Kiso Valley: Tsumago & Magome

Hi, I thought I better write more about my trip to Japan before baby arrives! I don’t think I will have time to do it then!

So anyway… After Kyoto, we moved on to Tsumago and Magome in the Kiso Valley. We took a train from Kyoto to Nagiso and took a taxi to Tsumago. Tsumago is really nice. It was a post town on the Nakesendo route during the Edo period. You can read more about it here.

There are many ryokan and minshuku in Tsumago but the one we have booked is in Otsumago which is in between Tsumago and Magome. We spent the day walking in Tsumago. We had a nice soba lunch and had a few snacks at a tea house. It was really nice and peaceful. I also remembered seeing notices about bears being spotted along the hiking trail and we could hire a bell if we want to. The bell is to warn the bears that we are in the area. My husband refused to rent it….. argh. Here are some photos of our day at Tsumago.


Anyway, the walk to our minshuku, Kohshinzuka was quite tiring as we had to go uphill and downhill! We made it and we are so glad to be staying there because the host was really nice, the room was great, the bathroom was clean. It has a hot bath in there which we really enjoyed! Best of all, the food was amazing!!!! I highly recommend this place if you do visit Tsumago and Magome! The host even sang a folk song for us! There was audience participation too! We met a very nice family from the USA too. We all enjoyed ourselves!

Waiting to check in

Snack time

View from our room!

This kept us warm while we had dinner next to it

Starter: Raw horse meat (basashi) and some glutinous rice ball with peanut sauce. The horse meat was delicious!!!

Grilled fish with salt

We also had chawan mushi and some other dishes. I forgot what they were! But they were good!!!

Our host.

Breakfast! The soup was soooo good!!!

After breakfast, we checked out and started our walk to Magome. It was a long hike… mostly UPHILL! We were so tired by the end of it! My husband was so tired.. he got grumpy within 10 minutes of the hike! HAHA! It was so tiring!! See pic below! That’s how high we had to climb!

View from the top.

Beware of bears!!!

There are also big bells along the hiking trail that you can ring to warn the bears. I did ring it because I was so scared! However, I did wonder.. if the bears heard the bell, wouldn’t they think that dinner is here?!!!!

Anyway, we made it to Magome.. and we were so tired by then, we didn’t take many photos. Magome seems a bit more modern than Tsumago to me. From Magome, we took a bus to Nagiso and took a train to Tokyo.

For this trip, the highlight for me is staying at Kohshinzuka. I’ve never stayed at a minshuku before. It is miles better than the ryokan we stayed at Miyajima. The food was so good. I wish we had another day there just to have some nice home cooked food prepared for us! I would go back there again!

Categories: Culture, Japan, Photography, Travel | Tags: , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Kiso Valley: Tsumago & Magome

  1. Nice pictures!
    I went to Japan only for 9 days, I visited Tokyo, Nara, Kyoto and Osaka. I would have love to visit more. Tsumago seems very authentic and peaceful !

  2. This place looks amazing ! Thanxs for the article.

  3. Thank you! Tsumago is a really nice place! I think it will get very crowded during the holidays in Japan but if you do get a chance, please go! 🙂

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