Nature Spots in Nagano Area

  • Kamikochi
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Adumi
    Kamikochi is an approximately 1,500 meter high gorge in the Chubu Sangaku National Park. Known as one of the top mountain scenic spots in the country it is designated as a special place of scenic beauty and natural monument. It is a gateway to the Northern Alps (Hida Mountains) and many tourists, mainly climbers and photographers visit each year. To help protect the environment the use of cars is restricted so it is recommended to use a shuttle bus service or taxi.
  • Lake Suwa
    Travel / Tourism
    Suwa City, Nagano Prefecture
    Lake Suwa, the largest lake in Shinshu, has a circumference of about 16 kilometers. Here you can enjoy lengthy walks and jogging as well as pleasure cruises and boat trips on the lake. From autumn through to winter keen anglers can fish for wakasagi (a variety of smelt). The Lake Suwa Fireworks Festival, one of Japan’s largest firework displays, is held at the lake in summer with an incredible 40,000 fireworks lighting up the night sky. The huge fireworks display unsurprisingly attracts huge numbers of people each year.
  • Shiraito Falls
    Travel / Tourism
    Karuizawa-cho, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano Prefecture
    The result of underground water welling out of bare rock, Shiraito Falls has a thin stream of water almost like a strand of silk with beautiful lines of water and white spray falling down. The refreshing sight is one of Karuizawa’s representative sightseeing spots. In the winter, icicles are artificially created using water gushing forth from the waterfall, producing a fantastical atmosphere.
  • Shibu Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamanouchi cho, Shimokitai-gun, Nagano Prefecture
    The Shibu Pass, spanning between Nagano and Gunma Prefectures boasts a stone marker indicating the highest peak over which a national highway travels; National Route 292 running between Mt. Yokote and Mt. Shirane. The view from the peak can take your breath away. It overlooks the extensive Yoshigadaira Marshlands in which the luscious green of the trees and the wetlands intermingle. At dawn, the sea of clouds, softly glowing from the rays of the sun is a glorious sight to see.
  • Shiga Highlands
    Travel / Tourism
    Shiga Kogen in Shimokitai-gun Nagano-machi, Nagano Prefecture
    Located at an altitude of over 1,000 meters, the Shiga Highlands occupy the bulk of the central area of Joshin’etsu-kogen National Park. This resort area features lakes, marshes, and bogs of all sizes, and you can enjoy physical activities such as trekking in summer and skiing in winter. The rich natural scenery is intimately intertwined with people’s lives, and in fact, this area has been designated a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
  • Lake Shirakaba
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Chinoshi Kitayama Shirakabako
    Lake Shirakaba, with a circumference of four kilometers, was originally a pond created as a reservoir for farm use. You’ll find an amusement park, golf course, ski resort, hotels, and other facilities around this area, making it one of Shinshu’s top resort spots. Throngs of people visit every year.
  • Kumoba Pond
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Kitasakugunkaruizawamachi Karuizawa
    This pond located in close proximity to Roppon-tsuji serves as the water source for gozen-sui. The quiet, beautiful pond is also called Swan Lake since swans used to migrate here in the past. A promenade has been built around the circumference of the pond upon which visitors can enjoy a slow stroll. Visits during the autumn season with its changing leaves are particularly recommended. The sight of the trees steeped in red and yellow reflected in the water is well worth seeing.
  • Takabocchi Highlands
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Shiojirishi Kataoka
    A highland situated along the Takabocchi Skyline road in Kataoka, Shiojiri City. Sprawling at the foot of 1,665-meter-tall Mt. Takabocchi, the highland is a renowned picturesque destination and offers a 360 panoramic view of the area, including Lake Suwa, Yatsugatake, Mt. Fuji, and the Akaishi Mountains.
  • Taisho Pond
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Adumi Kamikouchi
    A pond which reflects the Hotaka Mountain Range, Taisho Pond was formed in 1915 when Mt. Yake experienced a major volcanic eruption. The trees that once grew where the pond is now have withered away and stick up straight out of the pond’s waters; reflecting off the surface, they create a mysterious, magical sight. Taisho Pond is one of the most picturesque spots in Kamikochi.
  • Lake Nojiri
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Kamiminochigunshinanomachi Nojiri
    This is a lake dammed by the lava flow of Mt. Madarao, and because the shape of the lake is similar to a cotton rose flower it is sometimes called Lake Fuyo. From the lake shore one can look out over Mt. Madarao and Mt. Kurohime. Between mid-April and mid-November there are excursion boats along Lake Nojiri, and it is particularly popular among visitors during the autumn when the leaves are changing.
  • Kirigamine Highlands
    Travel / Tourism
    Kirigamine of Suwa-shi Nagano Prefecture
