2. máj – Matsumoto, Narai, Kiso-Fukushima

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EN: Since my JR Pass validity period ran through the infamous Golden Week, I had to accept the fact that most of the tourist attractions were simply overcrowded. Even though I was well aware of it, I had to follow my plan and therefore I decided not to change my plans and traveled to Matsumoto and Kiso Valley. Matsumoto is mostly known for its well-preserved castle, which is one of the few original buildings in Japan. It was never rebuilt, its original construction year was 1504. Only some of the gates were renovated, but the rest of the castle is more than 500 years old, which is no doubt impressive age. As I mentioned the Golden Week, it was absolutely packed with tourists, there were several steep staircases inside of the castle and under pretty much each of them was a queue. But I expected this, so it didn’t influence my experience, I enjoyed the castle a lot.

SK: Piatok počas týždňa Golden Week bol dňom, kedy som konečne navštívil Matsumoto a Kiso Valley. To samozrejme znamenalo opäť dosť veľa kilometrov a približne 7 hodín vo vlaku (tam a späť), no tieto destinácie som chcel vidieť už oddávna, patrili medzi najdôležitejšie miesta na mojom zozname. Matsumoto je slávne hlavne vďaka svojmu hradu, ktorý je jedným z mála japonských drevených hradov, ktoré prežili až dodnes a neboli postavené znovu. Budova je z roku 1504 a iba niektoré z brán boli renovované. Keďže práve prebieha Golden Week, miesto bolo samozrejme natrieskané turistami a vnútri hradu, kde boli naozaj strmé schodiská, sa tvorili rady, takže to trochu znepríjemnilo návštevu. Ale ja osobne som to čakal, pretože toto obdobie je známe zvýšeným pohybom turistov po Japonsku.

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EN: I’ve always wanted to visit one of the old wooden trade towns in Japan, Narai, which is located in the above mentioned historic Kiso Valley, is one of them. There are several other similar picturesque places, but unfortunately I had not enough time to stop there. The train service between Matsumoto and Kiso Vally is really scarce, with approx. one train heading towards Matsumoto in one hour and one train towards Nagoya in the next one. I had to keep this in mind as my plan was quite precise and since I had to (once again) work in the evening, I had no choice, but to be very quick. Fortunately, Narai is really small, there are no other things to do except to walk across the old houses, there are virtually no normal shops, only few restaurants and plenty of souvenir shops, of course. Once I took all the pictures I wanted, I returned back to the station and quickly decided to take the train to Kiso-Fukushima. The reason was simple – even rapid trains stop in this town and I had better chance to catch one back to Matsumoto. I was lucky, I caught the express to Shiojori, where I jumped on the train heading to Shinjuku in Tokyo. I really enjoyed this trip, even though its planning was a little hectic, I hope I will have another chance to visit the Kiso Valley and to see other former trade towns. Some of the pictures in this post were taken through the train windows, so their quality is not very impressive.

SK: Z Matsumota som sa rýchlo vybral do Narai, dodnes zachovaného starobylého obchodného mestečka v Kiso Valley. Údolie bolo kedysi obchodnou cestou a preto je v ňom niekoľko takýchto miest, no na ostatné nebol čas. Čo je najhoršie je fakt, že vlaky do a z Narai sú zriedkavé, v párne hodiny jediný jedným smerom a v nepárne zasa jeden druhým smerom. Mestečko je pritom maličké, je to skôr dedina a po jej návšteve turista naozaj nemá čo robiť, iba ak je pripravený na lokálnu turistiku, na čo som ja samozrejme nemal čas a ani výbavu. Takže som sa vlakom zviezol do Kiso-Fukushima, odkiaľ som chytil expres späť do Shiojiri, kde som s veľkým šťastím lapil ďalší expres späť do Shinjuku a dokonca som natrafil aj na voľné miesto vo vagóne pre cestujúcich bez rezervácie. Takže s výletom som nadmieru spokojný, hoci bolo veľmi teplo a vlhko. Fotky nižšie – upozornenie – tie v závere boli fotené z vlaku a cez okno, takže ich kvalita pokuľháva. Neupravoval som ani jednu.

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