- Hokkaido to Honshu -



Kushiro Shitsugen is famous for Japanese Cranes. It is a breeding ground. Admirers of these red-headed birds (tancho) specifically go to the Otowa Bridge on Kushiro River, where nests can be observed from a distance. Just before dawn, in the faint light, the bodies of dozens of cranes start to take shape. It is freezing cold in December, more than 20 degrees below Centigrade, cold enough to numb the hands. It is worth it, though. Nature in winter is absolutely beautiful. The mist rises from the river to form icicles on the trees. The morning rays hit the river’s surface like a drop of red dye. Diamond dust floats in the air. When sunlight touches the cranes, they will start to bustle with activity, filling the air with their cries. Gradually, a few at a time, they will fly off to feed. Watching them is awesome, and their size is astonishing when they spread their wings. You can view the cranes at close range from the Tsurumi-dai observation area and also at the sanctuary. Both feeding grounds are in the village of Tsurui-mura. No doubt these adorable creatures will warm your heart.

釧路濕原以日本鶴聞名。它是個繁殖場。這些紅頭鳥(丹頂)的仰慕者會特地到釧路河的音羽橋,在那裡遠遠可以看到鶴巢。在黎明前、微光中,數十隻鶴的身體開始成形。在十二月時冷得令人發抖,低於零下 20 度,冷到會把手凍到毫無知覺。雖然如此,但很值得。冬日裡的大自然是絕美的。薄霧由河昇起在樹上形成冰柱。曦光如一滴赤色顏料般在河面灑落。鑽石般閃亮的微塵在空氣中漂浮。當陽光輕吻鶴群時,牠們就開始忙不迭地活動起來了,在空氣中充滿著牠們的叫聲。漸漸地,牠們飛離去覓食。觀賞他們實在太棒了,展翅時,牠們的體型十分驚人。你可以由鶴見台觀景區及保護區近距離賞鶴。兩個餵食區都在鶴居村。這些可愛生物無疑會溫暖你的心。

 釧路湿原とその周辺は、タンチョウの生息地として有名だ。とくに釧路川の音羽橋には、多くの野鳥ファンや写真愛好家が集まる。釧路川にあるタンチョウのねぐらが遠くに見えるからだ。未明、うっすら明るくなってくると、たくさんのタンチョウの姿が浮かび上がってくる。氷点下 20 度を超える冷え込みは、寒さで手がしびれるほどだ。けれども、その自然美は素晴らしく、魅了される。川の水面に、けあらしが白く立ちのぼり、水際の木々に霧氷がつく。朝日が川面を照らして、赤く染まる。ダイヤモンドダストが空気中に舞う。太陽の光が届き始めると、タンチョウの活動が活発になる。鳴き声が響き渡り、やがて数羽ずつ群れをなして、どこかの餌場へと飛び立っていく。頭上でタンチョウが大きな羽を広げ、雄壮に飛び去る姿は、寒さを忘れるほど感動的なシーンだ。村にある鶴見台とサンクチュアリでは餌付けを行っており、間近でタンチョウを観察することができる。その愛らしい姿に、心温まることは間違いない。

For Tsurui-mura, the bus ride from Kushiro train station is about an hour to Tsurumi-dai bus stop. The sanctuary is a 15-minute walk from Tsurui-mura Yakuba bus stop.


The Drive Hokkaido!

The Drive Hokkaido! smartphone app and website is a free service that supports visitors to Hokkaido who are planning a road trip.

●About Kushiro → Kushiro-Lake Akan 


●About Hokkaido → Hokkaido Official Tourism Website 


●The latest traffic information of Hokkaido → Hokkaido Safety-travel Information (select English)   

Lake Toya

Hokkaido awakens to spring almost overnight. On Honshu, ume (plum blossoms) pop open

first, followed by sakura (cherry blossoms). On this northernmost island of Japan, ume and

sakura open their buds almost at the same time to peak in May. Plum blossoms are the

highlight of Sobetsu Park on the southeastern waterfront of Lake Toya. After a long winter,

pretty blooms announce the arrival of spring and visitors crowd the park. Sobetsu Park also has

cherry trees, so the viewing pleasure can double if the timing is right. Running into a friend or

neighbor can be a nice surprise and even more gratifying to have stepped outside.