    Selected as one of the top 100 famous mountains in Japan, Kirigamine Highlands, at approximately 1,600 meters above sea level, extends 10 kilometers east to west and 15 kilometers north to south. In early summer the azaleas and daylilies are at their best, and from summer through to autumn you’ll find fireweed and silver grass in bloom. Lots of alpine plants can be spotted in these grassy meadows and visitors can get views of Mt. Fuji and the Yatsugatake Mountains from this popular scenic spot.
  • Utsukushigahara Highlands
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Iriyamabe
    Utsukushi-ga-Hara Highlands which is a part of the largest quasi-national park in Nagano Prefecture is the largest plateau in Japan sitting at an elevation of close to 2,000 meters above sea level. The superb 360 degree panorama rewards visitors with views overlooking the Northern and Southern Alps, and Mt. Fuji. The mountain top Utsukushi-ga-Hara Highlands has trails and hiking paths so you can fully enjoy the magnificent nature and fresh air.
  • Kenashi Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Takayama village in Kamikitai-gun, Nagano Prefecture
    "A pass situated along Prefectural Route 112 in Takayama Village, Kamitakai County. The pass is also the starting points of routes leading up Mt. Hafu and Mt. Omeshi. ""Kenashi"" literally means ""no hair,"" and as its name implies, no tall trees grow in the area; however, lingonberries, black crowberries, and other short evergreen shrubs do grow in abundance here, adding large splashes of green color to the scenery."
  • Nezame no Toko
    Travel / Tourism
    Nami Prefecture Kiso County Kamimatsu Town sleeping sensation
    This government-designated scenic spot is located along the Nakasendo route between Agematsu and Suhara. It contains rare terrain formations such as cubic joints and potholes. The strong current of the Kiso River has carved several unique rock formations, and the sight of its enchanting emerald hue is one worth beholding. This place appears in the legend of Urashima Taro as well, and it is said the name is taken from the scene when Urashima Taro returned from the dragon palace and opened the treasure casket.
  • Mishaka Pond
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Chinoshi Toyohira Okutetsu
    The Mishaka Pond was created as a reservoir for agricultural purposes. The pond was also used as inspiration for the painting Midori Hibiku (echoing green) by renowned Showa period painter Kaii Higashiyama. Surrounded by glorious nature, the water surface reflecting the image of the trees like a mirror is both beautiful and fantastic.
  • Norikura Highlands
    Travel / Tourism
    Matsumoto-shi, Nagano Prefecture
    A highland located east of Mt. Norikura in Azumi, Matsumoto City. A popular mountain tourism destination, facilities such as hotels and motor home campgrounds can be found in the area, as well as a large number of walking paths. Events such as Mt. Norikura sunrise bus tours and starlight tours are also held in the area.
  • Bungui Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Shimoinagunoshikamura Kashio
    "A pass situated along the Akiha Kaido road in Haseichinose, Ina City. Located directly over the Median Tectonic Line, a large fault zone, the area is said to be a strong mystical ""power spot"" with a zero magnetic field. On weekends and holidays, the area sees many visitors, and accordingly traffic is restricted on nearby roads, requiring visitors to make use of a shuttlebus to reach it."
  • Naena Falls
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Myoukoushi Suginosawa
    The Naena Falls, chosen as one of Japan’s Top 100 Falls, is a waterfall with a 55m drop along Sekigawa River and the borders of Nagao prefecture. The two most recommended seasons are spring, just when the snow starts to melt, and mid-October, with autumnal leaves. It is also referred to as “Earthquake Falls” since the earth rumbles as the amount of water increases in spring. You can reach the falls in about 15 minutes by following the promenade.
  • Atera Gorge
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Kisogunokuwamura Nojiri (Arenda National Forest)
    The Atera River is a distributary of the Kiso River. The area from the water source to where it meets the Kiso River is the “Atera Gorge.” Due to the beautiful color of the clear stream sparkling emerald green, it is also called “Atera Blue.” It is especially recommended in the autumn season for the colors of the leaves.
  • Mugikusa Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Prefecture Minamisaku-gun Sakuho-cho
    A pass situated along the Merchen Highway in a national forest in Yakori, Sakuho Town, Minamisaku County. Located between Mt. Maru and Mt. Chausu. Shirakoma Pond, Japan's largest natural lake above 2,100 meters above sea level, is located nearby. Note that the pass is closed to traffic in winter.

Nagano Areas


Nagano prefecture is an exciting mix of mountains, hot spring monkeys, and preserved Edo history. At the heart of the Japanese Alps, Nagano is one of the country’s most popular destinations, whether in winter for its snow sports and the much-loved Jigokudani Monkey Park or in the warmer months for discovering the undulating hills on foot. For fantastic Edo architecture, head to the Kiso Valley for a 60-kilometer stretch of quaint wooden buildings that marked the Nakasendo route 200 years ago.

Nagano Photo Album

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