Model Itineraries

  • History and Culture
  • Nature and Outdoor
  • Food
  • Farming and Everyday life

Japan Guide Outdoor Adventure Tour

This is the tour featured in the website Japanguide.com. This itinerary allows you to vertically explore the various levels of the Yatsugatake: the town area at 800m, the rural village area at 1000m, the highland resort area at 1500m and the quasi-national park area at 2000m. It is designed to enjoy both outdoor and cultural activities while discovering the best spots of this area. Let's have a fun trip to the Yatsugatake Mountains!

Duration 3 days (2 nights)
Price JPY 60,000 person~
Period From June to early November
Overall level 2

Highlights

  • The Moss Forest

    A fairytale-like forest on top of the Yatsugatake

  • Tea inside Fujimori Terunobu's teahouse

    A dreamlike tea ceremony for architecture fans

  • Kurumayama Highland great views

    A 360-degree spectacular panorama view

  • Cycling in the highland

    Join one of Yatsugatake Cycling's tour around the highland

  • Tasty local food

    Enjoy the colorful and flavorful food of tradition

  • Onsen

    End the day by soaking in a hot spring bath

  • The Moss Forest

    A fairytale-like forest on top of the Yatsugatake

  • Tea inside Fujimori Terunobu's teahouse

    A dreamlike tea ceremony for architecture fans

  • Kurumayama Highland great views

    A 360-degree spectacular panorama view

  • Cycling in the highland

    Join one of Yatsugatake Cycling's tour around the highland

  • Tasty local food

    Enjoy the colorful and flavorful food of tradition

  • Onsen

    End the day by soaking in a hot spring bath

Day 1
Arrival at JR Chino Station

Meet up with your guide at the Tourist Information Center inside Chino Station. Go over your plan together and get ready to start your adventure!

20 min by car- pick-up by guide

Our adventures
Cook traditional dishes with the village grannies
Delve into the traditional gastronomy of the Yamaura

Join one of our grannies in Sasahara village, a traditional farming village at 1100m in the mountains, and embark on a delicious adventure.
The locals' food culture is attuned to the cycle of the seasons with different dishes for every time of the year. And summer is a time for farming and tasty fresh vegetables. First, let's go gather the ingredients for lunch! Follow our grannie outside to pick some summer veggies such as cucumbers, edamame beans etc. in the nearby fields. Then, it's cooking time. Our grannie will share all the secrets of Yamaura traditional cuisine she inherited from her ancestors. You may prepare countryside-style rice cake covered in savory edamame paste, colorful and refreshing agar cakes, tofu soup with hand-made miso and much more.

more info

1 min on foot

Sasahara Village Guided Walk
Visit a traditional farming village in the Yatsugatake Mountains

Sasahara village looks as if time stilled a century ago. More than two third of the 90 houses which form the village are traditional farmhouses built between 100 and 200 years ago, each with their own traditional “kura” storehouse (beautifully decorated with plaster relief paintings), pond and Japanese garden. Sasahara, though, is not a tourist attraction but a real village brimming with life.
Have a walk around the village with a local guide who will share with you the most intimate secrets of traditional life in the mountain, take you inside some farmhouses and introduce you to other villagers. *Please contact us directly for more info about this activity.

7 min on foot

Our adventures
Guided Farming Village Ride (Yatsugatake Cycling)
Hop on a bike and ride around the highland

Yatsugatake Cycling guided tours are a great way to explore the highland area on the foothills of the Yatsugatake. Itineraries can be personalized to fit your preferences and stamina. You can ride around rice fields and peaceful little villages or maybe go up to Lake Tateshina to check out the sculpture park. The guide will show you all the best places and, when the weather is good, you can enjoy plenty of great view of the Japanese Alps and the Yatsugatake Mountains.

more info

5 min by car- drop-off by guide

Accommodation Suggestions
Yokoya Onsen Ryokan

Traditional Onsen Ryokan with a nice view on Yokoya Gorge. The onsen is a unique iron spring with healing red waters. In addition to the large common baths, there is also one bath which can be used privately.

Tateshina Ai

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.

Daitoen

Daitoen is a small family-run inn where you can savor local cuisine and wild game. Originally an old folk-house, the inn is a beautiful example of traditional architecture with massive wooden beams and a large irori (hearth) in the main hall. There are two hot spring baths which can be used privately.

Day 2
Our adventures
Moss Forest Tour
Discover the secrets of a magical forest

Up in the mountains, at 2100m, there is a fairytale-like forest completely covered in moss which looks like it just came out of Hayao Miyazaki's anime world. Enjoy the "macro" forest of igneous rocks and gnarly trees covered by a deep-green layer, then take a closer look at the "micro" forest of moss and lichens which most people pass by without even realizing. A local guide will accompany you on this adventure to help you unveil the secrets of this mysterious corner of the Yatsugatake Mountains.

more info

30 min by bus
Mugikusa Line- Serigasawa bus stop
*Drop-off by guide available when the bus is not running

