Togakushi Shrine Hiking Trails Tour in Nagano

Togakushi Shrine Hiking Trails Tour in Nagano

Overview

***We will conduct Togakushi Shrine Hiking Trails Tour from April until November***

Only a couple of hours from Tokyo, this sacred Togakushi Shinto-Shrine can easily be visited in a day trip. Togakushi shrine is like no other. Far from the usual tourist destination, Togakushi Shrine is a true hidden gem. The Togakushi Shrine is a Shinto shrine in Nagano Prefecture, in Japan. Mt. Togakushi is where Togakushi shrine sits and it is in the National Park called Myoukou Togakushi Renzan National Park. Togakushi Shrine consists of five shrines in a large area and the distance between each shrines about 2km (1.25 miles) apart.

The Five Shrines are, 

  1. Houkou Sha (lower shrine) dedicated to a patron goddess protecting maternity, academic and sewing
  2. Hino Miko Sha is dedicated to the god of fire and performing arts
  3. Chuu Sha (middle shrine) is dedicated to the god of wisdom
  4. Oku Sha (upper shrine) is dedicated to a God’s threw the door of Ame-no-iwato-cave.
  5. Kuzuryu Sha is dedicated to the god of rain and guardian deity of the Togakushi villages.
 
We begin our exploration of ancient pilgrimage trails at Togakushi, where a steep sometimes but not too long, such as going up the stairs to the shrines and hiking mountain path. We walk the old trails called “Togakushi Kodo” and you will see old Shinto statues and beautiful, great, spiritual cedars, line our route along the way to our destination of Okusha. We will visit each 3 shrines(Chuu Sha, Oku Sha and Kuzuryu Sha) and also enjoy having Togakushi soba(Togakushi Soba is ranked in top 3 soba in Japan) for a lunch.
 
  • Photography Tour
    We will be on hand to take some happy snaps(by DSLR camera) which will be shared with you after the tour!

Trip Itinerary

9:30 / The guide meet you infront of Starbucks Midoriat Nagano station
Meet up with our guide at Nagano station and go to the bus station.
*Round trip tickets from Nagano station to Togakushi area is now apx.¥2900/person*
9:40 / Leaving Nagano Station
Get on the bus with you guide and heading to Togakushi.

Please note: Bus leaves at 9:40, so please meet our guide at 9:30. If you are late and we have other guests, unfortunately we will leave you and we cannot make refund.
10:45 / Arrival at Chu Sha Area
We arrive at Chu Sha area. We will see Chu Sha shrine and hike through Togakushi Kodo(hidden trail) and heading to KAGAMIIKE.
11:35 / Arrival at Kagamiike
Kagamiike Pond is a spectacular spot of fresh greens and forest where the mountains of Togakushi are reflected on the surface of the water like Kagami (mirror in Japanese)
11:45 / Pass by Tenmei Inari Shrine
Tenmei Inari Shrine are shrouded in the lush forests of Togakushi. The shrine is located between Kagami Pond and the Togakushi Okusha Shrine and is within the Togakushi Forest Reserve.
12:15 / Arrival at Zuijinmon at Oku Sha area
You will see 400 years old massive cedar trees linking to the path to Oku Sha. This journey into the heart of the forest is about 2km long and through the red Zuishinmon Gate, past cedar trees, up to the Main Hall which sits spectacularly on the mountainside of Mt. Togakushi. You will also visit to Kuzuryu Sha at this point.
12:50 / Kuzuryusha Shrine and Okusha Shrine
Arrival at Kuzuryusha Shrine, which is The former enshrines a nine-headed dragon, which governs water. Farmers make prayers for rain here. In addition, it is also worshipped as a god of matchmaking.

Arrival at Okusha Shrine, where is the innermost of the five Togakushi shrines. The shrine enshrines the god of strength, who moved the rock so that Amaterasu could come out of hiding. Okusha Shrine is considered the most important of the five Togakushi shrines.
13:20 / Lunch
You will have a break here after decent distance of walkiing. A littile bit late lunch time to avoid the busytime. Soba noodles are what you have for lunch. Soba is Nagano’s special product and also Togakushi Soba is one of the best and most famous Soba in Japan.
14:27 / Leaving Okusha Area
Bus will leave at 14 :27 and we go back to Nagano station.

Please note: If we cannot catch the bus at 13:27, next bus will be 15:17, so please have extra time for your next schedule after this tour.
15:40 / Tour concludes
Bus will arrive at Nagano station at 15:40, where the guide say goodbyes to you. The end of the time depends on the pace of the group and also the bus.

Please note: If we catch the bus at 15:17, tour will conclude at 16:30.
Please also note: Sometimes bus will be delayed, so please have extra time for your next schedule after this tour
Have a Question?

Feel free to reach out and we're happy to answer any questions you may have.

Togakushi Shrine Hiking Trails Tour
¥18,000/pp
  • Hiking Trails Tour
  • Includes: Lunch,
  • Duration: 6 hours
  • Group: From 2 to 8 pp

¥18,800 per person

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Info

  • Duration: 6-7 hours, starting at 09:20 am
  • Minimum: 2 people per tour
  • Maximum: 8 people per tour
  • Price: 18,000 JPY (incl. tax) per person, Child (3-12) 12,000 JPY (incl. tax)
  • Infants (0-2) are free of charge.  An infant lunch is not included 
  • Includes: Lunch & Tea, English-speaking guide
  • Excludes: Extra drinks and food (available to purchase), Bullet train tickets, Bus Ticket
  • Meeting location: Nagano Station
Professional Guide

Local expert, personable English-speaking guides

Walking tour

Please wear suitable cloths & shoes for walking. Togakushi sits at an altitude of around 1,100m above sea level. If it rains, it will be cold even in summer time.

Lunch & Tea

You will have one of the best Soba noodle, which is Togakushi speciality.

Instagram

Take the photo of spots on back street in Nagano for your Instagram album.

A littile bit about Togakushi Folk Tale.....

 

The god of Oku Sha is Ame-no-tajikarao

In japan mythology and according to Kojiki(Records of Ancient Matters), the bad behavior of Susano’o, the Japanese god of storms, drove his sister Amaterasu into the Ama-no-Iwato cave

Because Amaterasu is the goddess of sun, the land of Japan was deprived of light. So other gods came up with the idea to have a party just in front of Ame-no-Iwato cave. Amaterasu grew curious about the source of amusement and peeked out of the cave entrance. 

Then, there was Ame-no-tajikarao who is the strongest of the gods and forced the door of the cave open. He threw the door of Ama-no-Iwato cave as hard as he could. 

The place where the the door was dropped at was Togakushi shrine, Oku Sha. So, that is why Togakushi literally means “hiding door”.

When you check the distance between Ama-no-iwato shrine and Oku-sha(Togakushi shrine), Ama-no-iwato shrine  is in Miyazaki prefecture and the distance is over 1,000 km. 

Ok, this is just mythology and It is totally up to you if you believe this or not. However, you can feel mystic, silent, refined, historical and mysterious beauty from the atmosphere of Togakushi shrine. 

You will see why Togakushi shrine is one of the best spiritual places and as famous as Ise grand shrine and Izumo taisha

 

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