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8 Nights Shin-Etsu Trail Full Track Hike - Nozawa Onsen, Japan

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US$ 739.28
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2 travellers
What to Expect
Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival & Check-in

Stop At: Alpine Villa Nozawa, 6631 Toyosato, Nozawaonsen, Shimotakai District, Nagano 389-2502, Japan
Make your way to Nozawa Onsen, or take the Bullet train from Tokyo to Iiyama and we will pick you up from the there. Once arrived at Nozawa Onsen, settle into your lodge style accommodation. The rest of the day is your to wander and explore and take in the the atmosphere of old Japan. Perhaps a mineral-rich hot spring bath at one of the 13 free Onsens around the village. If your feeling energetic you can rent mountain bikes, hike and kayak in the area, and local businesses offer yoga classes, Japanese cooking classes, art retreats and much more. There is a ton of things to do! The welcome dinner tonight provides a great opportunity to provide an insight to what your about to experience.
Duration: 10 minutes

Meals included:
• Dinner: Welcome dinner.
Accommodation included: Villa Nozawa

Day 2: Transfer to the Mountain head to begin your Hike

Stop At: Mt. Madarao, Shizuma, Iiyama 389-2255 Nagano Prefecture
6hr, 8.5km. The highest point is at 1382m, the lowest at 910m. The official start of the trail is from the top of Mt. Madarao, fantatsic views can be had to the north and west of Mt Madarao. The initial part of todays hike has a long steep ascent & decent of Mt Madarao given it is a ski run during the winter months. You'll have a guide to day with you today (or schedule a guide for the day of your choosing). Heading to Daimyojin Peak, great views of Lake Nojiri, the Five Peaks of Northern Nagano, and some of the Northern Japan Alps. Retrace your steps back to the junction at Mt Madarao and then take the Shinetsu Trail north, descending the switchback route to Manzaka Gap. Pass through some beautiful beech and birch forests before reaching Akaike Pond, where our van will be waiting. Tonight is free and you may feel like a long soak in the hot mineral springs!
Duration: 7 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch: Boxed lunch
Accommodation included: Villa Nozawa

Day 3: Akaike Pond to Wakui

Stop At: Shinetsu Trail, 1571-17 Teruoka Nabekura Plateau, Iiyama 389-2601 Nagano Prefecture
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the trail for today's self guided walk. 6hrs, 10.7km, highest point:1022m, lowest point:563m. Today hike through beautiful Japanese beech and birch forests over a hill to the Hakama Wetlands. Pass through Hakama Wetlands before talking a turn to the left to ascend Hakama Peak (1135m). From the summit of Hakama Peak, there is a great view of Mt Myoko to the west, and the space here makes it a great place to stop for a break. From there, descend to Akaike pond through a pleasant switchback trail. There are bathrooms and a parking space at Akaike pond. From Akaike, walk over a small hill and through the beech forest to Numanohara Wetlands, which blossom with flowers after the spring thaw. Make your way towards Lake Nozomi and at the top of the hill, Mt. Madarao, Hakama Peak and even Mt. Myoko can be seen on a clear day. Heading down hill along the trail, pass through a lovely forest before coming to the boat pier of Lake Nozomi. On a still day the reflection of Mt. Madarao appears out over the lake. The climb to the top (1022m) takes about 30-40min and reveals a superb view over the Iiyama Basin. From here, descend through the larch forest to the pond, known as Wakui Shin-ike then it is an easy 60min walk down the farm road, where it comes out onto route 292 in Wakui Village. From the car park here we will meet you and head back to Nozawa Onsen. The town is well regarded for its hot springs which are a relaxing diversion after a day of hiking.
Duration: 7 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch: Boxed lunch
Accommodation included: Villa Nozawa

Day 4: Wakui to Hotokegamine Tozanguchi

Stop At: Shinetsu Trail, 1571-17 Teruoka Nabekura Plateau, Iiyama 389-2601 Nagano Prefecture
You will be transferred to section 3 of Shin-Etsu Trail after breakfast. 7hr, 12.7km, the highest point:938m, the lowest point:563m The walk today is on the most historic part of the trail and there's a memorial to the samurai warrior Uesugi Kenshin, who made a camp here during one of his campaigns in the Warring States Period centuries ago. Climbimg up to Tomikura Gap through a mixture of native forest and cedar plantation. It is a pleasant route, some of which is used by local people foraging for mushrooms and mountain vegetables. Tomikura Gap was once a well-used point of trade and commerce between Shinano and Echigo, and you can see stone remnants of the road where it crosses the Shinetsu Trail. Tomikura Gap was once a well-used point of trade and commerce between Shinano and Echigo, and you can see stone remnants of the road where it crosses the Shinetsu Trail. You will find the historical site and small shrine along the way. At the end of todays section, a gravel access path to reach the car-park where our pick-up van will be waiting. Tonight relax, shop, have a beer at the brewery or one of the bars in town. Wander the village at night, relax in a hot spring bath and rest for another day of biking. Tomorrow is a well earned rest day!
Duration: 8 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch: Boxed Lunch
Accommodation included: Villa Nozawa

