Stages of the Nakasendo From Yahata to Shimo Suwa
The Yahata Stage: Asashina Village, Kita Saku County, Nagano Prefecture
The Mochizuki Stage: Mochizuki Town, Kita Saku County, Nagano Prefecture
The Ashida Stage: Tateshina Town, Kita Saku County, Nagano Prefecture
The Nagakubo Stage: Nagato Town, Chiisagata County, Nagano Prefecture
The Wada Stage: Wada Village, Ogata County, Nagano Prefecture
The Shimo Suwa Stage: Shimo Suwa Town, Suwa County, Nagano Prefecture
After leaving Yahata, the old Nakasendo Highway wanders onto a side road. If it weren’t for the marker, we might have missed the turning. A village suddenly appears. Then, after passing Ashida, a line of pine trees comes into view. We cross a mountain pass, and turn onto a side road, continuing to the torii gate of the Matsuo Shrine.
The village immediately after Matsuo Shrine is the Nagakubo post town. We turn left while surveying the line of mountains. We proceed along a path skirting the mountains, and eventually arrive at the Wada post town. Here, the old Nakasendo Highway continues from one village to the next.
Ahead is the Wada Pass (1531 meters), which we must negotiate if we are to reach the Suwa Taisha Shrine. Luckily, we’re traveling by car – but even then, there are some troublesome spots and very tight bends.