Activities - Cooking Lessons

'Sansai' (Mountain Vegetables) Gathering
: 野沢温泉観光協会

Go with a Guide to Nozawa Onsen’s Mountains to Gather Wild Plants.

Northern Nagano


Offered by the Nozawa Onsen Tourism Association, Sansai Gathering Tours are guided trips to the mountains around Nozawa Onsen to pick 'sansai' -- wild edible plants. The guide will show participants which plants are edible and which will tickle your tummy, as well as explain the ways the sansai are commonly used in Japanese cooking.


Participants meet at the Nozawa Onsen Tourism Association office, and the guide drives everyone to a few locations where 'sansai' can be picked. Most locations are within short walking distance from the road. The guide teaches the participants how to tell the difference between what plants are edible and which could make you sick. The guide will also explain typical dishes each in which each type of sansai is used. (Not a full cooking lesson but an explanation about the various uses.) The guide will also explain the process of blanching the plants to remove some of the bitterness. 'Sansai' gathering takes place thoughout Japan, but Nagano with its vast wilderness and deep affinity with 'sansai' cuisine is like a mecca for harvesting, especially the mountains around Nozawa Onsen. If you are staying at one of the accommodations in Nozawa Onsen village after the tour, some may be willing to cook and serve the sansai you picked for you.


  • 3
Depart at 10:00, return at 14:00
2017 dates are May 1st to May 21st. May be canceled due to inclement weather.
Cost / Price of Admission
4,000 per person.
Time Required
4 hours
Required(Minimum 10 days prior. Call/Fax/E-mail your name, contact info, # of people in your party, requested date, place of accommodation in Nozawa Onsen. )
# of Participants
Foreign Languages
(Guides speak limited English. Interpreter required.)


Price includes lunch. Wear sturdy walking shoes and protective clothing. Take water or other drink with you. Note: Similar tours for wild mushroom gathering, nozawana harvesting, etc. are offered at other seasons throughout the year. Check with the Nozawa Onsen Tourism Assoc. for details.


tel : +81(0)269-85-3155 野沢温泉観光協会fax : +81(0)269-85-3883Official site

Access / Location

By Train
From Iiyama Station(JR Hokuriku(Nagano) Shinkansen), Take the Nozawa Onsen Liner bus to the Nozawa Onsen stop, 25 min.
By Car
From Toyota-Iiyama IC, Head northeast on Route 117 13.1km to Ozekibash Bridge-Nishi signal. Turn right onto Route 419 and cross the bridge to Sekizawa signal (650m). Turn left onto Route 38 and proceed northeast 6.0km into Nozawa Onsen. Visitor's Center will be on the left. (Approx. 36min.)
9780-4 Toyosato, Nozawa Onsen 389-2502

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