Do you want to experience how the Japanese traveled from Kyoto to Tokyo during the Edo Period? You can try walking along the ancient road in Magome-Juku. Magome-juku walks you back in time during the Edo Period.
Magome-juku is located in Nakatsugawa which is one of the cities in Gifu Prefecture. It takes 30 minutes by bus from Nakatsugawa Station. As you walk along the town, you can find museums, restaurants, and shops that sell souvenir items. The buildings and houses that line the streets resemble the old Japan.
Magome-juku is best explored early in the day. I went there in late November of 2015. I rode the first bus from Nakatsugawa Station , and I was the only person who got off in the area. The tourist center was even closed when I arrived that I just took a picture of the walking map that was posted in one of the shops. Some shops were still closed and there were even two cars that managed to use the narrow road. The roads were steep, but I enjoyed strolling and taking pictures while it was still free from crowds. After an hour, that was when the town was filled with tourists.
Magome-juku is an old post town where travelers during the Edo period rested after a long journey. When it rained, the road became muddy and too difficult to traverse. That’s the reason why the road is covered with stone pavements. They made life easier for travelers and their horses. It is also too steep that travelers sometimes leave their horses at one of the lodging places where they stay overnight before they go on their way.
Walking through Magome-juku will give you an experience of how it felt like to travel a long distance during the Edo Period. It is a place that has become witness to the journeys of old Japanese people.
How To Go There:
If you are coming from Nagoya, ride a JR Chuo Line Rapid for Nakatsugawa (Departure track number 7 or 11). It might take 71 to 85 minutes to get there. The fare costs 1,320 yen. Once you reach the Nakatsugawa Station, ride the Kita Ena bus and get off at ‘Magome’ bus stop. Here is the bus schedule. I’m not sure if the schedule is updated but I used it in 2015.