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 other walkers about, and no scary bits - just a lovely walk!
Contributed by Andrew Llanwarne< Back to Japan page for links to other stories
|Location||Kiso Valley, Nagano prefecture, central Honshu|
|Date walked||July 2003|
|Walk type||Countryside and easy hill walks|
|Difficulty||Suitable for anyone who enjoys an easy walk|
|Distance||8 km (5 miles)|
|Time taken||2 hrs 0 mins|
|Walk source info||Information in the Lonely Planet guide, and signs along the route|
|Getting there||Train to Nagiso, bus to Tsumago. Bus from Tsumago to Magome.|
|Places to stay||Minshuku (guest house) in Tsumago|
|Other features||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|