The Kiso Valley is the river gorge and formed by the Kiso River as it runs through the Kiso Area of Nagano Prefecture and the surrounding area. There is a mountain road called the Nakasendo, that has many post towns along running along with it because of easy access to the river.

About Kiso Valley

The Kiso Valley refers to the area along the upper part of the Kiso River as it runs from Nagano to Nagoya. The Kiso Valley area covers the south-western part of Nagano to Nakatsugawa City in Gifu Prefecture. It is surrounded by mountains, with Komagadake in the east, and Mt. Ontake in the west. Sightseeing in the Kiso Valley area usually involves visiting these surrounding areas.

Things to Do and See in the Kiso Valley Area

In Kiso Valley, you can enjoy unique natural views and towns with shops and hotels that look like they are straight out of the past.

Hiking in Kiso Valley

The Kiso Valley area consists of many mountains, passes, gorges and a wide forested area. Most of the area has trails leading to favorite spots, so hiking is a possibility. Among the many mountains in the area, Mt. Kisokoma, Joyama, and the Torii-Toge Pass offer comparatively easy walking. There, you can find some of the best photo spots in the area, such as Nezamenotoko Gorge, or one of the three most beautiful forests in country, the Akasawa Natural Recreation Forest, and they are all worth a look.

Post Towns Around Kiso Valley: Tsumago, Narai and Others

In the Kiso Valley area is a mountain road called the Nakasendo, which has existed since the Edo Period. There are about 11 post towns along the Nakasendo. Among them, Tsumago and Narai are famous for looking just as they did in that era.

Food and Restaurants in Kiso Valley Area

The most famous foods from the Kiso Valley are buckwheat noodles, and Goheimochi. The buckwheat noodles use the pure water of the Kiso River, and are very aromatic. The Goheimochi rice cakes have a sauce with walnuts, soy sauce, sugar, sesame seeds and more, and are cooked over a charcoal fire.

Since both are famous foods in the Kiso Valley, many shops offer them, but most of them are around Kiso-Fukushima Station.

Hotels, Inns, and Ryokans in Kiso Valley

There aren’t many places to stay in the Kiso Valley area, and they are spread out. Most of them are small inns or guest houses. Because of the various hot springs in the area, including the Kiso Ontake Hot Spring and the Minami Kiso Hot Spring, you can also choose an inn that lets you make use of one of the natural hot springs.

Access to the Kiso Valley From Tokyo

If you want to go sightseeing in the Kiso Valley, first head to Kiso-Fukushima Station. To get there from Tokyo, there are options from either Tokyo or Shinjuku Stations. From Shinjuku Station, take the Azusa Limited Express and head towards Shiojiri Station, and from Tokyo Station, take the Nozomi bullet train to Nagoya. From either Shiojiri or Nagoya Station, change to the Shinano Limited Express, and it will take you to Kiso-Fujishima Station.

Spot information

  • Spot name:Kiso Valley (Kiso-Fukushima Station)
  • Street address:〒397-0001 2010, Fukushima-Mangori, Kiso Village, Kiso City, Nagano Prefecture 
  • Access:From Shinjuku Station, changing in Shiojiri Station, it takes about 3 hours and 13 minutes. From Tokyo Station, changing at Nagoya Station, it takes about 3 hours and 2 minutes.
  • Wi-Fi:Available(Depending on the attraction, accommodation, and restaurant)
  • Language:English
  • Ticket Purchase:At stations
  • Credit cards:VISA, MasterCard, JCB, AMERICAN EXPRESS, Diners Club International