Located in the middle of Nagano Prefecture, a landlocked prefecture in central Honshu, Narai-juku was one of the points along the Nakasendo, the ancient road connecting Kyoto to Edo. Narai-juku flourished as a district of inns and other businesses catering to the travelers walking between the ancient capitals. It has been designated a national preservation district of historical buildings, keeping it an authentic memorial of Japan’s Edo Period.
Setting foot into the area, one cannot help but imagine that she has time travelled to an earlier period. The tree covered mountains surrounding the town provide bountiful evidence that the many wooden products that proliferate - combs and lacquerware abound - would have delighted the travelers of an earlier period. They continue to make wonderful souvenirs and gifts.
From JR Shinjuku Station, take the Chuo Line Express to Matsumoto 2 hours and 30 minutes to Shiojiri Station. At Shiojiri Station, transfer to the Chuo Main Line going towards Nagatsugawa. Ride for 20 minutes to Narai Station. 2-minute walk to destination.
Address: Narai, Shiojiri-shi, Nagano Prefecture
Airport: Matsumoto Airport
Pauline and Benoît, the bloggers from World Else – will take you on a road-trip through Japan!
Islands of Kagoshima, rich in drama and wonder
Venerate old Sakura tree stands and overlooks the great mountains in the horizon
Contemporary walk through a 400-year old samurai district
19th Century red brick architectural relic from Hokkaido’s industrial heyday
Majestic Mt. Fuji, viewed from the shores of a quiet, idyllic lake
Sakura blooms each spring from the south, covering Japan in a pink blanket as it travels northwards
Golden national treasure recognized as world cultural heritage
Warm spring welcome by 200 beautiful blooming Sakura trees