If the weather cooperates, snow-capped Mt. Yotei will show itself. It is one of many

furusato Fuji, the local Mt. Fuji look-alike that locals like to claim throughout mountainous


北海道幾乎在一夜之間煥為春日。在本州梅花 (une) 先開,接著是櫻花 (sakura)。在日本島的最北角,梅花和櫻花幾乎在同時綻放它們的花瓣,在五月到達最高峰。梅花是壯瞥町公園東北角洞爺湖水濱的亮點。在長長的冬日後,美麗的花朵宣告春天的到來,訪客擠滿公園。


 北海道の春は一気にやってくる。本州では、梅が咲いてから桜が咲くのが一般的だが、北海道ではほぼ同時だ。洞爺湖の南東側湖畔に、梅の名所の壮公園があり、花が見頃を迎えると、春を待ちわびた人たちがたくさんやってくる。展望スポットからは、天気が良ければ雪を抱いた羊蹄山を望める。まるで富士山のような形をしている、 “ふるさと富士”だ。


Sobetsu Park is a 15-minute bus ride from Toya-ko Onsen bus terminal.


JR Rail Pass for East Japan and Hokkaido (Choose from two plans)

These rail passes valid for unlimited during the designated period on trains in the East Japan, Tohoku, and Hokkaido area. 

●About TOYA → Toya-ko Onsen Tourist Association


●Visit 8 gardens from Furano to Tokachi → Le tourismVert de Hokkaido 

 A representative beautiful 8 garden in Hokkaido is concentrated, It is a highway about 250km connecting the wonderful snow from Furano to Tokachi.


●If you are interested in Mt.Taisetsu → The Taisetsu Kamui Mintara



This hotel is designed by Mr. Kengo Kuma, a master of "Wa", is a modern style that provides the warmth of tree in the whole building.





The Three Mountains of Dewa, known as Dewa Sanzan, are located in central Yamagata.

Gassan, Hagurosan and Yudonosan are sacred mountains that have been at the heart of

mountain worship for ages.

A number of inns at the foot of Hagurosan accommodate pilgrims on their long journeys.

From Zuishinmon, the pilgrim’s path leads the traveler ahead. Snow is deep and all is quiet

here in the winter. The pilgrim’s path becomes a trail packed down by foot traffic. You can lose

your footing in the banks of virgin snow, and staying on the trail can be difficult. Descending the

stone steps one by one takes concentration. The sacred environment is purifying: the tall cedars, the gently bubbling brook, the serenity of nature to which we are privileged to bear eye witness. After crossing the sacred vermillion bridge, a five-storied pagoda will appear in the woods. The wooden structure is a National Treasure. What a wonderment that the tower was built in such an isolated place in the first place, and to still be standing today. Remarkable.

出羽三山(The Three Mountains of Dewa)英文也作 Dewa Sanzan,坐落於日本山形縣中部。






Shonai Kotsu Bus Line runs from Tsuruoka City. To visit the pagoda, get off at Zuishinmon bus stop (50-minute ride) and head toward the stone steps leading to the pagoda.

About Hagurosan → Japan Guide



Upstream of Nakatsugawa River, there is a cluster of small villages known as Akiyamago.

Nestled deep in the mountains, the remote community is composed of eight hamlets in Niigata

and five hamlets in Nagano. Maekura is one of these hamlets located on the Niigata side in

Tsunan. It is especially small with just ten households, the homes forming a circle in an infinite bond of the families that live here. Snow starts to fall daily in late November, piling up to five meters in some places. A path has to be cut into the snow to access the house, just wide enough for one person and taller than most adults. The hamlet is very quiet under the thick white blanket, as if all sounds had somehow left. But when you hear the sound of trickling water, it means spring is around the corner. As the snow starts to melt, plants sprout and the local mountain vegetables come into season. If you are visiting there in springtime, you have to try the mountain vegetables. By mid-October, autumn starts to show its colors; then winter returns.



 秋山郷は、信濃川の支流である中津川上流にある。新潟県の8 集落と長野県の5 集落の総称で、秘境の地として知られている。その中にある前倉集落(新潟県津南町)は、民家数が 10 軒程度と、集落の規模はとても小さい。山に囲まれて家々が並んでいる。その佇まいには、住んでいる人々の絆の強さのようなものが感じられる。秋山郷には、11月の終わり頃から雪が降り積もる。この一帯は例年3メートルほど、場所によっては5メートルくらい積もるところもある。民家に続く道には、僕の身長を倍以上超えるほど高い雪壁ができ、一人がやっと通れる程度の幅に道ができている。雪に埋もれた集落は、音が何も聞こえないくらい、静かだ。住んでいる人には申し訳ないが、僕は、その降り続く雪が好きで、何度も訪ねている。雪に抱かれるのが好きなのだ。雪国の人の優しさが好きなのだ。


About 40 minutes by car from Tsunan rail station.


