TOURS
1-Day Tour from Nagoya: Hiking the Historic Nakasendo Trail

1-Day Tour from Nagoya: Hiking the Historic Nakasendo Trail

Period

April - December

Time

10:00-18:00

Meeting Place

JR Nagoya Station

Price

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

1-Day Tour from Nagoya: Hiking the Historic Nakasendo Trail

Step into the past and experience life in rural Japan as you hike the Nakasendo trail from Tsumago-juku to Magome-juku. This scenic section of the Nakasendo trail is brimming with lush forests, crystal-clear streams, and remote mountain villages—which have remained relatively untouched by the modern world. Your experienced, English-speaking guide will lead you through the historic post town of Tsumago, along the 8 km Nakasendo trail, past waterfalls and wildlife, and into the stunning post town of Magome. Shop for handmade crafts and sample local fare. This tour will reward those who like to take the road less traveled and enjoy an adventurous experience into 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.

Highlights

  • 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.
  • Hike the Nakasendo Trail for 8 km from Tsumago to Magome, with plenty of time to rest and take in the view.
  • Have a snack or window shop in the quaint town of Magome while you enjoy some of rural Japan’s best scenery.
  • Enjoy the view out of the tour bus window on your way to and from the Nakasendo trail. 

*For those looking to join the tour from Tokyo, please see the FAQ Section below

Description

This tour will start at Nagoya Station at 10:00 A.M., where your guide will meet you in front of the Silver Clock tower near the Shinkansen Gates. You will have the opportunity to put your belongings on our tour bus if you feel the need.

Your guide will provide you with a brief history of the region and set the scene as we depart Nagoya JR Station via our tour bus. We will take a short break at a roadside rest stop to stretch our legs before arriving at our first destination, Tsumago-juku.

Tsumago-juku was the forty-second of the sixty-nine post towns on the Nakasendo trail and remains one of the best-preserved post towns in Japan to this day. The charming town consists of inns, houses, and shops—many of which were built in the Edo era. You will be able to imagine what life was like for a samurai or a traveler as your guide leads you through this historic village.

We will then set off on our hike down the Nakasendo trail—one of five ancient roads connecting the de facto capital of Edo (Tokyo) with other regions in Japan. The trail was most prominent during the Edo era. Today, most of the original Nakasendo has been lost to time or converted into modern highways and railway lines. However, the section of the trail we will hike remains relatively unchanged from the time of the samurai. You will even see segments of the trail with original cobblestone. 

Our trail will wind its way up over many switchbacks, through cypress groves, passing small clearings with rice fields and farmhouses along the way. The hike will also take you by two waterfalls—the perfect place to catch your breath, feel the cool mist on your face, and stop for lunch. 

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Recharged, we will continue our hike past a lone teahouse run by a local volunteer. You’re welcome to stop here for a sip of tea or exchange stories with other travelers.

At the end of the 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 powers multiple waterwheels.

The post town features many shops, selling popular local crafts and snacks such as oyaki dumplings, gohei-mochi rice cakes, and ice cream. We 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. Of course, your guide will be available to help you take photos that will make your friends and family envious.

Your guide will then accompany you back to the tour bus to start the drive back towards Nagoya. During this ride, you will have plenty of time to rest, look through your pictures, or ask the guide any questions you may have. Once you’ve arrived at your destination, feel free to ask the guide for dinner recommendations or instructions back to your hotel.

ITINERARY

10:00The tour begins with a meetup at Nagoya Station at 10:00. Guests should wait inside the station, in front of the SILVER clock tower across from the Shinkansen exit gates. Your guide will greet you there.

Your guide will provide you with a brief history of the city and set the scene as we depart from Nagoya Station towards the Kiso Valley via our tour bus.
12:00After a quick stop at a roadside rest stop to stretch our legs, we will arrive at Tsumago-juku post town. Here your guide will explain the history and significance of the area and the Nakasendo trail before setting off on our hike.
12:45Our hike on the Nakasendo trail takes approximately 3 hours, with time for breaks included. The trail includes increases in elevation requiring a moderate degree of fitness. Please prepare ahead of time for a day of hiking outdoors.
15:45Arrive in Magome-juku and have some time to walk around the town and maybe buy some souvenirs or snacks.
16:30Depart Magome-juku and start the return journey back to Nagoya station.
18:00The tour concludes at Nagoya Station, where the guide will say their goodbyes.

*We cannot guarantee the end time as traffic could cause delays. For guests booking onward tickets to other destinations, we recommend doing so for times of 19:00 or later from Nagoya.

TOUR MEETUP POINT

NAGOYA STATION @ 10:00 A.M.

The meetup point is at the base of the SILVER clock tower outside of the Shinkansen gates. 

If you are arriving via Shinkansen, the clock tower should be located directly in front of you as you exit the gate.

If you are arriving via a JR line, please look for signs directing you towards the Taiko-Dori Gate. The silver clock is located inside the station just before the Taiko-Dori exit.

For those coming from outside the station, you will most likely be entering through the Sakura-Dori gate (the side with the gold clock). In this case, please walk straight through the station towards the Taiko-Dori Gate. The silver clock is located inside the station just before the Taiko-Dori exit.

You may wait nearby there until the tour begins at 10:00 A.M. Be sure to look for the guide holding a SNOW MONKEY RESORTS tour sign. We highly recommend arriving early as Nagoya station can be quite crowded. 

NOTES

Included

  • English speaking guide
  • Transportation during the tour

Excluded

  • Lunch
  • Accommodation
  • Transportation to/from Nagoya Station

Other Information

  • There will be a significant amount of walking required (over 8 kilometers), 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 increases 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 guests 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 Nagoya 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 on our tour bus while we are heading to our destination.
  • In the summer, temperature highs are around 35 °C (95 °F) and above with extreme humidity. We recommend wearing something light and airy while minding sunburn and heatstroke. 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.

FAQs

I’d like to join the tour from Tokyo. Is that possible?
If you’d like to join us from Tokyo, we’d love to have you with us!

Take the following services on the Tokaido Shinkansen line:

Departing Tokyo Station – Arriving Nagoya Station

Tokyo: 07:51 – Nagoya: 09:32 – Nozomi No. 13

Tokyo: 08:00 – Nagoya: 09:41 – Nozomi No. 207

Rather than heading straight back to Tokyo, we recommend staying in Nagoya after the tour or booking accommodation in Hikone or Ise.

For international visitors holding a Japan Rail (JR) Pass, both train services (including reservations) can be used without any additional charge.
Can I add accommodation to my tour booking?
Yes. We can add accommodation in Nagoya. To do so, please contact us any time to discuss options.
What should I wear/bring?
Nagoya’s summers are extremely humid and hot. We recommend wearing something light and airy while minding sunburn and heatstroke. A parasol is highly encouraged. As this tour has extended periods outside, please ensure you bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

At all times of year, please ensure you are wearing good quality footwear suitable for walking on uneven ground and we recommend always bringing a small pack or bag to carry your lunch, water, snacks, umbrella, etc. Of course, your phone or a camera is a must!
Is this tour wheelchair accessible/appropriate for guests with limited mobility?
Unfortunately, this tour is not wheelchair accessible and may not be suitable for mobility-impaired guests. The tour requires a significant amount of walking and a moderate level of fitness. The trail is unsealed and may be muddy or slippery at times. The approximately 8km trail includes stairs and increases in elevation. Should this be of concern, contact us before booking to discuss options.
Is lunch included on this tour?
No. This tour does not include lunch and 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. Additionally, there will be opportunities to purchase light snacks and drinks after the hike.

(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