Introducing Tsumago & Magome
In Gifu-ken, pretty Magome is the furthest south of the Kiso Valley post towns. Its buildings line a steep, cobblestone pedestrian road which is unfriendly to heavy wheelie suitcases, but whose rustic shopfronts and mountain views will keep your finger on the shutter.
From Magome, the 7.8km hike to Tsumago follows a steep, largely paved road until it reaches its peak at the top of Magome-tōge (pass) – elevation 801m. After the pass, the trail meanders by waterfalls, forest and farmland. The route is easiest in this direction, from Magome (elevation 600m) to Tsumago (elevation 420m). The route is clearly signposted in English; allow 3-6 hours to enjoy it.
If fitness or a disability might prevent you from appreciating this amazing walk, there is an easier way. The Magome-Tsumago bus (¥600, 30 minutes, 2-3 daily in each direction) also stops at Magome-tōge. If you alight and begin the walk here, it's a picturesque 5.2km downhill run through to Tsumago.
If you do the hike, both towns offer a handy baggage forwarding service from either Tourist Office to the other. Deposit your bags between 8.30am and 11.30am, for delivery by 1pm.
Tsumago & Magome destination guides
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 of the serene and frenetic, the quaint and kooky, the reserved and the outrageous.