding in Tokyo, this 3-day tour takes you through to the heart of Japan and along road less traveled by many international visitors as you hike the historic Nakasendo Trail between the post towns of Magome and Tsumago on Day 1, explore Zenko-ji – one of the oldest and most important Buddhist Temples in Japan – and the world-famous Snow Monkeys of Jigokudani on Day 2, before heading onto Japan’s tallest and most iconic mountain, Fuji, via the Suntory Hakushu Distillery, Itchiku Kubota Art Museum – home of one of Japan’s great kimono collections – and Arakurayama Sengen Park on Day 3. All led by a locally-based, English-speaking guide this immersive 3-day tour takes you deep into Japan’s beautiful heartland and the culture it has inspired for centuries.

 

Day 1

 

Your guide will meet you at the pickup point at JR Nagoya Station at 7:45 (the guide will be there from 07:35) and quickly have you board the tour bus and be on your way toward the beautiful Kiso Valley and your first stop, Magome.

 

Once the 43rd of 69 post towns along the Nakasendo Trail – the Edo Period trade route which once linked Kyoto with Tokyo – the historic character of Magome has been well-preserved with modern amenities kept to a minimum and even cars being banned during the day. Arriving around 9:30 you’ll first have time to explore the town which has been extensively restored including a broad stone walkway lined by museums, traditional stores, and restaurants interspersed with regular homes.

 

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Around 10:30 you’ll start the 8.4km walk along the trail to Tsumago. This approximate 2.5 hour walk takes you through an undulating 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 soak in your surroundings. This section of the Nakasendo Trail is particularly well-preserved and walking the same path as those hundreds of years before, gives you a unique appreciation of the journeys and lives of the Japan of old.

 

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As the forest thins and the landscape opens up, you will arrive in Tsumago – the 42nd post town and your final destination. Your guide will first take you for a well-deserved lunch followed by time to explore perhaps the best preserved and enchanting of the post towns for yourself.

 

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At 16:00 you’ll meetup with your guide and board the tour bus to begin the journey back to Nagano. Stopping along the way to break-up the journey, you’ll be transported directly to the accommodation– Hotel Kokusai 21.

Accommodation

 

As one of Nagano City’s most established and international hotels, Hotel Kokusai 21 is conveniently located within easy walking distance of the city’s restaurants and entertainment area, and prides itself on its many in-house services and English-speaking staff.

 

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You will be dropped at the hotel at the end of Day 1 and collected from the lobby on the morning of Day 2. Including buffet breakfast on Day 2 and Western-style bedding and amenities in all rooms, Hotel Kokusai 21 is the perfectly positioned to give you the most comfortable stay while in Nagano and from where to explore the city at night!

 

* A second night’s accommodation at Hotel Kokusai 21 – following the conclusion of your tour on Day 2 – can be requested by selecting the relevant option on the booking menu.

 

Day 2

 

Your guide will meet you at JR Nagano Station at 09:35 (the guide will be waiting from 09:20 onward) and from there head to Zenko-ji. As a registered National Treasure, the temple is the most important cultural site in Nagano and one of the oldest and most important Buddhist temples in the entire country! You will be guided around the temple before (time permitting) you’ll have the opportunity to explore the surrounding precinct of smaller temples and shops by yourself.

 

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It’s then time for lunch! Depending on the time of year we use different restaurants, each serving cuisine highlighting the best of Nagano`s renowned food culture. From delicious and warming beef, chicken, or vegetarian hot pot in the winter months, to mixed sushi plates and Nagano-style chicken or seasonal grilled vegetables through spring to autumn, your guide will assure you are well fed and ready to indulge in some ‘sake’.

 

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Home to a huge number of breweries, Nagano is synonymous with sake and no visit to the region is complete without delving into Japan’s most famous beverage. Dip you toes into this seductive world as your guide explains the process, terminology, and appreciation of Nagano’s acclaimed sake (non-alcoholic options also available).

 

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It’s then time to head-out of Nagano, as you are transported to the Snow Monkey Park. Your guide will take you along the forest trail which leads to the park and into Jigokudani . Home to the only troop of monkeys in the entire world known to bathe in hot springs, there are no barriers separating you from the wild monkeys, making this a unique and memorable experience.

 

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Your guide will introduce these truly curious creatures and provide you time to enjoy the unique experience of observing them in close proximity before the tour returns to JR Nagano Station and concludes at approximately 17:30.

 

Day 3

 

The final day of your tour begins at JR Nagano Station at 8:30 (your guide will be there from 8:20), your guide will quickly have you onboard the tour bus and on your way.

 

At approximately 10:45 you will arrive at the Suntory Hakushu Distillery, located in the picturesque Hakushu. Japan is now well-established as one of the world’s premier whisky producers, with the Hakushu Distillery among the best. Blessed with an abundance of underground water, the mineral balance and sharpness in taste lends itself to the production of an acclaimed and wide variety of whiskeys at the distillery.

 

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You are free to tour the distillery and on-site museum – with English audio included in the tour**- followed by a tasting. For guests less interested in whiskey, Hakushu has been chosen for its beautiful location and surrounding walking trails. Known for an abundance of birds and other wildlife, these easy paths are ideal to wander through before joining your guide and other guests for lunch – a seasonal Japanese menu – at the on-site restaurant.

