Protecting Kiso Valley And Its Rivers In Central Japan
Kiso River and the entire system that forms the Kiso Valley in Nagano, Gifu and then all the way down to Aiichi prefectures - such a treasure.
Earlier this year, I went to Magome and visited the small towns like Tsugamo that remain intact since the Edo era. I hope you can stay there and enjoy the tranquility of ancient Japan.
Just a couple of hours from some of the busiest cities on Earth, such rural places remain to inspire and educate.
These towns do a lot better than some of the "shutter towns" in more urban settings. Why? Because of tourism? I don't think so. The secret is in the appreciation of the values that have been a cornerstone of life here, for a long time.
Kiso Valley is located north east of Nagoya, a couple of hours by train, in Nagano-ken. In the old days, when voyagers were taking weeks to travel from Edo (Tokyo) to Kyoto, and all the way to Nagasaki, one of the main roads, the Nakasendo was going through the Kiso Valley.
Some small towns have been kept more or less as they were a hundred years ago, in an impressive effort, with walking routes that are easy yet take you back to the age-old "sendo" paths.
Tsumago and Magome are 2 of the 69 road stations (post towns) of the Nakasendo, which were build to ensure safety of the travellers.
Kiso Valley Min-Min no Kai:
水源の里を守ろう 木曽川流域 みん・みんの会 〒464-0075 名古屋市千種区内山3-7-11 TEL.052-745-1001 FAX.052-741-2588
Their grass root campaigns include efforts to bring kids to the river, learning about biological diversity, and growing local soy beans!
Top image from Kiso Voluntary Neighbors, or Kiso Ryuuiki Shimin Housoukyoku
Update: You know of course that you can click on any "labels" like Rivers here on Kurashi to connect to all kinds of entries - from 10 years or so of blogging.