Narai-juku was once the wealthiest of the eleven post towns on Kiso’s Nakasendo Trail. Its main street stretches over a kilometer. In its heyday, the town was known as “Narai of a Thousand Houses.” Wander down the main path and enjoy. The two-story wooden buildings house everything from soba noodle restaurants and sake shops to souvenir vendors and lacquer-ware artisans. Look inside the early 1800s Nakamura Residence with its elegant garden to see how Narai merchants used to live. The historic temples and atmospheric shrines just off Narai-juku’s main street provide another layer to explore.