The Kiso Valley is an area of mountainous terrain covered in thick cypress forests with several picturesque towns, originally set up as stations along the ancient Nakasendo highway linking the old capital Edo (Tokyo) with Kyoto to the west. Many of these ancient towns fell into decline in the early 20th Century, but more recently many of the Edo style streets and building have been restored and protected by the local government, preserving the unique ambience of the Nakasendo station towns of the Edo period (1603 – 1868). The two most attractive and famous towns in the region are Tsumago and Magome, which are traffic-free and rich in traditional buildings housing restaurants, shops and inns, giving them a delightful old world atmosphere. These two towns are connected by a well signposted hiking trail which leads over a small peak, and through pleasant scenery of farmlands, waterfalls and forests.

Experiences to Inspire in Kiso Valley

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