Tsumago is a small but perfectly formed Japanese hamlet located on the old Nakasendo postal route between Tokyo and Kyoto. Preservation orders have ensured that the one pedestrianised street is free of neon and overhead wires, making it the Japanese equivalent of Castle Combe in the Cotswolds.
If you set off from Tokyo or Kyoto after breakfast, then there's time to hike the Nakasendo Way three hours from another picturesque hamlet called Magome, and arrive at your 'minshuku' family-run guesthouse in Tsumago in good time for the hearty dinner provided - fried grasshopper is the local delicacy and it's surprisingly good! The street is then particularly atmospheric after dark when the day-trippers have departed and only a few scattered Japanese lanterns light the way.
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