A holy mountain that draws hikers, pilgrims, and summer skiers from all over japan
Mt. Norikura, located in the Northern Japan Alps, is a majestic peak that stands as the third-highest in the range. It is not only a popular destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts but also renowned for its summer skiing. This mountain attracts people from all over Japan who seek adventure, spiritual fulfillment, and the chance to enjoy the beauty of nature.
How to Get There
Accessing Mt. Norikura can be a bit challenging as private vehicles are not allowed on the mountain. However, there are several alternative transportation options available. Buses, taxis, or bicycles are the only means of reaching the mountain. The road leading to Mt. Norikura is closed from November to May or June, depending on the weather conditions and the prefecture you are traveling from.
If you are traveling from Gifu Prefecture, buses depart from Hirayu Onsen every one or two hours. The journey takes approximately an hour and brings you to Norikura Bus Terminal, which is just a short walk away from the Fujimidake summit. On the other hand, if you are coming from Nagano Prefecture, buses leave from the Kanko Center in Norikura Kogen every one to two hours. The ride from Nagano Prefecture takes around 50 minutes.
The Great Outdoors
Mt. Norikura is situated between Gifu and Nagano prefectures, making it an essential part of any visit to the Okuhida area. There are three main reasons why people visit this mountain: leisurely strolling, serious hiking, and summer skiing.
For those looking for a leisurely experience, a 30-minute stroll will take you to the Katanokoya mountain hut. From there, you can continue on to Kengamine Peak, which is about an hour’s walk. Along the way, you will be treated to spectacular views of the surrounding landscapes. Throughout the season, vibrant wildflowers add bursts of color to the scenery, and during autumn, the leaves in the Okuhida area create a magnificent display.
Besides the breathtaking views, Mt. Norikura offers other beautiful sights to explore. One such sight is Ushidomeike, a large pond that was formed during Norikura’s last volcanic eruption. Another attraction is Zengoro Falls, a picturesque waterfall that showcases the power and beauty of nature. If you have the opportunity to visit nearby Shirahone Onsen, be sure to try the spring water, which is said to have beneficial effects on digestion.
The Hills are Alive
For those seeking a more in-depth exploration of the mountains, the trails at Mt. Norikura extend down to Norikura Kogen on the Nagano side. However, it is important to note that even in the height of summer, the weather in this area can change rapidly. Therefore, it is essential to come prepared with cold-weather gear and proper climbing boots to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.
While the road to Mt. Norikura is closed during the winter months, the mountain is still a haven for skiing enthusiasts throughout the summer. The high altitude ensures that there is enough snow to indulge in skiing and snowboarding even in the warmer months. Many thrill-seekers hike up the mountain and enjoy sliding down its slopes. The best part is that summer skiing on Mt. Norikura is free, and there are ski chalets in the area for those who wish to stay overnight.
In conclusion, Mt. Norikura is a holy mountain that offers a wide range of experiences for visitors. From hiking and strolling to skiing and enjoying the beauty of nature, this mountain has something for everyone. Whether you are seeking adventure, spiritual fulfillment, or simply a chance to connect with nature, Mt. Norikura should definitely be on your list of must-visit destinations in Japan. So plan your trip, pack your bags, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey to Mt. Norikura.
Address And Maps Location:
Azumi, Matsumoto-shi, Nagano-ken / Takayama-shi, Gifu-ken