Tsumago

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Nagano Tsumago | Authentic Atmosphere of the Rustic Post Roads

Nagano Tsumago | Authentic Atmosphere of the Rustic Post Roads

The Tsumago Post Town has been designated as a preservation district containing important traditional structures, and here you can find the authentic atmosphere of the rustic post roads in the Edo Period. Electrical wires, TV antennas and telephone poles were hidden from sight along the main road. As a result, Tsumago looks much like it did in the 18th century. Both Tsumago and Magome served as post stations located on the Nakasendo Route, which is one of the five routes that connected Edo and locals in the Edo Period. The Nakasendo linked Edo and Kyoto through the inland area and had 69 post stations. Tsumago was the 42nd station while Magome was the 43rd, adjacent to the Kisoji Route of many mountains and woods. If you walk through these two post station towns, you will feel as if you went back to the Edo Period of 300 years ago. The area is already well known internationally as a place that retains the atmosphere of old Japanese post stations and welcomes a number of overseas tourists.

Tsumago also recreates the post town atmosphere by maintaining its Honjin and Wakihonjin. In all post towns, the Honjin was the principal inn and served government officials who were traveling through. When more lodging was required, the Wakihonjin served to accommodate the travelers of lower status. Tsumago also maintains the office where laborers and horses were rented to aid in travel. Many minshuku and ryokan are located in the town, and a stay at one of them will greatly add to the illusion of having left the modern era. If time permits, it is highly recommended to hike a preserved trail of the former Nakasendo from Tsumago to Magome. It is well maintained and well marked in both Japanese and English.

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