Stages of the Nakasendo (5): From Matsuida to Karuizawa
The Matsuida Stage: Matsuida Town, Usui County, Gunma Prefecture
The Sakamoto Stage: Matsui Town, Usui County, Gunma Prefecture
The Karuizawa Stage: Karuizawa Town, Kita Saku County, Nagano Prefecture
Proceeding alongside the Nakasendo Highway from Matsuida, we reach the site of the Goryo Chaya official resthouse just after crossing the railway. The East and West Chaya resthouses have been moved and reconstructed on the site of the Goryo Chaya.
We go past “yonaki jizo” (a small stone Buddha that makes a ringing sound when tapped), through the town of Yokokawa, past the site of the old barrier, and through the reconstructed streets of the Sakamoto post town. At length, we cross the Usui Pass. By a sign marking the mountain road over the Usui Pass, we eat a lunch of Toge no Kamameshi (rice cooked together with vegetables) that we bought earlier in Yokogawa.
The road over the pass from here cannot be traveled by car, so we have to take a diversion to the Kumano Shrine in Karuizawa.