Narai (Nagano Prefecture)
Welcome to Narai
During the Edo Period, marked the half way point between Kyoto and Edo to travelers along the Nakasendo Route. It was the most wealthy post town of the Kiso Valley, and was sometimes referred to as “Narai of a Thousand Houses”. Visitors will understand this nickname when comparing Narai to the other former post towns in the area; the preserved houses stretch on much longer in this town than elsewhere.
The long walk down main road is not without interest, though the restored houses are very similar to each other. Among the buildings, two are former residences open to the public, while others house souvenir shops, restaurants and minshuku. Narai’s main drawbacks are that the Honjin and Wakihonjin (the main inns of former times) no longer remain, and that vehicular traffic is permitted on the street.