Nagano③ Naraijuku(Kiso)・Achi -長野:奈良井宿(木曽)・阿智村


I introduce North Shinano and East Shinshu area in Nagano① and Japan Alps and Suwa in Nagano②. Please refer to this page.

【Background】One of the sixty-nine inns on the Nakasendo route (Itabashi to Moriyama), excluding Kusatsu and Otsu inns that are shared with Tokaido, Narai inn is the 34th inn from Itabashi inn on the Edo side or Moriyama inn on the Kyoto side, exactly in the middle of the Nakasendo route. It is also the longest post town in Japan, extending approximately 1 km from north to south along the Nakasendo, and has been designated as a preservation district for groups of traditional buildings.
Some useful booklet is here!
【Sightseeing Points】MAP of KISO, MAP of Naraijuku
Sizume Shrine : The shrine is said to have started a ritual to quell an epidemic that broke out in Narai-juku, and to do so, the main deity of the shrine was imported from Katori Shrine in Chiba Prefecture.
Nakasendo Cedar Trees: The cedar trees along the Nakasendo Road are several hundred years old. The Nakasendo cedar avenue is lined with large cedar trees that are hundreds of years old and have long since grown into a row of trees.
The “Maria Jizo” : in the precincts of Taihoji Temple is named after a child-rearing Jizo, and its headless figure bears the sad history of hidden Christians.
Kiso no Ohashi : The beautiful all-cypress drum bridge is one of the largest bridges without piers in Japan. Crossing the bridge, visitors will find a vast lawn park (waterfront park), which is illuminated after sunset.
Nakamura Residence of Former Comb Wholesaler: The Nakamura Residence was built immediately after the great fire at Naraijuku in 1838, and has remained to this day. It is a building that shows the characteristics of the house construction of Narai-juku.
Kougetsu-do: This shop sells a variety of products such as old pottery, lacquer ware, and old furniture.
Lacquer Art Hanikada : Offers stylish traditional lacquerware and traditional crafts.
Traveling antique dealer : A warehouse that collects old items from the community and delivers them to those who need them.
Sugi-no-Mori Sake Brewery : The highest brewery in Japan, Sugi-no-Mori brews a new sake called “narai” using water from the mountains that has moistened Naraijuku and sake rice grown in Azumino.
Shukuba Café Izumiya: A cozy sofa room with beams and a sunken hearth. Kimono rental and dressing services are also available.
Naraijuku Market: Traditional local dishes such as Gohei-mochi (rice cake), Nozawana pickles, and Sunkizuke (pickles) are available. At the cafe next door, “100-year-old rice curry” is very popular. (closed during Dec. to March)

Oyado Iseya: Established in 1818, this inn is a long-established inn that still maintains its original building and is representative of the Naraijuku style of architecture.
Echigoya Ryokan: Established over 220 years ago, Echigoya Ryokan is the only inn still in business in Naraijuku. Only two couples per day are allowed to stay.

From Tokyo
Shinjuku (JR Chuo Line Limited Express Azusa) → Shiojiri (JR Chuo Line) → Narai Station (3h10min)
From Nagoya
Nagoya (JR Chuo Line) → Kisofukushima (JR Chuo Line) → Narai station (1h50min)

Achi Village : located in the southern tip of Nagano Prefecture and surrounded by rich nature, is recognized by the Ministry of the Environment as the village with the most beautiful starry sky in Japan. Please stay overnight in Achi Village.

【Sightseeing points】Hirugami hotspring area map
Stargazing Star Village Achi: Achi is a paradise for stargazing.
Two types of tours are held: the Night Tour of Paradise and the Sea of Clouds Harbor held early in the morning from mid-October to mid-November.
Rakuen no Night Tour: Fujimidai Kogen Haven-sonohara is located in Achi-mura, Shinshu, a village rich in nature.The ropeway is 2,500 meters long, with a height difference of 600 meters, and takes about 15 minutes to reach the 1,400-meter-high point.
At the top of the mountain, where no city lights reach, all the lights will be turned off at the signal.Then, countless stars will shine brightly, a spectacle that cannot be seen in the city.
Ticket system: 2,000 yen~ (including gondola fee)

Please dress carefully and bring a jacket to protect you from the cold.