Day 5: Rest Day - Chance to take in some of the local experiences

Stop At: Nozawa Onsen Village, Japan, 〒389-2502 Nagano, Shimotakai-gun, Nozawaonsen, Ōyu, 豊郷9817
Rest day today and after breakfast, the choices are many. Rent a bike for a more casual ride throught the country side, visit some of the nearby villages and shrines, SUP, White water rafting, indulge in one of the may hot springs in the village. Take a day trip to Nagano, enjoy the local train ride from Iiyama to Nagano and explore the host city of the 1998 Nagano Olympics. (Local train cost 650 Yen one way, Shinkansen ticket 1300 Yen one way) There's great shopping, fantastic restaurants for lunch and one of the nicest temple areas in all of Japan. Zenjoki Temple is one of the biggest wooden structures in Japan and is impressive to see. Tonight, take a walk around the cobbled stone streets of the village, enjoy the night markets and there is no shortage of fabulous food options to choose from.
Duration: 12 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
Accommodation included: Villa Nozawa

Day 6: Hotokegamine Tozanguchi to Sekida Gap

Stop At: Shinetsu Trail, 1571-17 Teruoka Nabekura Plateau, Iiyama 389-2601 Nagano Prefecture
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the trail to enjoy today's walk, taken further away from civilisation into wilder terrain than the proceeding sections. 6hr, 8.2km, Highest point: 1288m, lowest point: 830m This section is the start of the ridge walking with a hill climb up the gravel path to reach the beech forests. a short descent to the open fields brings yo to the beautiful stands of 100 year old beech trees lining the trail from Kozawa Pass. For the climb up Mt Nabekura, the track narrows but once at the top, there is an excellent view of Mt Myoko, the Chikuma River and all the way out to the Sea of Japan if the sky is clear. There's a little ducking and weaving on the descent through the mishapen tree branches bent out of shape from the heavy winter snow falls in the area. Once at Sekida Gap, our van will meet you and head back to the Lodge. Tonight relax, shop, have a beer at the brewery or one of the bars in town. Wander the village at night, relax in a hot spring bath.
Duration: 7 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch: Boxed lunch
Accommodation included: Villa Nozawa

Day 7: Sekida Gap to Busuno Gap

Stop At: Shinetsu Trail, 1571-17 Teruoka Nabekura Plateau, Iiyama 389-2601 Nagano Prefecture
After breakfast we will transfer you to start your 6hr hike of around 12km, the highest poin at 1140m, the lowest at 970m. Section 5 is one of the wilder parts of the Shinetsu Trail and there a a number of short sharp ups and downs, making this section one of the toughest. What makes this part interesting are the young beech trees bent into U-shapes caused by the heavy snow that falls in winter. There are some nice views too. On a clear day you can see all the way across the Japan Sea to Sado Island; used as a place of exile for a thousand years up until the 18th century. The ascent up the ridge to Mt. Hanatate (1069m) is all worthwhile where a breathtaking view unfolds. great spot for lunch. Continuing on past Utsunomata Gap to find Maboroshi-no-ike, Lake of the Phantom. Surrounded by a native beech forest, Maboroshi-no-ike is about 300m round and is a spawning ground for moriaogaeru (the frog species Rhacophorus arboreus) and Japanese black salamanders.
Duration: 6 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch: Boxed lunch
Accommodation included: Villa Nozawa

Day 8: Busuno Gap to Mt. Amamizu

Stop At: Shinetsu Trail, 1571-17 Teruoka Nabekura Plateau, Iiyama 389-2601 Nagano Prefecture
After Breakfast our van will then transfer you the start section 6,. This is the final section of the Shinetsu Trail leading to Mt. Amamizu, the northern endpoint. It is also one of the most aesthetically rewarding. This part of the trail is almost entirely shrouded in beautiful beech forests, with many viewpoints over the Niigata Delta.The section is 12.65km and wil take about 7 hours, the highest point 1151m, lowest at 1015m above sea level. The walk from Busuno Pass carries historical significance as both an old military route, and also as a trail used by Shugendo sect followers. The trail here is mostly gentle until the very end when it drops sharply. Of all the views of the Sekida Mountain Range, the one from Misaka Pass is the most spectacular. What's more, the Japanese beech forests at the foot of your destination at Mt Amamizu makes this hike all worth while. You have reached the end of your journey and we wil be there with our van. Tonight, take a walk around the cobbled stone streets of the village, enjoy the night markets and there is no shortage of fabulous food options to choose from.
Duration: 7 hours

Meals included:
• Breakfast
• Lunch: Boxed lunch
Accommodation included: Villa Nozawa

Day 9: Nozawa Onsen - Departure

Stop At: Nozawa Onsen, Toyosato, Nozawaonsen-mura, Shimotakai-gun 389-2502 Nagano Prefecture
After breakfast, check out is at 10am. If your heading back to Tokyo we will transfer you to Iiyama station and from there you can take the Hokuriku Shinkansen Bullet train onwards to your next destination.
Duration: 1 minute

Meals included:
• Breakfast
No accommodation included on this day.
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