It is exciting for us to introduce real things about the “Tenku-no-Rakuen (a Paradise in the Sky) Night Tour” which held in Achimura village, Nagano Prefecture.
One of our staff has joined and experienced the tour as a visitor so to show you all about the tour such as a hotel for the tour, meals, transportation services provided by the hotel and so on.
We hope you would enjoy this article and find it helpful for you to plan your visit!
What is “Tenku-no-Rakuen Night Tour”?
Achimura village, Nagano Prefecture was officially certified by the Ministry of the Environment in 2006 as the best place to watch a night sky with brilliantly shining stars.
The Night Tour started in 2012, in order to make use of this “the most beautiful starry sky in Japan” for attracting tourists and revitalizing local area. In the tour, visitors would be taken to the height of 1,400 meter above sea level by a gondola and enjoy the star -studded sky without being disturbed by the lights of a town.
The number of visitors has been growing year by year and the magnificent starry night sky is recently attracting more foreign visitors as well.
There actually was a foreign visitor who was deeply impressed by the sparkle sky at the night of our tour.
Please be prepared to join in and enjoy a virtual Night Tour detailed in this article with us!
▲ Welcome drink and sweets
So, let’s check-in the hotel now.
You will be treated with a welcome drink and a homemade tofu(bean curd) cheesecake.
▲ Kuro, a stray cat living around a boarding point for Tenryu river rafting
The dinner will be served from 17:30 or 18:30 of your choice.
Would you like to stay somewhere you like and read books, or walk around the area or go in a hot spring? Please enjoy your time before dinner as you like.
▲ A river rafting at Tenryu river valley. A boat goes along the 2km-long steep cliffs. You may see a hotel standing by the cliff.
▲ It may be a good option for you to spend your time at a hotel library
▲ Being inspired by Tenryu-kyo valley in the summer, dinner consists of healthy foods which are gentle to your body during summer season (June – August).
Please take a short rest after the tasty dinner. Then, we would leave the hotel around 21:00 to join a night tour.
You can enjoy alcohol drinks during your dinner as a hotel staff takes you to the sight.
▲ Transportation service: A hotel microbus
It is very chilly at the mountain peak even in the summer as we go up to 1,400 meter above sea level.
Please make sure to bring outerwear, like a jacket with you.
▲ “Vega”, a gondola station at the foot of mountain
It takes about 30 minutes from the hotel to the gondola station.
Let’s get on a gondola and go up to where the starry sky awaits.
Head to the mountain peak on a gondola
Please enjoy “Walking in the sky” for around 15 minutes. Go up in the dark, overlooking the lights of the town in the distance. It makes us feel as if we are on a night flight.
There was a thick cloud layer at the foot of mountain looking down on us, and now, we are going up in the sky on the gondola looking down on the clouds.
▲ Finally, we got to the mountain peak.
Let’s enjoy the starry night sky, sitting on a broad lawn or you may lie on there for a while.
We were a relatively small group as it was a weekday of the early July.
Sitting around anywhere you can see the sky well and wait for the Night Tour to begin.
▲ At “Deneb”, a gondola station at the mountain peak, visitors may buy some hot drinks and snacks, and can use toilet facilities.
As counting down from ten to zero, then, the lightings which illuminated the building, the gondola and lawn all went off and there came a total darkness….
▲ A tour guide, “star guide”, explains to the visitors about stars breaking through the clouds.
A tour guide, “star guide”, accompanies the tour to give a lecture to visitors about the starry night sky and now he explains about the stars breaking through the clouds using a blue laser pointer.
▲The head star of Scorpion and Jupiter
The day of tour had been gray from the morning. It also was said on the notice board at the gondola station that the brightness of the night sky would be only 5%. These things were bad enough for not expecting the shining stars.
But by good luck, it got better as time went by and when we looked up the night sky…
▲ The Milky Way, crossing the night sky diagonally
“It’s the Milky Way!!”
All let out their cheers.
People say that the weather in the mountain changes easily and it was true in good way in this time that the clouds flowed and vanished one after another during the 30-minute tour. Even the Milky Way appeared breaking the cloud at the middle of the tour and we enjoyed the magnificent starry night sky to the end.
▲ Great triangle in summer; “Deneb”, “Altair” and “Vega”
The Night Tour finished, and everyone seemed to be satisfied with it. The weather report was off in a good way this time and it made our tour memorable one.
You will find more events enjoyable to join on the official website as well as this time Night Tour.
Please refer to the following:
The Night Tour details
Please do not just give up even the weather report says it would rain or cloudy. It could be fine around the mountain peak as it is situated above the clouds
Please make sure to take outerwear with you such as a long sleeve jacket as it is chilly around the mountain peak.
A ground sheet or a foldout chair will be useful when you sit down on the grass or cement ground.
〇 Please Note:
・The Night Tour requires an advanced reservation. Reservation can be made up to 2 weeks in advance. Please be sure to make a reservation on your own.
・ You may join the second round of Night Tour for the reason of dinner time. Please choose “The Second Tour” and “21:45” for the boarding time to a gondola.
Please refer to the following link for the package plan with transportation services:
Plan with pick-up