September 13, 2006

Norikura, 乗鞍

Facts about Norikura
Norikura marks the end of the Skyline Road, the highest in Japan with an elevation that at times exceeds 3000 metres


Norikura (乗鞍) is a plateau around Nagano's western border with Gifu. It ranges in height from 1,400 to 1,500 m, and is surrounded by white birch, plum and larch trees. Mt. Norikura-dake near the plateau contains Ushidome Pond, which was formed by a volcanic eruption. It is surrounded by evergreen trees, and its surface reflects their green leaves and the 23 peaks of Mt. Norikura-dake.

In Ichinose Pasture, located almost in the middle of Norikura Plateau, dairy cows are put out to graze from early summer till the autumn. There are lots of walks to enjoy around the pond. The time required for them ranges from 40 Minutes to 1 Hour 20 Minutes. On the walking course near Zengoro-no-taki Fall, you can go near enough to the waterfall to be showered by spray.

Shirahone-onsen Hot Spring in the north of Norikura is said to have been opened about 600 years ago. The hot water is milky and contains pure hydrogen sulfide. It is drinkable and retains heat, making it good for ailments of the stomach and intestines.

How to get there

Matsumoto is 2 hours 40 minutes from Shinjuku Station by Limited Express by JR Chuo Honsen Line. It takes 30 minutes by the Matsumoto Dentetsu Kamikochi Line to get from Matsumoto Station to Shin-shimashima Station. A Matsumoto Dentetsu bus takes 40 minutes from Shin-shimashima Station to Odakimae or 55 minutes to Shirahone-onsen Hot Spring.


The ray of morning sunlight at Kamikochi camping site

Beautiful morning mist at Kamikochi camping site

Sunrise mountain view at Kamikochi Camping site

The famous Kapabashi bridge, 河童橋

Wild flowers at Norikura

Wild flowers at Norikura

A twisted tree branch at Norikura

The mirror reflection lake of Ushitomeike, 牛留池

The serene hiking path at Norikura

One of the main attraction of Norikura is this Bantokoro waterfall, 番所滝

The greenery of Norikura

** for more photos, click here

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Jia Ren said...

What a wonderful and beautiful place to visit.Make me wanna come to Japan and visit it :)

Eddie said...

i like your pictures,
the first and second are very good.
the macro shots are nice.

we have almost the same picture of the Bantokoro fall.

ushitome pond is different from mine.