Walking through the Kiso Valley provided a complete contrast both to the crowds and modernity of Tokyo, and the mass movement of climbers up and down Mount Fuji. It's a place of tranquility and history, in a little-known part of central Honshu which was once very much on the beaten track. An easy half-day walk through peaceful rural surroundings between two well-preserved little towns, along a well-maintained hiking trail.
- I will remember most the ancient traditional buildings.
- The best bit for me was the sense of relaxation on the walk during a busy holiday schedule.
- There weren’t any “worst bits” on this route.
- The funniest moment was eating the deep-fried locusts after the walk.
- I didn’t expect to be eating green tea ice with sweet bean sauce either.
- I had never seen rice fields up close before, although I had seen plenty through the windows of the trains.
- There was nothing to warn others about, and no scary bits – just a lovely walk!
Read the full walking story, with lots more photos of the hike
Contributed by: Andrew Llanwarne
Walking past houses along the old post road
|| Kiso Valley, Nagano prefecture, central Honshu
|When it was walked
|| July 2003
||Countryside paths and easy hills
||Suitable for anyone who enjoys an easy walk
||8 km (5 miles)
|Height climbed approx
||50 m (150 ft)
|Time taken approx
|Map used if any
|Source of info on walk
|| Information in the Lonely Planet guide, and signs along the route
Train to Nagiso, bus to Tsumago.
Bus from Tsumago to Magome.
|Places to stay
Minshuku (guest house) in Tsumago
|Places to eat/ buy food
||Small food shop in Magome
|Any other local attractions or facilities
The old timber buildings in the two villages. Folk museum and house of the nobility in Tsumago. Museum in Magome devoted to Shimazaki Toson, early 20th century writer