Magome - The Nakasendo Trail

Story by Oku Japan

Posted: July 26, 2017
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Fire destroyed most of Magome village in 1895, but the resilient community rebuilt. At the entrance to the village, you will see the Masugata (literally a "square shape"), a sharp turn, created at the entrance to post-towns and derived from a defensive measure used in castles. The Masugata was designed to prevent robbers and assassins from attacking the town.

All post-towns had a Honjin (exclusive accommodation for high-ranking people such as members of the Imperial household, aristocrats, and feudal lords) and a Waki-honjin, another building of similar size and style as a Honjin, to be used when Honjin was full. Magome's Waki-honjin is open as a museum. The town also offers an exceptional view of Mount Ena, which rises to 2,190m. And throughout the village, Gohei-mochi snacks are sold; a must try for all. These are traditional sweets unique to the Kiso Valley, which you'll find walking between Magome and Narai. Mochi is a cake made of pounded rice, and here it is served with a special sauce made of miso (soy bean paste), sesame, walnuts and other ingredients.