Explore Central Honshu Nagano Karuizawa Obuse Ski resorts and onsen villages Matsumoto and around Takayama Kanazawa and around Nagoya Inuyama Gujō Hachiman Share Four train stations south of Narai is KISO-FUKUSHIMA (木曽福島), a much more developed town than the other juku – hence it being a stop for the express train between Matsumoto and Nagoya. At the tourist office (t 0264/22-4000, w http://www.kankou-kiso.com) opposite the train station, pick up a map to point you towards the hilltop Ue-no-dan (上の段) conservation area and the temple Kōzen-ji (興禅寺) with its serene raked gravel and rock garden. If you’re looking for somewhere inexpensive to stay, the Kiso-Ryojōan Youth Hostel (木曽旅情庵ユースホステル; t 0264/23-7716; ¥3000 per person), is a 25-minute bus ride from Kiso-Fukushima, in a large traditional building in the peaceful mountain village of Ōhara. You could use the hostel as a base from which to explore the valley’s post towns. Alternatively, the Tsutaya (つたや; t 0264/22-2145, w http://www.kisoji-tutaya.com; ¥20,001−30,000) is a pleasant ryokan opposite the station where the rates include two meals.