Follow the Tokaido Highway
Highlights of the Area
TEA FIELD PLANTATIONS, NIGHT CRYING STONE, STONE PAVED ROAD
The Old Tokaido Highway became firmly established in the early 17th century as the main thoroughfare for travelers between the new capital of Edo (Tokyo) and Kyoto.
The 25th Post Town of Nissaka was known as one of the hardest parts of the trail with very steep sections of path – as depicted in Hiroshige’s block print of this area.
Nissaka Juku was the 3rd smallest Post Town on the Tokaido Highway and it remains a small sleepy town quite far from the nearest train station.
Today much of the area is an almost forgotten section of the Old Tokaido Highway although it retains some of the charm of the old road and has not become as ‘industrialized’ as some other areas.
There is a walking route still established from Kanaya Station to Nissaka Juku which has over 600 meters of stone paving and some remnants of what it was like 300 years ago.
From Kanaya Station to Nissaka Juku it is about a 7km walk with some steep up and down sections that may make it feel like a lot more.
Along the way you can stop at Sayo no Nakayama Park and see the stone that was made famous in Hiroshige’s depiction of Nissaka Juku and try the “good luck candy rice cake”.
The legend behind the stone is that it is said to represent a pregnant woman who was attacked by bandits at this pass.
Although the woman died it is said that her spirit stayed in the stone and cried every night – the baby survived the attach and was bought up by a local priest who fed him malt syrup and eventual got revenge for his mothers death.
Using this MAP as a guide it is recommended to start your walk from Kanaya Station.
If you have a full day available it is worth starting in the morning at Shimada Station exploring the Kawagoshi Ruins, walking over the Horai Bridge over the Oi River and checking out the Steam Locomotive and Thomas the Tank Engine trains at Shin Kanaya Station – MAP.
When you get to Kanaya Station stop in for lunch at Ishitadami Restaurant before the challenging walk from there to Nissaka Juku.
Before heading off in the afternoon ensure that you stock up on water and supplies near the station before heading off as there are not many shops or stores along the way.
As you can see from this MAP there are a lot of steep up an down sections to the walk as it was for travelers on the Old Tokaido Highway.
Only a short section at the start of the walk is stone paved to give you a sense of what it was like in the Edo period – the rest of the journey is through Shizuoka’s famous tea fields and small rural villages.
At Nissaka Juku there are a number of old buildings still standing from the Edo Period and you can get a feeling of what it was like for travelers back in the day to arrive after a long walk over the hills.
Once you have wandered through the small town of Nissaka you will connect back up with Road 415 and it is recommended that from there you catch a bus to Kakegawa rather than walking along the road.
For a detailed map of Kanaya, Nissaka Juku and Tokaido related attractions in English check www.shizuoka-tokaido.biz