“Tateshina”, a tourist spot representing Nagano, is known as a highland resort. There are a lot to see such as Kurumayama Highland, Lake Shirakaba and Tateshina Hotspring. It also has very popular local drink and food like sake, horse meat sashimi and sobagaki(pounded dough made from buckwheat flour). This time we will introduce to you the best sightseeing spots in Tateshina-kogen area.
- 1. Spot Ranking
- 5th Lake Shirakaba
- 4th Kurumayama Highland
- 3rd Utsukushigahara Highland
- 2nd Kita-Yatsugatake Ropeway
- 1st Yashima wetlands
- 2. Getting in
- 3. Other Area List
1. Spot Ranking in Tateshina – Venus Line area
5th. Lake Shirakaba
Lake Shirakaba is a resort located about 1,500 meters above sea level, surrounding a lake. The clear bule sky and crisp air attract many tourists.
Flowers are in full bloom from spring to summer. In winter you can enjoy winter activities in the beautiful white scenary. Lake Shirakaba is an artificial lake which began to be built in around 1940 and had been under construction for almost a decade to finally finish in 1945. It was highly valued as a source of water supply for rice fields. Lake Shirakaba Royal Hill Ski Resort is on south shore of the lake, lying on Mt. Yashigamine’s north slope. Lift tickets are free for children over 3 years old and students under middle school who are accompanied with someone over an elementary school student. The most famous event is a firework festival on New Year’s Eve in Kurumayama Highland Skypark Resort. You can enjoy the magnificent firework shot off in the world of white.
To go to Lake Shirakaba from Suwa Station, take JR Chuo Main Line for Kofu and get off at “Chino Station”. Take Alpico Bus bound for Kurumayama Highland and get off at Lake Shirakaba Entrance stop.
4th. Kurumayama Highland
Kurumayama Highland is 1,925 meters in height overlooking Mt. Fuji, Japanese Northen Alps, Central Alps and Southern Alps/Yatsugatake ranges. It abounds with some 600 species of seasonal flowers including Japanese azaleas in June. The yellow-colored grasses in September and October are also worth seeing.
This highland shows many faces from gentle hills to woods and rivers. You should see the splended view from Kurumayama Highland observation lift. It is about a 15-minute ride on two lifts to the peak. Craft market held in summer is also famous and popular.
To go to Lake Shirakaba from Suwa Station, take JR Chuo Main Line for Kofu and get off at “Chino Station”. Take Alpico Bus bound for Kurumayama Highland and get off at Kurumayama Highland stop.
3rd. Utsukushigahara Highland
Located roughly the center of Japan, Utsukushigahara Highland is 2,034 meters above sea level. This area is westernmost of a great rift lowland(Central Rift Valley), said to be formed by ancient vocanic activities. As the climate was relatively calm during early Jomon period(approximately 7000 to 5500 years ago), it is said that people at that time used to live in this area and that it was an exclusive farm for the imperial court from Heian to Kamakura peiod(approximately from AD 800 to 1300). As such, this area seems to have been used as a farm since then.
At the mountain top, there is a farm called “Utsukushigahama Farm”, where cows are in pasture. There are also well-maintained hiking routes suitable for each level from a short refreshing walk to a long adventure. Utsukushigahara Ranch Festival is held every year where you can enjoy alpenhorns and cows released into the pasture.
To go to Utsukushigahara from JR Chuo Main Line “Matasumoto Station”, take a direct bus to “Utsukushigahara Highland”.
2nd. Kita-Yatsugatake Ropeway
Kita-Yatsugatake Ropeway runs up 466 meters in about 7 minutes from the base station(1,771 meters high) to the top station(2,237 meters high), connecting Mt. Yoko and Mt. Shimakare which are northen tip of Mt. Yatsugatake. The mountaneous view passing in front of you is spectacular. It keeps changing and never stays same. When you reach the peak, you will find Tsuboniwa Nature Park, a home to highland plants such as pines and northern Japanese hemlocks. Why not stroll around Kita-Yatsugatake full of seasonal attractions and admire Japanese nature.
Hours is 8:40AM to 4:40PM on weekdays and 8:20AM to 5:00PM on weekends from April 21st to July 27th. It is open from 8:00AM to 5:00PM everyday from July 28th to September 2nd. From September 3rd to October 31st, hours is from 8:40AM to 4:40PM on weekdays and 8:20AM to 5:00PM on weekends. And from November 1st to March 31st, hours is 9:00AM to 4:00PM everyday. Ropeway may not be operated in April and November. Please phone them to check it out before your visit.
To go to Kita-Yatsugatake Ropeway, take a bus bound for “Kita-Yatsugatake Ropeway” which departs from Alpico bus stop 2 at west gate of Chino Station. The ride is approximately an hour.
1st. Yashima wetlands
Yashima Wetlands are one of National Natural Monuments and Cultural Properties, which is a high moor with 1,540 to 1,925 meters of height representing Japan. The main feature of the wetlands, which has 12,000 years of history, is bog moss. The number of its species is as many as 18. This wetland is rich in nature with various kinds of life. There are wooden walking paths which enables you to walk around the wetlands in about 20 minutes. There is an information center for you to ask anything about Yashima Wetlands.
The information center is open from 9:30AM to 4:30PM from mid April to mid November(closed during winter).
To go to Yashima Wetlands, take a bus from Chino Station and get off at Yashima Wetlands stop. Please note that the bus is not operated on weekdays from April 29th to July 14th and from August 21st to November 5th. There are buses everyday from July 15th to August 20th.
2. Getting to Chino Station from Suwa Station
Take JR Chuo Main Line from Suwa Station to Chino Station. It takes approximately 15 minutes. The one-way ticket is \240.
Getting to Shimo Suwa Station from Tokyo Station
3. Other Area List
Tateshina – Venus Line
Lake Suwa, Kami-Suwa Onsen and Shimo-Suwa Onsen