Forests and Snowscapes (Nagano)
Tour Code: OK0612
Tour Fee: 12600 Discount Price: 9450
Date: Saturday, June 12th
There is nothing more fun to do in summer, than to play in the snow. We are heading to Komagane in southern Nagano, from where we will take a bus deep into the national park to a ropeway, (the 2nd longest in the world), and ride up to the pristine environment of the Senjojiki cirque, a glacial caldera. Here there will be snow, even in mid-June, as the lowest point of the caldera is 2612 meters (8568 feet) above sea level. This is the same location we go to for our White Christmas trip. Bring warm clothing!
While there will still be some snow, there should also be the first signs of wildflowers, as spring comes very late to this caldera. On clear days, you can look east across the valley and over the Minami Alps and see the cone of Mount Fuji in the distance. We will have snowshoes available for those who want to try snowshoeing, and if you are a keen photographer, a tripod is useful. If you don’t have a tripod it is possible to borrow one from Declan.
After our descent, we will visit Kozenji, a 1300 year old Tendai temple with beautiful architecture, and famous for shidare sakura and luminous moss (Schistostega pennata). The moss is particularly interesting, but the towering cedar trees do tend to steal the scene. Designated an important cultural asset by the Japanese government, this ancient temple is associated with the legend of Hayataro (almost all Japanese children learn the story about the dog that bravely defended a village from a mythological creature). There is a natural spring that you can drink from. The water is believed to bring long life and good health. Bring a water bottle with you and take some home.
Before our departure from Komagane, we will visit the Mars Whisky Distillery, and then enjoy a visit to the local craft beer brewery (Minami Shinshu Beer) for some snacks and really good brews. This is also a good place to pick up some souvenirs from the gift shop downstairs.
Note: This trip is good value. The cheapest return train tickets between Aichi & Komagane cost 7140 yen, the ropeway costs a further 3800 yen. This tour includes additional destinations, plus all transport & admissions, & snowshoes.
Departs: East Exit, JR Okazaki Station, Saturday, 8:15am. Returns: 9:30pm (approx)
Mode of transport: Minivan or Microbus
Deadline for Discount Price: 14 days prior
Tour Code: OK0612 (needed for application form below)