This past weekend I made my first trip to the Kiso Valley, part of southern Nagono Prefecture. This is just over an hour north of Nagoya and during this visit I visited a bunch of little cities and villages. From Nagoya, I took a train to Nakatsugawa, then a bus to Magome, hiked to Nagiso through Tsugmago, took another train to Kiso-Fukushima and Narai before returning home.
Here is the Kiso mountain range seen from Magome.These are all mountain towns like South park, very laid back and full of good food. Magome is setup with a main street running through the center of town, most places around here are like this.All of these cities are old post towns between Kyoto and Tokyo, today it is hiking path and this was the base. The hike from Magome to Tsumago started with this sign and the path to the right.Half way through the hike was the Odakimedaki waterfalls. Their is two water falls and I think they are named brother and sister. Here is one of them.Here is the town of Tsumago, their is 1000 row houses. when I arrived here, I thought is was the end of the hike. But looking around I realized their was no train stations in the village. After some investigation I learned the closest station was 4km away at Nagiso. As much as I was done walking, I tracked on.This is a view of the Japanese Alps running through central Nagano prefecture. This view was taken from Shiroyama (Shiro Mountain), the formal site of Tsumago castle.This was kind of funny. Most signs that were obvious, like 'continue walking on the same path you are on now' were in Japanese and English. Once and a while their would be a sign like this at a crossroads, something important in Japanese only. This one says 'go this way to find the train station,' but I'm to a point where I can handle stuff like this.At Kiso-Fukushima they set up 1000s of lanterns all over town. This is near Mt. Ontake, a popular ski and hiking area.Here is a very traditional Japanese dinner.Here are the streets of Narai, similar to the other small villages but a little more laid back.I guess they are heating water in their. But the tea kettle hung over fire also helps to keep the restaurant warm.Here is a very traditional Japanese lunch, soba.
The sign above says 'no parking, please.'