Stages of the Nakasendo
From Nihonbashi to Itabashi
Under a bright autumn sky and with camera in hand, we set off on a journey along the old Nakasendo Highway – from Nihonbashi in Tokyo to Sanjo Ohashi in Kyoto – in search of the soul of Japan. A plaque marking the start of the Nakasendo is embedded in the middle of the road on the Nihonbashi Bridge. Leaving behind the view from Nihonbashi, including the Bank of Japan on the site of the old Edo mint, we pay our respects at Kanda Myojin Shrine. From there we proceed past Shinshoji Temple with its huge jizo (a stone Buddha, one of six that stand on principal routes into Tokyo) and the Koshinzuka district, as we approach the ferry crossing at Toda. Near there, in Shimura, Itabashi Ward, stands an old ichirizuka mile marker, complete with an explanation that this is the third mile marker since Nihonbashi. Soon, the Arakawa River comes into view.