The Shinetsu Trail

The Shinetsu Trail is a multi-day hiking 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. 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 traverses old growth beech forests at elevations of approximately 500-1,200 meters with views of both mountainous scenery and the Sea of Japan.

Tours Run: June 1 – July 15, October 1 – November 15

Suggested Length: 6 nights 7 days

Sample 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. 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. Here we take a city bus to Madarao Kogen Hotel, our accommodation for the evening. 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 where our next accommodation picks us up. We have some free time this afternoon to relax in the onsen (hot spring) or walk around Togari Onsen. Dinner is in the ryokan.

Accommodation: Japanese Inn

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. Dinner is in the inn.

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

Today we walk to the Sekida Gap. After picking us up, tonight’s accommodation takes us to the fields of a local farmer where we pick our own vegetables used in dinner.

Accommodation: Cabins

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, Lunch, & Dinner

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.

 

Tour Dates:

June 1 – July 15

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

*Tours can be customized for length, accommodation and physical abilities.

Contact us at naganoventures@gmail.com for pricing!

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