The purpose of this homepage is to help introduce you to some of the areas around Nagano that I've been able to become familiar with in the past few years. I've lived here for about 4 years and in that time have done lots of hiking and cross-country skiing with my good friend Takashi and his family. Thanks to them I've gotten out and done lots more in the surrounding mountains than I'd have been able to do on my own.
I'll tell you a bit about the places that we've visited based on our (usually hiking) experiences there. If you're interested in outdoor activities, then perhaps you'll find some of them worth a visit. The mountains in Japan are one of the best places to escape the summer heat and city crowds (even those of Nagano's!). As far as accommodation and transportation are concerned, I can't help you too much; you could ask about those at one of the information booths near Nagano Station. I hope to see you out there!
Located 20 km. northwest of Nagano-city, this mountain is easy to get to but a difficult climb and not for the faint-hearted! Buses depart from in front of Nagano Station and take about one hour; get off at Okusha-iriguchi (there's lots of parking here if you go by car).
The first 2 km. from the bus stop are through a cedar forest to Okusha Shrine. This is a nice walk in itself and a good warm-up for those who plan to climb the mountain. (There is relatively easy alternative hike to Kagami-ike along the way; watch for signs to the left.) The climb begins just off to the left and behind the shrine. Though not well marked, it should be easy to find.
The climb itself will take about 1.5 to 2 hours. The trail is quite steep and in some places you will almost be climbing a vertical wall. There are plenty of chains along the way to help you make your way up/down. There are also plenty of good holds and grips in the rock, however, to make the climb a fun challenge without using the chains!
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