Otai is a quiet, well-preserved former post-town. The highway is wider here than in many Edo period post-towns, yielding an air of spaciousness. Among the old buildings which have survived is, unusually, the tonya , one of the two which originally were in the town. In addition to the honjin and waki-honjin, there were only five inns in the Edo period. With a population of just over 300 in the 1840s, it was the smallest of the post-towns in modern Nagano Prefecture.
The highway goes nearly straight to Miyota which was a former tateba. Now, it has grown into a lively small town; shops, bars and, most crucially, a train station. Compared to the quiet decay of Otai, the recent growth of Miyota emphasizes the important role played by the train system in modern town development.
Leaving Miyota, the Nakasendo makes a gradual, steady ascent of the foothills of Mt. Asama which looms in the distance beyond the next post-town, Oiwake, some three miles from Otai.