Togakushi is a highland village at the foot of Mt. Togakushi. In the center of the village, amidst an unspoiled natural setting, are as many as 30 soba shops boasting the superior taste of their hand-made soba. Accordingly, this area is a favored destination for soba lovers. Togakushi means “hidden door” or “hidden gate,” and luckily it is still a secret to many people.
More than 100 kinds of wild birds inhabit Togakushi Kogen (highlands), one of Japan’s most renowned areas for wild birds. Togakushi Forest Botanical Garden, which covers an area of 71 hectares, features pristine forests, and is visited by many bird watchers and hikers. Parts of Togakushi are included in Joshin’etsu-kogen National Park. The “Shokubutsuen”‘, or Forest reserve, is one of them. Rare species of wildlife and flowers, like “Mizubasho”, are highly protected here and people come from far away to see them. The park is accessible to wheelchairs.
Togakushi-Yama (Mt. Togakushi)
The jagged ridge-lines of Mt. Togakushi attract many mountaineers. This mountain is believed to have been mentioned in religious myths associated with the foundation of Japan. Also regarded as a sacred place, it has long been worshipped by Buddhists, and is a destination of pilgrimages.
Northwest of Nagano City, this highland (1,000m) is bounded by the rough ridgeline of the Togakushi Range (around 2,000m) on one side, and Mt.Iizuna (1,917m) on the other. In May, when a little snow still remains, myriads of flowers burst into bloom. In the autumn the gold and crimson leaves glow like brocade. A mecca for hikers and campers during the warmer seasons and a paradise for skiers in winter. A 1 hr. walk along the famous cedar-lined road to visit Oku-Sha, one of the three sanctuaries of Togakushi Shrine is highly recommended. 1 hr. by bus from Nagano Station.
Togakushi Shrine is located just at the foot of the precipice of Mt. Togakushi. It consists of three individual shrines, Oku-sha, Chu-sha, and Hoko-sha that were built at intervals of 1.5 kilometers. These shrines are dedicated to mythological gods and each has a long history. The approaches to each shrine are unique. One of which is lined with giant cedars on both sides of the path. It is customary to clap twice when worshiping at shrines to awaken the gods before praying.
Togakushi Walking trails:
Lake walk (3h): from the Chusha Nishi parking area, Midori ga Ike, Kagami Ike, Suzuri Ishi, Kotori ga Ike.
Five shrines walk (2h,30m): starting with the 274 steps of Hokosha, this walk takes you to the five Togakushi shrines, ending with Okusha. In the step of Togakushi range five Shrines have been a focus of pilgrimage, and the surrounding forest is still seen as a sacred treasure.
Pilgrim’s path (8h): from Nagano’s Zenkoji Temple to Okusha shrine
Kids Snow Park to enjoy skiing and sledding, adventurous Telemark skiing Snowboard park.
Alpine skiing & snowboarding with regular snowfalls and excellent powder snow
Togakushi range Cross-country skiing trails connect such sce- nic locations as Lake Kagami and the great thatched gate at the entrance to the Okusha Shrine.
Enjoy winter Snowshoeing: Togakushi‘s extensive network of cross-country ski trails by winter Snowshoeing for all ages to observe wildlife, visit the forest’s oldest trees, and more.
Camping is available from May to October in the beautiful mix of river, forest, and meadowlands along the foot of the Togakushi range.
Visit famous Togakushi bird Sanctuaries (40 species birds)
Ninia Village, Ninja House and Togakushi Folk Museum:
Various attractions and activities for children related to the ancient Ninja discipline. Museum is a collection of Ninja antiques and accessories. Kids’ Ninja Village is a truly exciting amusement park focused on ninja-related hands-on attractions.
Daidalkagura dance ceremony offer to the gods for “their Trekking pleasure”. It takes place twice a month in the shrine and is open to visitors.
Togakushi Geological Fossil Museum (Togakushi Museum of Natural History) Togakushi Geological Museum consists Fossils, including bones of whales from the time when Togakushi was still under the sea, are on display in the museum.
