The stunning beauty of Satoyama landscapes


  • Participating in this trek – feel a sense of contributing to the local area through the accommodation, guides and others with whom you come into contact with and their love and appreciation of nature

  • Located around 1,000m above sea level, it is one of the few long trails in Japan

  • This area is blessed with a rich ecosystem, including magnificent Japanese beech tree forests

  • Your choice of full-service accommodation at Madarao Kogen Hotel, or experience staying in rustic Japanese inns, with incredible hospitality and home-cooked meals

  • An opportunity to learn much about the local history and culture

  • Travel on Japan’s famous bullet train to Iiyama

download the sample Shin-Etsu Trail 3 day Trek itinerary
download Shin Etsu Trail Map

Nagano to Niigata on the Shin-Etsu Trail enjoying the seasonal beauty of the Sekida Mountains

Trip level:    Active
Availability:  Daily departures between June and October
Price per person:  From $1050 per person

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The Shin-etsu Trail runs for 80 kilometers along the border between Nagano and Niigata Prefectures, following the path of the Sekida Mountain ridge.

The forests are perhaps best known for their beech trees. Tall, well-shaped beech trees form a corridor of green along the path. The packed-earth trail also makes for easy walking. In spring, the last traces of snow can be seen among new greenery and flowers bursting into bloom. In the fall, hikers can enjoy the brilliant colours of Historically, there were 16 passages through the mountains that connected Nagano with Niigata (traditionally called Shinano and Echigo, respectively). These passages were used for carrying salt and sea-products from Niigata, and Uchiyama paper and mustard seed oil from Nagano. The famous warlord Kenshin Uesugi is said to have led tens of thousands of his men through these passages to fight the Battle of Kawanakajima.

Our sample trek is 2 nights, however we can also arrange a full trail trek which takes 6 days, 5 nights to hike the all the courses complete with authentic Japanese style accommodation.

The Shin-Etsu trail is a two hour bullet train ride from Tokyo to Iiyama (Closest Station) by “Hokuriku Shinkansen”. After the trek, we would love to help you relax and take in the sights of Kyoto and Osaka via Kanazawa by bullet train and limited express. Contact us to plan the rest of your journey!

What’s Included

  • English Speaking Guide on the Trail

  • 2 Breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 Dinners

  • 2 Nights at Madarao Kogen Hotel (Japanese style Minshuku accommodation optional)

  • All transportation whilst in Iiyama area . Japan Holidays can assist with details on travel to Iiyama

  • All entrances fees whilst in Iiyama

  • Official Shin-Etsu Trail map

What’s Not Included

  • Flights

  • Transfers to Iiyama – Japan Holidays can assist with details on travel to Iiyama using Rail Pass

  • Pay locally for drinks with meals and for lunches

  • Entrances fees not mentioned in the itinerary

  • Single room supplement for solo travellers

Hiking the Shin-Etsu Trail