21 Oiwake-shuku21 Oiwake (Eisen)
Oiwake packhorse driver's songs originated here. At the junction of the Kisokaido and Hokkoku Highways, this post town was always busy. At 1,000 meters above sea level, Oiwake was also the highest point of the Kisokaido Highway. Like Mt. Fuji, Mt. Asama is a conical volcano with beautiful slopes spreading at the foot. Onioshidashi, a rugged lava field on the northern side is a famous sight-seeing spot.

22 Odai22 Odai
The stretch of highway leading to Odai was through a desolate bushy field at the foot of Mt. Asama. Today this part is called Nishi-karuizawa. "Hime-no-yado" (Stage for Princesses), was the nickname of Odai because wives of princes and daimyos often took up their lodgings here.

23 Iwamurata23 Iwamurata (Eisen)
Iwamurata was the castle town of the Lord of Naito Bungonomori having a 15,000-koku fief. At this small post town, the Kisokaido intersected with the Saku-Koshu Road. This picture is considered a unique piece among the Kiso Highway Series. The scene is a fight among blind men.

24 Shionata24 Shionata
Shionata, on the eastern shore of the Chikuma River, was the only stage in the province of Shinshu where travellers often met with interruptions of ferry service. The river ran broad here, and travellers had to be ferried across it. A beauty spot here was the Fudo Fall with abundant clear water, where worn-out travellers had a moment of relaxation.

25 Yawata25 Yawata
The post town of Yawata was only 2 km from Shionata. The distance between the stages was the shortest on the Kisokaido Highway. Besides, Yawata has the smallest number of inns among all the post towns on the Kisokaido. The place of this picture is probably about Hyakuzawa which was the middle point between Yawata and Mochizuki.

26 Mochizuki26 Mochizuki
In the post town of Mochizuki, our attention is drawn to the two-story houses lining the street with latticed facade and projecting upper-story part. To the northeast of the post town was Mimakigahara used as Imperial pastures during the Heian and Kamakura periods (9th through 14th centuries). The scene depicts the ascent of Uryu-zaka Hill Road between Yawata and Mochizuki.

27 Ashida27 Ashida
The post town of Ashida was in a mountainous area. The landscape depicted is the Kasadori Pass on the way from Ashida to Nagakubo. The bold composition and deformation employed have something in common with modern paintings. The Kasadori Pass is said to have commanded a magnificent view of Mt. Asama.

28 Nagakubo28 Nagakubo
Past the Kasadori Pass, travellers walked along a gently downhill road to reach the post town of Nagakubo. This was a bustling junction stage with the Wada Pass to the south and the Zenkoji Road branching out form the Kisokaido Highway. In the centre of the picture is the Wada Bridge across the Yoda River.

29 Wada29 Wada
This was one of the hardest parts to pass on the Kisokaido Highway. The forbidding Wada Pass (1,651 m above sea level) is seen under deep snow. Today you can visit an inn with beautiful latticework restored as the Historic Road Museum "Kawachiya" and a honjin inn reconstructed into the "Nakasendo Wada-juku Honjin" museum.

30 Shimosuwa30 Shimosuwa
The post town of Shimosuwa prospered as the sole hot spring resort on the Kisokaido and also as the intersection with the Koshu Highway. Nearby were the Grand Shrines of Suwa well-known for the "Onbashira" (Sacred Pillar Erecting) festival. The picture is a detailed scene of customers taking a meal in an inn. We have it on hearsay that the man facing away is Hiroshige himself.