Kiso Valley day trip report

May 22nd, 2006, 02:02 PM
Original Poster
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Kiso Valley day trip report

We have just finished a day trip to the Kiso valley (staying in Nagoya) and wanted to give anyone interested some instructions for easily doing this day trip. We learned about the trip from this board, and consider it one of the highlights of our trip so far.

To get to the Kiso Valley, take the Shinano Express JR train. We took #3 at 8:00 am from Nagoya to the Nakatsugawa station, arriving 8:48 am. Our JR pass worked for this, and while we did not get reserved seats, we could have. Non-reserved car was #5 (non-smoking). This stop is closest to Magome, the starting point for the 5-mile (8k) hike. From the train station, exit and take the local bus at platform #3 to your left, heading to Magome. Ours left at 9:00 am and cost 540 yen each. The ride takes 30 minutes to Magome. For the bus, you take a ticket when you get on, and pay when you get off. Exact change makes this easy to do.

In Magome, the town has numerous inns, souvenir and food shops, and restaurants. Camera buff paradise! Since we got there around 9:30 am we simply started the hike (up the clearly visible path near the main intersection). You'll walk uphill for about one hour before crossing the Magome Pass in the forest and starting down towards Tsumago.

Aside from a few other hikers, we were the only ones on the trail - very peaceful with the stream and sound of water running nearby. There are a couple of waterfalls closer to Tsumago. It took about 3 hours to walk to Tsumago, which had many more people (and tour buses). The souvenir shops seemed to specialize in wood products - chopsticks, serving utensils and bowls.

If you are wondering about the trail, it is moderate in terrain with ups and downs, much of it under forest canopy. We are in good condition in our late 40s (living at 7000' elevation), and found it easy. Someone not in good shape would find it much more challenging, especially the first hour uphill.

We then took another bus at Parking lot #1 at 1:26 pm for 270 yen to the Nagiso JR Station (10 minute ride). From there, we had to wait an hour for the next Shinano Express train (#14) at 2:44 pm, but that was OK. The train back to Nagoya station took about an hour.

We were glad for the detailed instructions from our hotel (Nagoya Hilton - very nice!) that made the train/bus transfer process and costs easy to understand. Hope they help you if you decide to go. It was well worth our time!
CleoB is offline  
May 22nd, 2006, 03:30 PM
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Nice report. I've been wanting to do this walk and I think yours is the first report. Thanks for the details.
emd is offline  
May 22nd, 2006, 03:36 PM
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Yes, I agree with emd. I just copied it to a word file for future reference. I hope that my next Japan trip will be a little more off the beaten path......
Mara is online now  
May 22nd, 2006, 04:39 PM
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Mara, if you are planning to go again in the next year or two, maybe we can meet up and walk Kiso valley together. I hope to do my next trip solo, maybe next spring or possibly later, visiting Awaji Island, some more of Shikoku, and some onsens on the coast of Honshu. I plan to do some hiking on that trip.
emd is offline  
May 22nd, 2006, 05:02 PM
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emd, sounds good to me...I am saving my pennies already...I have done two solo trips as you know...if you want to email me add b1 - that is a number one not the letter l - to my screen name- no spaces, underlines or anything else then put at hotmail dot com after it.....
Mara is online now  
May 23rd, 2006, 11:46 AM
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Thanks for the report, good to hear that you enjoyed it so much.
mrwunrfl is online now  
May 23rd, 2006, 01:33 PM
Original Poster
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I have to thank everyone on this board for even alerting us to this great day trip. I do hope my detailed instructions prove useful to others, as I don't think I would have been able to figure out the exact train and bus schedule on my own to make it go as smoothly as it did.
CleoB is offline  
Oct 4th, 2007, 12:31 PM
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This was the most helpful information about this trip. Thanks a lot!
LoriJayne is offline  
Oct 6th, 2007, 09:43 PM
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Wow. The resurrection of this thread makes me nostalgic and somewhat sad, as I have not made it back to Japan as I thought I would...mrw, mara, anyone going back in the rest of 2007?
emd is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 06:40 AM
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I'm planning to go next month - I haven't said anything as I don't want to jinx it ;-)
Mara is online now  
Oct 7th, 2007, 12:01 PM
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I missed this last yr but we will be in the Nagoya Hilton next April and may do the Kiso Valley day trip. Thank you for all the details.

hawaiiantraveler is offline  
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