During the Edo Period, the Nakasendo route was an important road which connected Kyoto and Edo (present day Tokyo). In Nagiso are the Nakasendo post towns of Midono-juku and Tsumago-juku. Still today that distant warm glow and chatter of the then lively community continues to live on, being felt, resounding in and warming our hearts.
A hiking course from Nagiso Station through Tsumago-juku then on to Magome-juku is well suited to families, and is very popular among foreign visitors, where you can feel the still remaining atmosphere of the Edo period and enjoy many historic elements of Japan.
It was the forty-second of the sixty-nine post towns on the Nakasendo (counting from Tokyo). This post town was the first town in the country to have its original appearance preserved, and the Japanese government classified it as a 'Nationally-Designated Architectural Preservation Site'. As such old buildings are preserved or restored to their original condition, and street lights and roadside watering places remain still in their classic form, making it seem as if the entire Edo period were condensed into this town.
It is a popular tourist destination in the Kiso Valley, along with the neighboring old mountain road to Magome-juku.
This post town was once as prosperous as Tsumago-juku, but most of the buildings were lost due to the big fire of 1881. Some remaining old buildings though still retain the traces of such old times.
The power station is typical of the hydroelectric plants which were built in the Taisho Period (early 20th century).
This suspension bridge was built by Momosuke Fukuzawa, who was called 'The King of Electricity' (the founder of the Daido Electric Co.,Ltd/ former Kansai Electric Co.,Ltd), to facilitate the construction of nearby hydro-electric power facilities. The bridge having a 247m long wooden arch ('truss stiffened suspension bridge'), is considered to be one of the longest bridges of the sort in Japan.
There are many waterfalls in the Otaki Gorge, and as a group, they are called Tadachi-no-taki.
They have an enchanting and mystical air to them and are included on the list of the 'One Hundred Waterfalls of Japan '.
This valley is considered to be the most beautiful valley in the Kisoji area. The 8km long valley has various features such as waterfalls and shoals. Travelers are continuously impressed by the grandeur of this scenic masterpiece of nature.
Amongst local specialty food features: Kakizore Miso Paste which is unique having no food additives, unlike regular mass produced miso pastes.
Akatatsuzuke is pickled tounoimo-potato stalks pickled with salt. Kiso is also famous for Goheimochi rice cakes, and they also have Kisoji beer, the local beer brewed using the pristine water from nearby Mt. Nagisodake.
Nagiso Rokuro Zaiku-wooden products are designated as a 'national traditional art and craft'. The Araragi Hinoki Kasa (a conical Asian hat made out of Hinoki cypress trees) is designated as a 'traditional art and craft' of Nagano Prefecture. Neko, is a sleeve-less 'hanten' (winter coat) which is produced in Nagiso Town where they have very cold winters.
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