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Hiking the Nakasendo trail, Gifu / Nagano Prefectures, Japan

Hiking the Nakasendo Trail

Japan is a great country for hiking. An abundance of mountain ranges and hiking trails awaits hikers, ramblers and day walkers – there are hikes for any experience and stamina.

The Nakasendo trail is the old trading route that once connected Kyoto with Tokyo and large chunks of it is now covered by national highways. Hiking through the Kiso Valley however is like stepping back in time and we loved it!

There are many hiking options available in the Kiso Valley area, we opted to do a day hike through some of the loveliest traditional and very well preserved villages of Magome & Tsumago.

Logistics:
We arrived by car from Tokyo on day 1, hiked on day 2 and returned to Tokyo on day 3. Getting there by public transport is possible.

Hotel:
Hotel Hanasarasa in Nakatsugawa. The hotel is large and dated, but a good base from where to start the hike. It has a restaurant onsite. https://www.abilive-one.net/hanasarasa/

Hike:
We started at the hotel and ended our hike at Nagiso train station and took a train to Ochiaigawa station from which is a quick taxi ride to the hotel. All in all we hiked for about 16km in 8h including a lunch break, snack & ice cream breaks and plenty of photo stops. The hike is easy and well signposted, no steep inclines.