After a further short train and cab ride to Nojirijuku with our lunch packed we set off the next morning for a 14km walk through the undulating landscape of the Kiso Valley
ending up in one of the most beautiful and well preserved Japanese villages an Edo postal town called Tsumago. We arrived mid afternoon which gave us enough time to explore the 2 houses where the feudal lords would stay when travelling from Kyoto to Tokyo (Edo) as well as the museum.
We stayed in another lovely family run Minshuku Matsushiroya established in 1804, which served delicious miso Carp for dinner, a local speciality. As our guide Kiyo and us were the only guests Tony and I were able to share their fabulous cypress wooden bath tub!
The following day’s walk between Tsumago and Magome is the best known part of the Nakasendo trail and very pretty. It features husband and wife waterfalls and bells to frighten the bears. Everywhere one finds little stone sculptures called Jizos which protect travellers and the weak such as children. Magome lies on a mountain ridge and the wooden houses are build on stone walls. It is also the birth place of a famous Japanese writer Shimazaki Toson.
For lunch we tried the local speciality of Gohei mocha, small round rice cakes. Then followed a bus and train ride to Nara the capital of Japan from 710-784, about which I will blog next.