3 days
Plan your visit carefully and allow plenty of time for your activities in the park. Always check the latest weather information, and avoid overexerting yourself if you feel unwell.


Two Sides of Mount Myoko: Serene Shrines and a Dynamic Cycling Tour

Mount Myoko and the surrounding land have long been revered by practitioners of Shugendo. Experience the stillness of the shrines and then enjoy a vigorous cycling tour for a multidimensional view of the charms of this national park.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Learning about Shugendo through visits to the Sekiyama-jinja Shrine and Togakushi-jinja Shrine.

  • Taking in the picturesque sights on and around the mountains.

  • Cycling on an ancient route with breathtaking scenery.

Trip Overview

A spiritual stopover at Sekiyama-jinja Shrine
On the pilgrimage trail to Togakushi-jinja Shrine
Cycling on the Hokkoku Kaido
Day 1

A spiritual stopover at Sekiyama-jinja Shrine

Arrive at Joetsumyoko Station in Niigata in the afternoon and transfer to the Echigo Tokimeki Railway to Sekiyama Station. Take a car from the train station to Sekiyama-jinja Shrine for your first glimpse of the sacred environment of the region. A knowledgeable guide will introduce the important features of the shrine and highlight its importance to the Shugendo faith, particularly in relation to Mount Myoko. You'll even get to simulate a climb up the mountain and receive a certificate for your experience.

After the shrine visit, head to Akakura Onsen in the late afternoon and check into your hotel. This hot spring and ski resort has an illustrious history dating back to the Edo period and is full of restaurants, shops, and activities to satisfy any visitor. Have a relaxing evening while steeping in the atmosphere of the mountainside.

Day 2

On the pilgrimage trail to Togakushi-jinja Shrine

Head out from your hotel to meet an interpreter guide for a tour of Togakushi-jinja Shrine, the collective name of five shrines in the national park. Your guide will bring you on the ancient pilgrimage trail that connects the shrines and tell you more about the legends and environment of the area. You'll visit the Hokosha and Chusha Shrines in the morning and, weather dependent, enjoy excellent views of the Northern Japanese Alps from an observation deck. For lunch, the guide will take you to a local spot for the specialty known as Togakushi soba, which is made with delicious mountain water.

In the afternoon, you'll continue onward to Okusha Shrine and Kagamiike Pond, the "mirror lake" that beautifully reflects the Togakushi mountain range. This day along an ancient pilgrimage trail ends at a lodge where you can have an authentic overnight experience in a shukubo pilgrims' lodging. Get some early rest for the final day of your trip.

Day 3

Cycling on the Hokkoku Kaido

Take a taxi to Kurohime Station in the morning and get ready for an invigorating cycling tour of the satoyama region, the area between the mountains and flatlands. This three-hour journey takes you along the Hokkoku Kaido, an Edo-period highway that runs from Karuizawa to the Sea of Japan. During this tour, your guide will introduce aspects of Myoko-Togakushi renzan National Park, including natural landscapes and locally produced cultural products like Shinshu-uchihamono knives.

This tour of the satoyama provides the perfect way to end your explorations of the region surrounding Mount Myoko. Find a place for lunch, then hop on the Shinano Railway back to Nagano Station to conclude your itinerary.

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