Trip Ideas

Model Pilgrimage Hiking and Bamboo Craft-Making Course (spring or summer)

Start the morning with a hike along starting at Togakushi’s Chusha Shrine and a visit to the Seiryuden Museum. Then follow the ancient pilgrimage route to Okusha Shrine. The hike from the Chusha Shrine to the Okusha Shrine takes about one hour depending on the weather and your physical condition. The walk is of medium difficulty, but make sure to have a rain coat with you and adequate shoes for hiking. After a delicious lunch, try your hand at the traditional method of making bamboo crafts known as takezaiku.

Nagano Station

After arrival at Nagano station take bus number 70 bound for Togakushi Camp site.
Get off the bus at the Togakushi Chusha bus stop. It takes approximately 1 hour 4 minutes from Nagano Station.

Address : 1355-5 Suehirocho, Nagano-shi, Nagano-ken 380-0825 Japan

Bus timetable : Click here

70 minutes

Chusha Shrine and Seiryuden Museum

Chusha Shrine is closely related to the legend of Amano Iwato. The light deity Amaterasu or the "Sun Goddess" was driven into a cave by her brother, which then deprived the world of light and resulted in chaos. In order to lure Amaterasu out of the cave, all the deities held a festival with singing and dancing, and successfully convinced Amaterasu to open the cave. According to legend, the stone door from the cave then fell to earth becoming Mt. Togakushi. Omoikane-no-Mikoto who came up with the plan to lure Amaterasu out of the cave is enshrined here as the deity of wisdom.
Seiryuden Museum is situated adjacent to the Chusha Shrine and houses one of only five ivory geshaku in Japan (a national important cultural property) along with more than 40 other treasures and historical documents related to Togakushi Shrine.

Address : Chusha 3506 Togakushi, Nagano-shi, Nagano-ken 381-4101 Japan

30 minutes

Path to Okusha

The two-kilometer path to Okusha is lined with more than two hundred ancient cedar trees. Most of them have witnessed more than four hundred years of history. The spiritual atmosphere exuded here really gives you a sense of the majesty and power of nature.
Halfway to Okusha shrine, the Zuijin-mon gate will welcome you. This was formerly the Oku-in entrance gate. However, at the beginning of the 19th century, (Meiji restoration) with the mandatory separation of Shinto and Buddhism, the name of the gate was changed to Zuijin-mon.

40 minutes

Okusha Shrine

At the end of the hike, Okusha Shrine will come up on your right side. Situated deep in the heart of Mt. Togakushi is the main shrine of worship revered for helping wishes come true. In particular, it is known for granting good fortune and success at sports.
To the left of Okusha Shrine, you will find Kuzuryusha Shrine. This shrine houses the local deity and has the longest history of the five shrines of Togakushi. “Kuzuryu,” a dragon with nine heads, is regarded as the god of water and agriculture.

Address : 3690 Togakushi, Nagano-shi, Nagano-ken 381-4101 Japan

30 minutes

Togakushi Okusha bus stop

Return to the Togakushi Okusha bus stop and take the bus to Togakushi Chusha.
The trip is approximately 4 minutes by bus.

4 minutes


Lunch time: 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
There are a number of delicious soba restaurants in the area around the Chusha shrine.

5 minutes

Togakushi’s traditional bamboo crafts

Learn how to make Togakushi’s traditional bamboo crafts with a local craftsman at the Chusha shrine. Togakushi’s bamboo products are known for their durability as well as the use of geometric patterns that add beauty to their craftsmanship. They are further recognized for the fact that each is made by a single craftsman who is directly involved in every step of the production process.
To make a reservation, please e-mail us at:
Weekdays only. It takes approximately two hours to make a bamboo bud vase.
Lesson fee: 5,000 yen (includes materials)

70 minutes

Nagano Station

Depart from the Togakushi Chusha bus stop and take the bus back to Nagano station.
It takes approximately 1 hour and 8 minutes back to Nagano station.

Address : 1355-5 Suehirocho, Nagano-shi, Nagano-ken 380-0825 Japan

Bus timetable : Click here

Note: If you need a guide with an English interpreter, please contact us via e-mail. There are bears in this area, so we advise traveling in a group with a bell attached to your backpack.

Disclaimer: The Togakushi Tourism Association refuses all responsibility for accidents occurring when unaccompanied by a guide.