One-Day Hike with Nakasendo Monster
The map below shows the Old Nakasendo Highway, the national route connecting Kyoto and Edo (Tokyo) during the Edo Period (1603-1867). While most parts of the Old Nakasendo have been destroyed or disappeared with the modernization of Japan after the Meiji period, we can still see numerous historical remnants in the Kiso Valley, especially on the passes in the mountainous trail.
The part displayed in the translucent frame on the map above is the Territory of Nakasendo Monster. It is the southern part of Nagano prefecture, and Kiso Valley lies in the area. In the map below, you can see the detail of the Kiso district. Each point with the numbers corresponds to the One-Day Hike course introduced below. (Click the map to enlarge it)
1. Magome Pass – Magome to Tsumago Hike
It is possible to say that Magome to Tsumago hike is the most popular activity within the Kiso area, especially for people traveling to Japan for the first time. The walking distance is only 8.5km, and uphill is about 200m. Check the following articles with photos.
2. Nenoue Pass (Yogawa trail) – Nagiso to Nojiri Hike
You can enjoy this beautiful trail all year round. The hike starts at Nagiso (Midono post town) and ends at Nojiri post town. The total walking distance is about 16 km (10 miles), and the elevation difference is about 400 meters. Read more on the following articles.
3. Suhara Trail – Nojiri to Suhara Hike
Enjoy a picturesque region with lush rice terraces! The distance is short (5km), but we visit two distinctive post towns and three temples. The highlight of this trail is a very unusual terrain left behind by a meandering cut of the Kiso river and a tremendous upheaval in this area.
4. Fukushima Post Town – Hike around Kiso-Fukushima
The Fukushima-juku is the 37th post town from Nihonbashi (Tokyo) and has the middle point of Nakasendo in town. Today, it is still the administrative center of the Kiso district. Let’s walk around the surrounding area. If you visit old castle ruins, beautiful waterfalls, and deep forests, the atmosphere of this historic town will surely fascinate you.
5. Ontake Kodo Trail – Spiritual Hike
6. Mt. Ontake Climb
Mt. Ontake is 3,067 meters high in altitude and the second highest volcano in Japan after Mount Fuji. The mountain repeated numerous eruptions for over sixty thousand years and formed an extensive caldera volcano. Walking the trail from Kengamine peak to San-no-ike (3rd pond), we can enjoy a diversified landscape surrounding three craters.
Old Hida Trail – 7. Nishino Pass and 8. Nagamine Pass
Between Takayama and Kiso, there were more than a thousand years of coming and going. People call this old trail the Hida-Kaido. Unfortunately, most of Hida-Kaido has been abandoned or disappeared since the construction of roadway 361, but we can still find some parts of the old route and enjoy walking. Nakasendo Monster is now working on the project to restore and maintain those abandoned parts of the trail.
9. Torii Pass – Yabuhara to Narai Hike
10. Wada Pass – Wada to Shimosuwa Hike
Feel free to contact Nakasendo Monster
The guiding fee for a one-day walking tour is 35,000 to 50,000 yen (for max, 6 people).
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