Welcome to Narai
A lesser known but important example of a Nakasendō post town, little Narai (奈良井) is a gem tucked away in the folds of a narrow valley; it belongs to the city of Shiojiri, in Nagano. Once called 'Narai of a thousand houses', it flourished during the Edo period when its proximity to the highest pass on the Nakasendō made it a popular resting place for travellers. Today, it's a conservation area with a preserved main street showcasing some wonderful examples of Edo-period architecture.
Narai is famed for shikki (lacquerware). Plenty of quality souvenir shops line the main street, many with reasonable prices.