Mark from the States was one of our recent guests. He came to Nagano to escape the concrete jungle of Tokyo. Mark had planned on just spending one night, but when I explained about the snow monkeys of Jigokudani and the spiritual trees of Togakushi, he ended up staying 3 days and making day trips to the monkeys and Togakushi Mountain. And by the look on his face, I’d say he enjoyed his travels in Nagano.
Note: Nagano is starting to enter winter mode. Up at Togakushi Mountain, the path to Okusha Shrine which is lined by impressively huge cedar trees, is starting to get covered in snow.
I just spoke with fellow Nagano Ambassador, Zeno-san in Shibu-Yudanaka. He said the snow monkeys are now in their snowy element. I saw the Japanese Alps yesterday when I went to Matsumoto for a workshop — the snow level looks like it’s down to around 1000 meters. Down here in Togura Kamiyamada Onsen (elevation 370 meters above sea level), our hills are still in orangeish brown autumn leaf mode, quite a contrast with snowy-white Hakuba Mountain in the distance.
This is a time of transition here in Nagano. So come up and enjoy it, like Mark did!
Finally, a few more Togakushi Okusha pictures from Mark-san: