Tsugaike Nature Park Opening Festival
Summer in Tsugaike Kogen officially begins with the resumed operation of the “Tsugaike Panorama Way” (gondola and ropeway) and the opening of the Tsugaike Nature Park for the green season. At 1,900 m, the Tsugaike Nature Park is home to a unique alpine ecosystem harboring many precious mountain plants. Flowering Asian Skunk Cabbage (“Mizubasho”) are the first to bloom with the spring thaw, followed by an ever-changing landscape marked by the seasonal blooming of other floral varieties. This is a great location to take in the beauty of the natural landscape and changing seasons. The opening festival itself kicks off with a brief shinto blessing in front of the Nature Park Visitor Center, followed by traditional display of pounding rice into mochi. As a bonus, pick up some of the fresh made mochi on your way in our out of the park.
Date June 1st Inquiries Otari Development Corporation
TEL: +81 (0)261-82-3053
Tsugaike Cycle Classic 2019
2019 marks the 30th anniversary of the Tsugaike Cycle Classic hill-climb race. The race is held at the beginning of the green season, and challenges riders to climb some 1,200 m over a distance of 17 km, finishing at the Tsugaike Nature Park and its remaining snowfields. An average incline of 7% across the entire route, with a maximum of 10%, tests the physical and mental limits of the racers. Participants are separated into groups by age and gender, and further into road and mountain bike categories. Despite the steep challenge (literally), participants range from students and amateur riders all the way to top-level racers. Applications sent by mail must be received by May 10th, while the deadline for online entry is May 12th. Racers who participated in the last two years are automatically sent event overview and application forms in mid-April. If you would like to request information and an application by mail, please contact us directly by telephone.
Date Jun 2nd (Sat.) – 3rd (Sun.) in 2018 June 2nd: Sign in and trial run (afternoon)
June 3rd: Sign in and race (in the morning)
Location Tsugaike Kogen Fees Adults: ¥7,000
High School Students & Younger: ¥5,000
Event Page Tsugaike Cycle Classic 2019 [Official Homepage] (Japanese Only) Inquiries Tsugaike Kogen Tourism Association
Tsugaike Cycle Committee
TEL: +81 (0)261-83-2515
Tsugaike Nature Park “Mizubasho” Festival 2019
“Mizubasho” are the pure white flowers that bloom in abundance in the marshes of the Tsugaike Nature Park in conjunction with the spring snow melt. They are known by the less than flattering name of “Asian Skunk Cabbage” in English, but don’t let that moniker put you off, as the vast fields of pure white flowers blooming against the stunning backdrop of Hakuba’s three famous peaks (Mt. Shirouma, Mt. Shakushi and Mt. Hakuba-Yari) is a true sight to behold.
Dates June 1st (Sat.) & 2nd (Sun.) Location Tsugaike Nature Park Inquiries Otari Village Tourism Bureau
TEL: +81 (0)261-82-2233
Hakuba Norikura Firefly Park (“Hotaru Koen”)
This quaint park surrounded by rice fields and bordered by a small, clear agricultural canal lined with a thick cluster of trees, bushes and flowering plants, provides the perfect habitat for fireflies. Combine this with the area’s total absence of light pollution, and an evening visit between mid-June and the end of August is almost guaranteed to reward visitors with views of hundreds of fireflies fluttering under a starry sky. July is the peak period and it is said that humid days with no breeze, or periods just before rain are when the fireflies are most active.
Location “Hotaru Koen”
*The park is located behind the Silver Fern Lodge and next to the Hakuba Norikura Tourism Association (“Chanmero”) building.
Inquiries Hakuba Norikura Firefly Association (Japanese Only)
TEL: +81 (0)80-2258-7739
Tsugaike Nature Park Walking Tour with a Nature Guide
Enjoy a basic tour of the Tsugaike Nature Park with a local guide, and learn more about the area’s various alpine flowers and unique ecosystem. This guided walk takes you along the wooden footpath on a relatively flat and easy course, past two separate marshes to the Kusu River, which marks the midpoint of the park. After making your way back to the park entrance and returning via the gondola, why not take a relaxing dip at the “Tsuga-no-yu” hot spring located right at the base of the gondola station?
Dates From July 1st to August 31st Schedule 8:40 – Meet at the Tsugaike Nature Park Visitor’s Center
9:00 to 14:00* – Exploring the Tsugaike Nature Park
*Reservations must be made at least 3 days in advance.
Fees Adults: ¥6,500
*Panorama Way (gondola + ropeway) ticket, Nature Park admission, guide fees and insurance are included in the price.
Minimum number of participants 2 (Maximum number of participants is 15) Inquiries Otari Village Tourism Bureau
TEL: +81 (0)261-82-2233
Tsugaike Nature Park Guide Club Tour
Learn about the Tsugaike Nature Park’s geography, wild life, surrounding mountains, weather patterns and more on a guided walk with an expert local guide. Choose between a two, three or four-hour tour, each of which takes you deeper and deeper into the park.
Fees 2 hour tour (to the “Kusu” River): ¥10,000
3 hour tour (to the “Ukijima” Marsh): ¥15,000
4 hour tour (to the “Tenbo” Marsh): ¥20,000
*Fees are charged per group and cover the service of one guide.
Minimum number of participants 1 (Maximum number of participants is 15 per guide) Inquiry Tsugaike Nature Park Guide Club
TEL: +81 (0)90-3241-3083
Nakaya Omiya Suwa Shrine Annual Festival 2019
This local summer festival held annually on the grounds of an ancient and important shrine features several types of traditional dance recognized for their historical and cultural significance as “Intangible Cultural Folk Assets” by the prefectural government of Nagano. Come and experience the atmosphere and festivities of this authentic village festival.
Dates August 24th (Sat.) & 25th (Sun.) Location Nakaya Omiya Suwa Shrine
13722 Nakatsuchi, Otari, Kitaazumi-gun, Nagano 399-9511
Access Buses bound for Otari Onsen run direct from Tsugaike to Nakaya several times per day. Omiya Suwa Shrine is located a 10-minute walk from the “Nakatsuchi Kyoku-Mae” bus stop along this route. Inquiries Otari Village Tourism Bureau
TEL: +81 (0)261-82-2233