One Day Walking and Hiking Tour

Nakasendo Post Town and Hidden Crafting Village

Time
5-6 hours
Active Level
7/10
6 km walk and low incline hike. Suitable for ages 6+.
Group Size
2-8 guests
Pricing
From ¥12000/person.
Details below.

Explore a Nakasendo post station village along a small mountain river, then go upstream to a remote community of handcraft.

  • Visit Samegai, an Edo-period post town of the historic Nakasendo Road.
  • Walk along the lovely mountain spring river at the heart of the community's local sustainability.
  • Enjoy a locally-sourced lunch at a traditional ryotei restaurant featuring fresh local ingredients.
  • Take a refreshing 3km walk through the local satoyama nature, to the hidden village of Kaminyu.
  • Meet wood and metal handcrafting artisans of Kaminyu and get an exclusive look at their workspace and community.

Course Details

Samegai juku is a post station town of the historic Nakasendo trail, one of two main trails that connected Edo (old Tokyo) and imperial Kyoto. A small crystal clear river runs through the heart of the village, fed by a nearby mountain spring, and also attracts summer visitors every year who come for the rare baikamo or water buttercup, an aquatic flower that grows only is very clean and clear waters.

This community here developed a way of life centered around this natural resource, finding a sustainable balance that both utilizes and conserves nature.

Enjoy a lunch of local delicacies at an authentic ryotei restaurant that was once a former honjin of the post town (the highest class of lodging, reserved for Edo officials). Dishes feature locally sourced ingredients, such as rainbow trout, raised in the waters nearby. Rice and tea are also made using the clear river water just outside the restaurant. The chef is great at adapting to dietary preferences, allergies, vegetarian or vegan meals too, but please be sure to be notify of such requests when you request reservation.

After lunch, we’ll embark on a refreshing 4 km walk to Kaminyu, a small community of traditional craftsmen, hidden away in a mountain valley. The course is over half flat ground, then some uphill, and a bit of downhill. Enjoy a mix of rural scenery from rice fields to local forests.

In Kaminyu, a resident of the village will show us around, give a peek into the community and workspaces, and opportunities to meet and talk with locals. Our guide will help translating as necessary.

Visit studios of craftsmen to learn of their traditional craft, and the intricate methods of making butsudan (Buddhist altars), a 300-year-old local handcrafting trade.

  • Course Notes
  • Meeting point is at JR Maibara Station (shinkansen stops here), our guide will lead you on the 5-minute train ride to JR Samegai Station.
  • Accommodate with dietary requests as much as possible.
  • This one-day course starts at 10 am.
  • What’s Included
  • Professional bilingual (EN/JA) guide
  • Locally-sourced ryotei bento lunch
  • Light refreshment
  • Insurance
  • Entrance Fee
  • Not Included
  • All train fares
  • Souvenirs, food, snacks, etc.

Pricing

Pricing for this private tour is determined by the size of your group, and any optional activities. Basic pricing is as follows:

Standard Private Course
Attendees Price per Person
2 people ¥16,000 per person
3 – 4 people ¥14,500 per person
5 – 8 people ¥12,000 per person
Options & Additions

Additional fees apply, but vary by time & group size (final cost will be confirmed before finalizing reservation). Please mention in comment field of reservation form to add options, or feel free to ask us for more details about any of them!

  • Woodcarving Workshop (+1-2 hours) Kaminyu Village artisans also offer their own workshops. Learn traditional Japanese woodcarving, taught by a skilled local professional! Beginner-friendly. Visit their website, tonton-craft.com, to learn more.
  • Lunch Options (free!) Just a reminder, since lunch is included, that the lunch menu can be adjusted for vegetarian or special diets. Be sure to mention any dietary requests in the comments when you reserve!

Booking

Visit our booking page to request reservation: Book Now

When submitting your request, be sure to include relevant details in the comments. We'll get back to you within about 1 business day to confirm availibity, details, and price.

Please also read through our Terms and Conditions for complete details about payment, cancellations, etc.

Frequent Booking Questions
We allow, and recommend, payment in person at tour start time. We accept in-person payments by cash (Japanese yen), or major credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover). Alternately, we can arrange for advance payment via secure online invoice in Japanese yen, payable by Paypal or credit card. Note: while we don't require early deposit payment, you may be invoiced to pay any applicable cancellation fee in the event of late cancellation.
We may cancel tours for weather. Bike tours in particular are cancelled for moderate rain or snow. This decision will be made no later than 7pm on the day before tour, so please check your contact email for any updates. In such a case, you will be fully refunded any advance payment. Bike tour weather cancellations are given the option to exchange for a walking tour instead. Walking tours are still conducted in light to moderate rain & snow. Weather cancellations are made at our discretion; if you decide on your own to cancel, then cancellation fees may still apply. See our Terms and Conditions for more details about weather cancellation.
See our Terms & Conditions for complete details. Regarding cancellation fees, here's our basic timeline for fees applying to cancellations made by the customer:
  • 8 days or more before tour: No charge
  • 4-7 days before tour: 30% of total tour cost
  • 2-3 days before tour: 50% of total tour cost
  • 24 hrs or less before tour: 100% of total tour cost