Tsumago in the morning was one of those experiences that are unique of Japan and heartwarming. For those who have yet to read our previous post, Tsumago is a post town in the Nakasendo trail where samurais during the Edo period used to sleep in their route to/from Kyoto and Tokyo. Tsumago is a tiny (around) 20 houses town, all of them with a beautifully conserved architecture. It even has ruins of an old Castle that show how prosperous & cosmopolitan the town was back at the Edo period, which is quite surprising for our current standards, right? The town is now devouted to tourism with shops and inns, but it doesn’t lack any bit of its charm with cultivated lands all around.
Make sure you read first how we got to Tsumago walking the 8 km magical route that takes you here from Magome, another post town in the Nakasendo route. I think it makes a good introduction about why we ended up here.
To spend the night we chose the Matsushiroya Inn, a 200 years old minshuku with 8 rooms and the most gorgeous paper sliding doors. We were lucky that only two rooms where occupied that night (one was ours) which led to lot of intimacy and the feeling the house was indeed ours, or at least it was a rent lease for a few hours. Usually when you stay at a minshuku, dinner and breakfast are included in the price of the night. Here it was served in separate individual rooms, so although we got a glimpse of the other guests, we had both meals alone. This is something I appreciate, but some would prefer communal rooms to meet new people.
Matsushiroya also has a very pretty distribution with open-air parts to access to the rooms, ours was precisely in that wing which gave us a pretty light entering in the morning (see pic below!). At this open-air part they had two small ponds with koi fish, don’t need to tell you which sushi we got for dinner, right? ehem…
Tsumago, you will be stuck in my heart forever! I think Tsumago is our Ainokura of this second trip, different yet each have a bit of my heart.
This was my last view of Japan’s countryside and it was going to be the start of that bittersweet moment when you realize that the trip is going to end. Next stop will be Tokyo again, to bid adieus!
Tokyo – Part I: Shinjuku & Harajuku
Tokyo – DisneySea
Hakone and the Takuminoyado Yoshimatsu onsen
Osaka – Part I: Osaka Castle, Umeda views and Dotonbori at night
Himeji Castle (& the Hello Kitty café)
Osaka – Part II: Dotonbori, Namba temple and Den Den Town
Kyoto: Gion, Kamo riverside & Nishiki market
Arashiyama: monkey park, the river, Tenryuji temple and the bamboo grove
Nakasendo trail: from Magome to Tsumago