90 min From Takayama
70 min From Matsumoto
1,500 m (4,921 ft)
- Great powder snow at Blue Resort Norikura Ski Area
- Seeing the Milky Way with your naked eyes
- Zengoro Falls – It’s a beautiful spot to visit all year round
HOW TO GET HERE
Offering a wide range of accommodations—from campsites to lodges and traditional ryokan inns—this area is often used as a base for hikers and cyclists headed to nearby peaks in the Northern Alp Birthplace of the Japanese Alps–Discover, Experience and Share the Wonder.
But there is more to this charming area than just convenient lodging. A vibrant community of several hundred people have made this alpine village their home, despite the harsh natural environment of winter months at high altitudes. For visitors, those conditions are part of the attraction, along with three hot-spring sources that feed a variety of relaxing bathing options.
There are three waterfalls within hiking distance from the village. Zengoro Falls, the most easily accessible, is 21.5 meters high and 8 meters wide and is only a 1200-meter walk southwest of the Norikura Visitor Center. Most of the cascades freeze over in winter, making for spectacular ice formations that are accessible with snowshoes. In May, the area’s many marshes are bright with the white blooms of mizubasho, or Asian skunk cabbage. A short trek on a boardwalk through a marsh leads to Ushidome Pond, where, during the green season, visitors can take in views of the surrounding forest and of the peaks of the Northern Alps reflected in the still waters.