AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

Magome – Tsumago Trail

Magome – Tsumago Trail


Posted on Jul 22, 2014

The reason we were staying in Magome was to walk the Magome – Tsumago Trail (pronounced MA GO MAY and SU MAR GO). Hundreds of years ago a highway known as the Nakasendo, ran between Kyoto and Edo (modern day Tokyo) which had 69 stations along the route. 13 of which were in the Kiso Valley, located in the Southern Japanese Alps. This section was known as the Kisoji. Very few sections of the old highway exist anymore, but the section between the post towns of Magome and Tsumago has been preserved and is a very popular walking trail. We left the ryokan at 9am and shoved our bags in the boot of the car, then set off on the trail. Although it was only 9am it was already very hot. The sun was shining and the mercury must have been over 30°. The first section of the walk wasn’t very good. It was a tarmac road and uphill with no shade. Our fitness levels have been reduced to the point where we are constantly tired and even short uphill stretches leave us out of breath (we have been on the go every day for 9 months with only a week or so rest in Nepal). Walking up the hill in the full sun was not good, we were dripping wet and boiling hot. This continued for about a mile until we finally reached some trees and shade. From then on we were mostly in the shade. It was still hot and humid, but far better than been exposed to the sun’s power. Wild bears live in these woods and every now and again we’d pass a bell with a sign saying to ring it hard and continuously if you see a bear. In northern America people carry guns just in case they spot a bear and it gets inquisitive, here they just have a bell to scare it away. I like that… I just hope that we don’t see a bear, or if we do we’re near a bell and it works in scaring it away. Fingers crossed. The walk through the woods was nice. Nothing amazing or spectacular, just nice pleasant woods. I say that because we read reviews of the trail before we set off and people were raving about how good it was. We like this kind of walking and area. It was green and pleasant and quiet. The path had continued uphill for a bit more in the shade before heading downhill for quite a while. As we approached a building we saw a snake slithering away from us into the bushes. In the...

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