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[Border between Nagano and Gunma ]About Usui Pass in Karuizawa Town

[Border between Nagano and Gunma ]About Usui Pass in Karuizawa Town


A spot on the border between Gunma and Nagano Prefectures with spectacular views. "Old Usui Pass ".
This article introduces the observation park at an altitude of 1,200 meters, which offers such a wonderful view, and the surrounding tourist attractions.
Karuizawa, a summer resort and at an altitude of 1,200 meters, is a refreshing place to visit even in summer.
It is highly recommended when you want a change of scenery and want to enjoy the autumn leaves!

There is also the "red bus "that runs from Kyukaruizawa to the gazebo, so why don't you enjoy the autumn nature while enjoying the scenery?

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Old Usui Pass Scenic Trail

This is a difficult pass that many travelers crossed as the main road of Nakasendo, one of the five highways established in the Edo period (1603-1868).
There are many ways to enjoy the Old Usui Pass scenic route depending on where you choose to start.
It is approximately 4 km one way and takes about 1 hour.

Near the entrance to the boardwalk by the Futate Bridge, which is the starting point of the tour, there is a flat path through the villa area.
You can enjoy a luxurious adult atmosphere while feeling the cool breeze.
From late April to late November, a bus service operates between Old Karuizawa and the gazebo, making it easy to hike up there and take the bus back down!

This is a path where you can enjoy nature to the fullest, with fresh greenery such as kobushi (Japanese knapweed) and mountain cherry blossoms in the spring and autumn leaves in the fall, as well as encounters with wild birds.
There is also a wooden suspension bridge along the way that offers a thrilling and powerful experience!

Since there are unpaved paths and slightly steep climbs, serious mountaineering equipment is not necessary, but it is recommended to visit with comfortable walking shoes.

"Facility Information "
Name: Old Usui Pass scenic trail
Address: 1 Toge-cho, Karuizawa-cho, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano, Japan
Fee: None
Access by car: 13 km from Usui Karuizawa IC, about 30 minutes
Access by train: 4 minutes by bus from Karuizawa Station on the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen Line

Kumano Imperial Shrine

"It is one of the three major Kumano "shrines in Japan, and is unusual in that the center of the main shrine is located on the border between Nagano and Gunma prefectures.
It is located at the top of the Usui Pass, at an altitude of 1,200 meters above sea level.

On the Nagano Prefecture side, it is called "Kumano Imperial Shrine "and on the Gunma Prefecture side, it is called "Kumano Shrine ". This ancient shrine was built by Yamatotakeru. It is designated as a special shrine in Shinano-kuni.

Ficus erecta (species of ficus)

"Tie, kumaru "called "shina "a power spot believed to be a tree of luck and matchmaking because of its etymology and the heart shape of its leaves "shina tree ".
Designated as a natural monument by Nagano Prefecture, this sacred tree is noted for its mysterious power, and is said to bring good fortune and good luck.

Heart Stepping Stones

Some of the stones around the sacred tree are heart stones.
In fact, there are many hearts hidden in this Kumano Imperial Shrine!

Hearts are also decorated on the red seal length, the yatagarasu red seal, stepping stones, buildings near the torii gate, and the shina tree, the sacred tree of the shrine.
Please try to find it when you visit!

Also, because it is a popular vacation home location, many people are seen with their dogs!
It is a great walking course, and the Kumano Imperial Shrine also offers "Inumikuji "and other dog charms!
Please visit the temple with your dog!

"Facility Information "
Name: Kumano Imperial Shrine
Address: 1 Toge-cho, Karuizawa-cho, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano, Japan
Phone number: 026-742-5749

teahouse built on the border between prefectures

Located on the border of the prefecture. "Ganso Riki Mochi Shigenoya ". A long-established sweet shop established over 300 years ago.
The famous chikurimochi (rice cake), a specialty of Old Usui on the Nakasendo Highway and eaten by travelers on the Nakasendo route in those days, comes in a variety of flavors, including red bean paste, walnut, and soybean flour.

