The natural beauty of the region means that people come to take in the splendid scenery throughout the year.  As the snow melts in late spring, the snow makes way for fresh green colors and the beauty of flowers both at town level and on the mountain.  Snowshoeing is also popular from early March until early May each year (information here).  Summer in the region is relatively cool and the mountains are popular with climbers and trekkers.

Tsugaike National Park
Panorama Way Course
Kazafuki Oike
Hakuba Oike
Shower climbing

Tsugaike National Park

Webcam image

Tsugaike National Park, part of the Chubu-Sangaku National Park, is one of the famous high-moor areas  1900m above sea level. It is known for alpine flora such as Mizubasho (Japanese skunk cabbage) in mid-June to July and Nikko-Kisuge (Hemerocallis dumortieri var. esculenta, Yellow sedge liliaceae) in July to August). The leaves of Dake Birch and Nana-kamado trees put on spectacular autumn colors in October.
Such alpine flora and plants are shown and explained on a video and exhibition in the Visitor Center at the park gate.  The alpinists’ bases such as "Tsugaike-sansoh lodge" (public owned) and "Tsugaike Hutte" (Hut, mountain Villa) are also located at the park gate and can be enjoyed by visitors as well.


Pure white Mizubasho (Japanese skunk cabbage) flowers bloom in the park with Hakuba tri-mountains back in baird season.






Nikko-kisuge (Yellow sedge liliaceae), alpine flora busts out looking like a huge yellow carpet.





The autumn leaves in mid-September make for spectacular scenery.  The leaves in the wetland turn a yellow gold color known as "Kusa-momiji", and Dake Birch and Nana-kamado sorbus trees turn red in October.






Panorama Way course  
By "EVE" (cable railway) and "Tsugaike Ropeway" (aerial railway) between Tsugaike Kogen station and Tsugaike Natural Park.

(Car access to Rindo-Oike Drive Way is limited year round for the conservation of nature.) 

Approximate time:

One-way - 40 min.
(20 minutes on EVE + 200m for transfer + 7 minutes on the ROPEWAY + 700m walk to the gate)

Cable railway "EVE"
4120m long;
6-people occupancy;
720-people per hour capacity.

Tsugaike Ropeway (aerial railway)
1200m long;
71-people occupancy;
1350-people per hour capacity.


Kazafuki Oike  

Kazafuki Oike is a beautiful natural lake surrounded by plants and flowers with wonderful views of the surrounding mountains and natural landscape.


Kazafuki Oike
180 minutes
60 minutes


Hakuba Oike  

The large Hakuba Oike (lake) comes into view after around three hours trekking, where you are rewarded with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.  On the way you will go through swamp areas, spacious areas, rocky area and forests.  Viewing the Hakuba Oike from 2379 meters, it almost looks like a natural minature garden.  Hakuba-dake is a further two and half hours on from Hakuba Oike.


Hakuba Oike
80 minutes
60 minutes
30 minutes


Amakazari yama  

With the North Alps and the Sea of Japan both visible, the views from the summit of Amakazariyama on the border of Nagano and Itoigawa in Niigata prefecture are truly spectacular.  With thick forests, even in summer it is cool and pleasant.

Start off along the beautiful flowing river with a gentle climb.  After that it gets steeper to Arasugesawa and continues through forests, rocks and bamboo until you reach the flower gardens before you.  From the top enjoy the views out over the alps or towards the Sea of Japan.

Ojiya Onsen Restarea
Ou-umi kawara
20 minutes
90 minutes
60 minutes
30 minutes


Over 120 kilometers long, from Itoigawa in Niigata to the castle town of Matsumoto in Nagano Prefecture, the "chikuni-kaido' road is better known as the "Shio-no-michi" (Salt Road).

Known as the Salt Road, it was traditionally a very important route bringing vitally needed salt and marine products from the Sea of Japan into the mountainous regions of Nagano and other areas of Japan. The road goes through Otari region and there are a number of old temples, shrines and stone Buddhist images along this historic highway, taking you back to a traditional way of life in times past.

3rd May 2008 - Shionomichi Festival:
Click here for more information (Japanese)





Enjoy a climbing experience in the safe environment of the interior climbing wall at Hakua Norikura Free Climbing School.  Anyone can enjoy the experience, from children to experienced climbers.
School Guide
Hakuba Norikura Free Climbing School
Tel: 0261-82-3044
If you ever thought that you would "like to fly in the sky like a bird", then you might want to try paragliding.  You can safely try paragliding at the official paragliding schools in the area and get full instruction from qualified instructors.  This is truly an experience worth trying!

Otari Paraglider School

Tel: 0261-82-3044

Flight area: Hakuba Norikura Kogen
Times: 9:30am - 3:30pm
Reservations on the day?
OK (before 9am)
Half day course - 4,500 yen
1 day course - 8,000 yen
Tandem flight - 8,000 yen

JMB Hakuba Paraglider School
Flight area: Cortina Kogen
Times: 9:30am - 3:00pm0
Reservations on the day?
1 day experience (4 hours) - 9,500 yen
Half day experience (2 hours) - 5,500 yen
Tandem flight course - 10,000 yen

Tsugaike Paraglider School

Flight area: Tsugaike Kogen
Times 9:30 - 16:30
Reservations on the day?
4000 yen - 6000 yen




Summer is relatively cool on the plateaus of Otari Village and many people come to enjoy sports and activities in the outdoors.
Many accommodation facilities in the Tsugaike and Hakuba Norikura areas have tennis courses (which are often available for use by guests and visitors alike).



Shower Climbing

New season from July 2008

Shower climbing is a new kind of way to enjoy natures waterfalls.  Put on the special wear, walk up the cascading waterfalls, slide, and be taught with a professional guide.  It is a wonderful way to enjoy nature and especially good when the weather is hot.  Beginners most welcome.

Cost: 6000 yen (including insurance) per person

Please pay by cash at reception on the day.

All healthy individuals from the age of 6 and total beginners are all able to try Shower Climbing.  (Please note that elementary school age children must be accompanied by an adult).

Wetsuits are available (for people up to 185cm and 90kg).  Feet size up to 28cm.

Time & Place:

Morning course: 9:20am
Afternoon course: 12:50pm

The place to meet is "Restaurant Bon Neige" (please note: currently not used as a restaurant).  Please look at this map.

Contact & more information:

Sadao Sei (Otari Paraglider School)

Hakuba Norikura Kogen 4169
Nagano-ken 399-9422

Mobile phone:



Guide Map  

Tsugaike Natural Park at altitude 1880m on the mountainside stretches out for a total of 100 hectares with 5.5 km pedestrian walkways suitable for light trekking. From mid June to mid August, you can enjoy pretty alpine flora on the way to. Also enjoy experience of nature such as caves which blow off cool air even in summer, and stream of icy snowmelt water.