Mio’s Guide to Trekking and Sightseeing on the Nakasendo

Hello, I’m Mio. Today, I’m going to introduce you to my favorite place, the Nakasendo! The Nakasendo is a historic trail that connected Tokyo (Edo) and Kyoto during the Edo period. It is famous for its beautiful scenery and historic post towns. Let’s explore this amazing place together!

1. Course Overview

The Nakasendo is a historic route about 534 kilometers long, connecting Tokyo (Edo) and Kyoto. For trekking, I recommend the popular section from Magome-juku to Tsumago-juku. This section is about 8 kilometers long and takes about 2-3 hours to complete. It is suitable for beginners and intermediate hikers and offers beautiful scenery and preserved Edo-period townscapes.

2. Highlights and Attractions

The Nakasendo is known for its historic post towns and beautiful scenery. Here are some must-see spots:

  • Magome-juku: A well-preserved post town with stone-paved streets and Edo-period buildings. There are museums and souvenir shops to explore.
  • Tsumago-juku: Another well-preserved post town with historical buildings and museums. The town looks much like it did during the Edo period, making it perfect for a leisurely stroll.
  • Kiso River Gorge: Enjoy the beautiful views along the Kiso River. The autumn foliage is particularly stunning.

3. Sightseeing Information

Near the trekking course, there are many interesting places to visit:

  • Magome-juku Museum: Learn about life during the Edo period and the history of the Nakasendo.
  • Tsumago-juku Honjin: A historic inn where feudal lords stayed, now open to the public.
  • Kiso Ohashi Bridge: A beautiful wooden bridge perfect for photos.

4. Access Information

You can reach Magome-juku and Tsumago-juku by train and bus. From Nagoya Station, take the JR Chuo Main Line to Nakatsugawa Station, then take a bus to Magome-juku. To get to Tsumago-juku, take a bus from Nagiso Station. Both towns are easily accessible and well-connected by public transportation.

5. Accommodation Information

There are many great places to stay near the Nakasendo:

  • Ryokan in Magome-juku: Traditional Japanese inns where you can enjoy local cuisine and the ambiance of the Edo period.
  • Minshuku in Tsumago-juku: Family-run guesthouses with a cozy atmosphere.
  • Onsen inns: Enjoy hot springs to relax after a day of trekking.

You can book these accommodations through their official websites or travel booking sites.

6. Food and Supply Points

Magome-juku and Tsumago-juku have many restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy local dishes and sweets. I recommend trying gohei mochi (grilled rice cakes) and soba noodles. It’s a good idea to bring your own water and snacks for the trek.

7. Safety Information

The Nakasendo is a relatively safe trekking route, but keep these tips in mind:

  • Equipment: Wear sturdy hiking shoes, bring rain gear, water, and snacks.
  • Weather: Check the weather forecast before you go and be prepared for sudden changes.
  • Emergency: The nearest medical facilities are in Nakatsugawa City and Nagiso Town. Know the emergency contacts before you go.

8. Seasonal and Weather Information

The Nakasendo can be visited year-round, and each season offers different attractions:

  • Spring (March-May): Enjoy fresh greenery and cherry blossoms. Temperatures range from 10-20°C, making for comfortable trekking.
  • Summer (June-August): The green scenery is beautiful, and the mornings and evenings are cool. Daytime temperatures range from 20-30°C, and the shade provides a pleasant trek.
  • Autumn (September-November): The fall foliage is stunning, especially from mid-October to early November. Temperatures are around 15°C, with cooler mornings and evenings.
  • Winter (December-February): The snowy landscape is magical and peaceful. If there is snow, be prepared with warm clothing and traction aids.

9. History and Trivia

The Nakasendo, one of the Five Routes during the Edo period, connected Tokyo (Edo) and Kyoto. It had 69 post towns, where travelers could rest and resupply. Magome-juku and Tsumago-juku are particularly well-preserved, attracting many visitors. The Nakasendo was an important route for cultural and commercial exchange.

10. Nearby Tourist Spots

There are other wonderful places to visit near the Nakasendo:

  • Nakatsugawa City: Known for its traditional sweets like kuri kinton (chestnut paste). Visit the Nakatsugawa City Museum for more local history.
  • Enakyo Gorge: A beautiful gorge where you can enjoy boat rides and hiking.
  • Kiso Valley: Known for its beautiful scenery and historical significance. Visit other post towns like Narai-juku and Fukushima-juku.

This guide provides all the information you need to enjoy trekking and sightseeing on the Nakasendo. I hope this helps you plan a wonderful trip!

Scroll to Top