Posts Tagged ‘nagano’

Special ride in Nagano

May 26, 2017

DSC_0276

We, staffs of Tokyo Great Cycling Tour traveled to Karuizawa, Nagano during Golden Week holiday in this year as has happened in the past.

This year, we have decided to head to Kirizumi Onsen which is located in the deep mountain in Gunma prefecture. karuizawa map

The first 2 hours were rather easy ride with lots of fun. With decent distance and angle of hill climbing, we enjoyed watching cherry blossoms in the mountain. Here is about 1200 meters high from the sea level, so flowers have just started blooming. We were trying to cycle in the same pace as we were afraid of meeting bears who might have just come out from their hibernation. Yes, there are many bears in this mountain! Actually the area is named Kuma no Daira and Kuma means bear in Japanese.

 

IMG_2268

Two hours later we arrived at a kind of dead end but we found the sign pointing the very steep cliff and narrow road to Kirizumi Onsen.

IMG_2276.JPG

IMG_2280

We put our bikes on our shoulders and climbing up this mountain wall standing in front of us. There are not many pictures we could take as the road was so hard and we didn’t have enough remaining power to do so… Some parts of the road were very slippery and one side of the slope face is all the way down to the bottom of the valley…!

IMG_1729

After another one hour of cycling (well, actually we were pushing our bike most of the parts), we finally arrived Kirizumi Onsen. It was truly a hidden gem, very quiet even in Golden Week and wonderful location Onsen in the serene hush. Onsen water contains lots of carbonic acid so when you soak in the bath you can see your hands and legs would be wrapped lots of fine bubbles. We had late lunch along a fresh stream.

IMG_2284

The time spending in the heaven can last only a short time… We need to cycle back to Karuizawa. We cycle down from Kirizumi Onsen which locates 1200 meters elevation to 400 meters (fun and easy!)  and then hill climb again to Karuizawa which also is 1200 meters! What the hell !!!

IMG_2291

In total, we are very much enjoying a day between the heaven and the hell. If you are interested in this route, we can tell you more details, or you can join us next year golden week 🙂

Advertisements

There is a happy hell in Japan !

March 12, 2015

P1030893

Hi there. I am Masa.

I visited snow monkey park in new year holiday with my family.

We saw many monkeys soaking in the natural hot spring.That was very interesting.

The official name of Snow monkey park is Jigokudani- Yaen-koen (地獄谷野猿公園) which literary means Hell valley wild monkey park.

In Japan hot spring where we can see the steam of geothermal heat comes out from the ground is often called as Jigoku (hell). It is a hell but like the Paradise!

Jigokudani Yaen Koen is the only place we can see wild monkeys soaking in the bath.

The way monkeys enjoying the bath is completely same as human being taking bath.

P1030897

There are many monkeys in the park.They all are wild monkeys living in mountains. Actually they are coming down to the park every morning to enjoy hot spring and food and they go back home every evening.

Though they are originally just called Saru (monkey) in Japan, overseas tourists who saw monkey soaking in the hot spring surrounded by much snow found interesting and started to call them Snow monkey and now they become world famous. Lots of tourists from all over the world come to see them.

P1030895

The park is located in Nagano prefecture north-west of Tokyo, where is mountainous area with deep snow in winter and also good Onsens. Shiga Kogen ski resort is reachable in 30 min. by car.

http://www.jigokudani-yaenkoen.co.jp/

Did  you know in Japan even capybaras (or capibaras) are also big fans of Onsen? They are originally from southern America. Maybe the winter in Japan is too cold so that they come to fall in love with Onsen ! You can see them at Izu Cactus park, Saitama children’s zoo and some other zoos in Japan.

i1067476-1384778895