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Kiso

Kiso Valley can be found next to the Central Japan Alps along an ancient trade route, which later became part of the Nakasendo.

Kiso

Kiso Valley is located along the ancient route known as Kisoji before it merged with the famed Nakasendo, an old highway that connected Edo to Kyoto. The valley was used to connect the former Mino and Shinano Provinces. The area can be found in the southwest part of Nagano close to the border of Gifu. The post town in the valley is one of the stops hikers can start from to venture on Nakasendo. The Tsumago Post Town has lodging for travelers and was renovated back in 1960s. A day hike from Tsumago Post Town from Magome Post Town is a popular way to enjoy the surrounding area. While hiking, you can see a number of ichirizuka, distance markers, which have been rebuilt over time.

In the fall season the Kiso Valley becomes particularly attractive with all of the autumn foliage. Kiso Valley has been known for its quality of timber of cypress, which has been used to rebuild the Ise Shrine. During the Edo Period it was a capital offense to remove trees from the forests. You can find many crafts and souvenirs made from the cypress trees at the post towns in the valley. Another attraction to enjoy is the Atera Valley, which is known for its crystal clear emerald green water.