Side Trip to the Kiso Valley from Nagoya

When planning a trip from Nagoya, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the charming Kiso Valley. Start your journey by visiting the SCMAGLEV and Railway Park in Nagoya, followed by a delicious lunch of tebasaki, a local specialty. Then, hop on a train to the Toyota Techno Museum before venturing into the mountainous interior of the Kiso Valley, where you can experience a world frozen in time with stunning natural vistas and well-preserved feudal era towns like Tsumago and Magome.

Immerse yourself in the history and culture of the Kiso Valley as you explore historic post towns, try your hand at calligraphy at Ochiai Temple, and visit the Iida City Kawamoto Kihachiro Puppet Museum. End your trip with a scenic boat ride along the Tenryu River for a memorable conclusion to your side trip from Nagoya. So pack your bags and get ready to embark on a fascinating journey through time and tradition in central Japan.


Welcome to the exciting journey from Nagoya to the Kiso Valley! In this 3-day trip, you will explore the best of Nagoya’s technological wonders before immersing yourself in the historical charm of the Kiso Valley. Prepare for a delightful experience filled with cultural insights, delicious cuisine, and breathtaking landscapes.

Introduction to Nagoya and the Kiso Valley

Nagoya, known as central Japan’s industrial hub, is home to cutting-edge technological companies like Toyota. Often overlooked as a tourist destination, Nagoya offers a unique blend of modern innovation and traditional culture. The Kiso Valley, on the other hand, presents a picturesque setting with well-preserved feudal-era towns, offering visitors a glimpse into Japan’s rich history.

Itinerary for the 3-day trip

Your adventure will begin with exploring Nagoya’s SCMAGLEV and Railway Park, indulging in Nagoya’s famous Tebasaki chicken wings, and discovering the history of Toyota at the Techno Museum. You will then travel to Tsumago in the Kiso Valley, where you will walk through historic buildings, experience calligraphy in Ochiai town, and end your day in a traditional inn. The journey continues with visits to Magome town, the Puppet Museum in Iida, and a scenic boat ride along the Tenryu River.

Day 1

Visit to SCMAGLEV and Railway Park in Nagoya

Start your day at the SCMAGLEV and Railway Park in Nagoya, where you will learn about Japan’s high-speed rail technology. Explore various trains and engaging exhibits that highlight the country’s advancements in railway systems.

Lunch at a Tebasaki restaurant

Indulge in Nagoya’s culinary specialty, Tebasaki chicken wings, at a local restaurant near Nagoya Station. Enjoy the crispy and flavorful chicken wings sprinkled with sesame seeds, a true delight for food enthusiasts.

Exploration of Toyota Techno Museum

Immerse yourself in the history of Toyota at the Techno Museum, tracing the company’s evolution from textile to automotive industries. Discover intriguing exhibits that showcase Toyota’s innovative journey.

Travel to Tsumago in the Kiso Valley

Board a train from Nagoya Station to Sako Station, then hop on the Shinano Wide View limited express train to Nagiso Station. From there, a bus will take you to Tsumago, a charming town in the Kiso Valley where you will spend the night in a traditional inn.

Day 2

Walking tour of Tsumago’s historic buildings

Explore Tsumago’s quaint streets lined with historic buildings dating back to the Edo period. Visit the Honjin and Wakihonjin complexes, offering insights into the town’s past as a post town along the Nakasendo highway.

Bus ride to Ochiai town

Embark on a scenic bus ride to Ochiai town, passing through Magome for a delicious lunch of tempura soba noodles. Experience the rural charm of Ochiai before partaking in a calligraphy session at Kofukuji Temple.

Calligraphy experience at Kofukuji Temple

Engage in a traditional Japanese calligraphy experience at Kofukuji Temple, a peaceful setting for practicing the ancient art form. Immerse yourself in the cultural richness of Japan as you create beautiful calligraphy pieces.

Day 3

Visit to Magome town

Take a leisurely walk along the Nakasendo Trail to explore Magome town and its historic attractions. Immerse yourself in the traditional ambiance of this post town before heading to the next destination.

Bus ride to Iida station for Puppet Museum visit

Board a bus to Iida station and visit the Iida City Kawamoto Kihachiro Puppet Museum, showcasing the city’s legacy of Bunraku puppetry. Admire the intricate craftsmanship of the puppets and learn about this traditional art form.

Scenic boat ride along Tenryu River

Conclude your trip with a relaxing boat cruise along the picturesque Tenryu River. Enjoy stunning views of the surrounding landscapes as you reflect on the memorable experiences of your journey through Nagoya and the Kiso Valley.

In summary, this 3-day trip offers a perfect blend of cultural exploration, culinary delights, and natural beauty, providing you with a truly immersive experience in Japan. Enjoy every moment of your adventure and create lasting memories along the way. Safe travels!