Nature Spots in Nagano Area

  • Yachiho Lake
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Prefecture Minamisaku-gun Sakuho-cho
    A lake located in Sakuho Town, Minamisaku County, Nagano Prefecture with a sweeping view of Mt. Asama and the Arafune Highland. Located in the center of the Yachiho Highland, the lake is notable for the beautiful white birch forest which surrounds it. Also a renowned fishing destination for catching trout and char, many people come here to enjoy fishing in the great outdoors.
  • Gosensui Nature Garden
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Kitasakuguntateshinamachi Ashitahatsukano 709
    This natural garden is located 1,830 meters up in the middle of Mt. Tateshina, and is home to approximately 300 kinds of alpine plants and 50 kinds of wild birds. There is a walking course in the park where you can enjoy relaxing strolls taking in the beautiful natural environment. You can reach this nature park from Tateshina Ranch using the gondola lift.
  • Shirabiso Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Idashi Kamimura
    At an elevation of 1,833 meters, Shirabiso Pass is known as the mountain gateway to the Southern Alps (Akaishi Mountains). It’s a popular tourist spot with magnificent views overlooking the Southern Alps, Northern Alps and Central Alps. From spring to early summer the fresh leaves create a picture of green, and in the autumn the changing colors of the leaves of the maple and white birch trees are simply divine. Please note that the pass is closed during the winter (late November to early April).
  • Akiyamago
    Travel / Tourism
    Eleomura Akiyama village in Nagano pref.
    “Akiyamago,” spreading from Sakaemura, Shimominochi-gun, Nagano Prefecture to Tsunan in Nakauonuma-gun, Niigata Prefecture, is one of the top one hundred secluded areas in Japan, and is a mountainous region seeped in rich nature. You can enjoy beautiful scenery every season such as cherry blossoms in spring and the area covered in snow in winter, but especially the scenery of changing colors of the autumn leaves is superb.
  • Ogawara Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Saku, Nagano Prefecture
    A pass located in Kasuga, Saku City. The pass can be accessed from the Tateshina Skyline and the Karasawa Forest Road. Situated 2,093 meters above sea level, the highest point in Saku City, the pass is also the starting point of one of the trails leading up Mt. Tateshina. Depending on the time of day, visitors can get a commanding view of the Saku Plain nightscape, star-filled sky, and beautiful sunrise scenery.
  • Mt. Kisokoma
    Travel / Tourism
    Kiso-gun, Nagano Prefecture
    A mountain which is part of the Kiso Mountains, also known as the Central Alps. 2,956 meters high, the mountain is the highest peak in the range. An area of bowl shaped terrain called the Senjojiki Cirque formed by ice age glacial erosion and located 2,600 meters up the mountain is the starting point for various climbing courses leading up Mt. Kisokoma and to surrounding mountains.
  • Minowa Dam (Lake Momiji)
    Travel / Tourism
    Minowa-cho, Kamiina-gun, Nagano Prefecture
    A dam and dam lake located in Minowa Town, Kamiina County. Around 10 thousand maple trees were planted around the dam through the donations of residents whose homes were inundated when the dam was built, and the area has become a renowned destination for enjoying fall foliage. In late October, events such as a maple festival and even foliage illumination are held, attracting large numbers of visitors.
  • Mt. Kurumayama
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Suwashi Shiga
    A famous, 1,925-meter-tall mountain known as the highest peak of the Kirigamine volcano in Nagano Prefecture. Japanese azaleas, Nikko day lilies, and other rare alpine plants grow on the mountain. From the top, visitors can get a 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding area, including Mt. Fuji and the Hida Mountains (Northern Alps). During mountain climbing season, the mountain is visited by large numbers of climbers. The mountain's half-day hiking course is particularly popular.
  • Komagane Highland
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Komaganeshi Akaho
    A highland located 800 meters above sea level at the foot of the Kiso Mountains (Central Alps). Known as the highest highland area in the Ina Valley, visitors can view such picturesque sights as the Senjojiki Cirque, a valley formed through glacial erosion; Onuma Lake, and Komagaike Pond. The Komagatake Ropeway can be used to reach the top of Mt. Kisokoma, also known as Mt. Komagatake, and the area is a popular destination for mountain climbers. A ski resort also operates in the area in winter.
  • Lake Misuzu (Ashinota Dam)
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Misayama
    An artificial dam lake located in Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture. A renowned fishing spot, in summer visitors can catch Japanese crucian carp and in winter, wakasagi. There's also a walking course around the lake as well as a motor home campground nearby, and on weekends in particular many people come here to enjoy leisure activities.
  • Mt. Arafune
    Travel / Tourism
    Gunma Prefecture Takara-gun Shimanita-cho, Nagano Prefecture Saku City
    This is a famous mountain located in the Myogi-Arafune-Saku Kogen Quasi-National Park in the southwestern part of Gumma Prefecture. The mountain has an altitude of 1,423 meters is one of 200 hundred famous mountains in Japan. The mountain became a table-shaped plateau after many years of erosion. It is said that it was named because the flat top and the steep cliffs looks like a ship breaking through rough waves. The cliffs are an overwhelming 200 meters high. Many climbers visit throughout the year and as there are several climbing courses, you can choose the route best suited to your skills.
