Explore an Area with Jaw-Dropping Landscapes Inhabited Since the Ice Age
Learn how Lake Nojiri has supported ancient humans and elephants with an enthusiastic expert guide
The Lake Nojiri area, which is situated in Myoko-Togakushi Renzan National Park, features no lack of dazzling scenery, with towering Mt. Kurohime, Mt. Myoko, Mt. Madarao contrasted with nearly 50 capes and coves.
This area’s copious natural wonders have created a haven for humans and animals throughout millennia. An archeological expedition starting in 1962 uncovered thousands of stone and bone tools from human settlements dating back to about 40,000 years ago. Along with this, 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 Shinkansen bullet train to Nagano Station, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Take the train to Kurohime Station, about 30 minutes.
Myoko Tourism Management
approx. 390 min. or more