Staff member in charge of inbound tourism
Born in 1966 in France, I graduated from Lyon National University with a degree in classic Japanese literature.
After working for 18 years as a columnist writing in Japanese for the Shinano Mainichi newspaper, I am working now as a freelance journalist and an inbound tourism consultant giving lectures about tourism to local people, translating guidebooks, and guiding tourists around Nagano.
Also, since 2010 I have been an advisor for the Togakushi Tourism Bureau. I have been living in Nagano for a long time and I am such a big fan of Togakushi, that my husband and I decided to establish our home here.
What brought me here ?
First, I should say that it was the magnificent Togakushi mountain range itself. There is something magnetic about these mountains. When I lived in Nagano city, I came to Togakushi almost every weekend. The landscape was so different every time we visited, that my husband and I simply have not grown tired of it even after all these years. At an altitude of 1,200 meters, our home is surrounded by a deep forest that envelopes the Togakushi Pilgrimage route to Okusha Shrine. The air is pure, the light is transparent, and the area is incredibly rich in flora and fauna. And of course, the local people are very kind. For all of that, I am deeply grateful.
Winter and green season offer a lot of outdoor activities such as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, bird watching, or hiking. Fill your days with fun or just immerse yourself in the beautiful nature, both are waiting for you here.
Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com. It would be my pleasure to welcome you at our Tourist Information Center.
In charge of Universal Tourism at Togakushi
For people with disabilities
The Togakushi Tourism Association aims to create a tourist destination that everyone, including people with disabilities can feel comfortable visiting. We therefore decided to establish The Togakushi Universal Tourism Desk in the Tourist Information Center.
We have been discussing how we can welcome people with disabilities to this beautiful rich natural plateau, the Togakushi Highland. In order to welcome people who need more personalized consideration and support, we received dedicated training and opened a specialized consultation desk.
At our consultation desk, we provide travel information and accommodation according to an individual’s physical condition. We rent wheelchairs for outdoor use, dual skis, and welfare equipment, and can dispatch specialized guides and caregivers.
You can enjoy wheelchair trekking or camping in the historic and rich nature of Togakushi. You can also enjoy skiing amid our spectacular winter scenery. The dual ski is operated by a qualified pilot here at Togakushi Ski Resort.
I am Tatsu, a staff member at the tourism desk and a wheelchair user myself. I also enjoy riding an outdoor wheelchair in Togakushi Highland. I recommend wheelchair trekking from Togakushi Botanical Forest Reserve to Zuijinmon gate or from Togakushi Campsite to the Togakushi Bokujo pasture trekking course.
We can bring a wheelchair or welfare equipment up to where you want to use them. I am always grateful when people contact and consult with us.
We will support your special needs as much as possible.
Please feel free to contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
English speaking staff at Tonkururin
I moved to Togakushi after getting married. Up until then, I worked in an office job in Tokyo so moving out into the deep countryside was a totally new experience for me. I instantly fell in love with the beautiful surrounding environment: wide white fields full of buckwheat soba flowers against the rugged terrain of Mt.Togakushi; the historic mysticism surrounding its past as a spiritual training ground for mountain ascetics and ninja; the lovely footpaths (kodo) through unspoiled forests that lead to the famous five old shrines of Togakushi (五社 gosha) … Togakushi is a significant place both from a historic perspective as a religious pilgrimage site dating back 800 years, and from an environmental perspective as a national park; its unique climatic conditions (high altitude and cold winters) giving birth to rare flora/fauna and housing abundant wildlife. Soon I discovered that the local people were kind and friendly too by working side by side with them in a part-time job at a nearby soba (buckwheat noodles) shop. Soba (buckwheat) is a crop that grows well despite Togakushi’s harsh climate and thus has had a long history here. As I got to know more people, I gradually realized that everyone is connected to everyone in this tight-knit community, which was another entirely new experience after leading a city life where everyone is kind of a stranger. Soba and tourism being the main industry up here, soba farmers, soba merchants, and soba noodle shops (of which there are 30-40) all work in collaboration with each other as well as shrines and adjacent inns (shukubo) where soba also plays an important role as food for the deities and visiting guests. I feel most people are connected through soba in one way or another and are working in harmony to keep this traditional way of life up and running. It is truly a unique place to visit both for those seeking a glimpse into a traditional Japanese way of life, and for those who just want a good outdoor experience, whether it be skiing in the winter or climbing up the various mountains surrounding Togakushi (Mt. Iizuna, Mt. Kurohime, Mt. Takatsuma, and Mt. Togakushi) or simply to enjoy a delicious bowl of soba! I personally look forward to settling down and spreading roots here in this beautiful friendly community watching the peaceful cycle of the seasons passing by.
Shinobu Tanaka - Gunadi
English speaking staff at Donguri House
My husband and I decided to move here because of the beautiful nature. We have always lived in the cities but enjoyed going to the mountains to just get away for the weekend. We could immediately tell the air was fresh and the water tasted so delicious. Before the move, our dog was diagnosed with a liver disease and was not expected to live for more than a month. He had a major surgery and his belly and arms were shaved for his incision area and his IV catheter placement. We fully expected for him to be gone before we settled in. But he lasted for over a year! Our neighbors had no idea he was dying. He was so full of energy. They thought he was a weird breed because of his interesting coat with his shaved hair never growing back. (Normal healthy dogs grow back their hair in couple of weeks.) We believe that it was the air, water and all the nature of the mountains that perked him up for another full year.
We have been living here for 7 years now and to this day, every time I drive back up to our mountains and see the view of the cities below, or being at eye level with the clouds, I thank God for letting us live here in such a place.
I work in a small gift and cafe shop by Kagami Ike (Lake) called Donguri House. I feel so blessed to be able to work here. The view of the lake and the Togakushi Mountains behind it is just amazing. I get to see the slow and peaceful change of the seasons everyday I am working. You can really see, hear and feel the rhythm of the nature. I especially love when a customer comes to the cafe with a book or a sketchbook in hand and ordering a cup of coffee, sits and draws, sketches or reads and taking in the view of the lake and the mountains. You can see their body just relaxing. I am sure they were able to catch that rhythm.
When I am there, late afternoon is my most favorite time of the day to take a peak outside. The sun just hits the trees, Kagami Ike and The Nishi Peak-Togakushi Mountains perfectly and it is beautiful. Everything is sparkling just so. Even when the day has been so busy and you have been running on your feet all day long, it is a nice time to take a deep breath and let it all out and take in that beautiful moment God has provided for you.
If you need a place to get away, then come to the mountains and spend a day being surrounded by the sounds of the birds and other wildlife, trees, wild seasonal flowers, lakes, hills and mountain air and great views. Just do make sure you stop, be still and then take them all in. I am sure you will feel the rhythm of the seasons as well.