  • Nogaike Pond
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Kaminagunmiyadamura
    This pond on Mt. Kisokoma is a tarn that was carved out by glacial activity along with the surrounding landscape. The scenery reflects beautifully in the surface of the water. To reach Nogaike Pond, you take the Komagatake Ropeway to Senjojiki Station. From there it's a long hike on a mountain trail. Most of it is rugged and there are places where you need to use the attached ropes to climb over bare rock.
  • Karasawa Falls
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Uedashi Sugadairakougen 1223
    Located a five-minute walk away from the Haneo or Besso Iriguchi bus stops or a 25-minute drive from the Ueda Sugadaira Interchange, Karasawa Falls is at the entrance to the Sugadaira Highland, which stretches for 1300 square kilometers in the foothills of Mount Nekodake and Mount Azumaya. The falls are 15 meters high and 10 meters wide, and after a heavy rainfall or other times when the volume of water is high, the falls look like a white curtain. It is attractive for the varying beauty that it exhibits in all seasons: lush greenery in early summer, colorful leaves in the fall. Nearby is Iwakage Iseki, an archeological site from the prehistoric Jomon period.
  • Sanseiji
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Higashichikumagunikusakamura Higashihirotsu
    Sanseiro is a gorge located about a 20-minute drive from the Omi Interchange or 25 minutes from Akashina Station. A village bus runs to the gorge from Akashina Station on weekdays. It has long had a reputation for scenic beauty, and it has been designated one of the best 100 Scenic Site in the Shinshu region. Azaleas and wisteria flourish there in the spring, and in the fall, colored leaves adorn the rocks, and they can be enjoyed along with the Saigawa River. Within the park are one of the famous 100 statues of the goddess Kannon and the bodhisattva Jizo along with Sanseiro Bridge. The Ikusaka Village Museum is also there, and its grounds can be used as a parking lot for sightseers. Boat tours down the river are available from July 1st to late September.
  • Sashikiri Gorge
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Higashichikumagunchikuhokumura Sakakita
    Located 15 minutes by bus from Chikuhoku Station or a 15-minute drive from the Omi Interchange, Sashikiri Ravine was created by the Omigawa River flowing through layers of conglomerate and sandstone. It was designated a Prefectural Nature Park in 1965. Easy access has been one of its attractions, due to the New Sashikiri Road. It has been chosen as one of Nagano Prefecture's 100 best attractions. Not only does it feature rock formations, caves, and waterfalls but it is also a recommended site for viewing autumn leaves from late October to early November. The Dragon King Festival, based on the legend of the eight-headed dragon Orochi, is held on the first Sunday in August.
  • Lake Miwa
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Inashi Hasemizokuchi
    This artificial lake is located about a forty-minute drive from Ina Interchange. Notable for its long and slender shape, the lake stretches from north to south. The area around the lake has a variety of facilities such as soccer pitches and athletic fields. It was created when the Mibu River was dammed for the purposes of flood control, irrigation, and hydroelectric power. The concrete gravity dam holds back a volume of water equivalent to about 24 Tokyo Domes. One of the area’s appeals is the different seasonal scenery of its many photogenic spots, whether it is views of cherry blossoms from the Miwa Dam parking lot in spring, fields of rice and vegetables in the summer, or frozen landscapes in the winter.
  • Hirogawara Cave Group (Saisho Cave)
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Saku-shi Taguchi
  • Arafune Lake
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Sakushi Uchiyama
    This lake is located inside of the Uchiyama Farm Camping Ground along the Myogi-Arafune forest road in Uchiyama, Saku City. A promenade has been built on the side of the lake and visitors can view the Asamafuro, a near-threatened species of geranium, that grow in mass on the lakeshore from July to August. The lake also has a fishing pond (anglers must bring their own fishing equipment).
  • Lake Inako / Lake Choko
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Minamisakugunkoumimachi Toyosato 4253-1
    These lakes are located along Prefectural Route 480 in Toyosato, Koumi Town, Minamisaku County. Of all the nearby lakes often collectively referred to as Matsubara Lake, Lake Inako and Lake Choko are especially popular as Japanese crucian carp fishing spots. From April to October, anglers can enjoy fishing on a more than 1,000-meter-high plateau. In the winter, it is possible to go ice fishing for Japanese pond smelt. Visitors can also commune with nature by strolling the lakeside promenade.
  • Matsubarako Highland
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Minamisakugunkoumimachi Toyosato 5918-2
    This plateau is located in Toyosato, Koumi Town, Minamisaku County near Lake Inako, Lake Choko, and Lake Otsuki, which are collectively referred to as Lake Matsubara. It features a variety of facilities including hot springs and camp grounds as well as sporting facilities such as a skating center and tennis courts. Visitors can also enjoy activities such as boating and strolling along the lakeshore. Anglers can fish for Japanese crucian carp on the lake and even go ice fishing for Japanese pond smelt in the 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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