Your day-by-day itinerary

Lake reflecting cloud from above

Day 1

Arrival in the Kiso Valley

Today you’ll leave the bustling city behind and hop on the train to Kiso-Fukushima, the gateway to the Nakasendo Trail. Upon arrival, you’ll make your way to your Ryokan hotel, where you’ll be staying for the next few nights; you then have the afternoon free to explore. Kiso-Fukushima is a picturesque little town, between Nagoya and Matsumoto, and all though it may be a quiet town, there’s still plenty to see. This evening you’ll be served a delicious Japanese meal at your ryokan.

Japanese garden in Zen Style with temple

Day 2

Kiso Valley Sightseeing

This morning you’ll be provided with a combined entry ticket that lets you explore three of Kiso-Fukushima’s most popular attractions. You’ll first visit the Yamamura Residence, former home of the local Owari clan governor. You’ll also visit the Ko Zenji Temple, home to Asia’s largest dry rock garden. The temple is known for its beautiful, expansive garden and for its gorgeous setting at the foot of the Chuo Alps. Your ticket also gives you access to the Fukushima Sekisho-Ato, which overlooks the Kiso River.

historic Nakasendo road looking in Magome Town

Walking Along the Nakasendo Trail

After a morning of sight-seeing, you’ll head to Magome, a former post town with buildings faithfully reconstructed in a traditional style. This afternoon you’ll spend 3 hours walking a historical 8km stretch from Magome to Tsumago. As you make your way through the forest, you’ll be treated to views of cascading waterfalls and beautiful mountain vistas peeking through the trees.

You’ll also pass the Tateba-Jaya Tea House, where you can take a break with tea, snacks and even warm up by the fire. As you walk past the locals and their small farmhouses and fields, you eventually reach the picture-perfect town of Tsumago. You’ll explore the scenic towns and roads that are lined with traditional old buildings, dating back to over 200 years old. A private transfer will be waiting after your time exploring to take you back to your ryokan, where another tasty Japanese-style dinner will be waiting for you.

Rail way line with train going over river

Day 3

Departure from the Kiso Valley

Your time in the mountains of the Kiso Valley has come to an end, after breakfast this morning you’ll head back to the train station, and use your Japan Rail Pass to head onto your next destination.

Speak to our Japan specialist, Kate

"I love the retro-futuristic vibes of Tokyo, not to mention the tasty donburi! Staying in a traditional ryokan and bathing in the natural hot springs (onsen) are particular highlights for me."

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