close

Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

GIFU Okuhida One of the best bases for exploring the Northern Japan Alps

One of the best bases for exploring the Northern Japan Alps

With easy access to the Northern Japan Alps and Kamikochi, the Okuhida area is a key base for alpine enthusiasts of all levels. As an added bonus, the area is scattered with rustic hot spring villages offering accommodation and soothing post-hike bathing opportunities.

Don't Miss

  • Five wonderful onsen locations
  • Ascending into the clouds on the Shin-Hotaka Ropeway
  • Hiking and skiing at Mt. Norikura

How to Get There

Located in the center of Japan, Okuhida Onsen can be accessed by public transport from Nagoya, Matsumoto or Takayama.

From JR Nagoya station, take the Takayama Line to JR Takayama Station. You can take a one-hour bus from there to Hirayu. From Hirayu, there is a bus line that runs to Fukuji, Shin-Hirayu, Tochi and Shin-Hotaka. Another line runs to Mt. Norikura.

The Matusmoto Line bus runs from Matsumoto to Takayama, stopping at Hirayu. There are only a few buses a day so check an up-to-date timetable before traveling.

Five hot spring retreats

Okuhida boasts five postcard worthy hot spring resorts: Hirayu, Fukuji, Shin-Hirayu, Tochio and Shin-Hotaka. All are conveniently accessible on the same bus route. You can spend the day shuttling between them, sampling baths with different mineral content and competing views.

Alternatively, stay at one of the hotels or ryokan (traditional inns) and indulge in a multi-course meal of assorted local delicacies.

One of the tallest mountains in Japan

A rugged volcano and among Japan's tallest mountains, Norikura is linked to Hirayu via a road that reaches an elevation of 2,700 meters. The road is closed to public vehicles but buses operate from the Norikura Kogen Tourist Information Center and Hirayu between mid-April and late October.

There are many hiking paths around Norikura and the 3,026-meter peak can be reached relatively easily in just 90 minutes from the the 2,700-meter Tatamidaira bus terminal.

Over the top in a double decker

Another destination in the area is the two-section cable car system at Shin-Hotaka. While the first section of the cable car is fairly standard, the upper section is a rare double-decker tram, which is as popular an attraction with photographers as the views down the mountainside.

The sights from the observation deck at the cable car terminus are spectacular. Reaching 2,150 meters, the ropeway is a convenient way to reach dizzying heights without the effort of a long, difficult hike.

With well-signposted trails leading from and around the terminus and a restaurant serving snacks and refreshments, it is easy to spend a leisurely half day in the mountains.

Exploring more of the mountains

To fully experience the Northern Japan Alps, you can make a day of it, hiking from the cable car terminus to Nishihotaka Doppyo (2701 meters) and then down into Kamikochi via the nearby Nishihotakadake Mountain Hut. Be prepared to start early, however, because the total journey takes a full eight hours with few breaks.