6つの枡形を持つ大井宿 / Ohi post town, with right angles at six places.

Ohi Juku (Ohi post town) was the forty-sixth post town of the Nakasendo Road (the highway between Edo and Kyoto). Ohi Juku had right angles at six places. Honjin, Hatagoya, and a house of a village headman (Shoya) still remains along the Nakasendo. (cf : The Board of the Education of Ena City). Ohi-Juku, Ena-City, Gifu-Prefecture,Japan December 2016,Olympus OM-D E-M1 中山道46番目の宿場、大井宿の風景です。 江戸方から、横町・本町・竪町・茶屋町・橋場と5町があり、それぞれの町は6ヶ所の枡形によって区切られていました。 岐阜県恵那市大井宿 2016年12月撮影、Olympus OM-D E-M1

物資の集積地として大いに栄えた中津川宿 / Nakatsugawa-juku, a former post town and a trade center.

Nakatsugawa-juku was the forty-fifth of the sixty-nine stations of the Nakasendō-Road. During the Edo period, Nakatsugawa-juku flourished as a trade center, and reached a population of over 1,230 people and contained over 175 homes. Nakatsugawa – City, Gifu – Prefecture, Japan. December 2015, Olympus OM-D E-M1 中山道45番目の宿場町、中津川宿は、物資の集積地として繁栄し、本陣と脇本陣、さらに29軒の旅籠を擁する大規模なものだったといいます。 現在、本陣、脇本陣跡の石碑の界隈に立派な卯建を構えた商家を見ることができます。 岐阜県中津川市、中山道中津川宿 2015年12月撮影、Olympus OM-D E-M1

中山道の山深き宿、大湫宿 / Ōkute-juku, in the hilliest situation

Ōkute-juku was the forty-seventh of the sixty-nine stations of the Nakasendō during the Edo period. This is the first station along the Nakasendō to be in the domain of the Owari Clan, one of the most powerful regional clans. Ōkute-juku was first established in 1604, and came to serve as a post town between Ōi-juku and Hosokute-juku (which come before and after Ōkute-juku, respectively). Biwa Pass (琵琶峠 Biwa-tōge) crossed a small mountain between those two post towns and is near where Ōkute-juku was established. Okute-jiku, Mizunami-City, Gifu-Prefecture, Japan. November 2015, Olympus OM-D E-M1 大湫宿(おおくてじゅく、大久手宿とも)は中山道の47番目に当たる山深き宿場です。 慶長9年(1604年)に新設された宿場で、尾張藩領でした。皇女和宮親子内親王の宿泊地となったことで知られています。 鉄道駅から遠く離れた現在、集落には本陣であった建造物も残され、その他の伝統的建造物の軒数は少ないながらも、当時の宿場町の面影を色濃く止めています。 岐阜県瑞浪市大湫宿 2015年11月撮影、Olympus OM-D E-M1

関所の置かれた宿場町、木曽福島 / Kiso-Fukushima, an important check-point on the Nakasendo.

Kiso-Fukushima is located on the Nakasendo highway between Kyoto and Edo (Tokyo), and  was an important check-point on the road. Kiso-Fukushima is located about directly half-way on the Nakasendo. Fukushima, Kiso-town, Nagano-Prefecture, Japan. October 2015, Olympus OM-D E-M1 木曽福島は、戦国時代には領主木曽氏の城下町として、江戸時代には木曽代官山村氏の陣屋町として栄えたほか、四大関所の一つ福島関所が設けられたため、規模の大きい宿場としても発展していました。 現在、昭和2年の大火の焼失を免れた上之段地区に江戸時代末期の建造物が所々残っており、往時が偲ばれます。 長野県木曽郡木曽町福島 2015年10月撮影, Olympus OM-D E-M1

水舟のせせらぎが響く須原宿 / Suhara-juku, with murmuring water

    Suhara-juku was the thirty-ninth of the sixty-nine stations of the Nakasendō, as well as the seventh of eleven stations on the Kisoji. Of all of the post towns along the Kisoji, Suhara was the first one to be established, though originally at a different location. After the town was washed away by a major flood in 1717, it was moved to its present location. Suhara-juku, Okuwa-village, Nagano-Prefecture, Japan November 2015, Olympus OM-D E-M1 中山道39番目の宿場町須原は、木曽路の宿場の中で最も最初に開かれた宿場であると伝えられています。今では、街道筋に設けられたいくつかの水舟のせせらぎの水の音が、静寂とした集落にひびきわたっていました。 長野県木曽郡大桑村須原宿 2015年11月撮影、Olympus OM-D E-M1

奈良井宿の繁栄を支えた工人町、木曽平沢集落 / Kiso – Hirasawa, famous as a lacquer ware productive center.

Kiso-hirasawa flourished as a center for Japanese lacquer ware production. It was associated with Narai-juku which is along Nakasen-do highway. Narai-juku flourished both as a former post town and as a lacquer ware productive center in the Kiso Region.However Kiso-Hirasawa became more famous than Narai-juku as a producer of Kiso lacquer ware. Kiso-Hirasawa, Shiojiri-City, Nagano-Prefecture, Japan. October 2015, Olympus OM-D E-M1 塩尻市南部の山深き山間の里、木曽平沢は、中山道木曽路で「奈良井千軒」と呼ばれて大いに栄えた宿場町、奈良井宿の枝郷という位置付けの工人町として発展を始め、高地の寒冷気候が漆工に適していることもあって、江戸時代を通して中山道随一の漆器生産地として栄えることになりました。 今日においても漆器生産量は日本有数となっています。 長野県塩尻市木曽平沢地区 2015年10月撮影、Olympus OM-D E-M1

そば切り発祥の地、本山宿 / Motoyama-juku, known throughout the country for its soba noodles.

