“Subaru” Star-Trailing along Chubu Region in Shiragawa-go and Kiso Valley : Travel Ideas

Chubu region in Japan is right in the middle, providing very nice trails for walking adventures as these are surrounded by the backbone of mountainous areas of Japan. Accessing via Nagoya is easy, and Nagoya is a great base for side trips.  Walks along Chubu region can be quite different with diverse panoramic views along the trails.

Shiragawa-go village view from atop

Shiragawa-go is one of the preserved traditional villages with steep thatched roof with large attics at the top farmhouses. The village itself is a little touristy but there is a fantastic view of the village itself from a small top. The village is small enough for a slow stroll along the village, with small patches of paddy fields in front of the farmhouses. In winter the village is enveloped in white snow, spring brings with it a girlish pink blush, summer comes with green & lively plants while autumn provides a delightful brownish silhouette.

Thatched roof farmhouses called gassho-styled houses
Small patches of paddy fields in front of farmhouses are common

Public transport to the village is a little tricky, hence following a day trip may be most convenient and your best bet. The daily tour is quite relaxing with plenty of time to explore the village, with a yummy bento box lunch at the restaurant and a couple of short stops at nearby attractions. Another alternative is just to stay a couple of days in the village & imagine yourself in the olden days of land of the rising sun.

Chubu mountains, views taken from Kiso Valley
Trail indicators

Kiso Valley is a little easier to access via public transport, the nearest train station being Nagiso Station. Subsequently, you can either walk or take a public bus (which has a fixed interval) to the various town-stops along the Nakasendo path whereby small town of Magome & Tsumago are a wonder of its own. There are other stops which I did not visit as the easiest trail is Magome & Tsumago which takes about an hour along well-paved pathway.

Blushing pink in the middle of autumn
Filled small gardens

Along the trail, there are sparse bamboo forest, colourful blossoming trees, gardens of small relics, small streams, old houses which are mostly built without nails. If you are hungry, drop by the convenience stores in the converted old houses to buy some snacks or the small eateries to calm the grumbling stomach.  

Old style stores along the small towns
Bamboo groves slightly off path

As we walk along Kiso Valley and Shirawaga-go, the song “Subaru” by Tanimura Shinji seems to be a suitable accompanying music for a star-trailing walk along the paths. Subaru refers to a constellation of stars. Imagine if it is a late-night stroll, looking upwards to the bright night sky full of stars, with excerpts from the lyrics:   

Glowing gloriously as you shatter into pieces

Ah, someday, someone will walk this road

I’ll go onwards, bidding farewell to the stars

Sharing the instrumental for Subaru & a simple piano sheet arrangement.

Please note the music sheet is personally arranged & shared for educational & personal entertainment purposes.  Please use these personal shared items responsibly and not to use these commercially.

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