忍者と水芭蕉: 戸隠の春からの交通案内 Ninjas and Skunk Cabbage: Spring in Togakushi (Access Guide)


戸隠奥社の杉並木 Cedar Trees Lining the Path to Togakushi’s Okusha Inner Shrine

善光寺さんの上の戸隠高原はいよいよグリーンシーズンが始まりました。忍者も水芭蕉も冬眠から起きて来ています。長野駅からのバスも冬のスキー場ルートから奥社バス停に変更になりました。(更新した時刻表参照)
車の方は信濃町IC経由で戸倉上山田温泉・亀清旅館ー奥社は約60分です。

私の戸隠の忍者コネ、そば処「山口屋」の山口さん情報によると:
*雪は奥社の参道にまだ少し残っていますが、道は雪がもう無い。
*戸隠森林植物園の水芭蕉は今年、速く咲きそう。4月末が見頃でしょう。
*戸隠れ道の忍者関係、戸隠忍法資料館は4月19日から、ちびっこ忍者村は4月27日から営業の予定。

戸隠高原は自然で恵まれている信州の中で特に恵まれている。奥社の杉の並び木はパワースポットとして近年に大人気になった。その参道が込み合う場合があるが、一歩離れて森林植物園に入ってしまえば、静かで穏やかな世界です。戸隠連峰が反射する鏡池も必見。

その上に、戸隠はお蕎麦で有名な信州の中で特に美味しいです。私達信州に住んでいる皆がわざわざ食べに行くぐらい。蕎麦の産地だし、その綺麗な空気とお水で作った蕎麦は一味違う。

そして、隠れているかもしれないけど忘れてはいけないのは戸隠れ道の忍術。ちびっこ忍者村と忍法センターの2ヶ所を楽しめます。

勿論、戸隠は自然と蕎麦と忍者だけじゃない。信仰(中社はお勧め)や竹細工など、他の魅力が沢山ある。このグリーンシーズンは是非、戸隠へ。そして、良かったら、お泊りはこの戸倉上山田温泉へどうぞ♪

Located on a perch at the foot of Togakushi Mountain high above the venerable Zenkoji Temple in Nagano City is Togakushi Kogen. Signs of spring are starting to appear throughout Togakushi as it transitions out of winter and into the green season. As the snow melts, the ‘mizubasho’ skunk cabbage and the Togakushi ninjas are coming out of hibernation. Even the bus from Nagano Station has switched destinations from the ski area to the entrance to the fabled Okusha (Inner Shrine). (See the updated Transportation Guide) And for people coming by car, it is only 60 minutes from our onsen town Togura-Kamiyamada to the entrance to Okusha when using the Expressway.

According to my Togukashi ninja connection, Yamaguchi-san of soba restaurant “Yamaguchiya”,

*Snow still remains along the approach to Okusha, but the roads are completely clear.
*The creamy white mizubasho flowers in the Togakushi Forest Reserve look like they’ll blossom a week early this year, around the end of April.
*The two ninja sites have announced their opening dates for 2013: Togakushi Ninpo Center will open on Friday April 19th and the Togakushi Chibikko Kids Ninja Park will start up again on Saturday April 27th.

Nagano Prefecture as a whole is blessed with so much beautiful natural scenery, but within Nagano, Togakushi is special. The massive cedar trees lining the path to Okusha really impart a sense of the power of nature. Lately those famous trees are experiencing a boom of sorts as they have become known as a ‘power spot’ in Japan. But take one step off the path and into the Togakushi Forest Preserve, and you’ll have all that peaceful nature to yourself. The snowy white flowers of the unfortunately named skunk cabbage are especially delightful. And be sure not to miss Kagami-ike, aka ‘Mirror Pond’ which perfectly reflects the grand Togakushi Mountain peaks.

In addition to all the natural beauty, Togakushi is home to some of the best soba noodles in Nagano Prefecture, which itself is Japan’s soba mecca. Besides being a prime growing area for buckwheat, there is just something different about the noodles made here in the refreshingly clean mountain air using the crystal clear mountain spring water.

And, don’t forget the Togakushi ninjas. This is the home of the Togakure-do school of ninjutsu, and there are 2 locations to get a feel for what Togakure-do ninjutsu is like. They are the Togakushi Ninpo Center and the Togakushi Chibikko Kids Ninja Park.

Togakushi is so much more than just nature, soba and ninjas. There’s the spiritual tradition (Chusha, the ‘Middle Shrine’, is especially rich in mysticism), bamboo ware and so much more. This green season, come and check and experience Togakushi yourself. And in the evening, we here at Kamesei Ryokan would be happy to have you come stay at our inn in Togura-Kamiyamada onsen.

戸隠高原 Togakushi

山口屋そば Soba Restaurant Yamaguchi-ya

戸倉上山田・戸隠の高速道路経由のアクセス Access from Togura-Kamiyamada to Togakushi using the Expressway