Nakasendo (Otajuku, Unumajuku)
The Nakasendō, also called the Kisokaidō, was one of the five routes of the Edo period, and one of the two that connected Edo (modern-day Tokyo) to Kyoto in Japan. There were 69 stations (staging-posts) between Edo and Kyoto, crossing through Musashi, Kōzuke, Shinano, Mino and Ōmi provinces. In addition to Tokyo and Kyoto, the Nakasendō runs through the modern-day prefectures of Saitama, Gunma, Nagano, Gifu and Shiga, with a total distance of approximately 534 km (332 mi). Unlike the coastal Tōkaidō, the Nakasendō traveled inland, hence its name, which can be translated as "中 = central; 山 = mountain; 道 = route" (as opposed to the Tōkaidō, which roughly meant "eastern sea route"). Because it was such a well-developed road, many famous persons, including the haiku master Matsuo Bashō, traveled the road. Many people preferred traveling along the Nakasendō because it did not require travelers to ford any rivers.