Model Itineraries

  • Manufacture and Crafts
  • Nature and Outdoor
  • Food
  • Winter

Winter Highlights -a kingdom of frost-

Embark on a winter adventure!
Discover the coldest area in the Honshu mainland, where frost holds the land in an icy embrace and temperatures drop way below zero.
Hike through frozen trees to the summit of a winter mountain and explore the icefalls along an otherworldly gorge. Then, learn more about the awe-inspiring icy local food culture and visit one of the many sake breweries in the area that are brimming with activity this season.

Duration 2 nights 3 days
Price JPY40,000
Period From December to late March
Overall level 2 (light exercise)

Highlights

  • Hike a winter mountain

    Walk a snowy path up to the summit of a winter mountain

  • Take pictures of the icefalls

    Explore Yokoya gorge in search of frozen waterfalls

  • Try frozen tofu

    Delve into traditional local cuisine and learn all the secrets of this icy specialty

  • Visit a Sake brewery

    Get inside a brewery and watch the sake artisans work their magic

  • Hike a winter mountain

    Walk a snowy path up to the summit of a winter mountain

  • Take pictures of the icefalls

    Explore Yokoya gorge in search of frozen waterfalls

  • Try frozen tofu

    Delve into traditional local cuisine and learn all the secrets of this icy specialty

  • Visit a Sake brewery

    Get inside a brewery and watch the sake artisans work their magic

Day 1
JR Chino Station
Stop by the TIC counter and gather some more info on the area

20 min by car
(pick-up by guide available)

Our adventures
Frozen Tofu Experience
Discover a winter specialty

Frozen Tofu is a typical preservation food of the Suwa area, prepared by laying thick slices of tofu outside during the night when the temperature drops to minus 15~20 degrees. Visit a local producer's workshop and observe the artisan at work. The tofu is still made using the traditional method from 200 years ago. After the guided visit, try making frozen tofu with your own hands. (You can pick up the final product the next day)
The morning will conclude with a degustation of tofu, frozen tofu, and other tofu-based dishes such as okara salad and soy milk tenyose (a jelly-like vegan cake).

more info

10 min by car
(drop-off by guide available)

Yokoya Gorge
Enjoy the frozen scenery along Yokoya Gorge

In Winter, the waterfalls along the Shibu-gawa River freeze, and a glimmering layer of ice covers the rocky walls of the gorge. If you put crampons on, you can easily hike most of the trail, and the icefalls make for some great winter photography.

more info

10~15 min by taxi

Accommodation Suggestions
Pension Poem

A small pension up in the mountains, a few steps away from Kita-Yatsugatake Ropeway. The owners are an adorable couple, and the Western-style dinner and breakfast feature delicious home-made bread and bacon. The lodging has a hot spring bath where you can relax after the hike. At breakfast, you get to watch various colorful birds flying around the terrace in search of food.

Pension Pilatus 2

Another small affordable pension close to Kita-Yatsugatake Ropeway. Pension Pilatus 2 offers a variety of Western-style rooms and a spacious bath which can be used privately. The lodging is a room-only facility, but guests can use the fully-equipped kitchen to cook their own meals. Simple breakfast is available for those who require it.

Taki no Yu

Modern resort hotel where you can enjoy various hot spring baths. The structure is big and offers many room types, both Japanese and Western-style. You can choose between indoor, open-air, and even private baths. Dinner and breakfast are buffet-style and include a wide selection of Japanese and Western food. It is just a 10-minute bus ride away from Kita-Yatsugatake Ropeway.

Day 2
Our adventures
Kita-Yatsugatake Snow Hike
Get on Kita-Yatsugatake ropeway and explore a world of frost at over 2,000m

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.
It’s a 4.5h satisfying hike that will allow you to see frozen trees, riming, sastrugi, and if we are blessed with good weather, a spectacular view of the Alps.

more info

30 min by bus
Kita-Yatsugatake Ropeway Line

Soak in a hot spring bath
Stop by a local inn and enjoy a hot onsen bath

There are plenty of onsen facilities on the way to Chino station. You can get off the bus, shake off the cold with a warm bath, and get on the bus again.

