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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Chubu - Kiso Valley
Tsumago 
# 1   of 5 most visited
sights in Kiso Valley

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On April 1, 2014, the consumption tax increased from 5% to 8%, causing widespread changes to fees and fares. This page has not been updated yet, and some of the fees may not be up-to-date

Tsumago was a post town on the Nakasendo route between Kyoto and Edo. It is known today as one of the best preserved post towns in Japan. The town and its residents go to great lengths to recreate the ambiance of the Edo Period. Cars are prohibited on the main street in the day and phone lines and power cables are kept concealed, allowing visitors to imagine they have slipped back to an earlier time.

Tsumago also recreates the post town atmosphere by maintaining its Honjin and Wakihonjin. In all post towns, the Honjin was the principal inn and served government officials who were traveling through. When more lodging was required, the Wakihonjin served to accommodate the travelers of lower status. Tsumago also maintains the office where laborers and horses were rented to aid in travel.

Many minshuku and ryokan are located in the town, and a stay at one of them will greatly add to the illusion of having left the modern era. If time permits, it is highly recommended to hike a preserved trail of the former Nakasendo from Tsumago to Magome. It is well maintained and well marked in both Japanese and English.

Honjin
Hours: 9:00 to 17:00
Closed: December 29 to January 1
Admission: 300 yen
Tsumago's Honjin was reconstructed in the 1990s, but great efforts have been taken so that it resembles its condition in the 1830s, when it served as an inn.
Wakihonjin
Hours: 9:00 to 17:00
Closed: December 29 to January 1
Admission: 600 yen, includes entry to Rekishi Shiryokan
In contrast to the Honjin, the antiquity of the Wakihonjin is entirely genuine; the building dates back to the 19th century. It now serves as a museum, and tours are held in Japanese.
Rekishi Shiryokan
Hours: 9:00 to 17:00
Closed: December 29 to January 1
Admission: 600 yen, includes entry to Wakihonjin
A rather extensive historical museum on Tsumago and the Kiso Valley. Most of the museum is translated into English, and many models and artifacts are on display.
Kotoku Temple
Hours: 8:30 to 17:00
Admission: optional donation
Kotoku Temple (Kotokuji) is a Buddhist temple which is believed to have been built in 1500. It is not particularly remarkable, but still quite pleasant.
Notice Board
In former times the notice board was the means of pronouncing decrees from the shogunate. This notice board is in quite good condition, and with some Japanese linguistic abilities certain prohibitions and warnings can be read.
Castle Grounds
Tsumago Castle was demolished hundreds of years ago, but the site of its ruins affords an exceptional view onto the city below. The former castle site is located on a hill about a kilometer north of Tsumago's main street.

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

How to get there
On April 1, 2014, the consumption tax increased from 5% to 8%, causing widespread changes to transportation fares. This page has not been updated yet, and some of the fees and fares in this section may not be up-to-date.

Tsumago is connected by infrequent buses with JR Nagiso Station, the closest train station. The one way trip takes about seven minutes and costs 300 yen (see timetable). Alternatively, a taxi ride costs about 1000 yen. You can also walk between Nagiso Station and Tsumago in about an hour along a marked walking trail.

With a few exceptions, most limited express trains between Nagoya or Nagano do not stop at Nagiso Station. Instead, transfer to a local train at Nakatsugawa or Kiso-Fukushima Station.

Nearby Magome can be reached from Tsumago by infrequent direct buses (see timetable) or by following the Magome-Tsumago Hiking Trail.

How to get to and around the Kiso Valley

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Fujioto
Friendly, traditional inn with good location in Tsumago. By many considered the best in town.
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Matsushiroya
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User Ratings
Ratings for Tsumago:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  best of Japan  
User Rating (by 112 users):
90/100
  recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 764):
58.  Yudono-san (Dewa Sanzan)   90/100
59.  Old Town (Obuse)   90/100
60.  Adachi Museum of Art (Matsue)   90/100
61.  Ritsurin Koen (Takamatsu)   90/100
62.  Pilgrimage Trails (Mount Koya)   90/100
63.  Tsumago (Kiso Valley)   90/100
64.  Mount Misen (Miyajima)   90/100
65.  AnimeJapan (Tokyo)   90/100
66.  War Memorials (Okinawa Island)   89/100
67.  Nachi Taisha (Kumano)   89/100
Most visited sights nationwide (out of 894):
319.  Lake Mashu (Akan National Park)   197
320.  Shimoda Park (Izu Peninsula)   196
321.  Takasaki Monkey Park (Beppu)   195
322.  Senjogahara Marsh (Nikko)   194
323.  Wakakusayama (Nara)   194
324.  Tsumago (Kiso Valley)   193
325.  Botanical Garden (Hakone)   193
326.  Magome (Kiso Valley)   192
327.  Meiji Mura (Inuyama)   192
328.  Red Brick Warehouses (Hakodate)   192

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Japanese Links
Tsumago
Official website.

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Related Pages
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Chubu Region
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Magome-Tsumago Trail
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