- December 09 2015
Take A Hike At Shiga Kogen In Joshinetsu National Park
Trip to Japan? Going to big cities like Tokyo and Osaka, to see Japan’s old and traditional city like Kyoto? How about going on a hike in Nagano Prefecture? It only takes about an hour from central Tokyo by a Shinkansen (a bullet train)!
Shiga Kogen in Nagano Prefecture is one of the great place to hike!
It is a large part of Joshinetsu National Park which is between Nagano, Niigata, and Gunma Prefectures. This area has the most volcanic mountains in Japan and those volcanic mountains have created many lakes and wetlands in 200,000 years ago.
Shiga Kogen has blessing from volcanic activities such as enjoying Onsen (hot spring) in all through the year, skiing in winter, and don’t forget they have beautiful landscape in spring to autumn. The rich nature attracts tourists from home and abroad.
Let us show you how attractive Shiga Kogen is in this article.
Take A Hike In Shiga Kogen!
Shiga Kogen (highland) is loved by many hikers! Many of them repeatedly come and enjoy nature here. What makes Shiga Kogen so special is numbers and kinds of courses in the highland. There are for all hikers from biginners to experienced ones.
The most popular course is Natural Sight-Seeing Course. The course starts from Hasu-ike Lake, going to Shinshu University Botanical Garden, Tanohara Marshland, and Kidoike is going to be your goal. It takes about two hours, 5km of hiking. Not bad, right?
If you are interested of other courses, please refer here.
If you think walking 5km isn’t your thing to do but still want to see the beautiful scenery, don’t worry too much! There is a bus called Nagaden Bus taking you from a place to another.
If you have a car, you can drive in such refreshing and spectacular nature! Car parks are available within 5 minutes from the view points.
We see people on motorcycles and bicycles, too! Well, it is tough to go through the course with a bike, though...
Tanohara Marshland Is A Don’t-Miss Place!!
Tanohara Marshland is a must-see spot in Shiga Kogen!
This yellow bus stop sign is a landmark of its entrance (see a picture below). It is on the road and may be hidden by leaves...please look for it cautiously!
From the entrance, let’s take steps down.
You see stretch of marshland!
Trees and leaves changed thier colours in the end of September! What a fantastical atomosphere...
This area was a lake and became marshland after volcanically active period in 200,000 years ago. Walking into the marshland is strictly prohibited, but you still can see the land from the path which is very close to it.
The land is covered by thick sphagnum and round-leaved sundew.
Fern is normally green, but look at these! It has changed its colour, too!
Tanohara Marshland is beautiful in autumn, but in spring, you will see fantastical view of cotton grass!
Breathtaking View At Lakes
Shiga Kogen has many lakes and ponds, both small and big ones, and they have been dammed by volcanic activities in long time.
A picture below is Kido Pond. A large hotel is by the pond, so many hikers take a break and/or stay there.
The best season to visit these is in autumn. The pond reflects coloured leaves on its surface like a mirror! The season we visited was a bit early and cloudy to see it, though… The end of September to early October is a good time to see it.
Huge and fat Kois are welcoming you! (well, or maybe asking for food…?)
Here is called Biwa Pond. This is one of the largest pond in Shiga Kogen.
There are another beautiful and peaceful ponds and lakes in Shiga Kogen. You can find your favourite view on your hiking course.
This article tells you just a bit of Shiga Kogen in early autumn.
As I mentioned above, Shiga Kogen has ski slopes that makes people visit here in winter, but it is also a good place to visit in other seasons in Japan as well.
Onsen (hot spring) facilities are around the area, including famous Jigoku-dani Onsen (Jigoku-dani Onsen is the place that offers hot spring to Snow Monkeys). Togakushi Shrine and Obuse Town are both located within an hour from Shiga Kogen, so stop by and refresh your body and mind in this beautiful nature!