30 min by bus
Kita-Yatsugatake Ropeway Line
(Chino Station bus stop)

Accommodation Suggestions
Hotel Wakamizu

Wakamizu is a convenient business hotel located at 7 min on foot from Chino Station. They have a wide selection of Western and Japanese-style rooms at extremely affordable prices. Breakfast is available for those who require it. As for dinner, Hotel Wakamizu is surrounded by many restaurants and izakaya.

Hotel Togari-ishi

Hotel Togari-ishi is a newly renovated business hotel located at 10 min by car from the station. Depending on the season, the owner offers free shuttle service to and from Chino Station. This is a room-only facility, but there are a few diners and a convenience store nearby. You can also grab something to eat around Chino Station before getting to the hotel. Wi-fi and washing machine are available for guests.

Rural Village Stay

If you want to make the most of your time in Chino, you can spend the night at a local farmer's house and enjoy some fun activities. Try making some preservation food such as miso or Japanese pickles, cook together with your hosts and then eat dinner together while enjoying some sake. At night, lay out your own futon and sleep in a Japanese-style room. This is one of the best ways to interact with the locals.

Day 3
Our adventures
"Masumi" Sake Brewery Visit (Currently Suspended)
A full immersion into the world of Japanese Sake

Winter is a time for sake-making. Join us on a guided tour of one of Suwa's top breweries and see the sake artisans at work. This is a tour to experience with all your senses: feel the change in temperatures from room to room, listen to the fizzling of the microorganism transforming the rice into alcohol, smell the fruity fragrance and taste the texture and flavor of the various stages of sake.
The activity will conclude with a tasting of a wide selection of bottles.

more info

10 min on foot

JR Kami-Suwa Station

Day 4

Other attractions recommended by our team!

  • Kurumayama Kogen Ski Resort

    Mount Kurumayama boasts an average sunshine rate of 70% throughout the season, and the view from the peak, at 1,925 meters elevation, takes in a wide 360-degree panorama. 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 eight ski slopes designed to suit all levels, from children just beginning to learn how to ski or snowboard to advanced skiers and snowboarders.

  • Pilatus Tateshina Snow Resort

    Attached to Kita-Yatsugatake Ropeway, this ski resort is located up in the Yatsugatake Mountains at 2,237m elevation. Its most remarkable characteristics are its 4-kilometer-long course and the superb view of the Japanese Alps.

  • Togari-ishi Museum of Jomon Archeology

    Discover the elegant aesthetic of Japanese prehistoric art. The museum features a great number of elaborated clay figurines, bowls, jars, and utensils made of obsidian, but the pride of the collection are the statuettes of the “Jomon Venus” and the “Masked Goddess”, both designated as National Treasures. The two exhibits, which date back to 4,000-3,000 BC, are absolutely stunning, voluptuous, and graceful, executed with great attention to detail.

  • Kurumayama Kogen Ski Resort

    Mount Kurumayama boasts an average sunshine rate of 70% throughout the season, and the view from the peak, at 1,925 meters elevation, takes in a wide 360-degree panorama. 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 eight ski slopes designed to suit all levels, from children just beginning to learn how to ski or snowboard to advanced skiers and snowboarders.

  • Pilatus Tateshina Snow Resort

    Attached to Kita-Yatsugatake Ropeway, this ski resort is located up in the Yatsugatake Mountains at 2,237m elevation. Its most remarkable characteristics are its 4-kilometer-long course and the superb view of the Japanese Alps.

  • Togari-ishi Museum of Jomon Archeology

    Discover the elegant aesthetic of Japanese prehistoric art. The museum features a great number of elaborated clay figurines, bowls, jars, and utensils made of obsidian, but the pride of the collection are the statuettes of the “Jomon Venus” and the “Masked Goddess”, both designated as National Treasures. The two exhibits, which date back to 4,000-3,000 BC, are absolutely stunning, voluptuous, and graceful, executed with great attention to detail.

To create a tailor-made travel
plan based on this itinerary.

*This service comes with no obligations.
Your reservation will not be finalized until you give us confirmation.

Consult us
MENU
TOP