Middle Mountain Way tour – October 2009
The Middle Mountain Way was a tailor-made itinerary arranged for a family from London who wanted to have four days ‘off-the-beaten track' during their holiday in Japan. The children were up for mountain hiking so, although it was late in the season for the higher mountains on Honshu, they coped well with walks on Kisokomagatake and around Mount Fuji.
The Middle Mountain Way is a translation of Nakasendo, the name for the old route connecting Edo (present-day Tokyo) and Kyoto via Nagoya during the Edo Period (1603-1868) in Japan. The section the family walked was the pretty section between Tsumago and Magome. After meeting in Nagoya, their local English-speaking Japanese guide, Sam, escorted them via the Kiso River and towns on the Nakasendo, to Matsumoto, then on to Mount Kisokomagatake in the Central Alps, and finally to Mount Fuji and on to Tokyo.
Thin snow and a crusty film of ice on Komagatake meant care had to be taken, but Sam is a top mountain guide and all got up and down safely. This mountain can be approached using a ropeway which helped.
Everyone loved the luxury ryokan near Matsumoto and did get views of Fuji.
So a great, if relatively short, late autumn tour.