Tsumago-juku is a historic post town – known as ‘juku’ or ‘shukubamachi’ – that once serviced a 70km trade route through the Kiso Valley, part of the greater 500km ‘Nakasendo Road’ that connected Kyoto and Edo – now called Tokyo. As one of five official highways between Kyoto and Edo, the road was busy with government officials, merchants and pilgrims, typically forced by the shogunate to move on foot. As a result, post towns developed along the road to service the needs of travelers.
Of the remaining post towns, Tsumago is one of the best preserved and most popular for visitors. The town retains its ‘Honjin’ (principal inn) which serviced government feudal families and government officials and ‘Wakihonjin’ (secondary inn), for lower status officials Other historic buildings are in excellent condition and residents make every effort to retain the town’s traditional character. Strolling the streets of Tsumago-juku and hiking the Nakasendo Trail to other post towns including Magome-juku, will transport you back to a Japan now long gone – the Japan of your imagination. For detailed information regarding the trail, please refer to our ‘Walk the Nakasendo Trail’ page.
For accommodation listings in or nearby Tsumago, see our ‘Magome, Tsumago & Kiso-Fukushima Area’ hotel page. We also recommend considering to stay to the north of Tsumago, in the more centrally and conveniently located area around Kiso-Fukushima – pictured below.
It has the greatest variety of accommodation in the Kiso Valley and as a stop on all Limited Express Shinano services running between Nagano, Matsumoto and Nagoya, it is the most convenient point from where to explore the region including the nearby Kiso Ontake Mountain Range. For accommodation listings in the area, see our ‘Kiso-Fukushima & Narai Area’ hotel page.
Accessible all times of year
From Nagiso Station, take the local bus toward Tsumago, approximately 10 minutes. Most Limited Express Shinano services between Nagano and Nagoya do not stop at Nagiso. If using a limited express service you will need to transfer at either Kiso-Fukushima - when coming from Nagano- or Nakatsugawa - when coming from Nagoya. For that reason, we recommend staying in the Kiso-Fukushima area from where it's easy to explore the many attractions of the Kiso Valley