The walking highway to Trip in Japan

Posted On September 1, 2010 

The Nakasendo highway in Japan is essentially a three hundred and ten mile rod which connects Kyoto to Tokyo.  This place was constructed during the eighth century.  Over here when we are talking about the highway, we are not just talking about the wide six asphalt lanes but the wide walking paths.

The Edo castle’s shogun had mandated that this be used as the official highway to be used by the feudal lords to travel to and from the castle.  This path was also used by messengers, merchants, pilgrims, and porters. The ten thousand member entourage of Princess Kazunomiya took three days to pass through the town.

Nakasendo highway

The towns that were located along the highway, had lots of activity for many hundreds of years.  Although now, it would be a better idea to hike along the highway and spend a weekend away from the bustling life of the nearby cities.

The towns earlier had wooden buildings that were ore or less kept the same.  These were then recognized as historical artifacts.  A lot since then has been restored. These now look almost like it has really been built around two hundred years ago.

The Verdant Kiso Valley lies in Nagabo’s prefecture and includes the towns of Magome, Tsumago and Narai.

Kiso Valley

It is very possible to visit this place in a one day trip in Japan. Although the most memorable ways to experience the post town is t come down here to the Kiso valley and spend some time hiking between them during the day and resting, and having your dinner at the guesthouses during the evening. The guesthouses are usually run by families.  Magome is a pace that is connected to Tsumago. The five mile stretch of Nakasendo is an excellent point for jumping off and exploring the area. You cold even move around by train and explore the many parts of this area.  The Kiso valley is located on the farther end of the northern region; here lies the Narai which is more than one day walk from Magome. Although this I very easily accessible by train and is much faster as well.

If you want to take transportation for the journey between Tokyo and Magome, then riding on the bullet train would take you about two hours. The limited express train would take you about on hour and finally you could also take the bus which would take you about thirty minutes.

There are no cars allowed on this road. This wide stone path is flanked on both sides with rows and rows of two storyed buildings that are made out o wood.

If you decide to come here during the spring season then you will see the flowers blooming and you will also be able to spot swallows dipping themselves among the bushes and trees. Here the water pours down the hill and the water enters these drains that go down either side of the road.  The scene here can get quite crowded though.  The water that goes through these drains is diverted to create large carp ponds.  These ponds reach halfway up the hill; where a wooden waterwheel spins slowly.

Check back here to find out more about the hiking trail in the beautiful land of Japan.

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