September 05, 2016

Enchanted forests in the Kiso Valley. (the hike from Magome, fish for breakfast & Dining in Kimonos)

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After 10 days exploring first Tokyo and then Kyoto we were craving some wild landscapes, fresh air and something a little less high tech.

Having heard of the cobbled 7km path between two traditional postal villages up in the mountains, steeped in history and with rich pine forests and the occasional bear sighting we thought that this would be the perfect break from the hectic, bustling metropolis of Tokyo and Kyoto.

The two villages are called Magome and Tsagamo. You can start at either, we decided Magome and arrived later afternoon just in time to catch the wooden clad village in the most beautiful early evening light.

We checked into our traditional Ryokan and were told to be back and dressed for supper served at 6. this gave us a  good few hours to wander the winding main street and capture this beautiful village in the dusky light.

Our meal was beautiful. Prepared by the owners of the Inn everything was laid out at once creating an incredible spread. 

After a filling meal, full of surprises and local delicacies (tofu everyway) we headed up to our room and drifted off into a deep sleep. We were woken in the morning, 6:30am with traditional music being played through all the Roykan, it was then a race for the shared hot bath down stairs. Once clean and kitted out for our hike we headed down for another amazing breakfast spread.. this was a little trickier and consisted of much the of same dishes as the night before, longing for a croissant but intrigued by each dish that had clearly been prepared the night before we managed almost everything. The sticky rice and soy being the saviour of the meal.

Once finished we packed up, left our bags of at the forwarding service (amazingly convenient and surprisingly cheap) we headed off into the mountains along the cobbled path keeping our eyes peeled for bears.. and snakes.

The walk was beautiful, and we pretty much had the path to ourselves for the whole 8km.

After a long journey back to Tokyo, we spent out last two days exploring the fish market....

and buying those few last minute souvenirs before waving good bye to a fascinating country, culture and a fantastic two weeks.

If you are planning a trip to Japan and fancy doing the mountain hike find all details here...

We stayed in this beautiful Roykan.

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