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Magome (馬籠)

Magome (馬籠)

With its buildings perched on a steep slope, Magome (馬籠), 5km south of Tsumago, stands 800m up in the hills above the Kiso valley. Magome means “horse basket”, because this juku was where travellers were forced to leave their nags before tackling the mountainous stretch of road ahead. Plaster and wooden buildings line either side of the stone-flagged path – many of the wooden roofs are still held down by stone. Despite appearances, most buildings date from the twentieth century, the village having suffered a history of fires, the most recent being in 1915, when 42 houses burnt to the ground.