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Kisoji Cycling 2013

This category contains 14 posts

1400m up

Equipped with a bike my little brother would approve of, and enough warm and weatherproof gear to survive a snowstorm, I began my two day cycling challenge. Although I like walking, skiing and playing soccer, I generally avoid cycling. Cycling Nakasendo’s expert guide had convinced me that this route made jumping on a bike worth … Continue reading

Kisoji Cycling 2013

The Kisoji Route on the Nakasendo Highway Kisoji refers to the section of the old trade route, Nakasendo, that passes through the Kiso region. Extending from the eastern extremity of Mino plain (the area marking the former Mino province). It is about 90 km in length and enters the alpine area, Kiso-sanmyaku (Kiso mountain range), … Continue reading

1.1 Nakatsugawa Post Town (Nakatsugawa-juku)

We woke up around 7 (which is very early for me) to get ready and have some breakfast, even though I’m generally a brekkie skipper. The hotel provides a decent breakfast for guests for free. After the massive breakfast I had to resist the desire to get back in the bed. I took out my … Continue reading

1.2 Nakatsugawa-Magome

We started seriously riding from Kawakamiya in Nakatusugawa around 10:30 am. Our first target was Magome post town, which we hoped to reach for lunch and then go sightseeing. We crossed the bridge from where we could see beautiful Mt. Ena and, shortly after we left the block of traditional buildings, entered the modern, rebuilt … Continue reading

1.3 Magome Post Town (Magome-juku)

The last climb to Magome-juku We popped out on a busy intersection with many tourists right in front of the entrance of the post town. Magome was the 43rd post town from Nihonbashi in Edo. The sign at the intersection says 206 km to Kyoto and 324 km to Edo. Since use of bikes and … Continue reading

1.4 Magome-Tsumago

From Kamijinba the stone paving of Nakasendo turns into stairs so we backtracked along the stone pavement to take the two-lane road we crossed before for Tsumago, via Magome pass. The distance to Magome pass is approximately 2.2km with 138m to climb. The road declines for 430m and Nakasendo merges with the road from the … Continue reading

1.5 Tsumago Post Town (Tsumago-juku)

Strolling along Terashita district, Tsumago-juku We reached a sign at the outer boundary of the center of Tsumago that indicated riding was not allowed further in the town. We got off our bikes to comply with the sign and headed into the center of Tsumago. Eventually we reached rows of buildings on both sides of … Continue reading

1.6 Tsumago-Nojiri

Steep upslope in woods of cypress and cedar shortly after Tsumago-juku It was almost 4:00pm when we left the outskirts of Tsumago by riding down a gentle downhill slope as the vehicle restrictions ended. However, before we could take a breath and take in the countryside scenery, Nakasendo’s route diverted right up a hill into … Continue reading

2.1 Fukushima Post Town (Fukushima-juku)

I slept very well. Neither NC nor I could remember even getting into our futons. I woke up at 8:00am to the phone ringing. The restaurant staff were letting us know that our breakfast was ready. I had asked reception for the latest possible time slot for brekkie. The breakfast was also extravagant. The meal … Continue reading

2.2 Fukushima-Yabuhara

Looking north from Fukushima’s sekisho site As we had no need to be granted pass through the sekisho, we looked over and left the town of packed buildings on both sides of the river-bank behind us in the slightly crisp but fresh autumn air of Kiso valley. There is a massive recently constructed steel “sekisho” … Continue reading

2.3 Yabuhara-Narai

We left Yabuhara Station via an underground walkway (a narrow slope was built into stairs wide enough to allow a person to push a bike), which brought us to the other side of the train tracks. From there we entered Yabuhara post town. During the Warring States period (circa 1467-1568), Yabuhara was one of 11 … Continue reading

2.4 Narai Post Town (Narai-juku)

Shizume Shrine From the carpark in Narai we crossed the train crossing entering the outskirts of the Kyoto side of the post town. To begin with we headed to Shizume Shrine on the edge of the Kyoto side. Just like it is reported travelers from long ago did, we looked back at the village from … Continue reading

2.5 Narai-Seba

Chilled air woke us up when we stepped outside of Kokorone Our sleepiness was blown away with the cold air that greeted us as we stepped out of the restaurant. I have found a strange phenomenon occurs when people have full stomachs. While we were looking at souvenirs in the souvenir store across from the … Continue reading

2.6 Seba-Shiojiri Station

Nakasendo leveled off as we got closer to Seba Seba is the 31st post town from Edo and was the last post town we were to pass through on our journey. Most of the buildings in this town were also burnt in a large fire in 1932. There is also the possibility that widening of … Continue reading

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