Hi there! Plan to go somewhere outside Tokyo for 3 days from 9 to 11 Nov, thinking of Kiso Valley & area around, since all the way there wish to get the most out of it. Question: 1. Which route to travel to Kiso Valley? Tokyo – Nagoya – Nakatsugawa – bus to Magome – walk to Tsumago OR Shinjuku – Shiojiri – Nakatsugawa? Read that from Magome to Tsumago is less uphill so plan to start from Magome. 2. We can spend 1 or 2 nites in this area – wish to stay overnite in the area which has more to offer? any suggestions? Seem do not have a 3 days pass just to visit Kiso Valley area. Last year Apr went around many places with JR East pass (Nagano, Nigitta) was really enjoyable, see lots of cherry blossom. Places went : Gala Yuzawa, Karuizawa, Nagano Zenkoji temple, Matsumoto, Takasaki, Komoro, Odawara past years been to Fuji 5 Lake kawaguchiko area, Hakone, Kamakura, Nezu, Nikko Maybe can consider spend a nite in Fuji 5 Lake again if time allow. Thanks!
I believe the Magome to Tsumago route is generally less steep than the reverse, so you may prefer that. Also, Tokyo-Nagoya-Nakatsugawa is a shorter trip than Shinjuku-Shiojiri-Nakatsugawa.
Tsumago and Magome have a great atmosphere but not be the most exciting place to stay overnight. Kiso Fukushima, in the northern area of Kiso, has plenty of hotels, izakaya pubs, and restaurants around to enjoy in the evening. It also has a few gems of its own, and there are a number of nature-rich areas you can visit the following day—plus, it’s close to Narai-juku. See more about Kiso Fukushima.
Afterwards, you could take travel back towards Shinjuku via Shiojiri and stop by the Fuji 5 Lakes area if you would like. If you have any other questions about the Kiso Area or activities nearby, please let me know!