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Matthew Haswell | profile | all galleries >> Japan 日本 >> Chūbu 中部 >> Narai and Kiso-Fukushima 奈良井と木曽福島 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Nagoya 名古屋 | Chita Peninsula 知多半島 | Okazaki 岡崎 | Kōrankei 香嵐渓 | Inuyama 犬山 | Meiji-Mura Museum 明治村 | Little World リトルワールド | Gifu 岐阜 | Takayama 高山 | Hida-Furukawa 飛騨古川 | Gokayama and Shirakawa-gō 五箇山と白川郷 | Magome and Tsumago 馬篭と妻籠 | Narai and Kiso-Fukushima 奈良井と木曽福島 | Matsumoto 松本 | Hotaka 穂高 | Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route 立山黒部アルペンルート | Kanazawa 金沢 | Fukui, Maruoka & Ōno 福井、丸岡、大野 | Obama 小浜 | Kakegawa, Hamamatsu & Toyohashi 掛川、浜松、豊橋 | Shizuoka and Mt. Fuji 静岡と富士山 | Kōfu 甲府 | Niigata and Shibata 新潟と新発田

Narai and Kiso-Fukushima 奈良井と木曽福島

A pair of small towns along the Chūō line in Nagano-ken, Narai and Kiso-Fukushima were once important post towns along the Nakasendō leading from Edo to Kyōto. While much of Kiso-Fukushima is now modern, Narai has been carefully maintained as a nationally-designated architectural preserve. The most prosperous and also highest in elevation of the eleven juku on the Kisoji - a smaller trade route across the Kiso Valley down to Magome - Narai flourished as the last stop before the difficult Torii Pass. Fukushima-juku, the 37th station on the Nakasendō and the center of modern Kiso-Fukushima, hosted one of the road's four sekisho (tax and inspection offices) and marked the midway point between the old capitals.
Autumn foliage in the hills over Kiso-Fukushima
Autumn foliage in the hills over Kiso-Fukushima
The 'Nice Holiday Kisoji' arrives at Narai
The 'Nice Holiday Kisoji' arrives at Narai
Platform sign, Narai station
Platform sign, Narai station
Rail lines heading up the valley
Rail lines heading up the valley
Houses and foliage overlooking the station
Houses and foliage overlooking the station
Entering the old streets of Narai
Entering the old streets of Narai
Daytripping tourists walking down the lane
Daytripping tourists walking down the lane
Persimmons hung outside a machiya
Persimmons hung outside a machiya
Couple walking past the old houses
Couple walking past the old houses
Neatly kept plants at the doorstep
Neatly kept plants at the doorstep
Signboard and yellow foliage
Signboard and yellow foliage
Wooden lantern and bench outside a house
Wooden lantern and bench outside a house
Ceramic tanuki and flowers
Ceramic tanuki and flowers
View down the street towards the station
View down the street towards the station
Grasshopper decoration on a stone lantern
Grasshopper decoration on a stone lantern
Crowded path with autumn foliage beyond
Crowded path with autumn foliage beyond
Signboard above a lacquerware shop
Signboard above a lacquerware shop
A lull along the main street
A lull along the main street
Flowers along a housefront
Flowers along a housefront
Autumn leaves peeking above the roofline
Autumn leaves peeking above the roofline
Festive fall display outside a teahouse
Festive fall display outside a teahouse
Chestnut display
Chestnut display
Teahouse signboard and lantern
Teahouse signboard and lantern
Narai's old machiya against the autumn hills
Narai's old machiya against the autumn hills
Calligraphy and bouquet on a storefront
Calligraphy and bouquet on a storefront
Pair of old houses beneath the hills
Pair of old houses beneath the hills
Banner outside a minshuku
Banner outside a minshuku
Rustic restaurant storefront
Rustic restaurant storefront
Bend in the main street
Bend in the main street
Path up to Daihō-ji
Path up to Daihō-ji
Yellow maple leaves and decorative banner
Yellow maple leaves and decorative banner
The wide stretch of the Naka-machi
The wide stretch of the Naka-machi
Fiery foliage and row of machiya
Fiery foliage and row of machiya
Restaurant in Naka-machi
Restaurant in Naka-machi
South end of Naka-machi with hills beyond
South end of Naka-machi with hills beyond
Hanging straining basket and plant
Hanging straining basket and plant
Lantern outside a minshuku
Lantern outside a minshuku
Festive autumn colors
Festive autumn colors
Shizume-jinja
Shizume-jinja
Stone lantern overlooking the town
Stone lantern overlooking the town
Vermilion torii at the entrance to Shizume-jinja
Vermilion torii at the entrance to Shizume-jinja
Persimmon hung beneath the eaves
Persimmon hung beneath the eaves
View over the rooftops to the hills
View over the rooftops to the hills
Small shrine at the edge of Naka-machi
Small shrine at the edge of Naka-machi
Decorative paper umbrella and conical hat
Decorative paper umbrella and conical hat
Origami and pinecone decorations
Origami and pinecone decorations
Stepping out of the station in Kiso-Fukushima
Stepping out of the station in Kiso-Fukushima
Kiso-Fukushima station
Kiso-Fukushima station
Lantern globes along a main street, Kiso-Fukushima
Lantern globes along a main street, Kiso-Fukushima
Autumn colors on the mountainside
Autumn colors on the mountainside
Hillside looming over Kiso-Fukushima
Hillside looming over Kiso-Fukushima
A quiet street in central Kiso-Fukushima
A quiet street in central Kiso-Fukushima
Snow in the mountains beyond the rail tracks
Snow in the mountains beyond the rail tracks
Restored buildings in Ue-no-dan
Restored buildings in Ue-no-dan
Afternoon shadows along the historic stretch
Afternoon shadows along the historic stretch
Daitsū-ji off Ue-no-dan
Daitsū-ji off Ue-no-dan
Alley between a set of kura in Ue-no-dan
Alley between a set of kura in Ue-no-dan
Old washing fountain in Ue-no-dan
Old washing fountain in Ue-no-dan
Streetlamp against the changing hills
Streetlamp against the changing hills
Old shopfront in Ue-no-dan
Old shopfront in Ue-no-dan
Jumble of houses overlooking the Kiso-gawa
Jumble of houses overlooking the Kiso-gawa
Seihō-ji
Seihō-ji
Red and yellow maple leaves beside the temple
Red and yellow maple leaves beside the temple
Wire chaos above a town street
Wire chaos above a town street
Fukushima Sekisho-ato
Fukushima Sekisho-ato
Golden foliage beside the old sekisho
Golden foliage beside the old sekisho
Sekisho-mon
Sekisho-mon
Entrance to Kōzen-ji
Entrance to Kōzen-ji
Entering Kōzen-ji's grounds
Entering Kōzen-ji's grounds
Fiery Japanese maple in the grounds
Fiery Japanese maple in the grounds
Garden outside the temple
Garden outside the temple
Japanese maple leaves and stone marker
Japanese maple leaves and stone marker
Zen garden in Kōzen-ji
Zen garden in Kōzen-ji
Looking over the stone garden
Looking over the stone garden
Moss garden off the main temple hall
Moss garden off the main temple hall
Contemplative corner of the garden
Contemplative corner of the garden
Main hall at Kōzen-ji
Main hall at Kōzen-ji
Jizō statue and bell tower
Jizō statue and bell tower
Rooftops of Kiso-Fukushima and Japan Alps
Rooftops of Kiso-Fukushima and Japan Alps
Evening's first strands over the Kiso River
Evening's first strands over the Kiso River