JR east pass(Nagano Nigata area)

The JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata area) allows unlimited rides on all JR East train lines in the JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata area) designated area.

●About Nigata → Enjoy Nigata  


●About Akiyamago → Nakatsugawa Gorge (Akiyama-go)



Cold water springs flowing from underground aquifers get filled by snowmelt in the Northern Alps. In Azumino, that natural spring water is perfect for cultivating wasabi. Tadegawa, the river that flows through the city, is the key to some nostalgic charm. The focal point is a set of three water wheels that were originally constructed for famed director Akira Kurosawa’s movie,

Yume (Dream). As the slow turning wheels reflect in the gently rippling river, they evoke an image from Japan’s yesteryear. The water wheels can be visited at the riverside Daio Wasabi Farm. Visitors are welcome to roam the huge complex.

The parking lot is spacious, and the farm is popular with tourists. The small white flowers on the wasabi plants bloom from late March to early April. Fresh wasabi aside, other products made with the pungent green horseradish, like wasabi ice cream, are offered at the store on the farm.

Azumino is near many popular destinations. In addition to mountain getaways in Hakuba, Kamikochi and the Japan Alps, historical landmarks such as Matsumoto Castle and Zenkoji Temple are interesting to tour.

自地下含水層所流出的冷水泉由北日本阿爾卑斯山區融雪所注滿。在安曇野市,天然泉水最適於種植山葵。遍流本市的蓼川,是某種懷舊魅力的重要關鍵。重點在於一組原本建造用來作為著名導演黑澤明電影,夢 (Yume) 拍攝用的三個水車。當緩慢運轉的水車倒映在寧靜而波光粼粼的河面上時,它們讓人遙想日本的舊日時光景象。你可在大王山葵農場河畔探訪水車。歡迎旅客漫步於其巨大複合建物中。停車場很寬敞,而農場很受觀光客歡迎。在山葵植株上的小白花於三月底四月初盛開。除了新鮮山葵外,其它由嗆鼻綠色山葵所做成的產品像是芥末冰淇淋也在農場裡的商店有售。安曇野市靠近許多受歡迎景點。除了在白馬村上高地的山間渡假勝地及日本阿爾卑斯山群外,歷史地標如松本城及善光寺也都是好「趣」處。






To Daio Wasabi Farm, 10 minutes by car from Hodaka train station.

About Daio Wasabi → Nagano Highlights


●Enjoy Clear Boat→ AZUMINO KISEN

Hakuba, Northern Alps

At the foot of northern Japan Alps is a typically Japanese landscape. A scattering of traditional

homes decorates a wide valley. This is the village of Hakuba. There are great hiking trails, ski

slopes for all levels and a range of facilities for winter sports. Best of all, there are fabulous hot

spring resorts. For a full view of the Hakuba mountain range, Oide Park is the best place to go. Suspended over Himekawa is Oide Bridge. It is an old-fashioned bridge that matches the old-fashioned thatched-roof houses. Go early in the morning while it is still dark. The cold air by the river seems to wrap everything around it. As the sky lightens, the three mountains of Hakuba known as Hakuba Sanzan start to take shape: Shiroumayaridake, Shakushidake and Shiroumadake. Their snow-capped peaks are a refreshing sight.

在北方的日本阿爾卑斯山腳下,呈現典型的日本景觀。散落的傳統住家妝點著一片遼闊谷地。這裡就是白馬村。這裡有絕佳的徒步健行路徑,各種級別的滑雪坡道,以及一整套的冬季運動設施。最棒的是,這裡有美妙的溫泉度假勝地。如果想一覽白馬山系列全貌,大出公園是最佳的去處。高掛在在姬川之上的是大出橋。這是一座能與老式茅草屋頂房屋互相搭配的老式橋梁。在清晨一大早天色仍黑的時候前往。河邊的冷空氣似乎將一切籠罩其中。隨著天色漸亮,被稱為 「白馬三山」 的三座白馬山開始現形:白馬鑓岳、杓子岳和白馬岳。這三座白雪覆蓋的山峰,展現出令人舒爽的美景。




Express buses from Nagano train station to Hakuba village take 70 minutes. Get off at Hakuba Ekimae bus stop (Hakuba train station).

