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Pass Spots in Nagano Area

  • 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.
  • 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."
  • Shirasawa Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Kita-azumi-gun Hakubamura
    A pass situated along National Route 406 connecting Nagano City and Hakuba Village. The observatory along the pass offers a spectacular view. The observatory has parking for five vehicles and from it visitors can get a sweeping view of the Northern Japan Alps, including Mt. Kashimayari, Mt. Goryu, Mt. Karamatsu, and the Shirouma Three Mountains. The pass is narrow, so be sure to take sufficient care when driving it.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • Shiojiri Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Okayashi
    "A pass located on the border between Shiojiri City and Okaya City in Nagano Prefecture. The pass has a hiking course and observatories from which visitors can get sweeping views of the Hida Mountains (Northern Alps), Lake Suwa, and Mt. Fuji. The pass was famously depicted in renowned print artist Hiroshige's ""Shiojiri Pass in Shinano"" and many mountain climbers come here seeking the beautiful scenery."
  • Misaka Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Achi village in Nakanoina-gun, Nagano Prefecture
    "A pass 1,569 meters above sea level located in the southern half of the Kiso Mountains in Achi Village, Shimoina County, Nagano Prefecture. Also known as the ""Hill of the Gods,"" the pass is famous for being the most perilous one along the ancient Tosando highway. The pass' rigorous Hill Climb Course for bicycle riders is quite popular. The Misaka Pass Site at the top of the pass is a registered Historic Site."
  • Uchiyama Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Sakushi Uchiyama
    A pass known as the trailhead of Mt. Arafune located on the border between Kanra County, Gunma Prefecture and Saku City, Nagano Prefecture along National Route 254. Visitors can view picturesque rock formations such as Himeiwa Rock, Byobuiwa Rock, and Napoleon Rock as well as lush natural, seasonal scenery, and the pass has been selected as possessing one of the 100 most picturesque sunsets in Nagano.
  • Nomugi Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Matsumoto-shi, Nagano Prefecture
    A pass located in a nature park established by Gifu Prefecture on the border between Gifu Prefecture and Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture. The pass has a walking course and is a popular destination for walking and hiking. Each year in May, the Nomugi Pass Festival is held during which there is a parade of women wearing the clothes of mountain villagers hired in factories during Japan's modernization period, a mochi rice cake pounding competition, and stalls selling local specialty products, and many locals and tourists turn out of the event.
  • Jizo-toge Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Tohoshi City, Nagano Prefecture
    A pass located on the border between Nagano Prefecture and Gunma Prefecture in the center of the Yunomaru Highland. The pass is a popular destination to enjoy scenic driving and cycling; there's also a lift which hikers can use to get to the Yunomaru Highland. Some 100 Jizo and Kannon statues stand along the pass. The area is dotted with parking areas and lodging facilities.
  • Hirasawa Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Minamisakugunminamimakimura Nobeyama
    This pass is located in Minami-maki Village in Minami-saku County, Nagano Prefecture. The dividing ridge between the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, the pass forms the boundary where rainwater can flow in either direction. The starting point for climbing Mt. Iimori, besides a parking lot and bathrooms, there is also an observatory where you can get magnificent views of Mt. Yatsugatake, the Southern Alps and Mt. Fuji.
  • Shirakaba Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Matsumoto-shi
  • Sugawa Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Iiyama-shi
  • Sekita Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Iiyama-shi
  • Mansaka Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Kamiminochi-gun Shinanomachi
  • Aoki Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Chiisagata-gun Aokimura
  • Aoku Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Omachi-shi
  • Akasaka Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Shimoina-gun Nebamura

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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