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Nakasendo Highway is one of the old highways in Japan running mountainous areas of Japan while Tokaido Highway is running mainly pacific coast areas of Japan. Kiso Valley parts of Nakasendo is particularly popular among tourists because it still retains the good old atmosphere of old highway path. In NakatsugawaMagome is very popular among tourists but Nakatsugawa stop at the central city areas also has some scenes of interests.
The highway starts from Nihonbashi Tokyo and go north to northwestern part of Kanto Plains in Saitama and Gunma area and then directs toward Karuizawa by passing Kyu-Usui Pass. After Karuizawa, the highway runs north of Yatsugatake Mountain Range. Then the highway turns southward passing Wada Pass to reach Shimosuwa, close to Suwa Lake. From Shimosuwa the route runs southwestward along the Kiso Valley passing stops such as Narai. After passing Narai, the old travellers must face one of the difficult places of Nakasendo Torii Pass. After passing Torii Pass the travelers must face Fukushima Checkpoint. After passing the checkpoint the travelers can enjoy the view of Nezame-no Toko Gorge close to Agematsu stop so named because the rock formation reminds them of mattress beds. Tsumago is 42nd station from Tokyo. The old inns are so well-preserved the area is one of the Nakasendo highlights. The walking trail from Tsumago to Magome by passing Magome Pass is one of the most popular highway hiking routes in Japan. Magome in Nakatsugawa is another Nakasendo highlights known by the house of Toson Shimazaki. At Oi stop in Ena, you can visit Hiroshige Museum of Art, Ena for woodblock print pictures of Hiroshige and his works themed on Nakasendo Highways. After Oi stop the route turns to the hillside west side of the river until reaching Mitake 49th stop. After Mitake the highway runs close to current Tokaido Line until joining Tokaido Highway at Kusatsu 68th and Otsu the last stop.