●About Hakuba →  Tourism Commission of Hakuba Village 




South Alps

Hokuto city is a prime example of the beautiful landscapes found in Yatsugatake and the

Southern Alps. The vista goes on and on during a scenic drive along one of the main roads

known as the Shichiriiwa Line. On this scenic route, Suishanosato Park is an easy stop for

viewing the bold lines of Kaikomadake. There are several peaks throughout Japan that are

named Komadake, but Kaikomadake is the tallest at 2,970 meters above sea level. Rice

paddies can be seen on the gentle slopes, and the sky looks bigger. When the azalea hedges

in the park turn bright red in the fall, it will not be long before the mount turns white with snow.

Do visit the 2,000-year-old giant cherry tree in neighboring Jissoji Temple if you are in the area

when it blooms. Yamanashi is famous for growing some of the most delectable fruits, yielding

the highest production in Japan for summer peaches and fall grapes.

北杜市是八嶽山脈和南阿爾卑斯山脈間美麗風景的最佳代表。在沿其中一條被稱為七里岩線的主要道路兜風,美景不斷襲來。在這條兜風的路線上,很容易就能到達水車之里公園,並能在那裡觀賞甲斐駒岳的輪廓。雖然日本各地有多處名為駒岳的高峰,但最高的是甲斐駒岳,其海拔為2970公尺。在緩坡上,可以看到水稻田,天空看起來更大。當公園裡杜鵑籬笆轉為秋天的鮮紅色,那時離山上覆蓋靄靄白雪也就不久了。若你適逢當地花季時,一定要去附近的實相寺,拜訪 2000 歲的巨型櫻花樹。山梨縣以種植最美味的水果而聞名,也是日本夏季的桃子和秋天的葡萄產量最高的地方。

北杜市は、南アルプスや八ヶ岳の美しい景観に優れている。県道の七里岩ラインを走ると、見晴らしの良い眺めが続く。県道から数キロ離れたところには、水車の里公園があり、南アルプスの象徴的な甲斐駒ヶ岳の雄姿が美しく見える。駒ヶ岳と名のつく山は全国に数多くあるが、そのなかで、甲斐駒ケ岳は一番高い山らしい。標高は約 2970メートルある。


 この近くには、実相寺の“ 神代桜 ”がある。花の時期ならぜひ訪ねたい場所だ。また、山梨県といえば果物の産地として有名。桃とブドウは、それぞれ生産日本一である。

10 minutes by taxi from Hinoharu train station.

●About South Alps → Hokuto Tourism Organization 


●About Yamanashi → Official Travel Guide Yamanashi



Noto Peninsula

In the villages of Osawa and Kami-Osawa, the homes have an interesting feature. A hedge

of dried bamboo is placed around the house as insulation from the severe winter winds that

blow from the Japan Sea. It also helps to cool the house in the summer. This type of kakine, or

hedge, is made of a tall and slender bamboo known as nigadake. The bamboo hedge is called

magaki, and if the entire length of the bamboo is used, the tied panels can reach four meters

high. Swallows will sometimes squeeze in and out of the magaki through slivers of space

between the bamboo. In Japan, swallows making their nests in and around the house are a

sign of good fortune. Village scenes like this are preserved as valuable cultural landscapes.


 能登半島の北端近くにあたる大沢・上大沢集落には、日本海から吹き付ける冬の強い風から家屋を守る暴風垣根がある。「間垣」と呼ばれ、長さ約 4メートルのニガ竹という細い竹が、隙間なく並べられて作られている。この集落景観は、貴重な文化的景観として保全されている。NHKの朝の連続テレビ小説「まれ」の舞台にもなった地域だ。


30 minutes by bus or car from Michi no Eki rest stop in Wajima.


Hokuriku-Arch-pass (Tokyo-Hokuriku-Osaka) 

This ticket can be used for the ordinary car reserved seat on Hokuriku Shinkansen (Tokyo to Kanazawa), limited express, and local (including rapid service) trains (non-reserved seat on “HARUKA”) and all Tokyo Monorail lines within the free usage area. (Service on Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen is not covered.)


