Tsuboniwa Natural Park

A Japanese rock garden created by the hand of Nature

This little gem is located on the Northern side of the quasi-national park of Yatsugatake at 2237m above sea level, easily accessible via the Kita-Yatsugatake Ropeway with a short 7min ride.

Tsuboniwa is a piece of art created by the hand of Nature. The park, which originated from a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago, looks like a traditional Japanese garden (thus the name “tsuboniwa”) with windswept short pines and igneous rocks generated by hardened lava as its main decorative elements.

The panorama from the observation deck right next to the ropeway station is spectacular. You have an unobstructed view of the Yatsugatake Mountains, the three ranges of the Alps, Mt. Ontake and Kirigamine.

There is a pleasant hiking course through the park suitable for any age and level that you can complete in about 40min. Tsuboniwa, though, is also a great starting line for more challenging treks. From here you can climb up Mt. Shimagare-yama or Mt. Yoko-dake quite easily.

In winter, the mountain gets covered by a thick layer of pure white snow. You can ski and snowboard at the Pilatus Tateshina Snow Resort or enjoy a hike into the mountain with snow shoes. The biggest attractions at this time of the year are the “snow monsters”, tall snow-covered trees, and riming, frozen water droplets hanging from the tree branches.

Seasons:
*The dates below are approximate and may slightly vary depending on the weather.

Green Season_ From mid-April to late September
Autumn season_ From late September to early October
Winter season_ From mid-December to late March

Flowers:
Lingonberry _ June to July
Fringed Galax_ June to July
Japanese Rhododendron_ July


Hiking info:

Kita-Yatsugatake Ropeway station (1771m/ base station) → (Take Ropeway/ 7min) → Ropeway station (2237m/ Tsuboniwa station) → One lapse around Tsuboniwa natural park (40min) → Tsuboniwa Ropeway station → (Take Ropeway/ 7min) → Ropeway Base station

Distance: 1.15km
Time required: about 40min
Level: 1

Trekking info:

Course 1: Kita-Yatsugatake Ropeway station (1771m/ base station) → (Take Ropeway/ 7min) → Ropeway station (2237m/ Tsuboniwa station) 20min→Amaike Pass 40min→ Mt.Shimare-yama (summit) 50min→Go-tsuji 40min→ Tsuboniwa Ropeway station → (Take Ropeway/ 7min) → Ropeway Base station
*using the ropeway. Trekking shoes required.

Time required: about 3h
Level: 2


Course 2: Kita-Yatsugatake Ropeway station (1771m/ base station) → (Take Ropeway/ 7min) → Ropeway station (2237m/ Tsuboniwa station) 2h → Mt. Kita-Yokodake (summit) 1h40min → Tsuboniwa Ropeway station → (Take Ropeway/ 7min) → Ropeway Base station
*using the ropeway. Trekking shoes required.

Time required: about 4h
Level: 2

INFORMATION

Address
4035-2541 Kitayama, Chino, Nagano Pref
Access by car
40 min by car from Suwa IC (23 km)+ 7 min by ropeway
Park the car at Kita-Yatsugatake Ropeway parking lot
Access by train
60 min by bus from JR Chino Station + 7 min by ropeway
Kita-Yatsugatake Ropeway line - Kita-Yatsugatake Ropeway bus stop

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