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    The Togakushi in Nagano district is famous for nature hiking, soba (buckwheat noodle), the Togakushi Shrines, and Ninjas. This 8-hour tour offers a hike in one of the most nature-abundant areas of Nagano, a traditional Japanese lunch, and a visit to the Ninja House. Learn more about Japan’s indigenous religion Shintoism, with explanations from a knowledgeable guide.

    The tour starts with a hike through a beautiful forest with several ponds. The highlights of the morning hike are discovering various types of wild plants and flowers as you walk along the hiking trail, as well as a visit to Kagami-ike Lake and the stunning view of Mt. Togakushi behind the lake. On days with no wind, you can see Mt. Togakusfhi reflected on the water’s surface. The hiking path also passes by a scenic spot where you can enjoy a view of the Japanese Alps and the valley below. 

    After hiking for approximately 2-hours, it is time for an authentic Japanese lunch of Soba, or buckwheat noodles in English. It is a traditional dish for people in Nagano, and Togakushi is especially famous for the distinctive taste of their soba because of the usage of the region’s clean water. The dish comes with tempura of shrimp and seasonal vegetables.

    After lunch, you will take the bus to the entrance of the upper Togakushi Okusha Shrine where you will set out on a hike on the pilgrimage path. While the entire Togakushi area is regarded as a sacred place in Shintoism, Togakushi Okusha Shrine is the most important place within the region and the very end of pilgrimage. Approximately 300 Cryptomeria trees are lined beautifully along the pilgrimage path. It is more than impressive enough to make visitors ponder the sacredness of Japanese Shintoism.

    After walking back from the Okusha Shrine, it is time for some recreation and learning at the Ninja Folklore Museum. At the museum, you will not only learn about the history and techniques used by the Togakushi ninja, you may also give escaping a ninja house filled with hidden doors and tricks a go. 

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