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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

Nature

Senjojiki Cirque 千畳敷カール

Experience the majesty of Japan's Central Alps

The Senjojiki Cirque boasts one of Nagano's most iconic alpine views. Accessible year-round via the Komagatake Ropeway, it's a stunning and convenient starting point for an adventure in the Central Alps.

Don't Miss

  • Panoramic views of Lake Ashinoko and Mount Fuji
  • The hiking trails at the foot of the mountain
  • Senjojiki Cirque's changing seasonal landscape

How to Get There

Senjojiki Cirque is near Komagane Station in Nagano and accessible from Tokyo by express train.

From Tokyo, take the JR Azusa train at Shinjuku and change at Okaya for the local Iida Line to Komagane. The ride takes roughly 3 hours and 40 minutes. The Komagatake Ropeway Bus runs from Komagane Station and takes 50 minutes.

There are direct buses from Shinjuku, Osaka, Kyoto, and Nagoya to Komagane Station.

Quick Facts

Launched in 1967, the Komagatake Ropeway was the first of its kind in Japan

Senjojiki Cirque gets its name because the area covers the equivalent of 1,000 tatami mats, pronounced as "sen-jo" in Japanese

Spectacular views all year round

Carved out by glaciers during the last ice age, the Senjojiki Cirque epitomizes the grandeur of Nagano's Central Alps. The Komagatake Ropeway on the eastern side of the range whisks you to 2,600 meters, dropping you off right on the cirque's doorstep. From there, you enter a realm of gorgeous alpine scenery with the surrounding peaks towering above.

In the summer, alpine plants and flowers carpet the cirque, and in the fall, the slopes turn a riot of red and golden hues. Winter sees the heights in deep snow, an alpine world typically only witnessed by the hardiest mountaineers. In the spring, the snow slowly recedes, and life creeps back into the mountains. The highly regarded Senjojiki Ski Area operates for a brief window from April through the end of May.

Hiking the cirque and beyond

Senjojiki Station, at the top of the ropeway, is the highest public transit hub in Japan. From here, a one-hour loop takes you around a portion of the cirque. This is an easy way to enjoy the alpine scenery with views stretching to the Southern Alps and Mt. Fuji.

With more time, proper boots and a sense of adventure, you can head for the highest peak in the Central Alps, the 2,956-meter Mt. Kiso Komagatake. It takes about four hours round-trip from the terminal. Ascend to the summit and, on a clear day, you'll be rewarded with a panoramic view of mountains stretching off to the horizon.

Another option if you have the time and energy is hiking out to the glacially-carved Nogaike Pond, famous for its wildflowers and autumn colors. It's about five hours round-trip from the terminal. The going is steep in places, but the scenery is fabulous.

While it's certainly possible to hike up to the cirque from the valley, it will take six to eight hours depending on your route. There are plenty of mountain huts on the nearby peaks if you want to stay overnight.

Another option is to hike up, and then take the ropeway down. With an early start, you could check out Nogaike Pond on the way up and still be back in Komagane in time for dinner.

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