VISIT | Gifu, Nagano
2 DAYS 1 NIGHT - Cycling & Walking Nakasendo

Former Japanese Highway NAKASENDO

The Nakasendo is an ancient road that has existed for about 450 years and winds through Nagano and Gifu’s magnificent mountainous terrain. It remains to be a natural road with lots of character; not a uniform road that was constructed with heavy machinery like the modern roads of today. This area of Japan boasts many majestic mountain views with abundant greenery, and in the towering mountains one can even see snow until late spring. Clear streams flow along the path and beautiful terraced rice fields are planted like vineyards in narrow valleys. One might wonder where the spring water was drawn from in such high places. Even Japanese people, especially those who visit from the city, are impressed by the beautiful scenery here.

Cycling & Walking to travel the NAKASENDO

We recommend walking or cycling to travel the Nakasendo. In areas where you see the original scenery of Japan, you cannot fully experience the beauty of Nakasendo by simply visiting local areas. It is important to experience the feeling of getting to the next post town, by feeling what is on the road or while walking between the post towns on foot or by bicycle. Naturally, walking is the best way to travel the cobblestones and steep mountain paths. Retracing the steps of people who have been walking along for 450 years is the best part of traveling on the Nakasendo. Nagano Prefecture is particularly suited for walking, given the closer location of some of the Nakasendo’s most popular post towns, Tsumago and Magome-juku. On the other hand, it is fun to ride a bicycle in areas that have been developed and on unpaved roads that remain as they were. In ancient times, people journeyed along not only on foot, but on horseback as well. Nowadays, it's more enjoyable to experience the Nakasendo riding on a “modern” horse, made of aluminum or carbon fiber with rubber tires. In particular, the Gifu area is far from the traffic of main roads, so cycling is recommended. Rediscover yourself and experience Nagano’s and Gifu’s unique treasures along the Nakasendo. Become an old traveler and travel through the original landscapes of Japan. Feel the real Japan that most travelers never get a chance to discover. Discover the Nakasendo. The Nakasendo awaits.

For more information about GIFU prefecture and attractions, visit here.

day 1

Matsumoto - Tsumago - Magome - Ena

Depart from the hotel in Matsumoto and transfer to the remote feudal-era village, Tsumago-juku by vehicle with English-speaking guide. Enjoy strolling around and taking in the majestic views of Tsumago-juku and its surrounding landscape. Stop by the Nagiso Town Museum displaying information on Nagiso Town, history of Kiso, townscape preservation movements, various types of townscape in Japan using models and videos that are easy to understand. After moving to Magome pass by vehicle,enjoy hiking Magome pass to Tsumago-juku. Walk along the road where old stone cobblestones remain and savor the experience of traveling the way countless other ancient travelers have made the same journey for hundreds of years. Then stroll around the historically important post town, Magone-juku. Each house is a real residence, and that gives the area and atmosphere an unforced authenticity and helps evoke its lively 400-year history. Visit Magome Waki Honjin Museum, where you can learn the history of the area. Magome-juku is compact and gives us a feeling of coolness. From functioning water wheels to traditional soba restaurants, every aspect of Magome is presented as it would have been in the 17th century. Transfer to Ena city by vehicle.

Overnight : Enakyo Grand Hotel or similar

day 2

Ena - Naegi - Iwamura - Seki - Nagoya

In this morning, depart from the hotel and visit many side roads extend from the Nakasendo by cycling (2.5hour). After seeing the beautiful Kiso River, visit the Naegi Castle Ruins, a famous mountain fortress and outstanding monument of local history. Transfer to Iwamura (old Castle Town) by vehicle. In Iwamura, take in the sights and enjoy the atmosphere of the castle-town district and castle ruins. Walk along the historical streets enjoying a gentle breeze. The main street which extends from Iwamura Station to the ruins of Iwmura Castle has been selected as “Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Historic Buildings”. For example, the style of the Edo perioed still remains in one of historical merchant stores, the Kimura's House which reminds you of the history of the castle town. Then transfer to Seki city, grown with the development of its blades by vehicle. Visit the Seki Hamono Museum SANSHU. The cutlery of Seki has a long history that dates back about 780 years ago. Having all essential elements for sword making, Seki had prospered as one of Japan’s major sword production areas. The history and tradition were passed down to the present day,and Seki is known as the largest cutlery production area in Japan for high quality knives and scissors today. After sightseeing, transfer to Nagoya or other destination by vehicle.

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Seki Hamono Museum SANSHU
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