Kiso Valley & Nakasendo
  • Walk the Historic Nakasendo

    The excellent preservation of the road and its postal town allows visitors to step back into the 'Edo Period'; a rare glimpse of traditional Japan in the 21st Century

  • A Place Where Tradition Lives On

    Long protected by its beautiful but inaccessible landscape of deep ravines and mountains, the traditions of Kiso is alive and thriving.

  • Japan's Sacred Mount Ontake

    Considered a sacred mountain by practitioners of 'Ontake Shinko' Shintoism, the famous mountain broods and gives life to the human world below.

  • White Falls & Emerald Rivers

    Kiso Valley is blessed with numerous forest and river trails that transport you into a pristine world of colour and purity.

  • Kiso Valley Woodcraft

    Artisans have developed unique techniques using local wood over more than 400 years and forged a deep connection between local culture and its natural surroundings


Google Map

Kiso Valley & Nakasendo

Most famous for the historic Nakasendo Trail and its beautifully preserved ‘shukubamachi’ towns, the Kiso Valley is blessed with some of Central Japan’s most beautiful natural landscapes and cultural sites. The region is home to pristine forests, emerald rivers, gushing waterfalls and an undulating landscape of mountains and ravines rising to the brooding summit of Mount Ontake – Japan’s second tallest volcano. Long considered sacred, Ontake is worshipped by adherents of the Shinto sect ‘Ontake Shinko’, with the most devote practitioners walking the ‘Ontake Kodo’ pilgrimage trails that run through the forests and past waterways and waterfalls of the mountain.

The Nakasendo or ‘Middle Mountain Road’ provided a route through the Kiso Valley during the Edo Period (1603 to 1868), one of five major highways that connected Kyoto and then capital Edo - now called Tokyo. The road acted as a mountain route between Japan's two most important centres of power and allowed dignitaries, merchants, ascetics and others\ travelers to make the otherwise treacherous journey under the control and relative safety of a monitored highway with post towns called 'shukubamachi' dotted the road, providing accommodation and other services to travelers. Today, the three best preserved shukubamachi of the Nakasendo – Narai, Tsumago and Magome – line within the Kiso Valley, all of which can be visited on foot or by local train or bus – with the larger town of Kiso-Fukushima acting as gateway to one of Central Japan’s most beautiful regions.


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