Kiso villages and Nagoya

This morning was spent in getting to the Kiso Valley area to see two villages there.  We left the Hakone hotel by a shuttle to the local train station for a short ride back to Owakudani Station to catch the Shinkansen to Nagoya. From there we took a local train to the Kiso Valley area where a hired bus awaited us.  As Japanese trains all leave exactly on time and we had seven minutes to change to the Shinkansen, this was quite a feat enabled by our having only an overnight bag each.  Our main luggage had been sent ahead to Nagoya.  We will again travel with an overnight bag near the end of our trip.  First I should note that Mt. Fuji deigned to make an appearance while we were on the Shinkansen.  The train was going 300 km /h when I took the picture below so it is not great – but I did finally see the mountain. The Kiso villages, Tsumago and Magome, were two of eleven post villages where travellers could stay while taking the old Nakasendo Highway from Kyoto to Edo from 1603 to 1867.  With the advent of modern transportation, these villages lost their raison d’etre. The local government has declared them heritage areas and subsidizes their continued existence.  Naturally, tourism is the main industry.  I found the first village to be the most authentic looking and interesting.  The second had the better shopping!!  The photos are all of the first village, Tsumago. After our visit to the villages, our bus took us back to Nagoya where we visited the Noritake China Factory and Museum.  Noritake is the oldest china factory in Japan and most of its wares were for export to North America.  Tomorrow we are going to see new technology at the Toyota plant and then we will be off to Takanawa.

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