Nakasendo Way

Walking in the heart of old Japan


Taste real Japan!

As you walk the Nakasendo Way you can indulge in the Kiso region's culinary delights: buckwheat noodles, mountain trout from crystal clear streams, tender beef and delicious traditional sweets. Remember to try the delicious local sake!


Our own local staff on the trail

Our Nakasendo Way walking trips have the back-up of our own staff member on the ground who lives in this area and will meet you at the start of your trip. If you need assistance at any time, he is never far away. We have a great luggage transfer service and we book all our arrangements directly.



The Kiso Valley offers you quality time in nature with its abundance of mountainous forest, sacred Kiso Cypress trees and the beautiful Mt Ontake as your backdrop. For much of the time on the Naksasendo trail you will be walking through fields and villages seeing rural life in small-town Japan close up.


History & authentic Japanese culture

Discover the fascinating history of local Samurai connections and the post towns that connected Kyoto with Tokyo during the Imperial era. The well-preserved towns of Tsumago and Magome are well-known attractions, but there is so much more to discover!

Experts in hiking in Japan

Discover the centuries old road through the mountains

well organised, some great accomodation and fabulous pre-trip documentation, including language guides and a great tablet case!

 Julie Garlick

July 2017


Thank you for organising this awesome trip for us. Everything went very smoothly with our accommodation and luggage transfers and we had no need to contact your local person for any reason. 
Mark and Andrea
April 2018

Journey through the historic heartland of rural Japan

The Nakasendo Way is an ideal introduction to walking off-the-beaten-path in Japan. Step into a world of forest inns, remote shrines, rural villages and delightful old post towns. Enjoy the stone paths and wooden buildings of a bygone era.

The 533km Nakasendo Way is a centuries-old highway in the heart of feudal Japan. It was the ‘road through the mountains’ travelled by lords, samurai, merchants, and travellers between Kyoto in central Japan and the new capital of Edo, modern-day Tokyo. As a result, post towns developed every few kilometres to provide travellers with places to rest, eat and find nightly accommodation during their arduous journey. Many of them still survive today and give an enticing glimpse into Japan’s past.

Walking among mountains and fields, passing villages and bamboo forests, the picturesque Kiso Valley shows off the natural beauty of Japan. If you visit around mid-April, the valley will likely be filled with cherry blossom trees of all different varieties and colours. There’s also plenty of wildlife too with birds, monkeys and even wild bears – although sightings are pretty rare.

NOTE: Video featured belongs to Kiso Ontake Tourism Board


Why are we your Nakasendo Way experts?

RAW Travel has a dedicated team who deal with just the Nakasendo and Kumano Kodo hiking trails. We have great knowledge and experience of both walks and our staff travel to Japan each year to update their local  knowledge.

We also have own Japanese staff on the ground to help with any difficulties you may have during your trip and smooth the way. Preparation is key to enjoying this walk; we run free Japan hiking information nights and training walks to help our clients prepare properly for the rigours of the trail and travelling in Japan.


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