Travel Back in Time to Seki-juku on the Tokaido Highway

Travel Back in Time to Seki-juku on the Tokaido Highway

Seki-juku is a post town, about a 1.5-hour train ride from Nagoya, or about a 2-hour train ride from Osaka. It offers you a chance to slip back in time to the Edo period of Japan and a doorway to hike on the Old Tokaido Road, the main walking trail that connected Tokyo and Kyoto four hundred years ago. Well-preserved Japanese traditional area without too many tourists, Seki-juku is a must-visit place for you to explore freely in real Japan as if you were a samurai.  

Written by Bonnie Chow 

-Table of Contents-

・Seki-juku, a Post Town on the Tokaido Road 

・Seki-juku Hatago Tamaya Historical Museum 

・Fukawaya's Seki-no-to

・Seki Jizo-in Temple 

・Lunch at Aizuya 

・Seasonal Highlight 

・Hiking from Seki-juku to Suzuka-Toge Pass 


Seki-juku, a Post Town on the Tokaido Road

Seki-juku, a Post Town on the Tokaido Road
Seki JR station can be easily accessed from Nagoya or Osaka.

In the Edo Period (1603–1867), travelers between Edo (present-day Tokyo) and Kyoto would take one of two routes, the Tokaido or the Nakasendo. There were numerous post towns at that time, and travelers who needed to stay overnight would stay in a Hatago (Inn) of a post town. While Tsumago-juku and Magome-juku on the Nakasendo route in Nagano get the most attention, Seki-juku on the Tokaido is one of Mie Prefecture’s hidden gems. It was once a prominent transportation hub on the Tokaido highway, and it was selected as an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings in 1984 because of the 200 well-preserved historical buildings. 

A new souvenir shop in Seki-juku.  

The best way to enjoy Seki-juku is to spend a half day strolling along the traditional 1.8 km long old street to visit the museums, stores, Japanese confectionery stores, and restaurants. To start with, how about climbing up to the Choukantei observatory to enjoy the amazing views of Seki-juku post town? 

The overview of Seki-juku town from the Choukantei Observatory. 

Seki-juku Hatago Tamaya Historical Museum

Seki-juku Hatago Tamaya Historical Museum
Tamaya is a well-preserved traveler’s inn from the Edo period.  

When you leave Choukantei walk along the road, and a Hatago museum called Tamaya will be on your right. This inn was built in the Edo period, and while it doesn’t look big from the outside, it is very spacious. 

The entrance of Tamaya displays a palanquin used in old times.

The reception of Tamaya on the first floor.  

The first floor has several Japanese tatami rooms and a garden.  

The Japanese tatami rooms on the first floor. 

Check out the rooms on the second floor to see interesting travel items from 400 years ago. 

A futon and utensils used by travelers.  

It is such a wonderful experience to feel like a time traveler in the Edo period of Japan. 

Fukawaya's Seki-no-to

Fukawaya's Seki-no-to
Seki-no-to confectionary store’s building was built 370 years ago. 

Take a break at a local Japanese confectionary store in Seki-juku to try some traditional wagashi (Japanese sweets) from this area

Seki-no-to, a mochi with red bean paste, was created 370 years ago by Yasushige Hattori, a ninja descendant. It was treasured by the feudal lords in Kyoto and remains a favorite of many to this day, and the recipe for this famous sweet has never changed 

Various types of sweets are lined up including the award-winning matcha mochi.  

The matcha mochi has just the right amount of sweetness. A definite must-try if you are a matcha lover!  

Seki Jizo-in Temple

Walk along the road towards the west, Jizo-in Temple, one of the oldest temples in Japan, is on your left. Founded in 741, the main hall, the bell tower, and the smaller Aizome-do hall are all designated as important cultural properties.  

Lunch at Aizuya

Opposite Jizo-in temple is Aizuya, a popular restaurant in Seki-juku It used to be a famous inn in Seki-juku during the Edo period and the building remains intact 

Aizuya’s exterior remains intact.  

Try the Sansai Okowa, a traditional dish cooked using a kettle and fresh local ingredients.

Sansai Okowa dish made with local fresh ingredients.  

Seasonal Highlight

If you plan to visit Seki-juku in July you can see fields of sunflowers and in October, don’t forget to visit the cosmos flower garden next to Seki JR station as it blooms gloriously 

Cosmos garden next to the station during autumn. 

The summer festival of Seki-juku is usually held in late July which is a great opportunity to see the children parade and the beautiful festive floats lit up by lanterns at night.  

Children’s parade in the summer festival.

Hiking from Seki-juku to Suzuka-Toge Pass

Nowadays, traveling by Tokaido Shinkansen between Kyoto and Tokyo only takes two and a half hours and it took 13-15 days on foot in olden times Would you like to hike from Seki-juku post town to Suzuka-Toge Pass, a well-maintained hiking route to make great memories like a samurai traveling between post towns? 

Breathtaking natural scenery along the Tokaido Road.  

The elevation of going uphill for 200 meters needs a bit of stamina but it is worth spending 2-3 hours hiking along the 10km route with the breathtaking natural scenery.  

Tourist attractions covered by this article