Best Introductory Course: Chikuni-Goe

Courtesy of Paul Deckret  | Centrip Japan

The Chikuni-Goe course is to the Shio no Michi what Tsumago and Magome are to the Nakasendo; a wonderful, easily accessed introduction to the route that’s suitable for a wide range of ages and fitness levels. It also happens to be the trail used for the annual Shio no Michi Matsuri (Salt Road Festival) held each year on the 3rd of May. The course can be walked in either direction, but starting in Tsugaike results in less overall elevation gain.

STARTING POINT: Tsugaike Kogen Ski Resort

ENDING POINT: Otari Village Yakuba

DISTANCE: Approximately 7km

TIME REQUIRED: Around 3 hours

HIGHLIGHTS: The views of the Northern Alps are fantastic from Tsugaike, the collection of old stone statues forming the Maeyama Hyakutai Kannon are a sight to behold and the Ushikata Yado historic homestead, Chikuni no Sho guard station and Otari-mura Kyodo Kan folk museum are well worth the ¥500 ticket that gives you access to all three.

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