Winter is the best time to discover the charm of the Yatsugatake Mountains. This itinerary showcases all the winter highlights of the Chino and Suwa area, while giving a few tips on how to add a little luxury to your trip. Enjoy plenty of outdoor and cultural activities without giving up relaxation and comfort.
|Duration||3 days (2 nights)|
|Period||December to March|
It only takes a short 2-hour train ride to get to Chino from Tokyo.
Once at the station, you will be picked up by your personal driver who will be at your disposal for the rest of your journey. You can also rent a car, arrange a taxi, or utilize bus services as you like.
*Chauffeur services can also be arranged from Tokyo.
10 min drive
Enjoy authentic matcha green tea with traditional Kanten (agar) sweets, while observing a beautiful Japanese garden covered with snow.
5 min on foot
Suwa Taisha is one of Japan’s oldest sanctuaries, first mentioned in Japanese literature in the 7th century. Built to hold the sacred rituals which animate the spiritual life of the region, this is the largest and most elaborated of the Suwa Taisha shrines. Take time to observe the detailed carvings of the shrine buildings and the massive ceremonial drum. If you like, you can also join a special purification ceremony and receive the local deity's blessing.
10 min drive
In this region, people have long been enjoying horse meat. An extremely versatile ingredient, there are many variations of horse meat based dishes. At Sakura Saku, you can try it raw in the form of sushi or sashimi, grilled or in a hot pot.
The great thing about horse meat is that it's not only tasty, but also healthy. It contains little cholesterol, lots of protein, iron, Vitamin B and a significantly high omega-3 concentration.
30 min drive
Put on a pair of snowshoes and set off with our certified guide to discover a white world of ice at the top of the Yatsugatake Mountains. With the Kita-Yatsugatake ropeway, we will reach the mountain top at over 2,000m, then hike all the way to the peak of Mt. Shimagare and back.
15 min drvie
Tateshina Ai is a small high-end onsen ryokan in Tateshina area. It has two private open-air hot spring baths and the food served at dinner in the form of a kaiseki course meal is a work of art, both delicious and pleasing to the eye.
Tucked away in the middle of Tateshina area, Kaoru Kaze is a little onsen ryokan with just 12 rooms. The delicious meals which features plenty of local ingredients, the natural free-flowing hot springs and the cheerful staff are just some of the appeals of this accommodation.
Auberge Terra is an exclusive lodging that only accepts reservation for four rooms a day. Here, you can savor delicious French course meals by a renowned chef. All dishes are made using local vegetables and the auberge has a wide selection of wines you can pair with them. The lodging is located at an elevation of 1,600m, the perfect spot to enjoy the starry night and the beautiful mountain environment.
Dinner at Tateshina Ai is made following the concept of "hand-made" kaiseki. All the tasty and beautiful dishes are inspired by traditional local recipes and are made using local ingredients from the fields and the satoyama. The food is not the only thing to look at, though. At Tateshina Ai, dinner is served in fine old porcelain plates and bowls.
Enjoy a dinner which is equally pleasing to the mouth and to the eye.
Indigo blue can be made from various kinds of plants depending on where you are in the world. The Japanese indigo, called ai, is extracted from "tade," an endemic plant in Japan. Interestingly enough, the name "Tateshina" also comes from this plant.
Japanese indigo is characterized by a deep, elegant and rustic feel.
Tateshina Ai offers a workshop to experience dyeing with indigo. You can make your very own indigo handkerchief and/or tablecloth.
*This activity is limited to guests staying at Tateshina Ai
1 min drive
This small bakery restaurant is situated in the highland area of Tateshina at an elevation of 1,200 meters. Their specialties include apple danish, crunchy yet fluffy croissants, pizzas made with lots of homegrown vegetables, savory onion soup and much more. All ingredients are genuine products from the area.
30 min drive
Mount Kurumayama boasts an average sunshine rate of 70% throughout the winter season. On a clear day, you can enjoy an unhindered view of the three ranges of the Alps, Mount Fuji and the Yatsugatake Mountains. The ski resort features a total of eight ski slopes designed to suit all levels, from children just beginning to learn how to ski or snowboard to advanced skiers and snowboarders.
20 min drive
Tokyu Hotel is a classy western-style hotel tucked away in a thick pine forest. The lodging offers both traditional guestrooms and small independent cottages. The hotel is surrounded by nature, so it's not uncommon to spot squirrels, deer and foxes while taking a walk in the premises.
Terrace Tateshina is a high-class hotel with a modern design. Guestrooms are spacious and feature large terraces and windows that overlook the splendid natural scenery of the Tateshina area. The greatest charm of the lodging is probably its open-air onsen bath that offers a panoramic view of the Yatsugatake Mountains.
Shinyu is a prestigious ryokan established in 1926. The interior design is inspired by the Taisho period (1912-1926), an era characterized by the encounter of Western and Japanese style. Once a place of gathering for writers, the ryokan can boast a library containing more than 30,000 books. What better way to relax than enjoying a drink in the lounge while reading a book from the ryokan's collection. Shinyu is also famous for its fine cuisine and the open-air onsen bath overlooking a mountain stream.
All three resorts have natural free-flowing Onsen baths and stylish spas where you can relieve the fatigue of the day with a relaxing massage.
At this classical restaurant surrounded by a pine forest, you can savor a delightful kaiseki dinner made with seasonal ingredients and local highland vegetables.
Winter is the best time to go stargazing. When it gets cold, the air is cleared and the stars shine brighter in the night sky. A certified guide will take you to a secret spot near the hotel, and teach you the stories of all the celestial bodies in the sky.
After a short walk in the forest surrounding the hotel, it's time for a delicious meal.
You have a choice between Western and Japanese style breakfast. Most of the items, including salad, yogurt and fruits are locally grown.
40 min drive
Step into "Masumi" Sake Brewery to see the sake artisans work their magic and observe the various phases of production. We want you to experience this iconic beverage using all your senses. Feel the change in temperatures, smell the fragrance of steamed rice and fermenting mash, listen to the fizzling sound of the microorganisms at work and, of course, taste the yeast mash, and sake lees! The tour will conclude with a tasting of different sake labels by Masumi, and the store located at the site is a perfect place to purchase high-quality sake glasses and best sake including Masumi's signature "Yumedono" Jumai Daiginjo.
20 min drive
This is a very popular cafe/pastry shop that sell both Western and Japanese sweets. Take your time and enjoy a parfait made with seasonal fruits or matcha green tea served with a hot cup of green tea or carefully hand-dripped coffee from Brazil.
20 min drive
Come to one of the small farming villages in the foothills of the Yatsugatake Mountains and participate in the daily life of a family of locals. You can visit a real countryside Japanese home, eat delicious home cooking and enjoy plenty of fun activities in a truly authentic context.
*This service comes with no obligations.
Your reservation will not be finalized until you give us confirmation.
【Schoolyard Ice Rink】Morning Ice Skating Experience
【Schoolyard Ice Rink】Night Ice Skating Experience
Kanten, a harvest of ice
Active and comfortable winter vacation in Chino
Journey into the frosty food tradition of the Yamaura
Authentic Rural Japan Experience [Yamaura Stay- Kiyomizu & Hanato] 3 days 2 nights