本山宿は中山道32番目の宿場で、現在は長野県塩尻市中心部の、国道バイパス脇の旧街道筋にあります。 1614年(慶長19年)、中山道のルート変更に伴い、塩尻宿・洗馬宿とともに設置されました。 今は松本市等への通勤圏の新興住宅街となっているなか、堂々たる伝統的建造物が3軒、軒を並べており、見応えがあります。 長野県塩尻市本山宿 2015年11月撮影、Olympus OM-D E-M1 Motoyama-juku was the thirty-second of the sixty-nine stations of the Nakasendō. Motoyama became a post town in 1614, when the Nakasendō’s route was changed. It became a post town at the same time as Shiojiri-juku and Seba-juku. It became known throughout the country for its soba noodles. Motoyama-juku, Shiojiri-City, Nagano-Prefecture, Japan November 2015, Olympus OM-D E-M1

山間の姫街道,下仁田町本宿 / Shimonita-Motojuku, a staging post in the mountains

Shimonita-Motojuku was a staging post on the Hime-Kaido Street (a side road of the Nakasendo Street). Hime kaidō (princess route) was the name given to minor routes that created detours around the difficult crossings (or river crossings) of main routes during the Edo period in Japan. These routes could be found on many of the Edo Five Routes(Tokaido,Nakasendo,and so on), as well as on other sub-routes that crossed the country. When there were difficult passes or river crossings on the main routes, hime-kaidō were established to avoid them. Because there were fewer travelers, less danger, a lower chance of an attack by bandits (compared with the main route they were […]

北アルプスを望む千曲川河畔の宿,塩名田宿 / Shionada-shiku post station, on a clear stream

Shionada-shuku, was the twenty-third post-station, of the sixty-nine stations of the Nakasendō-road. Shionada-shuku is located on the eastern bank of the Shinano River, just across from Yawata-shuku. Both Shionada-shuku and Yawata-shuku were first developed under the orders of Tokugawa Ieyasu after the Battle of Sekigahara, and then were further developed after the development of the Tōkaidō and the Nakasendō. At its peak, the post town had about 10 minor inns, and in 1844, it was record to have two honjin and one sub-honjin. There was a bridge which connected Shionada and Yawata, but it was washed away by a flood and never rebuilt. Instead, the river was crossed with ferry […]

中山道岩村田宿の今…岩村田商店街 / Iwamurada shopping arcade… used to be a post town

Iwamurada shopping arcade. It used to be the  post‐town on the twenty-second of the sixty-nine stations of the Nakasendō. Originally, Iwamurada-shuku was a castle town for the Iwamurada Han and, as a post town, it never developed a proper honjin, though it did have some smaller inns. Iwamurada, Saku-City, Nagano-Prefecture, Japan December 2013, Olympus OM-D E-M1 佐久市岩村田本町商店街の今の表情です。 独特なアーケード建築が特徴的です。 かつてこの地は,岩村田宿(いわむらだ)、すなわち、中山道六十九次のうち江戸から数えて二十二番目の宿場でした。岩村田藩1万5千石の城下町であり商業の町ではあったが、宿場としては本陣が無く旅籠も最盛期で8軒と少なかったといいます。 長野県佐久市岩村田本町商店街 2013年12月,Olympus OM-D E-M1

木曽路の美しき宿場,奈良井宿 / Narai-juku,beautiful historic Post town

                                              The evening scenery of Narai-juku,beautiful historic post town, on the Nakasendo Road. During the Edo era (1603-1868), the Nakasendo Road was one of the main routes linking Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto. Narai-juku was the thirty-fourth of the sixty-nine stations of the Nakasendo Road, as well as the second of eleven stations along the Kisoji ( an old trade route in the Kiso Valley that stretched from Niekawa-juku in Nagano Prefecture to Magome-juku in Gifu Prefecture ). Narai-juku had the highest elevation of all the spots along the […]

木曽妻籠宿,ありし江戸の世の姿のままに / Tsumago-juku post town, will take you back in time to the Edo Period.

                                              Tsumago-juku was the forty-second of the sixty-nine post towns on the Nakasendo, which connected Edo (present-day Tokyo) with Kyoto,during the Edo period. Prior to becoming part of the Nakasendo, it was the tenth of eleven stations along the Kisoji, a minor trade route running through the Kiso Valley. As such, it was a relatively prosperous and cosmopolitan town, with an economy based on currency. It fell into obscurity and poverty, however, after the completion of the Chuo Main Line railway, which bypassed Tsumago. In 1968, local residents […]

木曽馬籠宿,江戸の旅人の足跡を辿って / Magome-juku, post town of an ancient road, paved with stones

                        Magome-juku was the forty-third of the sixty-nine stations of the Nakasendō, an ancient road that connected Kyoto and Edo during the Edo period. It was also the last of eleven stations along the Kisoji, which was the precursor to a part of the Nakasendō, running through the Kiso Valley. As a post town, it was relatively prosperous and cosmopolitan, with a currency-based economy. It fell into obscurity and poverty, however, after the completion of the Chūō Main Line railway, which did not pass through Magome. In recent decades, it has been restored to its appearance as an Edo […]