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Doing the Nakasendo
Doing the Nakasendo
In the summer of 2011, soon after the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit north-eastern Japan, I hiked on the Nakasendo Way, an ancient highway of Japan that connected Kyoto with Tokyo. In its heyday in the seventeenth century, the Nakasendo was crowded with travellers, including feudal lords, who needed to travel to Tokyo to pay tribute to the shogunate, samurai, itinerant merchants and pilgrims. The 500 kilometre inland route, which passes through the mountainous centre of Japan, was carefully spaced with post towns, inns and teahouses. In the 20th century, a new highway system was constructed which by-passed many of the traditional post towns along the Nakasendo. As a result, it fell into disuse. Today, this largely forgotten and quiet route offers modern day travellers a glimpse into a Japan that has seemingly been frozen in time. My trip report was published in the September 2011 issue of High Life, British Airways’ in-flight magazine, and you can read it here: http://www.bahighlife.com/Destinations/A-walk-into-Japans-past.html?PageNumber=1