The Magome-Tsumago trail in the Kiso Valley is an original postal route in the Nagano Provence, the towns have been maintained in a mostly original state. Walking through the path passes through some beautiful forest, some original cobblestones and a bit of bitumen to remind you of modern times.
The day I walked from Magome to Tsumago was a rainy, cold day – it is easy to imagine what it was like to travel the hundreds of kilometres on foot as people once did.
Magome initially feels a little like a tourist town but fairly quickly I found I was absorbed back into early Japan.
Some warming Soba while it rained and then I was off for the walk.
The original cobblestones are still there for part of the way.
Between the towns is stunning, lush, country but this part of Japan has some things to watch out for!
For braving the bears you do get some great views.
Japan in June is a little wet but there are lots of wildflowers are starting to come out, I think July would be the perfect time for this walk.
Once you reach Tsumago a few hours later it is even more well maintained, a very pretty little town.
Unfortunately the bad weather made taking photos very difficult, my apologies for the glare
The walk is a very straightforward 10 or 15 km and is easy to reach from Nagano or Matsumoto – you can even have your luggage forwarded from the tourist information centres if you still have big bags.
It is absolutely worth a visit if you are in this part of the country.