Nagano, in the northern part of Nagano Prefecture, is located at the basin of the Chikuma-gawa River that runs through the Zenko-ji-daira Plateau. It developed. Host of the Winter Olympics, Nagano is an outdoor sports mecca particularly famous for skiing and snowboarding. Often called the “roof of Japan,” it boasts. The rugged and forested Kiso Valley in southwestern Nagano is a fascinating step back in time. The area is home to the best-preserved section of the old.

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The rugged and forested Kiso Valley in southwestern Nagano is a fascinating step back in time. The area is home to the best-preserved section of the old Nakasendo merchant trail, charming historic towns, jjto sacred Mt Ontake.

The Shinano Express runs the full length of the Kiso Valley, connecting the area to the rest of Japan. The views from the train give a tantalizing taste of what’s in store.

Starting your trip at the post town of Magome in Gifu Prefecture is also an option, combined with a walk on the Nakasendo to Tsumago in Nagano. Ontake to the west. The wooden products you find for sale around Kiso are made from top quality hinoki cypress, which was prized by emperors and will last for centuries.


The Ontake faith is a blend of Shinto, esoteric Buddhism, and ancient shamanic practices. At 3, meters, Mt. Ontake is Japan’s second highest volcano after Mt. From the early s until the late s, the Nakasendo Highway served as a vital travel artery, connecting Kyoto and Edo now Tokyo.

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Seventy kilometers of it ran through Kiso; its 11 post towns, stretching from Magome in the south to Niekawa in the north, provided rest and entertainment for merchants and weary travelers. Portions of Kiso’s Nakasendo are still incredibly well preserved, like a vision drawn from one of Hiroshige’s classic Ukiyoe prints.

This is especially true of Magome and Tsumagotwo iconic post towns with old wooden streetscapes at the southern jto to the Kiso Valley. In the northern part of the hnto, the town of Narai is remarkably well preserved. It’s larger than other towns in the area, with the main street stretching over a kilometer.

It is best in the evening, when the old buildings are lit with glowing lanterns. Kiso’s largest town is a relaxed community on the Kiso River. Formerly, it functioned as one of the checkpoints along the Nakasendo, used by the Tokugawa Shoguns in Edo to keep tight control over the movement of people, goods, and especially, guns. Today, Kiso Fukushima is a delightful town to wander around, with houses huddled above the Kiso River, several well-preserved neighborhoods, and souvenir shops.

One of Japan’s most sacred mountains, Mt Ontakehas been a pilgrimage destination for over a thousand years. The faithful still come from all across Japan to walk the Ontake Pilgrimage Trail up to the summit, performing ceremonies at holy sites along the way.


The Kiso Valley has a seemingly endless flow of incredibly pure water. Depending on lighting and other factors, its lakes, rivers, and streams vary from crystal clear to turquoise to emerald green.

Skiing & Snowboarding in Japan

Plenty of water-based activities are available throughout Kiso. Go fishing in the hills and catch Japanese trout, known as iwana. Then, find the perfect cove jmto a barbeque beside the turquoise waters that flow through the Atera Ravine. To see more of the area, get out on the water and try kayaking on Lake Ontake for spectacular volcano views. Kayaking Lake Shizenko in Otaki Village will take you through a remote canyon towering above as you paddle along.

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Rafting on the Kiso River is another option for a day out on Kiso’s waterways. Jigokudani snow monkey park. Planning a Trip to Japan? Walk untouched rural Japan.

Ontake’s sacred waterfalls in remote Otaki Village Getting up close to Kiso’s gorgeous lakes and rivers. How to Get There. Hike the Nakasendo trail for a taste of old Japan. Explore Kiso Fukushima, the halfway point on the Nakasendo. Follow the pilgrim’s way. Kayak along Lake Ontake. Nagano Mt Ontake Nagano-ken. Nagano Tenryukyo Valley Nagano-ken. Nagano Narai Nakasendo Nagano-ken. Nagano Tsumago Nakasendo Nagano-ken. Who We Are Contact us.

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