Central Alps


The Region

The Central Alps comprise the Kiso mountain range and are part of the Japanese Alps which bisect Japan’s main island of Honshu. This is the landscape which dominated the work of the eminent 18th century woodblock artist, Utagawa Hiroshige. The mountainous countryside features highlights such as the stunning Kido Valley and the particularly beautiful Kaida Plateau dotted with rural hamlets.

The Alps have been made famous by the legendary Nakasendo Highway which was an ancient trading route linking today’s capital city Tokyo (formerly “Edo”) with the ancient capital city Kyoto during the feudal Edo Period (1603-1867). Whilst not all of this central mountain road has survived, the most scenic sections have been preserved and provide a unique walking experience between Kyoto and Tokyo.

The Walks

There are many wonderful multi-day walks in the Central Alps and there are a number of tour operators offering a variety of walking trips.

One of the best known of the multi-day walks in the Central Alps is the Nakasendo Way. The Nakasendo Way follows the ancient route between Kyoto and Tokyo. The entire path is 534 kilometres long but fortunately several tour operators offer packages which focus on the best parts of the Nakasendo Way.

Click here for a description of the Nakasendo Way and how to do it.

Other multi-day walks in the Central Alps include the Shinetsu Trail, an 80 kilometre path that follows the ridge along the Sekida Mountain range between the Nagano and Niigara Prefectures and passes through magnificent woodland.

There are more multi-day walks in the Central Alps of Japan and the walking tour operators have been creative in crafting walking itineraries that link landscape and cultural highlights. We can help you choose a walk and an operator that best suits your needs.

The Nakasendo Way and the Shinetsu Trail are just some of the Central Japanese Alps walks we can tell you about, and help you to plan and complete. Click here for more information.