この為に長野に来ました: スノーシュー@戸隠 This is what I came to Nagano for: Snowshoeing at Togakushi

2012.01.07: その他 Miscellaneous

Misaki snowshoeing at Togakushi






私達は県道36号沿いで車を止めて、普通な靴で杉並び木の入口にある随神門まで歩きました。そしてスノーシューを履いて、左折して、森林植物園に入りました。鏡池向けのコースなのでクロスカントリースキーで人気あるみたい; スキーの後は歩きやすい道となっていました。100mぐらいで先の参道と平行して、入口に戻るトレールがある。というか、雪の下にトレールがあったが、足跡は無かったから雪はそのまま0.5mぐらいの深さでした。





Togakushi Highlands above Nagano City's Zenkoji Temple is in the midst of a popularity 'boom' right now for being a 'power spot'. Our family has been fans of Togakushi's natural energy long before the 'boom', and not just in summertimes but in winter, too.

The last day of our family's New Years holiday, we went for a drive up to Togakushi and had soba for lunch. Then we rented snow shoes and went for a walk to the cedar trees lining the path to 'Okusha', the Inner Shrine.

You may be wondering what the access to the cedar trees (the power spot 'vortex') is like in the winter. The trail is used well enough that even this far into winter, with a half a meter of snow accumulation, the trail itself is compacted enough to travel with normal hiking shoes.

We had a couple from Australia staying at our inn last week. Using a couple of pairs of rubber boots that we lent them, they made the trek to Okusha just fine. The last 200 meters past the trees to the shrine itself can be steep and slippery, so be careful.

In our case, we carried our snow shoes to Zuijinmon gate, the entrance to the cedar trees. Then after putting on our shoes, we walked along the side road towards Kagami-ike (Mirror Pond). This course is popular with cross-country skiiers and the single-track path they created was easy to walk along. After about 100 meters, there is a path parallel to the trail to Zuijinmon Gate that leads back to the entrance. This path had no foot prints or ski tracks -- totally virgin snow.

This is where our snowshoes came in handy!

I trailblazed the way through the powder snow, with the kids and Mari following behind. Going through the cedar tree glens and deciduous tree woods, over the marshes where skunk cabbage comes up in the spring, all with fresh snow criss-crossed with animal tracks -- this is the type of nature only accessible with snow shoes. I was in heaven!

Before we moved to Japan, I had gone snowshoeing fairly frequently in the mountains around Seattle. But this was my first time here in Japan. And Togakushi was the perfect place. I am so glad I came to Nagano!


Info on Togakushi at the following link. On January 21st, the 'Dondo Yaki' fire festival will be held at the Togakushi Chuusha Ski Slopes. Details also at the following link.


Zuijinmon and the 'power' cedars

2m Tyler dwarfed

Andy's first snow shoeing

Trail meant for snowshoeing

Togakushi Forest Preserve

For the little creatures, too


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