View of Kiso Valley, Japan
Tsumago and the Nakasendo Highway Walking Trail
Known as one of the best-preserved post towns in all of Japan, Tsumago is situated in the Kiso Valley, where the forested mountains that surround it offer a taste of the remote Japanese countryside. The town goes to great lengths to preserve its heritage, with cars forbidden from driving down the main streets and electrical wires hidden as much as possible – the old-world feel is virtually impossible not to fall in love with.
With no traffic, the main street is a tranquil collection of wooden craft shops, restaurants selling noodles, historic inns and the Kotoku-ji temple which is believed to date back as far as 1500 and this is well worth exploring, but perhaps one of the most unique things about this town is the incredible walk that goes through it. Known as the Magome-Tsumago-Nagiso Walking Trail, you can walk the 7.8km old Nakasendo Highway passing through forest and farmland and along the road that connects Magome to Tsumago and then on towards Nagiso. You will see the beautiful Otaki and Metaki Waterfalls, the historic Tsumago power station and just before Nagiso is SL Park; a wonderful spot where a rusting old steam locomotive is your only company as you soak up the views of the valley below.
Step into the past at one of Japan’s best-preserved post towns
Walk along the famous Nakasendo Highway