Because the prefectural border passes through the restaurant, the kitchen is separated from Gunma Prefecture and the restrooms from Nagano Prefecture.
It is also unusual to have two addresses: 2 Toge, Karuizawa-cho, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano Prefecture, and 3 Toge, Annaka-shi, Gunma Prefecture!

The view from the terrace where the red line of the prefectural border runs is quite good, but the second floor also has a "observation platform "that offers a nice view as far as Mt. Tsukuba on a clear day.

The food is attractive, of course, but the most unique feature of this restaurant is the restroom!
Both the men's and women's restrooms are nicely set up.
The men's restroom, in particular, has a sense of openness and interesting features that you may not have experienced before!
More details will be available upon your actual visit.

"Facility Information "
Name: Toge no Chikara Mochi Ganso Shigenoya
Address: 2 Toge, Karuizawa-cho, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano Prefecture; 3 Toge, Annaka-shi, Gunma Prefecture
Phone number: 0267-42-5749

Old Usui Usui Kokuji Miharidai (碓氷峠見晴台)

Gazebo near the top of the old mountain road.
Located on the border of Nagano and Gunma prefectures, "the gazebo "as its name suggests, offers a panoramic view of the mountains in the distance!

Heading uphill on the cobblestone road, you will reach the bright open "gazebo ".

As its name suggests, it has an excellent view of the mountains.
On a clear day, Mt. Asama, Mt. Fuji, Mt. Yatsugatake, the Northern Alps, and Mt. Akagi can be seen!

The autumn leaves are also very beautiful, so please visit!

"Facility Information "
Name:Old Usui Usui Kokuji Miharitai
Address: Toge-cho, Karuizawa-cho, Kitasaku-gun
Access by car: 16 km or 35 minutes from Usui Karuizawa IC
Access by train: 15 minutes by cab from Karuizawa Station on the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen Line
Parking: Available

apt road

It is a 6-kilometer one-way, 4-hour round-trip walkway from near Yokogawa Station on the JR Shinetsu Main Line to the former Kumanodaira Station, using an abandoned railway bed from the era of the Apt Railway. "The Apt Path "
Lighting hours in the tunnel are from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, so it is recommended to start hiking by 2:00 pm and return before lights out.

Maruyama Substation

A brick building built in 1911 for the electrification of the Usui Line "Maruyama Substation ".
Conservation and restoration work was conducted in 2001 and 2002 (2001 and 2002), and the exterior and roof were restored to their original state, allowing visitors to feel the atmosphere of those days (currently, only the exterior can be visited).

"Facility Information "
Name: Maruyama Substation
Address: Yokogawa, Matsuida-cho, Annaka-shi, Gunma
Closed: No holidays
Fee: Free of charge
Access by car: 40 minute walk from JR Shinetsu Sen Yokogawa Station
Parking: None

Lake Usui

Lake Usui is an artificial lake created by damming up the confluence of the Nakao River and the Usui River "Lake Usui ".
Covered on all sides by large trees of endemic forest, the area offers a beautiful sight in each of the four seasons.
There is a 1.2-kilometer walking path along the lakeside that can be circled in about 20 minutes, attracting many visitors to catch a glimpse of the autumn leaves.

"Facility Information "
Name:Lake Usui
Address: Sakamoto, Matsuida-cho, Annaka-shi, Gunma
Access by train: 1 hour and 15 minutes on foot from Yokogawa Station on the JR Shinetsu Main Line
Access by car: 15 minutes from Matsuida Myogi IC on Boshoku Expressway
Parking: Available (free of charge)

Usui No. 3 Bridge (Megane Bridge)

The Usui No. 3 Bridge (Megane Bridge), a National Important Cultural Property, was completed in 1892.
The bridge is 31 meters high from the river bottom and is characterized by its brick arches.

This beautiful brick arch bridge, a fusion of art and technology, allows visitors to enjoy the contrast between the vivid greenery and bricks during the season of fresh greenery, and the way the bricks blend in with the autumn leaves during the season of autumn.

Its scenery has become famous through various magazines and social networking sites, and its majestic bridge is a sight to behold.
The last stop on the Apt Road is the old Kumanodaira Station.
We recommend that you visit with comfortable walking shoes.

