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A Quick Countryside Retreat in Nagatoro

  • Just two hours northwest of the deep downtown of Tokyo lies the tranquil atmosphere of Nagatoro, hiding in the mountain ranges of Saitama. A designated natural park, it is popular among both foreign and local tourists alike and boasts over 2 million visitors every year. Each season brings its own charm with autumn’s layers of golden foliage and winter’s sweet smelling ume blossoms, preceding the waves of cherry blossoms come spring. Nagatoro is the perfect day trip from Tokyo, travelers can easily have a full day in nature and return to the city for dinner.

    A Quick Countryside Retreat in Nagatoro

    A Quick Countryside Retreat in Nagatoro

    Nagotoro is easily accessible via shinkansen from Tokyo station to Kumagaya station, about a forty minute journey. After the shinkansen hop onto the Paleo Express, the only steam locomotive operating within proximity of Tokyo. Enjoy the uninterrupted scenery of the Chichibu mountains and the local countryside through the wide windows made for gazing. Keep in mind that the train only runs on weekends and holidays so please consult the schedule before adventuring.

    A Quick Countryside Retreat in Nagatoro

    A Quick Countryside Retreat in Nagatoro

    In between Nagatoro station and the Iwadatami Riverside is a traditional street serving the specialty of the region - soba noodles. Be sure to try the fresh buckwheat from Soba Hayashi. The shop serves soba both warm and cool, perfect for the changing temperatures of the season. The time-honored street provides a variety of delicacies in addition to noodles. Don’t forget about dessert, sumanju is popular all year round and soft serve ice cream is the perfect way to cool down in summer.

    A Quick Countryside Retreat in Nagatoro

    A Quick Countryside Retreat in Nagatoro

    Walk off the treats with a stroll along the Iwadatami Riverside, a six kilometer stretch of valley. The stony trail was originally named for the rock formations that resemble tatami layers. The riverside is easy to find as it's the destination point for most of Nagatoro’s activities. Only a few minutes from Nagatoro station, in between the station and restaurant district, it serves as an ideal post-lunch hike.

    A Quick Countryside Retreat in Nagatoro

    A Quick Countryside Retreat in Nagatoro

    Nagatoro is most famous for river boating, riding on a long wooden vessel navigated by an experienced boatman dressed in traditional garb. This combination of white water rafting and nature sightseeing is perfect for those seeking a thrill in this countryside town, with the friendly riverboating staff make the journey twice as fun. While river boating is the traditional option, white water rafting, canoeing and kayaking are also available for the more adventurous types. Boat rides are available from March to December and tickets are easily purchased close to Nagatoro station.

    A Quick Countryside Retreat in Nagatoro

    A Quick Countryside Retreat in Nagatoro

    A trip in Japan isn’t complete without a visit to a shrine. The 2,000 year old Hodosan shrine is decorated in elaborate sculptures designed to fend off troubles. The shrine boasts festivals in every season where visitors from all over Japan and the world pray for protection from natural disasters and personal issues. The shrine was awarded one star in the Michelin Green Guide second edition making it one of the most popular shrines in Saitama. Every month except June, September and October the shrine hosts festivals. Some of the more popular ones are August’s Funadama festival, where dozens of lanterns are lit along the Arakawa river, March’s Himatsuri, with its fire-walking monks, and May’s Okumiya festival, in celebration of the 88th day after the shrine was originally built.

    A Quick Countryside Retreat in Nagatoro

    A Quick Countryside Retreat in Nagatoro

    After extricating demons check out the peak of Mt. Hodosan which stands behind the shrine. Spend one to two hours hiking up the mountain or gaze at the seasonal scenery from the ropeway. Aerial views of autumn’s azaleas and golden foliage or the pink spread of cherry blossoms are best seen from this 832 meter length lift. The peak not only provides outstanding views of Chichibu’s glory but also houses a mini zoo where children can meet goats, monkeys and deer.

    長瀞
    Address
    埼玉県秩父郡長瀞町
    Phone
    Kumagaya
    Address
    Saitama Pref. Kumagayashi Tsukuba 2-chome
    Phone
    Sobashohayashi
    Address
    Saitama Pref. Chichibugunnagatoromachi Nagatoro 454-1
    Phone
    0494660222
  • 長瀞ラインくだり
    Address
    埼玉県秩父郡長瀞町長瀞489-2
    Phone
    0494-66-0950
    Hodosan-jinja Shrine
    Address
    Saitama Pref. Chichibugunnagatoromachi Nagatoro 1828
    Phone
    0494660084
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