 

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It’s then time to continue your journey. Heading south you will soon have your first view of Mt Fuji, as the stunning slopes of the mountain come into view. Around 14:00 the tour will arrive at the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum. Established in 1994, the museum was positioned to afford visitors a spectacular view of Mt Fuji and houses the permanent collection of dyeing artist Itchiku Kubota – including his Fuji-inspired series, ‘Symphony of Light’ – and one of Japan’s most stunning kimono collections.

 

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From the museum, it’s a short journey to your final stop, Arakurayama Sengen Park. Arriving around 15:45, the park is regarded as one of the most advantageous spots to view Mt Fuji and home to Arakura Fuji-Sengen Shrine and pagoda. Positioned halfway up Mt Arakura, this is the perfect location from which to breathe in the beauty of Fuji and a panoramic view of the fabled mountain.

 

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Boarding the tour bus around 17:00, it’s time to relax as you are transported on the final leg of your journey to Tokyo, where the tour concludes at JR Shinjuku Station at 19:30*.

 

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*Please note that all listed times are estimates of the expected itinerary and can be affected by weather and traffic conditions and peak busy periods.

 **Use of Suntory Hakushu’s English audio guide requires each guest to have a smart phone with which to connect it.

ITINERARY

Day1 07:45 Meetup with your guide at JR Nagoya Station, board the tour bus, and begin your journey toward the Kiso Valley. Arriving around 10:30 you will first have a chance to the town before you start walking to Tsumago at 10:30.
13:30 Arrive at Tsumago and enjoy a well-earned lunch at a local restaurant before explore Nakasendo's best preserved post town.
16:00 Meetup with your guide and board the tour bus to begin your journey back toward Nagano (including a stop along the way). The day's tour is scheduled to end at 19:30 at your accommodation Hotel Kokusai 21
Day2 09:35 Meet-up with your guide at the lobby of your hotel (the guide will be there from 9:20). The meeting point is across from the Shinkansen exit/entrance under the Information Board from where you'll first head to Zenko-ji Temple and explore the precinct with your guide followed by (time permitting) 25-30 minutes of free time and then lunch at a nearby restaurant before departing Nagano around 13:00.
14:00 Arrive nearby the Snow Monkey Park and walk along the forest trail into the park itself. Enjoy watching the wild macaques bathing in the onsen and going about their lives. Your guide will collect you around 15:40 to head back along the trail and returning to Nagano.
17:30 The day's tour concludes your accommodation.
Day3 08:20 Meet up with your guide at again at the lobby of your accommodation and begin your journey south toward Mt Fuji , arriving at the Suntory Hakushu Distillery and enjoy a tour (including whisky sampling) or free-time before lunch at the on-site restaurant.
13:00 Depart the distillery and head toward the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum with Fuji rising into view. Arrive at the museum around 14:30 and explore the collections or beautiful museum settings, including view of Fuji.
16:00 Depart the museum and make the short journey to Arakurayama Sengen Park, known for its panoramic views of Fuji along with beauitful Shinto shrine and pagoda.
19:30 Tour conludes at JR Shinjuku Station.

NOTES

Included:

  • Transportation fee from Nagoya to Tokyo and all between activities/attractions
  • Entry to the Snow Monkey Park on Day 2
  • Sake tasting on Day 2
  • Entry to the Suntory Hakushu Distillery Tour on Day 3
  • Entry to the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum on Day 3
  • Lunch on Day 1-3 (vegetarian options are available, please let us know beforehand)
  • English-speaking guide

 

Excluded:

  • Accommodation on Day 1 or Day 3
  • Additional food and snacks
  • Optional entrance fee to the inner sanctuary of Zenko-ji
  • Bullet train tickets

 

Other Information:

  • Please wear suitable shoes/boots and clothing for hiking through varying terrain. The trail is well-maintained and paved in some areas with other sections being more challenging. The trail is undulating with some steeper climbs however it is suitable for anyone of reasonable fitness.
  • Please be prepared for changing weather conditions including rain (anytime of year but especially in June and July) and hot, humid condition from late-June until September. Kiso Valley is a mountainous region therefore weather can change quickly.
  • During the winter it is common to see the Snow Monkeys enjoying the hot spring bath, however from spring up to autumn there will be times where the monkeys play or eat in the water, however please note that the monkeys are wild animals and there is no guarantee that there will be monkeys in the bath.
  • There are a few days in the year that the monkeys might not come down to the park. In such case we will provide an alternative activity.
  • Views of Mt. Fuji can be affected by weather and there are days of low visibility. This is outside of our control and weather on the mountain can change quickly, therefore tours will proceed even if weather/visibility is forecast to be poor.
  • This tour does not actually take guests on to Mt. Fuji. This is intentional and caters to guests who wish to view and photograph the mountain rather than climb it.
  • The tour application deadline is 2 day before the tour date at 17:00.

MEETING PLACE

Google Map

JR Nagoya Station

To be confirmed at time of booking

RESERVATION
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