Admire spectacular mountain scenery as you journey the ancient Nakasendo Way
The Kiso Valley is famed for being home to the Nakasendo – literally ‘the road through the mountains’ – one of Japan’s original highways connecting Tokyo to Kyoto. This old highway was a bustling route during the Edo period, full of travellers such as feudal lords, samurai, merchants and pilgrims, and was also used as a mail route. Because of this, today the road is dotted with charming, atmospheric, and well-preserved postal towns in the Kiso Valley, such as Magome and Tsumago, making it popular for hikes and walking tours.
The recommended route is to travel to Magome, which is situated in Gifu prefecture, and walk up the Old Nakasendo towards Tsumago, in Nagano prefecture, roughly 8.5km. On arriving in Tsumago, visitors can enjoy a traditional meal in one of the many Edo-period style inns, and even spend the night at a minshuku (Japanese style guest house) to enjoy an authentic and traditional Japanese lodging experience.