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Japan’s Own Long Trail: Central Dividing Ridge Trail

Walk through the highland with a variety of scenic views.
  • Duration
    3Days / 18.5Hours
    Highest Point
    2006m
    Elevation Gain
    690m
  • Skill Level
    Fitness Level
    Gear Level

The Central Dividing Ridge Trail is located in the central part of Nagano Prefecture, spanning Nagato Farm to Utsukushigahara-kogen Highland via Lake Shirakaba (Shirakaba-ko), Yashima wetland (Yashima shitsugen), Wada-toge Pass and Tobira-toge Pass. It is a U-shaped course and approximately 40 kilometers in total length. It runs on a highland area of approximately 1400 to 2000 meters above sea level, and offers a variety of scenic views including farm, forest, lakes wetland and grass field. It is divided into five official sections from A to E, and this course introduces a three-day plan, hiking sections A and B on Day 1, C and D on Day 2 and E on Day 3.

Day 1 starts from proceeding through the pastureland of Nagato Farm and into the forest. Walk through the wetland named Ushikubi-shitsugen and across a small river, hike up the trail among the bamboo grass land to get to Lake Megami (Megami-ko).


Cross another small river and walk through the forest, proceed on over the mountain stream that has a waterfall, known as Hakurakutenno-taki
Falls, until coming to a roadway. The end of the Section A, Daimon-toge Pass is approximately 4 hours away from Nagato Farm.


From Daimon-toge Pass, ascend and descend several times on the ridgeline that functions as a fire belt, and hikers will arrive at the area called Kurumayama-nokkoshi, where the view of Kurumayama wetland stretches straight ahead. Enjoy the great view of the mountains of the Southern Japanese Alps, including Mt. Kaikomagatake.


Go north at the fork and proceed on the foot of the ridge that has a ski slope on the right, and the trail reaches Yashima fork. Proceed in a northwest direction at the fork and hike over Mt. Omekura (Omekura-yama) to get to the west side of Yashima wetland. Proceed counterclockwise around the wetland, and hikers will arrive at the end point of Section B in Yashima wetland, which is approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes away from Daimon-toge Pass.


Day 2. Proceed on the ridge trail through the grass field, up the steep slope of Mt. Washigamine, then onto a gentle descend via a grass field scattered with obsidian rocks. Hikers will arrive at Wada-toge Pass, the end point of the Section C, in approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes from Yashima wetland.


From Wada-toge Pass, walk on Nakasendo highway, a historic road established in the 17th century, until it reaches an old pass with a stone monument. Ascend and descend several times on the ridgeline that functions as a fire belt until the trail reaches the bamboo grass-covered summit of Mt. Mitsumine (Mitsumine-yama). 360 degrees of gorgeous panoramic view can be enjoyed at the summit. Hikers will arrive at Tobira-toge Pass, the end point of Section D, approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes away from Wada-toge Pass.


Day 3. Proceed ascending and descending several times on the ridgeline through broad-leaved forest, then hike up through the grass field to reach Mt. Chausu (Chausu-yama), the highest elevation point of this route. Descend on a gentle slope through the grass field and proceed through the pastureland until you reach a stone monument called Utsukushino-to appears, then hikers will arrive at Utsukushigahara-kogen Highland, the end point of Section E, which is approximately 4 hours away from Tobira-toge Pass.

Other Info

Since this route runs through the highland area with rich nature, hikers will see various alpine plants. Especially worth seeing are the clusters of renge-tsutsuji (Japanese azalea) that bloom from late June to early July and Nikkoh-kisuge (day lilies) from mid-July to early August. Snow trekking with snowshoes can be enjoyed from December to March.


High Season:May to November

Notes

When hiking on the Central Dividing Ridge Trail, hikers are recommended to stay at trail guesthouses (http://www.c-trail.com/trail_guesthouse/). Owners of each guest house offer good advice and even pick-up services to-and-from the start and goal of trekking trails.

Route Map

Elevation Map

Height (m)
Horizontal Distance (km)

Spec

Duration
3Days / 18.5Hours
Highest Point
2006m(Mt. Chausu)
Elevation Gain
690m
Horizontal Distance
36.3Km
Skill Level
Fitness Level
Gear Level

On the Trail

Sleeping

Washigamine Hutte, Yamamoto-goya, Ougatou Hotel

Eating

Tateishi-washino-sato

Hot-Springs

Nagato Onsen Yasuragino-yu, Wadajuku Onsen Fureaino-yu

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Access

The Central Dividing Ridge Trail is located in the central part of Nagano Prefecture. Take the JR Chuo Line’s rapid train from Tokyo Station to Shinjuku Station (15 minutes). From Shinjuku Station, transfer to JR Line special express to Chino Station (approx. 2 hours 10 minutes).

From Chino Station, take Alpico Kotsu Bus bound for Kurumayama-kogen Highland to Higashi Shirakabako bus stop (approx. 50 minutes). Switch to Tateshinamachi Community Bus at Higashi Shirakabako bus stop to Nagato Farm (approx. 15 minutes).

From Utsukushigahara Nature Conservation Center, take Alpico Kotsu Bus to JR Matsumoto Station (approx. 80 minutes).

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COURSES

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