The Nakasendo is drawing attention from tourists all over the world. Of the five main roads that were maintained during the Edo period, the most historic buildings and historic sites remain alive today. Utagawa Hiroshige's famous ukiyo-e art museum, Ochiai-juku where the cobblestones of the past remain, and walking from Magome-juku to Tsumago-juku, a post town full of Edo atmosphere. Travel back in time to Japan in the 1600s. Experience life as it was in a simpler time and become entranced by the nature and beauty of the post towns of the past. See all of the highlights that Gifu has for you to see.

1
Woodblock Printing @Hiroshige Museum of Art, Ena
2
Walking around Iwamura Castle Town
3
Iwamura Castle
4
Naegi Castle Ruins or Ji-kabuki Experience
5
Nakatsugawa-juku
6
Sett Roads in Ochiai
7
Magome-juku
Day1

Woodblock Printing @Hiroshige Museum of Art, Ena (中山道広重美術館版画体験)

Try your hand at making your very own ‘ukiyoe’, or traditional Japanese woodblock. The museum also hosts over 1,400 pieces of ukiyoe artwork, hosting special exhibitions throughout the year including The “Tanaka Collection” ,the museum’s star exhibit — a collection of Utagawa Hiroshige ukiyoe.

1
Hiroshige Museum of Art, Ena (中山道広重美術館)

Ena – Iwamura

30minutes by Akechi Railway

Walking around Iwamura Castle Town (岩村城下町散策)

Iwamura Castle Town is a former Edo period castle district located among scenic valleys and lush foliage. Start your walking tour from Iwamura Station and make your way towards the old street lined with historical old-timey buildings. Iwamura town’s specialty is ‘goheimochi’, a grilled rice cake skewer covered in sweet miso sauce.

2
Walking around Iwamura Castle Town (岩村城下町散策)

Iwamura Castle (岩村城見学)

Explore a castle hidden amongst the misty fog. Iwamura Castle is one of Japan’s top three greatest mountain top castles. The castle building itself has since been demolished, but the ruins and stone walls remain, giving the area an almost mystical atmosphere. Iwamura Castle’s unique appearance makes it a must-visit even for those who have already visited other Japanese castles.

3
Iwamura Castle (岩村城見学)

Iwamura – Ena

30minutes by Akechi Railway

Stay in Ena

Day2

Ena – Nakatsugawa

10 minutes by JR Chuo Line

Nakatsugawa – Naegi or Kashimo

By Kita-Ena Bus

Naegi Castle Ruins (苗木城跡)

Situated atop a mountain next to the Kisogawa River, Naegi Castle is also one of the very few in the country to be built using naturally huge rocks, unevenly piled onto each other to form the stone wall structures. It is also a great spot to view seasonal foliage, such as cherry blossoms during spring, and admire the sunset by virtue of an uninterrupted view of the horizon.

4
Naegi Castle Ruins (苗木城跡)

or

Ji-kabuki Experience (地歌舞伎体験)

Ji-Kabuki is a more laid-back version of Kabuki that is often performed by amateur local actors in the countryside. At the Kashimo Meiji Theatre, you can catch performances of Ji-Kabuki, wholeheartedly performed by local actors who especially love to interact with the audience. This uniquely local tradition has years of history rooted in the southeastern region of Gifu.

4
Ji-kabuki Experience (地歌舞伎体験)

Naegi Castle Ruins or Kashimo Meiji Theatre – Nakatsugawa-juku

By Bus

Nakatsugawa-juku (中津川宿)

Nakatsugawa-juku, the 45th post town along Nakasendo Road, is a quaint little town that specialises in traditional Japanese confectionery. With more than 20 different confectionary shops, Nakatsugawa-juku takes pride in their production of wagashi (Japanese-style sweets), especially famed for kurikinton — a premium confectionary that is made from chestnuts.

5
Nakatsugawa-juku (中津川宿)

Stay in Nakatsugawa

Day3

Nakatsugawa – Ochiai Bus Stop

10 minutes by Kita-Ena Bus, followed by 5 minutes on foot

Sett Roads in Ochiai (落合の石畳)

Sett Roads in Ochiai
Sett Roads in Ochiai

The 840-meter long cobblestone path is a designated site of historical importance. Once a common site in Japan, there are now only two cobblestone paths left — one in Hakone, and one in Ochiai. The cobblestones were used to help traveling merchants, where the stones prevented their carts from slipping on the slopes during heavy rain.

6
Sett Roads in Ochiai (落合の石畳)

Ochiai-juku – Magome-juku

60 minutes (5km) on foot (one way)/ or 15 minutes by Kita-Ena Bus

Magome-juku (馬籠宿)

Magome-juku is a post town located at the southern end of the mountain path called Kisoji Road. In the Magome area, people customarily have been eating Shinshu soba (buckwheat noodles made in Nagano) for a long time. Here, you can stop by various stores to obtain a snack, such as gohei-mochi (skewered rice cake grilled with sauce), okaki (rice crackers), oyaki (flat baked flour buns filled with chopped vegetables or other foods), roasted chestnuts, and more.

7
Magome-juku (馬籠宿)

Magome-juku – Tsumago-juku Walking
*Store baggage and leave for Tsumago-juku

180 minutes / 8.8km on foot (one way)

MAP