The Karuizawa Stage: Karuizawa Town, Kita Saku County, Nagano Prefecture
The Kutsukake Stage: Karuizawa Town, Kita Saku County, Nagano Prefecture
The Oiwake Stage: Karuizawa Town, Kita Saku County, Nagano Prefecture
The Otai Stage: Oshirota Village, Kita Saku County, Nagano Prefecture
To cross the Usui Pass, we have to go via Yokokawa from Sakamoto and use a mountain road. The road passes in front of the Kumano Shrine.
Very near the Kumano Shrine, a lookout point offers a fine view across the mountains. A good place to take a rest. From here the road goes downhill, passing a memorial stone inscribed with a haiku by Basho on the way.
Leaving the bustle of Karuizawa, we approach Kutsukake. We arrive at the Asama Shrine, but continue straight on to the Oiwake post town.
The road to Zenkoji Temple turns off to the right. We turn to the left, as instructed. Few people walk along the old Nakasendo Highway. The road narrows in places, before eventually arriving at Otaijuku.