Ishidatami or ‘paving stones’ were laid down on rough patches of road, particularly over the mountain passes which were steep at the top and prone to erosion in the rainy season. Stones were laid carefully so that porters and carriers would have sure footing when they most needed it. Other than this, no attempt was made to pave the highways.
Some of the passes on the Nakasendo still have their original ishidatami> but often they have fallen into disrepair and barely resemble a road surface. Near Shinchaya, on the other hand, the ishidatami have been carefully restored by the local history society. The stones have been cemented in place and the road widened as the highway approaches the tea house at the tateba near the top.