Permanent exhibition room of Togakushi Geological Fossil Museum (Togakushi Museum of Natural History)
Address: 3400 Togakushitochihara, Nagano, Nagano Prefecture 381-4104, Japan Tel: 026-252-2228 Fax: 026-252-1221
Togakushi Kagamiike (Donguri House)
Boasting the best views of Happo ski area, Togakushi Kagamiike (Donguri House) is the steep southern side of the Iwatake ski area. With a winding switch back road ascending the hill, almost all the properties have a great view. Houses and small pensions dominate the area and while shops and restaurants (Cafe Kagamiike), birds carving corner, BBQ house, photo gallery (Acorn Gallery) have to be driven to, the Iwatake ski area has an access lift that is just metres from the nearest houses.
Centrally located between Tokyo and the Kansai area, Togakushi is easily accessible even for short trips and weekend outings.
|By car||By train*||By bus*|
*Times indicated are averages. Add about 1 hour for bus travel from Nagano Station.
Togakushi Okusha Shrine and Togakushi Botanical Garden Forest
Togakushi Jinja (Shrine) 3690 Togakushi, Nagano, Nagano Prefecture 381-4101, Japan Tel: 026-254-2001 Fax: 026-254-3180
Togakushi Botanical Garden Forest Togakushi, Nagano, Nagano Prefecture 381-4101, Japan Tel: 026-254-2200 Fax: 026-254-2200
Togakushi Snow World (Togakushi Ski Resort)
Enjoys a wonderful position at the foot of Mount Menou (between Mt. Togakushi and Mt. Iizuna). Togakushi Snow World is only is a medium sized ski area but still offers skiers and snowboarders a respectable 548 metres (1798 feet) of vertical descent with good powder conditions often available. Togakushi is best suited for intermediate skiers and snowboarders but there is a also a lot of terrain for beginners and experts too. Togakushi offers fewer crowds than the other better known Nagano resorts like Hakuba and Shiga-Kogen. Address: 3682 Togakushi, Nagano, Nagano Prefecture 381-4101, Japan Tel: 026-254-2106 Fax: 026-254-3711, 026-254-3759
Joshin’etsu-kogen National Park
Asahimachi-1108 Nagano, Nagano Prefecture 380-0846, Japan Tel: 026-231-6570 Fax: 026-235-1226
Togakushi Post Office 1372-2 Togakushi-toyooka, Nagano, Nagano Prefecture 381-4102, Japan
Togakushi Soba Museum, Tonkururin Watermill and Children mountain slope
Here you will find Tonkururin Watermill, Togakushi Soba (buckwheat) Museum, Children mountain slope and playground, Experience making soba noodles. 3018 Togakushi, Nagano, Nagano Prefecture 381-4101, Japan Tel: 026-254-3773 Fax: 026-254-3779
Togakushi Folk (Ninja) Museum
3688-12 Togakushi, Nagano, Nagano Prefecture 381-4101, Japan Hour: 9:00-17:00 Tel: 026-254-2395
Kids’ Ninja Village 3193 Togakushi, Nagano, Nagano Prefecture 381-4101, Japan Tel: 026-254-3723 Fax: 026-254-3850
Togakushi Camp World
3694-1 Togakushi, Nagano, Nagano Prefecture 381-4101, Japan Tel: 026-254-3581
Togakushi Kagamiike (Donguri House) 2039-10 Togakushi, Nagano, Nagano Prefecture 381-4101, Japan Tel: 026-254-3719 Fax: 026-254-3720
Nagano City Tourism Division – Togakushi Heights Info Midori-cho 1613, Tsuruga, Nagano City, Nagano 380-8512 Japan Tel: 026-224-5042 Fax: 026-224-5043
Nagano City commerce and industry association, Togakushi Office 1484-2 Togakushi, Nagano, Nagano Prefecture 381-4101, Japan Tel: 026-254-2541 Fax: 026-254-2166
Togakushi Tourism Association
1554 Togakushitoyooka, Nagano, Nagano Prefecture 381-4102, Japan Tel: 026-254-2888, 026-254-2230 Fax: 026-254-3711
Togakushi Tourism Association Website: http://togakushi-21.jp/