05 Sep 2018 in Discover Japan
Travel back to the Edo Period by walking this ancient trade route.
Take a day trip from Hoshino Resorts KAI Matsumoto – or hike the whole route over a few days and discover a fascinating slice of Japanese history.
The Kisoji is an ancient trade route that runs through the Kiso Valley and became part of a much longer route between Edo and Kyoto in the 17th century. Known as Nakasendo (“path through the mountains”), this 300-mile route was a vital link between Japan’s two major cities, and so-called post towns were established along the way to allow travellers to eat and sleep.
The best-preserved of these post towns are in the Kiso Valley. Narai-juku in the north, for example, features over half a mile of Edo-period wooden buildings with overhanging upper floors.
It’s like being on a film set or stepping back in time. Other highlights include Tsumago-juku and Magome-juku in the south.
For the full experience, hike through all 11 post towns in the valley – a physical undertaking that will take several days. Your reward? Stunning mountain scenery, idyllic waterfalls and the luxury of enjoying the towns after day-trippers have left!