Short Treks: Nakasendo Trail (November 12, 2022)

I’ve been wanting to expand Small World’s activities into different areas so that we can better represent the whole Nagoya community. Something we’ve tried a few times but never fully committed to is hikes and trips outside the city. This new event series, Short Treks, aims to introduce you guys to interesting places in Aichi, Gifu and Mie – one-day trips that allow you to explore places that you might not have visited before, and carefully organised so that they’re easy, efficient, and good value.

The first of these Short Treks was last Saturday, when we took a trip to Magome and walked the Nakasendo Trail to Tsumago!

Magome is the 43rd of 69 old post towns in the city of Nakatsugawa. A well-preserved old town situated on a hillside, along a winding cobble path that leads to the Nakasendo Trail, a historic road which winds through small farms and rural houses and connects Tokyo to Kyoto. There are some traditional eateries, snacks and souvenir shops, and sleepy ryokan along the trail in Magome, as well as restored houses which stretch along the sloped main street of the town and really feel like something from a history book.

As a beginner hiker, I found this walk perfect for my needs – challenging enough to feel like a good workout and like I’d achieved something, but also easy enough that I wasn’t exhausted. I could really take in the surroundings and enjoy the time with my friends. The sights along the path are beautiful – from the scenic mountain views that seem to emerge from every corner, to the streams and waterfalls that punctuate the trail and provide perfect opportunities to take a short break.

Even more than this though, was the time that I got to spend with a handful of Worldies that I rarely get a chance to talk to, in radically different environment. It was a nice change from the intensity and energy of the parties that I’ve been hosting recently, where I rarely get the chance to stop and talk for more than ten minutes. Events like these allow me to slow down.

Our trip to Nakasendo Trail was a resounding success, and I’m really looking forward to hosting the next one, likely sometime in January.

If you’ve got any suggestions as to where we should visit next, leave a comment! I’d love to hear your ideas.

See you at the next one!

– Matthew

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