Top Ten Japan Classic Adventures

Walk Like a Feudal Lord
By Brent Madison

Hike with the ghosts of Edo. During the Tokugawa Shogunate of the Edo period (1600 to 1868), feudal lords were required to visit the ruling shogun in the country's capital, Edo or present day Tokyo. Official highways were constructed for the journeys—the most popular being the Nakasendo—that weave through the center of Honshu's mountains and ominous forests.

Two post towns along this route, Magome and Tsumago—in the beautiful Kiso Valley—have been preserved in the traditional Edo-style. Hike between the 200-year-old wooden villages—tucked into valley nooks—along the actual Nakasendo trail of the old samurai and stay in traditional country inns at both ends.

Take a day to explore and relax in each town and a half-day to hike under the quiet pines with the ghosts of Edo on their journey to the capital.

Published: 28 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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