On the northern end of the lovely hamlet village, in Terashita area, two wonderfully restored rows of wooden houses led towards the dense bamboo and forested mountain. All the dwellings were restored to the old construction styles of the period. It is wonderfully serene. We stopped a shop and contemplated at a “mochi” display. We were advised that dinner at our ryokan was big. A man walked door to door with a flat box filled with bread. Large bamboo mats were sometimes laid out in the sun to dry. When a breeze came in, soothing sounds from wind chimes hung above the doors enhanced the ambiance of this charming place.
I am glad that we ventured to this part of Japan. Kiso Valley, surrounded by lush forested mountains and beautifully preserved post towns of Tsumago and Magome, is certainly a slip back in time. I could easily imagine the days of the immaculate shogun and sword wielding samurais trudged to the Honjins and Waki- honjins through these very streets. Although it is geared for tourism, it provided an opportunity for people, tourist and locals alike, to ruminate historic moments in this living museums.
We retired to our ryokan for a deserved rest and to reflect our walk and these wonderfully preserved towns of Old Japan over cups of hot green tea.