Welcome to the birthplace of the japanese alps


Mount Norikura

Mount Norikura (乗鞍岳 Norikura-dake “Mount Riding Saddle”) 3,026m. (9,928ft.) is the southern-most mountain of the Northern Japanese Alps. It is located on the borders of Gifu and Nagano Prefecture. After Mount Fuji and Mount Ontake, Mount Norikura is the third tallest volcano in Japan. It is also on the 100 Famous Japanese Mountains list and is considered the easiest to climb among the mountains in Japan that are above 3000-meters. It includes 23 peaks, 12 crater lakes and 8 plains. 

The Norikura Skyline road which goes up and over the mountain, is the tallest road in Japan. Although it is closed to private vehicles in order to protect the beautiful natural environment, it can be accessed by public transportation (Alpico Bus or Nohi Bus) and bicycles mid-May – October. It is popular among road bikers interested in hill-climb training. You can access Mount Norikura from the Gifu side through Hoonoki bus terminal, or from the Nagano side through Norikura Kogen.

Attractions in this area

• Norikura’s Great Snow Wall
• Tatamidaira
• Hiking
• High Alpine Plantlife

Kamikochi & Yarigatake

Kamikochi (上高地, Kamikōchi) is a popular area within the Northern Japanese Alps, offering one of Japan’s most spectacular mountain scenery. It is open from mid/late April until mid-November.

Kamikochi is a roughly 15-kilometer long plateau in the Azusa River Valley, about 1500 meters above sea level. It is surrounded by tall mountains, including Nishihotakadake (2909 m), Okuhotakadake (3190 m), Maehotakadake (3090 m) and the active volcano Yakedake (2455 m).

Part of the Chubusangaku National Park, Kamikochi has only been moderately developed with half a dozen hotels, a few souvenir shops, mountain huts and hiking trails. Please see the Official Homepage for more details.

Attractions in this area

Kappa Bridge
• Taisho Pond
Trekking in the Japanese Alps

Okuhida Onsengo & Shin-Hotaka Ropeway

Okuhida-Onsengo is surrounded by many famous and beautiful mountains: the Yari-Hotaka mountain range, Mt. Norikura, and Gifu Prefecture’s highest peak, Mt. Kasagatake. These mountains are commonly called the Northern Japan Alps and the region is also known as the Chubu Sangaku National Park. Filled with numerous species of alpine plants and animals, the Northern Japan Alps are abundant in natural treasures.

Attractions in this area

Shinhotaka Ropeway

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Shinshu / Hida Wide Free Passport

4 Day unlimited bus and train transportation within the designaged area.

Sawando Onsen

Sawando is considered the doorway of Kamikochi and is known for its natural hot springs. Situated on the Azusa river it offers visitors a nice place to relax before heading out on an adventure in the Alps. Don’t forget to enjoy the free foot located within walking distance of the bus terminal.

Attractions in this area

National Park Gate
Yunogo Park (Sawando Foot Bath)

Shirahone Onsen

Shirahone Onsen (白骨温泉), means “white bone hot spring” and is a remote onsen town located inside the Chubusangaku National Park. The town is made up of a dozen or so ryokan (traditional Japanese style inn) deep in the mountains near other famous spots like Kamikochi and Mount Norikura and Norikura Kogen. Shirahone Onsen is known for the milky white hot spring water which has magnesium and calcium sediments inside and is believed to relieve ailments.

There is one public bath in Shirahone Onsen but many of the ryokans open their baths to visitors during the day.

Attractions in this area

• Outdoor hotsprings
• Traditional Japanese Style Inns (Ryokan)

Norikura Kogen

Norikura Kogen (Highland) is a large area spreading in the east of Mt. Norikura (3,026 m), which is the 10th highest mountain and one of the younger volcanoes in Japan. You can enjoy the magnificent views from Japan’s highest highway (2,700m) over Mt. Norikura. There are also many viewpoints like water falls, flower gardens, and caldera lakes. Ushidome-ike is a beautiful pond, which gives you one of the best views of the mountains especially on a breathless morning or calm sunset. You can enjoy various activities like hiking, biking, jogging, birdwatching or just a peaceful walk in nature.

The annual “Tenku Marathon” and “All Japan Norikura Mountain Cycling Race” are held in June and August each year. In Winter, Mt. Norikura Snow Resort is a renowned winter destination.

After walking or skiing, you can soak in Norikura Kogen Onsen (hot springs), which are famous for their white onsen water. Norikura is also famous for delicious soba noodles and other local mountain vegetables.

Attractions in this area

• Mount Norikura
• Zengoronotaki Waterfall
Mt. Norikura Snow Resort