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Explore an Area with Jaw-Dropping Landscapes Inhabited Since the Ice Age


Learn from an enthusiastic expert guide how Lake Nojiri supported ancient humans and elephants


The Lake Nojiri area, located in the Myoko-Togakushi Renzan National Park, features no lack of dazzling scenery, with towering Mt. Kurohime, Mt. Myoko, Mt. Madarao, and the lake itself with some 50 capes and coves. 

This area’s copious natural wonders have created a haven for humans and animals for millennia. An archeological expedition starting in 1962 uncovered thousands of stone and bone tools from human settlements dating back about 40,000 years. They also dug up numerous fossils of Naumann elephants, an extinct species of elephant that, interestingly, was more closely related to the African elephant than the Asian elephant or mammoth.



Learn more about the blessings of the water and how it has supported life since prehistoric times, with a particular focus on the vibrant human activity from the 1600s onwards. You will be guided by local legend Yoshi, who has spent about half a century living around Nojiri. As you walk with him through the stunning landscapes, you will visit a multitude of historically rich sites, such as religious grounds where humans worshiped the water, irrigation canals, and rural settlements.

The tour operated by Myoko Tourism Management is offered in English, and even features a map made by Yoshi detailing water circulation and topography. It also includes a delicious rice ball lunch, which you can feast on in the great outdoors.

Access: From Tokyo Station, take the Hokuriku Shinkansen to Nagano Station (about one hour 30 minutes), then; transfer to the Kita-Shinano line local train to Kurohime Station (about 30 minutes).



National Parks of Japn Water Crossroads Lake Nojiri Historia (Myoko Tourism Management)


379-2 Nojiri, Shinanomachi, Kamiminochi-gun, Nagano-ken


Approx. 6 hours 30 minutes or more




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