1-Day Tour from Nagano and Matsumoto: Step into the Past on the Nakasendo

1-Day Tour from Nagano and Matsumoto: Step into the Past on the Nakasendo


September to December, April to June


08:15 - 18:30

Meeting Place

Nagano Station
Matsumoto Station


Adult (13+)24,900 JPY
Child (6-12)12,900JPY

1-Day Tour from Nagano and Matsumoto: Step into the Past on the Nakasendo

Stretch your legs and breathe in fresh mountain air on the Nakasendo Trail in this unforgettable tour. Starting from Matsumoto City, our private tour bus will take you to the romantic post town of Tsumago, with a stop at a fascinating Japanese Michi-no-Eki (Road-side Service Area) along the way to purchase refreshments in preparation for the trail. After exploring the town of Tsumago with your guide, the 8-km scenic walk from Tsumago to Magome will begin, taking you through small towns and forested mountains on a road that in many areas retains its original cobblestone paving. Taking around 3 hours in total, this journey will make your arrival at the next post town of Magome all the more rewarding. In Magome, you will have the chance to shop for local crafts and souvenirs, before boarding our tour bus to return to Matsumoto. This tour will reward those who like to take the road less traveled and enjoy a more hands (or feet!) on experience in the heartland of Japan.

*As lunch options are limited, please purchase a bento box or other food items before the tour starts, and bring them with you. Time will be allotted to eat while on the trail.


  • Visit the well-preserved townscape of Tsumago, and enter into some of its historical buildings. Less crowded and less visited than Magome, this post town is sure to impress with its serene appearance and rustic charm.
  • Walk the Nakasendo Trail for 8-km from Tsumago to Magome, with plenty of time to rest and take in the view at key areas.
  • Have a snack or window shop in the quaint town of Magome while you enjoy some of Japan’s best scenery.
  • Enjoy the scenery outside the tour bus window on your way to and from the Nakasendo. While many tours of this area start from Nagoya, our tour starts from Matsumoto – allowing for a much more scenic drive.

Want to join this tour from Tokyo? It’s easy to do! Scroll to the bottom for our FAQs including train services that you can use to join the tour!


The tour starts at Nagano Station, where you guide will greet you at 08:15 and have you board the tour bus and head to Matsumoto Station, the second pick up point of the tour, where boarding will begin at 09:45. You will be led to the tour bus, where the journey to the Kiso Valley will begin. Although the drive will take around 2 hours, the scenery along the way is breathtakingly beautiful and we will arrive at Tsumago in what feels like the blink of an eye. The ride also includes a stop at a Japanese Michi-no-Eki, or Road-side Service Area. Unlike service areas in many countries, those in Japan are often attractions in and of themselves, with themed buildings and shops selling local goods and food.

Leaving the Michi-no-Eki, you will continue on to the town where the tour starts, Tsumago. A well-preserved, rustic town of wooden buildings and mountain views, travelers who visit here will be rewarded with a glimpse into Japan’s past. Indeed, you will get more than a glimpse – many of the buildings can be entered freely, for you to see for yourself the lifestyle this town once was home to.

You will have around an hour here with your guide, who will make sure you are kept entertained and informed during your walk. After everyone has finished up at Tsumago-juku, it is time to start the 8km walk to Magome. With beautiful scenery in each season, the walk wont feel long at all – but make sure to wear clothing appropriate for a hike!

Along the way, you will see parts of the path lined with cobblestones from the Edo Era (1600-1868), when this road was one of the major transportation connections between what is now Tokyo and Kyoto. Nowadays, the path is traversed by much fewer people, and imparts an atmosphere of tranquility rather than bustling commerce. Keep an eye open for wildlife, and you will be sure to spot living creatures of various kinds – birds, lizards, and maybe even deer or badgers.

The tour will also take you by two waterfalls, Odaki and Medaki, which will be the perfect place to take a short break and feel the cool mist on your face. In Japanese their names mean ‘Male Waterfall’ and ‘Female Waterfall’, and they are conceived of as a pair based on their location adjacent to one another.

Additionally, there are some houses open along the way for people to relax and have some water. This splendid building depicted above is purely Japanese in design – once you enter, you will be sharing the same experience that travelers on this road have had for hundreds of years.

At the end of the Nakasendo Trek, you will arrive at the beautiful post town of Magome. Situated on a slope, this town offers stunning views of the surrounding mountain scenery and features a main street lined with traditional wooden buildings. Even better, there are waterways on either side of the street, and the fast running water there powers waterwheels at several places.

Magome has more visitors than Tsumago due to its proximity to Nagoya, and as such offers a wide variety of eateries and gift shops. After a tiring hike, these shops will be very welcome to those who would like to rest up or have a little snack. For that purpose, you will be given free time at Magome to use as you please. We would recommend looking for some of the wood crafts made from local trees, many of which are extremely fragrant and, just as importantly, small and easy to carry back home!

Your guide will then accompany back to the tour bus to start the drive back towards Matsumoto. During this ride you will have plenty of time to rest, look through pictures you took, or ask the guide any questions you may have!


