Togakushi Shrine is comprised by five shrines; Okusha, Kuzuryusha, Chusha, Hinomikosha and Houkousha. Here in the shrine, there is water of god called “Kuzuryu—no-Okami”which have been believed long ago than the ancient times.
And other gods that appears in “Iwato Legend”, a description of folk story and Chronicle of Japan, are enshrined as well. The divine atmosphere of the mossed gate and avenue of cedar trees leading to the stone stairway to Okusha is very attractive. Togakushi is also famous for “soba”, and they hold a festival dedicating Shin-soba(new soba) every end of October. And from one month after holding the festival, you can enjoy eating around different types of soba.
Moreover, through the year, there is grand kagura performance at each shrine. At the front path there is a famous soba shop called “Uzura-ya” and since it is so popular, all the soba can be sold out even in weekdays. Not only their soba is delicious, but their soba-tea and soba-rice cake is also recommended. If you are interested in traditional crafts, bamboo is famous in this region, and not only soba-bowl but there are many craft works made out of bamboo.
- 5th Kuzuryu Shrine
- 4th Togakushi Forest Botanical Garden
- 3rd Mirror Pond
- 2nd Uzuraya
- 1st Togakushi Shrine
1. Spot Ranking in Togakushi area
5th. Togakushi Shrine Kuzuryusha
There is Okusha along the front path of cedar avenue at Togashiki shrine, where the god “Amenotajikaraonomikoto” is enshrined which is told he opened the gate of celestial rock cave.
According to the myth, the gate of celestial rock cave which he have flinged away is Mount Togakushi. Since he had the power to move the celestial rock cave, he is also known as a god of sport. On the left side of Okusha, god of “Joshu-Gami” and “Kuzuryu—no-Okami” is enshrined as well. Since it is a god of water, it gives good luck in harvest, wishes and marriage. Also in Okusha, you can see the beautiful view of Mount Togakushi.
The open hour is 9:00-17:00. Since there will be lots of snow in the cold season, during Winter time it will be closed.
To ge here, take a bus at bus stop 7 in front of Nagano station, that bounds for “Togashiki-Kogen”via “Roupe-Bashi”. The ride is about 70 minutes. Get off at “Okusha-Iriguchi”and it is 30 minutes walk from the bus stop to reach the shrine. The bus will not be operated during Winter so please be careful.
4th. Togakushi Forest Botanical Garden
Togakushi Forest is 71 hectares of botanical garden filled with green, where you can enjoy observing many different kinds of wild grass such as skunk cabbage, by just walking though the forest. It is also known as a paradise of wild birds, so if you are a bird-watcher, we recommend you to visit early in the morning. It takes 1.5-2 hours to look around and many people also visit Togakushi Shrine (Nakasha and Okusha) while exploring around. The autumn leaves in mid October is recommended. They regularly hold natural observation meet up on May and August and snowshoe activity is also popular in Spring, too. There are no entrance fee.
To get here, take a bus at bus stop 7 in front of Nagano station, that bounds for “Togashiki-Kogen”via “Roupe-Bashi”. The ride is about 70 minutes. Get off at “Shokubutsuen-Mae” or “Okusha-Iriguchi”. The bus will not be operated during Winter so please be careful.
Here is one of the popular sightseeing spot called “Kagami-Ike pond”, meaning “mirror pond”. It reflects the beautiful Togakushi range through out the year. The contrast of the mountain and the surface of the lake is so beautiful that many photographer comes to visit. There is even Togashiki old path and botanical garden nearby so you can also enjoy hiking. Especially Summer and Autumn season is recommended.
To get here, take a bus at bus stop 7 in front of Nagano station, that bounds for “Togashiki-Camp-jyo”. The ride is about 60 minutes. Get off at “Kagami-Ike-Iriguchi”and it is 40 minute walk to get to the destination. You can not get in during Winter.
“Uzuraya”is the most famous soba-dining shop here in Togashiki area. Not only soba but soba-tea and soba-rice cake is also recommended. Uzuraya uses wheat-flours that are being produced by a local producer. In Togashiki, traditional crafts made from bamboo is also famous. So they sell not only soba-bowl but many other craft works made out of bamboo. English menu is available.
It is closed every Wednesday and between the end of November to the middle of December it is regularly closed as well. The open time is from 10:30-16:00(It will close as soon as the soba is sold out).
To get here, take a bud that bounds for “Arupiko-Togashiki-Campjyo” from JR Nagano station. The ride is about 50 minutes. Get off at “Togashiki-Chusha-Mae” and the soba shop will be right in front.
From a gate called “Zuishinmon” continues a 500 meter long front path with more than 80 cedar trees along that are more than 400 years-old and it has attracted many visitors who have walked this path. In the early Edo era, it is told that they planted the tree to maintain dignity. Here is also famous for taking photographs.
To get here, take a bus at bus stop 7 in front of Nagano station, that bounds for “Togashiki-Kogen” via “Roupe-Bashi”. The ride is about 70 minutes. Get off at “Okusha-Iriguchi” and it is 30 minutes walk from the bus stop to reach the shrine. The bus will not be operated during Winter so please be careful.
2. Getting to Togakushi bus stop from Nagano station
From Nagano station, take a bus at bus stop 7 in front of Nagano station, that bounds for “Togashiki-Kogen”via “Roupe-Bashi”. During winter, the bus will not stop for botanical garden or the shrine so please be careful. To the botanical garden it will take 65 minutes and costs 1,350JPY and to Okusha-Iriguchi it is about 68 minutes and costs 1,350JPY. There is also a discount around-trip ticket so for more information, please ask the staff at the station.
3. Nagano Area list
Tateshina – Venus Line
Lake Suwa, Kami-Suwa Onsen and Shimo-Suwa Onsen