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DESTINATIONS
KISO VALLEY
  • Kiso Valley and the historic Kisoji

    The excellent preservation of the road and its postal town allows visitors to step back into the 'Edo Period'; a rare glimpse of traditional Japan in the 21st Century

  • The Hayashi Family Residence

    Located in the postal town of Tsumago, the former merchants residence is known for its ageless beauty and historical importance

  • Samurai trail hiking

    The best way to chill out and breathe in the natural beauty of Japan is to enter the forest and explore the historic trails that lead you further into the heart and soul of the country

  • Kiso Valley woodcraft

    Artisans have developed unique techniques using local wood over more than 400 years and forged a deep connection between local culture and its natural surroundings

  • Akasawa Natural Recreational Forest

    Known as one of the most well preserved natural forests in Japan, the former timber railway transports visitors in and out in with ease and comfort

AREA MAP

Google Map

KISO VALLEY

During Japan's Edo Period (1603 to 1868) the Nakasendo Way ran between Kyoto and then capital Edo (known known as Tokyo). The road acted as one of the main highways between Japan's two most important urban centers and allowed traders and travelers to make the otherwise treacherous journey under the control and relative safety of a monitored highway. The road's most mountainous section through Nagano's Kiso Valley, known as the 'Kisoji' or 'Kiso Road', became synonymous with natural beauty and man-made wealth. Postal towns dotted along the road allowed local authorities to monitor activity on the road, provide protection, and of course, tax for the privilege to do so. As local governors and traders prospered, the post towns flourished.

Surrounded by mountain forests, resources such as wood became the primary industry of for the residents of the Kiso Valley. The high quality of local timber combined with an expertise in woodcraft that developed over centuries is now manifest in local woodcraft including 'magemono', 'kiso lacquerare', and 'comb craft'. The importance of timber to local culture instill a deep connection between the region and its people with the beauty of its natural surroundings.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THE NAKASENDO & KISO VALLEY

    Welcome to the Kiso Valley! If you are planni...
  • HOW TO BEST ENJOY THE NAKASENDO TRAIL

    In Kiso Valley, there are two sections of...
  • HOW TO GET TO THE NAKASENDO & KISO VALLEY

    Visitors traveling to the Nakasendo and K...
  • 25 THINGS TO DO AROUND THE NAKASENDO & KISO VALLEY

    The Nakasendo is your road deep into the ...

SUGGESTED ITINERARY

  • HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THE NAKASENDO & KISO VALLEY

    Welcome to the Kiso Valley! If you are planni...

TOURS

  • 2-DAY PRIVATE TOUR: MATSUMOTO CASTLE, NAKASENDO, and COUNTRYSIDE AZUMINO

    Situated between Matsumoto and its famous …

HOTELS

  • Kiso Valley Area

    Kiso Valley includes seven towns and ci…

ACTIVITY

  • Walk the Nakasendo Trail

    During Japan’s Edo Period (1603 to 1…
  • Ontake Ropeway

    Mt. Ontake is the second-highest volcano a…
  • Kiso Ontake Mountain Range

    The Kiso Ontake mountain range runs throug…
  • Lake Shizenko

    In 1984, a major earthquake in the Kiso ar…
  • Shirakawa Ice Pillars

    The Shirakawa Ice Pillars is a natural phe…
  • TSUMAGO-JUKU

    Tsumago-juku is a historic post town (know…
  • MAGOME-JUKU

    Magone-juku is a historic post town (known…
  • NARAI-JUKU

    Narai-juku is a historic post town (knonwn…

EVENT

  • Narai-juku Ice Candle Festival

    Early-February

    This quietly beautiful festival ta…
  • Kaida Kogen Kamakura Snow Festival

    The beginning of February

    A winter festival enjoyed by local…

BLOG

  • ENJOYING THE KISO VALLEY IN COLLABORATION WITH KISOJI.COM!

    Snow Monkey Resorts is collaborating with ...
  • 2-Day Private Winter Tour from Takayama to Nagano through the Nakasendo Kiso Valley

      Planning a trip to Takayama ...
  • RECOMMENDED TRAIL IN NAGANO PART 2: HISTORIC TRAILS

    In the next installment of our “Recommende...
  • NAGANO’S BEST SPRING/SUMMER TOURS! COMBINE TOURS & CREATE YOUR OWN MULTIDAY PACKAGE!

    As Nagano’s No.1 tour operator, Snow M...