08:15/09:45The tour begins with meetup at Hotel Kokusai 21 at 07:50 followed by Nagano Station at 08:15. Guests joining the tour at Nagano Station should wait inside the station, in front of the large Information Board across from the Shinkansen exit gates. Meet your guide at the West Exit of Matsumoto Station at 9:45 and get on the tour bus to start the tour.
12:10Arrive at Tsumago-juku post town after stopping halfway through for a break at a rest station. Here you will have a guided walk wherein your guide will explain the history and significance of the area, and the purpose of the Nakasendo.
13:10Start out on the Nakasendo trail. The whole walk will take around 3 hours, with time for breaks included. The trail is not particularly difficult, but includes changes in elevation and areas where footing may be uneven. Please prepare ahead of time for a day of hiking in the outdoors.
16:10Arrive at Magome town, and have some time to walk around the town and maybe buy some souvenirs or snacks.
16:40Depart Magome and start the return journey to Matsumoto. The trip will take around 2 hours.
18:40/20:00Tour concludes around 18:40 for those who wish to be dropped off at Matsumoto Station, in time to eat a well-deserved dinner. Tour concludes around 20:00 for those who wish to be dropped off at Nagano Station or Hotel Kokusai 21 (located within 10 minutes of each other).


1 / HOTEL KOKUSAI 21 @ 07:50

The meetup point is at the entrance of Hotel Kokusai 21. Please note that this is group tour and there are other pick-up points the the tour will need to depart on-time. Please be at the entrance prior to the meetup time and look for the guide wearing a SNOW MONKEY RESORTS tour tag. The tour will need to depart on-time.

2 / NAGANO STATION @ 08:15  — MAIN MEETUP POINT — All Year Round

The meetup point is inside the station, in front of the Information Board directly across from the Shinkansen ticket gates. Be sure to look for the guide wearing a SNOW MONKEY RESORTS tour tag and ensure you are there prior to the meetup time as the tour will need to depart by 08:20.



Please wait outside the West Exit of Matsumoto Station, in front of the escalator. The guide will meet you here and load everyone on to the tour bus.



  • Transportation from Matsumoto to the Nakasendo Trail and back
  • English-speaking guide


  • Lunch
  • Accommodation

Other Information

  • There will be a significant amount of walking required (over 8 kilometers) along the Nakasendo trail, so please wear appropriate shoes/boots. The trail is not especially difficult, but includes areas where there may be mud or slippery rocks and has significant changes in elevation along the way. Please consider your physical condition before purchasing this tour.
  • This tour is not wheelchair accessible and will not be suitable for most customers with mobility impairments. Should you have any concerns about your ability to join the tour, please contact us to discuss prior to booking.
  • The drive from Matsumoto to the Nakasendo trail is around 2 hours, and while there will be a bathroom stop along the way, please come prepared to spend a few hours in the car while we are heading to our destination.
  • While the weather in Spring and Autumn is usually pleasant, it can be quite chilly on some days. Please pay attention to the weather forecast and wear clothes appropriate to the outside air temperature to ensure you are not uncomfortable on the hike.
  • This tour is not suitable for small children due to the long walking distances involved.
  • Booking cut-off time is an hour before the pick up time on the day.


I'd like to join this tour from Tokyo. Is that possible, and if so which train service should I use?
If you’d like to join us from Tokyo, we’d love to have you with us

Departing JR Shinjuku Station – Arriving at Matsumoto Station

Shinjuku: 07:00Matsumoto: 09:38

Rather than heading straight back to Tokyo, we recommend staying in Kamikochi after the tour or booking accommodation in Matsumoto or Nagano City . For international visitors holding a Japan Rail (JR) Pass, both train services (including reservations) can be used without any additional charge.
Can I start the tour from Nagano Station?
Yes! In the case you would like to start from Nagano Station, please contact us ahead of time to let us know.

Additionally, the drive to and from Nagano is very long, and you will end up spending more time in the bus than out on the trail. If this is alright with you, then by all means contact us and we will be able to let you on the bus at Nagano Station.
Can I add accommodation to my tour booking?
Yes. If you are interested in accommodation around the Matsumoto/Nakasendo area, please contact us and we will be able to help you.
Is this tour wheelchair accessible or suitable for mobility-impaired guests?
Unfortunately, this tour is not wheelchair accessible and may not be suitable for mobility-impaired guests. The tour requires a significant amount of walking – suitable for anyone of reasonable fitness – including 8km along the Nakasendo Trail. The trail is unsealed and may at times be muddy or slippery. There is also a relatively steep staircases at various points along the way. Guests who are mobility-impaired may also struggle with the conditions. Should you have any concerns about your ability to join the tour, please contact us prior to booking to discuss options.

(Travel Agency License No: Nagano 2-562)
Snow Monkey Resorts Tours
Nagano City Kurita 1015-7, NK Copo 202, Nagano, 380-0921 Japan
Tel: (81)26-219-6256
Member of All Nippon Travel Agents Association
Travel Service Supervisor: Tomoko Kasahara