Time Traveling in Narai

I wasn't planning on going to Narai, but I had time after a few nights in Matsumoto. It was also on the way back to Nagoya, which was the same direction I was going. After researching online and hearing from a roommate, I decided to visit this old post town.

The Old Post Town of Narai

Back in the Edo Period, Narai was an important post town that was in the middle of Kyoto and Edo along the Nakasendo Route. Other than this, the town was the wealthiest of all the post towns of Kiso Valley.

Walking down the streets of Narai is like stepping into a time warp. Just arriving in its small station is enough to take you back centuries. Unlike other stations, Narai's has this middle of nowhere feel once you alight. The station lady I met was surprised when I told her I was from the Philippines, and instead of inputting something in a computer, she took out a notebook and wrote things down. Which was very different from the many other stations I got to in Japan.

The rows of preserved houses looked very different from the modern cities of Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo. I didn't see any skyscrapers, glitzy shopping centers and the usual things you'd find in a metropolis. However, there are many restaurants, small shops and inns along the road.

Narai is an old post town worth going to if you are interested in history and would want to take the road less traveled during a trip to Japan. This town is accessible by train as I easily got here from Matsumoto.


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