Japan surprised me in many ways. But the most unexpected was the part of the Nakasendo trail between Magome and Tsumago. It is the place to experience rural Japan that seems to be worlds apart from its sprawling cities. The 8 km hike up in the hills of Kiso Valley balanced my image of this ultramodern country with some oldfashioned charm. Here are some impressions from it.
Getting there and away:
From Nagano or Nagoya by train to Nakatsugawa. From there it’s fairly easy to catch a bus to Magome (the bus station is right outside of the train station). Walk to Tsumago and have your bags delivered there. From Tsumago you can catch a bus back to Nakatsugawa. Taxi is another alternative that is not too pricey.
Where to stay:
We stayed at the Tajimaya Inn in Magome. Nice rooms with tatami floors and futons. The price includes sumptuous dinner and breakfast plus a hot bath in the evening.
Find a detailed map here.