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Also known as Kiso Kaidō or Kisoji. One of the five main highways (gokaidō) directly controlled by the Tokugawa Shogunate during the Edo period (1600-1868). With 67 post stations along its 500-kilometer (310-mile) route, this road started at Nihombashi, the bridge in Edo (now Tokyo) where all highways converged, passed through the mountains of central Japan, and ended slightly east of Kyoto at Kusatsu (in present Shiga Prefecture) where it joined the Tōkaidō. In contrast to the heavily traveled Tōkaidō, the mountainous Nakasendō´ had little traffic. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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