Lunch at Shihoku-an
Have lunch inside a traditional farmhouse

A small cafe run by a local couple inside a renovated traditional farmhouse. They have only one menu which features a selection of typical seasonal dishes. Enjoy a delicious lunch and don't forget to ask for desserts. We recommend their selection of tenyose, elegant and colorful cakes made with agar.
Shihoku-an is located in Serigasawa, which a sort of crossroad from where you can take a bus to Tateshina or Lake Shirakaba and Kurumayama.

more info

20 min by bus
Shirakaba-ko Kurumayama Line- Tonyagawa bus stop

Our adventures
The Ultimate Soba experience
Discover Nagano's most famous food with an expert

If you want to know more about soba, Yoshitaka-san is the man for you. He grows, processes and mills his own soba (=buckwheat) which he then serves at his restaurant and minshuku at Lake Shirakaba.
Before delving into the kneading and cutting, the master will reveal all the secrets to perfect soba from soil preparation to blending. You can also sneak into the processing room to take a look at the machines he uses to turn soba grains into flour. Last but not least, some hands-on action. The master will guide you through making your own soba noodles.

more info

1~10 min on foot

Accommodation Suggestions
Pension Little Griebe

Little Griebe is a cozy western-style lodging facility. It's small and intimate, with only 8 rooms in total. The owners are very friendly and the home-made dinner and breakfast are delicious. The dining room has tall glass windows facing Lake Shirakaba so you can get breakfast with a view.

Minshuku Asahigaoka

Minshuku run by the master from the "ultimate soba experience". The strongest appeal of this lodging is without doubt the food. The soba-based dinner and traditional Japanese breakfast are made using only home-made ingredients and home-grown rice and vegetables.

Ike no daira Hotel

Large-scale resort hotel which features an indoor pool, hot springs, a bowling alley and a small amusement park. They have many types of guestrooms you can choose from, dinner and breakfast are served buffet style and they offer a convenient shuttle service to and from Chino Station.

Day 3
Canoe at Lake Shirakaba
Enjoy canoeing or SAP at Lake Shirakaba

Participate in a canoe guide tour or enjoy standup paddleboarding (SUP) at Lake Shirakaba, a mountain resort at about 1400m. After learning the basics from the guide, enjoy gliding over the lake water. The air up in the highland is crisp and cool even in the middle of summer and from the center of the lake you have a great view of Mt.Tateshina-yama and Mt.Kurumayama.

more info

10 min by bus
Shirakaba-ko Kurumayama Line- Kurumayama kogen bus stop

Kurumayama Mountain Lift
360-degree panoramic view of the Japanese Alps

Take the Kurumayama ski lift to reach the summit of Mt.Kuruma-yama at 1925m. From here, you can enjoy a breath-taking view of the three ranges of the Alps, Mt.Fuji, the Yatsugatake Mountains and Mt. Asama. Kurumayama and Kirigamine plateau are always covered in flowers (red Japanese Azaleas in June, yellow daylilies in July and Pincushion flowers in August and September).

more info

Hiking around Kurumayama and Kirigamine
Enjoy the gentle slopes and colorful flowers of Kirigamine Plateau

There are plenty of hiking trails crisscrossing the grassland hills which form Kirigamine Plateau. You can enjoy a short walk around the top of Mt. Kurumayama or plan longer hikes of 2 or 4 hours to Kirigamine and Yashima Wetland. The paths are mostly flat with few ups and downs.

more info

1h by bus + 7 min by taxi
Shirakaba-ko Kurumayama Line- Chino station bus stop

Our adventures
Fujimori Terunobu Tea House Tour Closed in Winter times
An exclusive tour inside Fujimori Terunobu's quirky teahouses

Set off on a journey to discover the origin of Fujimori Terunobu's imaginative architecture. This is your chance to climb up the too-high teahouse, Takasugi-an, which entered the Time's “top 10 precarious buildings” and have tea inside the too-low teahouse which are usually closed to the public.
Along the way we will also visit Suwa Taisha, one of Japan's oldest shrines, and Jinchokan Moriya Historical Museum, the first work by Fujimori-sensei.

more info

7 min by taxi

JR Chino Station

Other attractions recommended by our team!

  • Tateshina Ootaki Falls

    An enchanting spot which you can reach with a 10-minute walk from Pool Daira bus stop/parking lot. Along the way, you will encounter massive trees perched on
    rocks, their gnarly roots cloaked by moss, and a lively waterfall plunging into a crystalline pool.

  • Togari-ishi Museum of Jomon Archeology

    Meet the "Jomon Venus" and "Masked Goddess", two of the world's oldest statuettes. They're about 5,000 years old but as beautiful as ever.

  • Mishaka Pond

    A pool of crystalline water which reflects the nature all around.

  • Tateshina Ootaki Falls

    An enchanting spot which you can reach with a 10-minute walk from Pool Daira bus stop/parking lot. Along the way, you will encounter massive trees perched on
    rocks, their gnarly roots cloaked by moss, and a lively waterfall plunging into a crystalline pool.

  • Togari-ishi Museum of Jomon Archeology

    Meet the "Jomon Venus" and "Masked Goddess", two of the world's oldest statuettes. They're about 5,000 years old but as beautiful as ever.

  • Mishaka Pond

    A pool of crystalline water which reflects the nature all around.

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.

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