"Facility Information "
Name: Usui Daisan Bridge, commonly known as "Megane Bridge "
Address: Sakamoto, Matsuida-cho, Annaka-shi, Gunma
Fee: Free of charge
Access by train: 1 hour and 20 minutes on foot from JR Shinetsu Yokogawa Station
Access by car: 15 minutes from Matsuida Myogi IC on Joshinetsu Expressway
Parking: Available (free of charge)

Yokogawa Area

Yokogawa Station

Yokogawa Station, which can be reached by the Apt Road.
The JR Shinetsu Main Line, which once connected Gunma and Nagano prefectures, is now divided by the Usui Pass.
A rail line once ran to Karuizawa, but that line was abandoned when the Nagano Shinkansen bullet train opened on October 1, 1997.
As a result, Yokogawa Station has become a terminus and a sacred place for many railroad fans.

"Facility Information "
Name: Yokogawa Station
Address: Yokogawa, Matsuida-cho, Annaka-shi, Gunma 379-0301
Phone number: 050-2016-1600
Access by car: 4.3 km from Joetsu Expressway "Matsuida Myogi IC "

rice cooked over the mountain pass

Specialty Gourmet, Oginoya's "Touge no Kamameshi ".
In the past, the work to be connected to the traction car was done at this station because of the steep slope from here to Karuizawa.
During this waiting period, the passengers were sold kamameshi, which is a type of rice cake made in the mountain pass.
It has even been called the most famous ekiben in Japan, and many of you have probably seen it before as it is gaining popularity.
At 1,000 yen a piece, its taste is of course outstanding!
It comes in a Mashiko ware container, which is one of the charms of this product, and also allows you to enjoy the travel atmosphere.
You can still get it on the platform, at the Yokogawa parking lot, or in front of the station, so be sure to try it when you visit!

"Facility Information "
Name: Oginoya
Store List/Address
Yokogawa Main Store
Address: 399 Yokogawa, Matsuida-cho, Annaka-shi, Gunma 379-0301
Hours of operation: 10:00-16:00
Phone number: 027-395-2311

Joetsu Expressway Yokogawa SA (up line)
Address: 917 Aza Idoiri, Yokogawa, Matsuida-cho, Annaka-shi, Gunma 379-0301
Business hours: 11:00 - 21:00
Phone number: 027-395-3535

Joetsu Expressway Tobu Yunomaru SA (down line)
Address: 1853-1, Nemitsu, Tomi-city, Nagano, 389-0506, Japan
Business hours: 10:00-17:00
Phone number: 0268-62-6102

Yokogawa Store
Address: 297-1 Yokogawa, Matsuida-cho, Annaka-shi, Gunma 379-0301
Business hours: 9:00-17:00
Phone number: 027-395-2431

Suwa Branch
Oginoya Tokyo
Other stores

Ramie Waterfall

Just across the suspension bridge from National Highway 18, "Aso Falls Nature Park "offers a tour of seven waterfalls.
The deepest of these waterfalls is the Ramo Falls.
It takes about 10 minutes on foot from the entrance of the trail to reach the falls, which have a powerful 40-meter drop.
It was so named because of the spectacular view that looks like a hanging hemp screen, but when the water level rises, it becomes quite large, as shown in the photo.

It is also possible to get close to the waterfall basin from the boardwalk. However, on days when the water volume is high, it is advisable to be prepared to get soaked as a large amount of water splashes down!

"Facility Information "
Name: Ramo Falls
Address:〒379-0301 Gunma Yasunaka City


This article introduced the old Usui Pass ", which borders Nagano and Gunma prefectures and offers a panoramic view of Mount Asama, the Myogi mountain range, the Southern Alps and the Yatsugatake Mountains on clear days, and a sea of clouds below when conditions are right. "and the surrounding tourist attractions!

The breathtaking view spreads out before your eyes.
There are many places to see, including the border between the two prefectures, which you should visit at least once, and the Megane Bridge, which has been featured on the cover of a tourist magazine.

We invite you to travel to Karuizawa this fall to experience the great outdoors.

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