Barren street of Tsumago, mountains and trees.

Hiking from Magome to Tsumago: timeless Japan

Article updated on May 22, 2020
Text & photos: Claire Lessiau & Marcella van Alphen

During the Edo Period (1603 – 1868), an ancient route called the Nakasendō, literally meaning the Central Mountain Route, connected the political capital Edo (today’s Tokyo) to Kyoto, home to the Imperial Palace. Samurais and merchants used to cover its 534 kilometres through mountains and valleys. Today one can still hike the historical trail, its most atmospheric stretch being between the villages of Magome and Tsumago to explore a rare and timeless Japan.

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