Weaving through the mountains of central Japan, the historic Nakasendo Trail connected Kyoto and Edo-period Tokyo. This trail stretches 534 km and the Juku villages along the way provided accommodation for weary travellers walking along this route dating back to the seventh century. Some of the best-preserved post towns offer a real glimpse into the past, with wooden buildings lining stoned paths and the sound of watermills evoking a connection to those who have walked there centuries ago.
Amongst the 69 post towns along this ancient trail, Magome, Tsumago and Narai stand out thanks to the conservation efforts made by the local government and people who have lived here for generations. With modern power lines and advertising boards being outlawed, the locals here have preserved the traditional townscape and unique history of this region.
While portions of the trail have been converted to roads and railways, there are still some well-preserved sections that wind through bamboo forests, fields and along rivers and streams; our tours include hiking on these parts of the trail with accommodation nights in small family run Minshukus and Ryokans. The natural beauty of this region has long inspired many writers and artists and we hope that our guests are moved by the unique culture, architecture, cuisine and local people as well.
From Ancient Pilgrimage to Samurai Trails