Introducing Kiso Valley Region
The Nakasendō was one of the five highways of the Edo period connecting Edo (now Tokyo) with Kyoto. Much of the route is now followed by National Roads, however, in this thickly forested section of the Kiso Valley, there exists several sections of the twisty, craggy post road which have been carefully restored, the most impressive being the 7.8km stretch between Magome and Tsumago, two of the most attractive Nakasendō towns. Walking this route is one of Japan's most rewarding tourist experiences.
It's worth a stay in any or all of these special towns to have them to yourself once the daytrippers clear out. For street foods, look for gohei-mochi (skewered rice dumplings coated with sesame-walnut sauce) and in autumn you can't miss kuri-kinton (chestnut dumplings).
Backroads of Japan
Our trip combines trekking ancient pilgrimage trails with visits to modern cities. The traditional, family run inns we stay at are a definite highlight. No wonder it is our most popular Japan itinerary
A country both steeped in tradition and at the forefront of technological innovation, Japan somehow strikes a perfect balancing act between the serene and frenetic, the quaint and kooky, the reserved and the outrageous.