Achi Village Hiking the Tosando

8.5 hours

Early-April ~ Late November

Price: ¥ 16,000 above
(tax included)

Guided / Self-guided

Start / Finish
Nagano / Nagano

8.5 hours

Activity Level

Technical Level


  • A great excursion from Tsumago-juku or Magome-juku on the Nakasendo. Please consult with us about staying at Hirugami Onsen (not included in the tour price), the largest Onsen resort in Southern Nagano and known for its beautiful peach blossoms in April.
  • Enjoy the ancient history of one of Japan’s earliest official roads. From the nostalgic country scenery of Sonohara to the rugged deep nature of the Misaka Pass, experience on-foot travel on the Tosando and relive the ancient journey for yourself.
  • Lunch is locally made onigiri (Japanese rice balls) wrapped in bamboo leaf.
  • Descending the mountain is fun and easy by chairlift and ropeway. Enjoy views of the surrounding mountains and seasonal flowers.


The Tosando was developed over 1,300 years ago and was one of seven of Japan’s first-ever official roads that connected the then capital of Omi in modern-day Shiga Prefecture and the provinces. At about 1,000 km long, the Tosando was an extremely long inland road that lead to Mutsu in present-day Miyagi Prefecture. The path was traveled by officials responsible for the expansion of the Imperial Court’s influence in the north of the Japanese mainland, as well as “sakimori” warriors sent to defend northern Kyushu, people delivering taxes and tribute to the Imperial Court, and horses raised in Shinano (now Nagano Prefecture) and used in the capital.

On this tour, guests will hike on the old Tosando from Sonohara in Achi Village to the Misaka Pass. In ancient times crossing the Misaka Pass was known as the hardest section of the Tosando. Not only was the road steep, long, and mountainous, but the weather was also said to be extremely volatile, with sudden dense fog and thunderstorms making it difficult for travelers to get around. Sonohara, located on the eastern side of the mountain range, is a village with beautiful views and a nostalgic rural Japanese atmosphere. Many an ancient tale of Sonohara and the Misaka Pass has been told by travelers on the Tosando.

The area, with its harsh yet beautiful nature, has been written about in several Japanese historical documents since the early 8th century, as well as in waka poems composed by travelers. The area also captured the imagination of people far away in the Imperial Courts and has been written about in prominent classical Japanese literature. The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu (said to be the world’s oldest full-length novel) and The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon are both works of art written by female
authors of the Imperial Court in the early 11th century and both feature the Misaka Pass. After climbing to the top of the Misaka Pass, with stunning views on a clear day, guests will take chairlifts and a ropeway down the mountain to finish. Enjoy over 1,300 years of history, culture, and nature on this beautiful hike.

Activity Level

  • Most of the route is unpaved. Climbing from Misaka Shrine to the Misaka Pass is steep and requires decent physical strength.

Technical Level

  • Some parts of the route can be slippery. Watch your step when riding the chairlifts and ropeway.

Price Per Person

24,000JPY/person for 4ppl
20,000JPY/person for 5-6ppl
16,000JPY/person for 7-8ppl

Clothing/Wha to bring

  • Clothing and shoes suitable for hiking and matching the weather conditions.
  • Items may include rain gear (coat/pants), backpack, drinks (1 liter), trail snacks, gloves, hat, sunglasses, down layers, hiking poles, etc.

Included in the fee

  • English-speaking guide fee
  • Llunch (rice balls wrapped in bamboo leaf)
  • Transportation fee including chairlifts and ropeway during the tour.

Not included in the fee

  • Transportation to/from the meeting point
  • Insurance (please purchase travel insurance in your own country)
  • Anything else not specified (The bank transaction fee shall be covered by the customer.)



Event Duration

About 8.5 hours

Distance / Elevation

Distance: 12km
Elevation Climb: 739m

Age / Height:

12 yrs and above

Meeting Point

Hirugami Onsen Morning Market Parking Lot
(30 min. from JR Iida Station, 40 min. from Tsumago-jjuku, 50 min. from Magome-juku (all by car)

Disbanding Point

Hirugami Onsen Morning Market Parking Lot

Program Availability

Early-April ~ Late November


4 – 8 people

Application Deadline

30 days in advance

Agent Name

Minami Shinshu Tourism Bureau


8:30-8:55Meeting at Hirugami Onsen Morning Market Parking Lot, briefing with your guide.
8:55-9:15Move to Sonohara Visitor Center by car.
09:15-09:30Arrive at Sonohara Visitor Center, and enjoy the scenery.
09:30-09:45Look around Sonohara Visitor Center.
9:45-10:45Walk from Sonohara Visitor Center → Tsukimi-dou → Komatsunagi-no Sakura → Sugatami-no Ike Pond →Asahi-Matsu Pine → Kureshiro Waterfall → Waterfall Observatory Deck → Hahakigi Tree → Misaka Shrine
10:55-12:45Walk from Misaka Shrine → Bangaku-sou Mountain Hut
12:45-13:30Lunch at Bangaku-sou
13:30-14:30Walk from Bangaku-sou → Misaka Pass ruins → (forestry road) → Observatory Deck → (chairlift) → Center House
14:30-15:20Break at Center House
15:20-16:30Center House → (chairlift) → Mountain Foothill Station → (ropeway) → Parking Lot
16:30-16:45Move to Hirugami Onsen by car
16:45Finish at Hirugami Onsen Morning Market Parking Lot

Cancellation Policy

■ Fees in case of cancellation on behalf of the customer

  • Cancellation on or after the 10th day from the day immediately preceding the starting day of the tour: 20% of the tour price.
  • Cancellation on or after the 7th day from the day immediately preceding the starting day of the tour: 30% of the tour price.
  • Cancellation the day immediately before the starting day of the tour: 40% of the tour price.
  • In cases where the contract is cancelled on the starting day of the Tour: 50% of the tour price.
  • Cancellation after the start of the tour or the traveler does not participate in the tour without notice (no show): 100% of the tour price.

■ Cancellation at the discretion of the organizer

  • In the case of the tour being cancelled by the organizer, no cancellation fees will apply.
  • In case of cancellation due to bad weather, we will contact you the day before the tour.
  • The itinerary may be changed or the tour maybe cancelled after the program has started. In this case, we will pay an indemnity in accordance with the Standard General Conditions of Travel Agency Business, except in a case of force major (natural disaster).

Interested in our tour?
No second thoughts, contact us.

We have been having many requests from agents overseas, mentioning that they are trying to expand their destinations in/to Japan or they have already but need help creating the itineraries for their clients to keep up with the demand.

Heartland Japan has increased the number of staff to accommodate these requests. If you are hand-full and need some advice, we are here to help.

For more information about this experience program, We will coordinate with local suppliers on dates, prices, and details of the program. We will coordinate with local suppliers on dates, prices, and details of the program and provide the program to you.

Please contact us for more information. We look forward to providing you with a unique and immersive experience in the region!

For this experience program, please inquire with our company each time. We will coordinate with local suppliers to arrange the schedule, fees, and detailed content for you. Please start by contacting us.

Look forward to a unique, immersive local experience!

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