Select Page

Tsumago, Kiso Valley

Tsumago, Kiso Valley

Let’s explore the traditional village of Tsumago (妻籠宿), in the heart of Nagano Prefecture.

Tsumago - Kiso Valley - Welcome

chubu, gifu, japan, japanese

chubu, gifu, japan, japanese

To travel around Shinshu area is always romantic, maybe because it is such a historical places with endless stories, or maybe it is because of the mysterious fog in the deep mountain, the old bridges in the valley or the crystal clear water that runs on and on. We drove all the way along the river, watching the sun rise, then arrived at the the village when it is still asleep. Everything was quiet besides the jumpy river on the stones.

Tsumago - Kiso Valley - Colorful

The Kiso valley is famous for its craft. There were stone and ceramic potteries discovered here thousands years ago. And now, they produce beautiful wooden cutlery. Old grandmamas are still sitting on their tatami, chatting happily and making all sorts of things out of woods.

chubu, gifu, japan, japanese

chubu, gifu, japan, japanese

Tsumago - Kiso Valley - Fresh Water

Water is highly regarded here. There are many little temples for the God of Water.  But do not overlook the sign besides them, it says ‘not drinkable’.

Tsumago - Kiso Valley - First Visitors

Tsumago - Kiso Valley - Sliding Down

The woody craft you can find  in the shops, besides the ordinary bowls and chopsticks, there are also wooden umbrellas, even postcard! They use a special technique to combine the very soft kind of wood with a very thin piece of paper.

chubu, friend, gifu, japan, japanese, people, sophie

chubu, friend, gifu, japan, japanese, people, sophie

Tsumago - Kiso Valley - Fruits

chubu, friend, gifu, japan, japanese, people, sophie

chubu, friend, gifu, japan, japanese, people, sophie

Tsumago - Kiso Valley - Temple

For an old village, this one is actually really popular for tourists. So an early visit is recommended, just so that the quiet atmosphere will match those beautiful woody old houses. But if you are not an early bird, the interesting shops that only opens until later will bring you a different type of surprise.

Tsumago - Kiso Valley - Morning Light

Matsumoto Castle

Who Am I

I am Jordy Meow, a French photographer living in Japan. I explore discover offbeat and lesser known places in Japan. Wish to see more, or to help me? Here is my Patreon.

Newsletter