The Nakasendo historic hike from Tsumago-juku to Magome-juku | HIKES IN JAPAN

The Nakasendo historic hike from Tsumago-juku to Magome-juku

Follow the part “Crossing Magome Pass” of the Nakasendo and enjoy Edo-period feeling at Magome-juku and Tsumago-juku
  • Duration
    1days / 3Hours
    Highest Point
    Elevation Gain
  • Skill Level
    Fitness Level
    Gear Level

The Nakasendo is one of the five highsways ("Gokaido") built during the Edo period. It connects Edo and Kyoto through inland and mountains. Crossing Magome Pass Route that straddles between two post towns from Tsumago-juku to Magome-juku, is one of popular sections among the Nakasendo. Those post towns have good Edo-period feeling, and this section includes a mountain path that stretches for about 7 km and takes approximately 3 hours, making it an easy hiking even for beginners.

Tsumago-juku is located in Nagiso Town, Nagano Prefecture. The townscape have been preserved with the efforts of local people, and certified as a nationally designated historical site as an ''Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings.'' This old townscape stretches for about 800 meters with souvenir shops and restaurants.

Passing through Tsumago-juku, you will arrive at the quiet small village named Otsumago. Here is also a preserved area, and local inns are scattered. After passing the Otsumago village and crossing the road, a gentle cobblestone road begins. Passing a small village, cross a bridge over a stream, and proceed to the left, you will arrive at Otaki and Metaki falls.

Go up the stairs and walk on the road for a while, eventually a bridge will appear, then cross it and enter the mountain path. Get out on the road again and follow the cobblestone road from the stone monument.

After passing through the forest area, you will arrive at the ruins of the Ichikokutochi guardhouse. During the Edo period, a crackdown was carried out here to prevent valuable wood from being stolen.

Once again entering the road surrounded by trees and climb gently, you reach Magome Pass where there is a teahouse. Then, go down the road, and enter the narrow old path and down towards the village.

Going south and leaving the road, after following the cobblestone road, you will arrive at the Magome-juku. From the observation deck, you can enjoy a wide view of Mt. Ena (Ena-san) and the village. Magome-juku has souvenir shops and restaurants, and good Edo atmosphere.

Other Info

Season : All year around


At Tsumago-juku, Bunka-Bunsei Customs Parade is held on November 23rd. It shows a procession of people dressed in traditional clothes.

Route Map

Elevation Map

Height (m)
Horizontal Distance (km)


1days / 3Hours
Highest Point
Elevation Gain
Horizontal Distance
Skill Level
Fitness Level
Gear Level

On the Trail





It takes 10 minutes by taking bus from Nagiso station to Tsumago-juku. There are also highway buses from Tokyo and Osaka, and it takes about 5 hours either.



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