The Shinetsu Trail

The Shinetsu Trail is a guided 6 night, 7 day tour that explores the Sekida mountain range between Nagano and Niigata Prefectures. It is Japan’s first long-distance trail designed after the Appalachian Trail in the United States and follows an ancient trail network used over 1,000 years ago for trade. This trail is great for nature lovers who want to get away from it all and experience one of Japan’s few remaining wildernesses. It goes through old growth beech forests at elevations of approximately 500-1,200 meters with views of both mountainous scenery and the Sea of Japan.

Itinerary:

Day 1 Meet in Nagano City

We meet in our hotel lobby at 6:00 PM in Nagano City for a tour briefing and a local Izakaya-style dinner in the city. Instructions will be provided for the following day’s walk.

Accommodation: Western Style Accommodation

Meals Provided: Dinner

Day 2 Mt. Madarao Trail Head to Akaike Pond

We depart early this morning by bullet train from Nagano Station, arriving at Iiyama Station (pronounced e-yama). Here we take a city bus to Madarao Kogen Hotel, our accommodation for the night. We drop off our luggage and start trekking section 1 of the Shinetsu Trail from the Madarao Trail Head to Akaike Pond. The accommodation picks us up at the end of the day and dinner is in the hotel.

Accommodation: Ski Lodge with Western Style Accommodation

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Distance: 10.4 km

The Walk: 100% Trail

Difficulty: Moderate

Option to Walk Less: No

Day 3 Akaike Pond to Wakui

We transfer back to Akaike pond this morning, where we start our walk for the day. From here, we walk to Wakui. We have some free time this afternoon to relax in the onsen (hot spring) or walk around Madarao Kogen. Dinner is in a local restaurant.

Accommodation: Ski Lodge with Western Style Accommodation

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Distance: 10.7 km

The Walk: 100% Trail

Difficulty: Moderate

Option to Walk Less: No

Day 4 Wakui – Tondaira

We transfer to Wakui this morning and start our day’s walk to Tondaira. We leaver our luggage at the front desk; it will be transferred to our next accommodation free of charge. Tonight’s accommodation picks us up. Dinner is in the Japanese-style inn (ryokan).

Accommodation: Japanese Inn

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Distance: 13.4 km

The Walk: 100% Trail

Difficulty: Challenging

Option to Walk Less: No

Day 5 Tondaira – Sekida Gap

We transfer back to Tondaira this morning, where we start our day’s walk. We hire a local guide in the morning to help us find wild vegetables or mushrooms that will be used in our dinner. After this, we start the days walk to the Sekida Gap. We transfer back to our Togari Onsen, where we eat in a local Izakaya-style restaurant.

Accommodation: Japanese Inn

Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Distance: 8.9 km

The Walk: 100% Trail

Difficulty: Moderate

Option to Walk Less: No

Day 6 Sekida Gap – Busuno Gap

We transfer back to Sekida Gap this morning. From here, we walk to Busuno Gap and our accommodation picks us up. We go out to a local onsen (hot spring), where we enjoy dinner after a bath.

Accommodation: Cabins

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Distance: 12.4 km

The Walk: 100% Trail

Difficulty: Challenging

Option to Walk Less: No

Day 7 Nabekura Kogen to Iiyama Station

After breakfast, we transfer to Iiyama Station. The tour ends here and your Nagano Ventures tour leader will help arrange your onward transfer. Iiyama Station is on the Hokuriku Shinkansen, with direct access to Kanazawa and Tokyo.

Price:

¥199,000 Japanese Yen per person double occupancy + ¥30,000 Japanese Yen per person single occupancy. Price includes accommodation, Nagano Ventures guide, activities, onsens & all meals/transportation within the tour. Price does not include alcohol, souvenirs, travel insurance, flights & transportation to/from tour meeting/ending points.

Tour Dates:

June 15 – July 31

October 1 – November 15

Checklist of What to Bring

  • Clothing and toiletries
  • Waterproof jacket or windbreaker
  • Waterproof pants and shorts (summer tours only)
  • T-shirts and long-sleeve T-shirts
  • Water bottle
  • Appropriate hiking boots
  • Hiking Socks
  • Hiking poles
  • Day pack/backpack
  • Suitcase
  • Gloves
  • Warm hat/beanie
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Umbrella (optional)
  • Camera with extra batteries
  • Passport and copy of passport
  • Cash (at least ¥30,000 Japanese Yen)
  • Medication and/or allergy medicine
  • Insect repellent
  • Copy of medical insurance

 

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