Hiking to Togakushi's Giant Cedar Trees
Togakushi Okusha : 戸隠奥社
Nature’s Power Awaits You at the Massive Cedar Trees Lining the Path to ‘Okusha’.
The path to Togakushi's Inner Shrine is lined with cedar trees that are 400+ years old. Their massive presence instills a feeling of the power of nature upon those who make the walk to see them.
1904-meter tall Togakushi Mountain is revered as a spiritual site in Japan. Towering above Nagano City's northwest side, the mountain is tied to the legends of Japan's creation myth. It has traditionally been home to both 'yamabushi', or ascetic hermits that live in solitary on the mountain, and the Togakure-ryu ninja school. The Inner Shrine ('Okusha' 奥社) is located at the end of a 2km-long pilgrimage route from the main highway. At approximately the half-way point, the trail passes through a large, thatched-roof wooden gate ('Zuijinmon' 随神門). Past the gate, the land for several meters on either side of the path was considered sacred. So while the surrounding forest had been logged at some point, the trees lining the path are the original, old-growth cedar trees. Their massive size has resulted in the area becoming known as a "power spot", a sort of spiritual vortex, in Japan.
- # of Participants :
Parking becomes scarce in the summer. Proper footwear is recommended. Mountain weather can change drastically so dress accordingly.
- By Train
- From Nagano Station(JR Hokuriku(Nagano) Shinkansen), Take bus #70 or #71 to the Okusha stop (approx. 1 hour 10 min.). (In winter, get off at Chusha stop and continue on R36 on foot 1.5km to Okusha trailhead.)
- By Car
- From Shinanomachi IC, Turn left and go north 500m to Route 18 and turn right. Proceed southeast 1.4km to the Kashiwabara Elem. signal and turn right on to Route 36. Go 14.9km and the trailhead will be on the right.
- Togakushi , Nagano City 381-4101
- Zenkoji Temple : The Legendary Temple at the Heart of Nagano City
- St. Cousair's Winery & Vineyards : “Country Comfort” Winery and Garden Terrace
- Hokusaikan : Actual Works by Woodblock Print Master Hokusai
- Tsugaike Nature Park : A 1900 meter Altitude Treasure-Trove of Alpine Flowers
- Aratojo Castle Historical Park : Hilltop Fortress from the Warring States Era
- Oumei-tei Tsuji Ryokan : Togakushi Inn Famous for Soba (Buckwheat) Kaiseki Meals
- Togakushi Campsite : Camp in an Open Field at the Base of Picturesque Togakushi Mountain.
- Yakimochiya : Old 'Kominka' Farmhouse-Styled Thatched-Roof Building Featuring an Irori Hearth.
- Zenkoji Fuchinobo : Temple Lodging along Zenkoji's Main Approach, Famous for Vegetarian Shojin Cuisine.
- 1166 Backpackers at Zenkoji Temple : Small Guesthouse in an Old Temple Neighborhood
- Yayoiza : Serving Nagano's Heritage Cuisine at the Entrance to Zenkoji.
- Ogawa-no-sho Daimon Shop : Nagano's Own Oyaki Dumplings Cooked on Coals on a Hearth.
- Monzen Machiya Gallery Juniten : 86-year old Renovated Machiya Near the Entrance to Zenkoji.
- Suyakame Main Store : Original Miso-Based Menu at Zenkoji's Original Miso Maker.
- Restaurant ST. COUSAIR : European-Style Restaurant Overlooking a Field of Wine Grapes.
- Soba-Uchi (Making Buckwheat Noodles) at Togakushi Tonkururin : Make Soba Noodles by Hand at Buckwheat Mecca Togakushi.
- Oyaki Dumpling Making at Yakimochiya : Learn How to Make Oyaki Dumplings at the Hearth of this Thatched Roof Farmhouse.
- Togakure-ryu Ninja Training : Sneak a Peak into the World of Ninjas be a Lesson with a Togakure-do Master!
- Guided Tour of Zenkoji Temple : Tour the Venerable Zenkoji Temple with the Knowledgeable Bonsho no Kai Volunteers.
- Learning to Make Oyaki Dumplings Near Zenkoji : Make Oyaki Dumplings at Ogawa Village’s Zenkoji Shop.