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Eastern Nagano Grand Trek

  • Explore the magnificent forest and alpine wilderness of the central Japanese volcanic ranges through an exhilarating 4-day hike

  • Learn about the amazing prehistoric Jōmon culture—the roots of the Japanese culture and psyche—and its relationship with the ever-changing natural environment

  • Discover ancient temples, art galleries, and traditional crafts on country walks in the picturesque foothills

  • Feel the Earth’s energy on a day-hike to the outer rim of an active volcano awash in autumn colour

  • Stay in beautifully restored, historic private accommodation on 3 nights

  • Unwind with a restorative soak at several hot springs each with a distinct character


The eastern Nagano Prefecture is a land of volcanoes. On one hand, these volcanoes have nourished life since time immemorial through their offerings of clean water, fertile soils, vast forests and onsen (hot springs). On the other hand, volcanoes have wreaked destruction through violent eruptions, landslides and earthquakes. It is perhaps little wonder that these mountains have nurtured a deep sense of spirituality among generations of local inhabitants. On this activity-filled trekking and walking-based tour, you will discover a variety of spectacular landscapes of eastern Nagano’s volcanic country in their autumn glory, including vast forest wilderness, rugged alpine peaks, fuming volcanic vents and mirror-like lakes. It features a 4-day, non-technical, mostly moderate-grade alpine trek across the Yatsugatake Mountains, and a moderate-grade day-hike to the outer caldera rim of Mt Asama, one of Japan’s most active volcanoes. Through easy country walks in the picturesque foothill areas, you will also explore prehistoric sites, ancient temples, art galleries and artisan workshops. Learn how the rich natural environment of this region nurtured one of the most enduring prehistoric cultures of the world, which had a profound influence on the development of Japanese culture, spirituality and psyche. Finish your days with a restorative soak at different onsens, each with a delightfully unique character. 


Day1: Travel Nagano–Bessho-Onsen, Bessho-Onsen town stroll;

Day 2: Shioda Plains country temples, art and craft walk; historic townhouse stay

Day 3: Tōmi historic town stroll, Hishino-Onsen relaxation;

Day 4: Mt Asama volcanic rim hike;

Day 5: travel Komoro–Northern Yatsugatake, Yatsugatake trek Part 1 (alpine lake and moss forest walk);

Day 6: Yatsugatake trek Part 2 (northern Yatsugatake forest wilderness traverse);

Day 7: Yatsugatake trek Part 3 (southern Yatsugatake alpine panorama traverse);

Day 8: Yatsugatake trek Part 4 (descent), Togari’ishi prehistoric site, travel to Hokuto (Yamanashi), historic country house stay;

Day 9: Southern Yatsugatake foothills village and archaeology walk, historic country house stay;

Day 10: Ikuo Hirayama art museum, travel Kiyosato–Tōkyō, end of tour.


Accommodation: 3 nights mid-range ryokans (Japanese-style bedding, but Western-style bedding available on 1 night; onsen bath); 3 nights Japanese-style alpine lodges (shared, basic facilities; Japanese-style bedding; bathing facilities may not always be available); 2 nights historic Japanese country house (private rental; Japanese-style bedding; shared public bath only); 1 night historic Japanese townhouse (private rental; Western and Japanese-style bedding)




Physical fitness requirement: VERY HIGH


Cultural tolerance requirement: VERY HIGH


Departure date: 19 October 2018


Bookings before: 21 July 2018


Cost: from AUD $5000 per person


Maximum group size: 4 persons

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