The small village Shima Shima [島々] in Nagano was once upon a time a place where mountain climbers would stop off for the night on their way to the Northern Alps - so much so that it was known as Shima Shima Juku[島々宿] (Shima Shima Inn).
Shima Shima was one of four villages that were grouped to form Azumi Village back in 1874.
Now that Route 158 passes by the village, there is little need to stop off so the village went from being a flourishing collection of inns to a residential area.
Wifey and I stumbled on the charming village on the way back to Tokyo from the Northen Alps which reminded us of our visit to Grindelwald.
The village is filled with traditional residential buildings surrounded by mountains and has its own ravine - a recommended visit if you are traveling along Route 158 to Kamikochi.
The village is not a tourist area and there was only one shop that sold climbing equipment (which was closed). Very few signs of humans which is ideal for pandemic travel.
If you do get a chance to visit, then set your map to the following location.