Hiking Japan's Historical Kiso Road


Kiso Road is an old trading route that connected Tokyo to Kyoto, popular during the 16th through the 19th Century, it was the favored route of the Imperial Family. Hiking the trail can't but make you stop and imagine a small crowded road with traveler's on horseback, as well as royalty being carried in Palanquin. The trail is 550 Miles long and runs through sixty-nine post towns. Tsumago and Magome being the most visited towns because of the towns restoration efforts and easy access.


The residents of Tsumago and Magome banned together in the 1970's to restore old homes, hide powerlines and added a trail to better connect the two towns. The town of Tsumago has removed all vending machines, banned additional above-ground power lines and requires its postman to dresses in a traditional Edo period costume.


We spent the morning in Tsumago and then hiked to Magome until late in the afternoon; returning before reaching the waterfalls Odaki & Medaki to catch a shuttle to our hotel. Our short 4-mile hike followed the Kisogawa river where we saw fisherman, waterfalls,  cherry trees,  daffodils, bridges,  and ancient markers.

You can get to Tsumago by taking the train from Nagoya to Nagiso, from Nagiso it is a short bus ride to Tsumago. Here is a map you can check for reference.