An ancient village on the hill
Magome is an ancient village on the hill in Japan. It is the second ancient village I visited on my Japan trip. The first one was Tsumago. These two are postal towns along the Nakasendo route which connects Edo (modern day Tokyo) and the the imperial capital Kyoto back during the Edo era.
After leaving Tsumago, we drove over to Magome. It’s only about 9km away. If you have time, you can hike the 7.7km through the mountains like the people used to do in the old days. I would definiteley want to do that if I have the chance to come back again.
Since Magome is an ancient village on the hill, I started my walk at the top of the hill. There’s an observatory here which I’ll come back to later on.
At the top of the hill is a stream flowing down. For some unknown reason, the sound of the water gushing down sounds so much fresher here. I put my hand down and let the water run through it. It was so cool that I was really tempted to taste it.
Magome is quite different from Tsumago. Both have been restored back to the old Edo era, yet both have their own character. The street at Tsumago is a bit wider and has more shops on either sides.
At Magome, there are less shops here. For the few there were, they were quite interesting. This one sold locally made sake, that is rice wine. The have a range of seasonal sakes, all ending with the word laugh or smile. And you can see their colourful labels of the different bottles, don’t they make you smile?
The other shop I liked very much and related to the sake, is this one that sold sake cups. Sake is a high alcohol content spirit and is normally drank out of small cups. I loved how this shoP used the sake cups as flower displays.
Now let me show you some of the buildings along Magome village. You can see they’re all two storey high built of wood to replicate what they looked like in the old days. These few here have been converted to shops. I like that the shop front were all wide and open so you can easily peek inside to see the products they were selling. Rhere are a few others that have been converted to hostels as well as I saw some tourist lugging their suitcases along the cobbled road.
As I got a bit further down the hill, there was the beautiful red autumn leaves. There were a lot of people here taking photos of them in front of the clear blue sky. Me included of course!!
Remember the observatory I mentioned at the beginning of my post? This was at the top of the hill and before I left Magome I went up to take a look. It’s a very pleasant stroll, nothing too demanding. The view here was very open and you can see the lovely range of mountains behind the village.
I also posted a video of my visit to Magome here, and you can take a look at that and walk through Magome youself. Hope you like it!