Hanamomo no Sato (Peach Blossom Village): From early April to early May, this is Japan’s largest peach orchard, with approximately 5,000 red, white, and pink flowers in full bloom, creating a spectacular gradation of scenery. The village is lined with the largest number of flowering peach trees in Japan.
ACHI BASE : Tourist information, arrangement & rental store in and around the village, renting bicycles, parkas, trekking shoes, etc. Closed on Wednesdays.
HIRUGAMI ASAICHI MARKET : [April to October] 6:00 – 8:00 [November to March] 6:30 – 8:00
The morning market is held every morning, 365 days a year. Producers sell their products directly. The products on display vary depending on the season. Vegetables, fruits, and processed goods are all available. Processed goods, etc. are all lined up.

Hirugami Grand Hotel TENSHIN : Located in the center of the hot spring resort area, the hotel is right in front of the morning market. The hotel boasts a large bath with a view and a large roof garden open-air bath made of hinoki cypress.
Ginga Momiji Campsite: This campsite has been recognized as having the best starry sky in Japan. Experience an extraordinary camping experience while looking at a star-filled sky!
Furusato Village Nature Park Seina-no-mori Campsite: A wide range of campers can enjoy camping, from cottages for families and beginners to hammock-only sites for advanced campers.
Bangakuso : Late April to mid-November, lights out at 21:00, lodging from 4,000 yen
4257-96, Chisato, Achimura, Shimoina-gun, Nagano

From Tokyo
 ・Train & Bus
 Shinjuku (JR Chuo Line Express Azusa) → Kamisuwa (Achi★Nichigami Bus [Suwa service]) → Achi Nichigami (3H40M)
  *Reservations required for buses, one round trip per day, departing from Kamisuwa at 12:30 and leaving from Achi Hijigami at 15:00. Click here for online reservations.
 ・Bus & Taxi
 Shinjuku (Basta Shinjuku Chuo Liner) → Chuo Expressway Nichujin Onsen → Achi Nichujin (4H10min)
From Nagoya
 ・Train & Bus  
 Nagoya (JR Chuo Line Limited Express Shinano) → Nakatsugawa (Achi★Nichigami Bus [Suwa Service]) → Achi Nichigami (1H30M)
  *Reservations required for buses, one round trip per day, departing from Nakatsugawa at 15:00, departing from Achi Hachijin at 14:00. Click here for online reservations.

・宿場Café いずみや:梁と囲炉裏のある落ち着いたソファの間。着物レンタル・着付けもおこなっています
・奈良井宿市場:おやき 五平餅、野沢菜漬け、すんき漬けといった伝統的な郷土料理も用意。隣のカフェでは「100年前のライスカレー」が好評
・御宿 伊勢屋:文政元年(1818年)創業 老舗の旅籠、現在も往時の建物をそのまま保っており、奈良井宿式建築の代表的なもの
・東京方面から :新宿(JR中央本線特急あずさ)→ 塩尻(JR中央本線)→奈良井駅 (3h10min)
・名古屋方面から : 名古屋(JR中央本線)→ 木曽福島(JR中央本線)→奈良井駅 (1h50min)
長野県の南端、豊かな自然に囲まれた阿智村は、 環境省認定の日本一星空が綺麗な村。是非、泊まりでお出かけください。
・星空鑑賞スタービレッジ・阿智:楽園のNight Tour、10月中旬から11月中旬早朝に開催される雲海Harbor の2種開催されている
 楽園のNight Tour: 自然豊かな信州阿智村にある富士見台高原ヘブンスそのはら。全長2,500m、高低差600m、所要時間約15分のロープウェイで標高1,400m地点まで星空遊覧をお楽しみ頂きます。街の光が届かない山頂では合図と共に、設置された照明が一斉に消灯いたします。すると手が届きそうな無数の星々が輝き、街中では決して見ることができない光景が広がります。
チケット制:2,000円~(ゴンドラ料金含む)   ※夜間、山の上での星空鑑賞になりますので、服装には十分気をつけて、上着など防寒対策をしてお出かけください。
・ACHI BASE : 村内及び周辺の観光案内や手配&レンタルショップ、レンタサイクルやパーカー、トレッキングシューズ等を貸出している。水曜定休
・昼神朝市:【4月から10月】6:00 – 8:00【11月から3月】6:30 – 8:00
・萬岳荘(山小屋):4月下旬~11月中旬まで 消灯時間21時 宿泊4,000円~ 
 ・電車&バス :
*バスは要予約、1日1往復、12:30上諏訪発、15:00 阿智昼神発 
新宿(バスタ新宿中央ライナー)→中央道昼神温泉 → 阿智昼神 (4h10min)
*バスは要予約、1日1往復、15:00中津川発、14:00 阿智昼神発