/ / Kiso Valley

Kiso Valley

The Kiso valley is the area in the upper reaches of the river Kiso, which flows through the land of several prefectures (Nagano, Gifu, Aichi and mie) and empties into ISE Bay near Nagoya. The length of the river is 227 kilometres. Sometimes a house cat compared to the river Rhine.

In the early seventeenth century the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu decided to build a new residence on the Nagoya plateau. For Nagoya castle was the chosen location, comfortable with the political and economic points of view. The castle was in the middle between Kyoto and Edo, the old capital and the main residence of the Tokugawa. The rivers that flowed in this area, including a house cat, allowed to establish trade with other areas. In addition, nearby there was a sea port Kuwana. Around the castle on the plateau began to settle artisans and merchants, and thus was the city of Nagoya.

Kiso valley (or Kisozi) is famous for its shrines and monuments, Handicrafts, and timber of cedars, which were used for the construction of many Shinto shrines.

In the Western part of the valley is an active volcano with a height of more than 3 thousand meters Ontake-San is one of the main sacred mountain to Shinto. The first sanctuary on the slopes of mount was built in 928 year. In the XVIII century there even arose a new religion - Ontake-Kyo, combining shamanism, Buddhism and Shintoism. Its adherents have in our days, and quite a lot of them. Every year pilgrims make the ascent to the sanctuary of Ontake-Jinja, which is located almost at the top of the mountain. Believers establish memorial stones Raijin no hi, which is on the slopes of the mountains for hundreds of thousands. The starting point to climb Ontake-San is Kiso Fukushima is the biggest city of the valley.

The Kiso valley in the days of feudalism passed tract Nakasendō connecting Edo and Kyoto. City Narai, Tsumago and Magome standing on the tract, today recognized as architectural monuments. The most important town on the route was considered Narai, which now looks like two centuries ago. In Tsumago almost all the buildings have been renovated, so it looks like a Museum under the open sky. In Magome born poet and novelist Shimazaki, the city has a Museum dedicated to him.

Till the 50-ies of XX century in the valley flourished woodworking, and the manufacture of lacquer articles and wood products. With the development of tourism in the towns and villages of the valley began to establish centres of crafts, workshops and folk museums.