- One of the oldest castles in Japan, Matsumoto Castle
- Traditional post town street in Narai Post Town and chopstick-making experience
- Giant boulders shaped by rushing water at "Nezamenotoko"
- [Optional] Akasawa Forest Train
- [Optional] Hidden Waterfall in Kakizore Gorge
- [Optional] Magome and Tsumago Post Towns and their connecting trail
|Period||Dec. 2019 - Mar. 2020|
|Destination||Matsumoto Castle / Narai Post Town / Nezamenotoko / Akasawa Forest Train / Kakizore Gorge / Magome Post Town / Tsumago Post Town|
|Start / End||Nagano City / Nakatsugawa Station|
|Operator||Snow Monkey Resorts|
*Please note, depending on the season some options may not be available.
Day 1: 9:00 Meet up at Nagano Station or your accommodation in Nagano City
10:30 Matsumoto Castle and Lunch at Miso Brewery
Matsumoto Castle is sometimes called “Crow Castle” for its black exterior. From the outside it appears to have five tiers, but make sure to look for the hidden sixth tier when you visit! The castle features beautiful wooden floors, but as shoes are not allowed, please remember to wear warm socks as the floors can be quite cold in winter.
After visiting Matsumoto Castle, enjoy a short tour of the brewery and a delicious lunch with miso soup, salad with miso dressing, and miso-flavored rice balls.
14:00 Narai Post Town and chopsticks making experience
The town of a “thousand buildings” as it was once called, is lined with a variety of shops and restaurants. Interestingly, this is perhaps the only post town along the ancient Nakasendo Trail that is still actively inhabited. The residents are committed to maintaining its historic appearance.
Walking up through the town from the station, you’ll come upon the Narai-juku Tourist Information Center on your left where you can try your hand at making your own chopsticks! The process takes about 45 minutes from start to finish. The tools are simple to use, but require a little bit of muscle and may be a little too fiddly for anyone younger than 8 or 9.
16:45 Arrive at accommodation in Kiso Fukushima
We can arrange accommodation according to your preference from among several options such as a post town style family-run inn, a standard ryokan, or a traditional high-end ryokan in Kiso Fukushima.
Day 2: 8:30 Depart from your accommodation in Kiso Fukushima - visiting Nezamenotoko
After enjoying breakfast at your accommodation, your guide will pick you up from your accommodation and take you to the first attraction on Day 2, which is Nezamenotoko.
10:00 - 12:30 Option 1: Akasawa Forest Train (the beginning of May - the beginning of Nov.)
The Akasawa Natural Recreation Forest is now a Japan Heritage Site and the many miles of maintained forest trails within offer visitors a place to relax and refresh.
Take the train out into the forest and enjoying a leisurely stroll along one of the paths on the way back.
10:00 - 12:30 Option 2: Kakizore Gorge (Spring to Autumn)
Walk along the trail that takes you 300m further into the gorge until you come upon the stunning Ushigataki Falls. The site of the water rushing over the granite into a pool of deep, clear, emerald green water is awe-inspiring.
13:00 Arrive at Tsumago, hike to Magome Post Town
After exploring Tsumago, depart on your hike to Magome Post Town.
15:30 - 16:00 Arrive at Magome Post Town
16:30 Arrive at Nakatsugawa Station
The tour concludes at Nakatsugawa Station.
From Nakatsugawa, you can take an express train to Nagoya or Matsumoto/Nagano.
- Transportation from Nagano to all destinations through to Takayama
- Lunch (vegetarian options are available)
- English-speaking guide
- Chopsticks making activity fees in Narai Post Town
- Akasawa Forest Train Fare
- Shinkansen/bullet train ticket
- Additional rental gears (if required)
- Additional snacks, food & drinks