SHORYUDO (The Dragon Route) BUS PASS

 This pass will be renewed in April 2019. Use range spreads over Noto Peninsula.

About Wajima → Wajima City



Although lesser known than Shirakawago in Gifu Prefecture, Gokayama in neighboring

Toyama is a group of 40 small villages, two of which have been designated as UNESCO

World Heritage Sites. Nestled in the hills at the end of the path, the cluster is much smaller

in scale than Shirakawago. It definitely feels like uncharted territory. The gassho-zukuri

architecture features a steep pitch that emphasizes the overwhelming size of the thatched

roof. Fire safety is a serious business, so smoking is permitted in designated areas only.

Preservation is a collective effort.

Residents live a simple life in these enclaves, maintaining the traditional way of life in

remote rural Japan. They are exceptionally kind to the curious visitor. If you stay at a home

that has been converted to a B&B, you might be able to explore the attic that was designed

with plenty of space for cultivating silkworms. A warm open fireplace in the floor could be

the perfect setting for overnight guests to gather around for meals and stories. A chorus of

frogs might even provide evening entertainment when the rice paddies are flooded in May.

A trail leads to an overlook, about a 10-minute walk. At certain times of the year, night

lights make the entire village sparkle. If you make the climb in the dark, be sure to take a


雖然比歧阜縣白川村少為人所知,鄰近的富山縣五箇山是有 40 個小村莊的群集,其中兩個已列為聯合國世界文化遺產產址。座落於山丘中的小徑盡頭,這個部落在規模上比白川村還小上許多。它感覺完全就像是未開發疆域。半合掌式的屋頂建築展現出陡峭的大三角突起屋頂,強調被茅草覆蓋屋頂尺寸之龐大。火警預防很嚴謹,所以只有在指定地點才可以抽菸。


一條小徑通往俯瞰村景的地點,走路大概 10 分鐘。在一年的某些時候,夜光會讓整個村莊閃爍。如果在黑暗中攀爬,請確保攜帶手電筒。





The World Heritage Bus is a dedicated bus service running from Johana train station to the two UNESCO villages of Ainokura and Suganuma. The ride takes about 30 minutes.

Shirakawago-Takayama Bus Tour   

This bus tour will surround Kanazawa, Gokayama, Shirakawago.


●About Gokayama → Gokayama Travel Guide 

Why not enjoy a spectacular view of the Japan Alps (Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route) from the comfort of your own home? You can feel like you are traveling in the Japanese Alps with panoramas, movies, and VR!
【VR】Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route


Kazura Bridge


This kazura-bashi (woven vine bridge) may not be as famous as the one in Tokushima, but it can certainly compete as one of the more beautiful specimens of simple suspension bridges that are handmade. Craftsmen recreated the original bridge using special materials brought to the site.

The vines woven together to make this bridge are a specific type called shirakuchi kazura.

The prospect of seeing something old and new in the Fukui area can be inspiring if you are not familiar with this place. Step forward on the planks of the bridge and you can see the river under your feet between the 10-centimeter spacings. Hold on to the vine railings, but be careful; they are thick and hard to grab. It will be quite a thrill for the adventurous to cross a swaying bridge. Maybe not for everyone; you might prefer standing back as a spectator. Albeit a man-made element, the organic bridge assimilates itself into the autumn forest to look very natural in its setting.

這條藤蔓編織的橋 (kazura-bashi) 或許沒有像德島縣那座那麼有名,但絕對有資格競爭最美麗的手工簡易懸掛吊橋樣本之一。工匠用帶到現場的特殊材質重新創造原來的橋。用來建造這座橋的交互編織而成藤蔓是特殊品種,叫 shirakuchi kazura 。如果你對這地方還不熟的話,在福井縣地區看到新與舊共存的可能性很令人振奮。踏出步伐到橋的木板上,你可以透過 10公分的木板間距中看到你腳下的河流,抓緊藤蔓扶手,但請小心;它們很厚實且不太好抓。對於生性愛冒險的人來說,橫跨一座搖搖晃晃的橋可能很刺激。但或許這並不適合所有大眾嘗試;你或許偏好後退一步,當個旁觀者。儘管有人造元素,這座有機橋將自己融入於秋天森林中,與它的背景搭配看來相當自然。



 シラクチカズラというつる状の植物で作られたつり橋は、踏み板の間が 10センチくらいあり、足元から下の川が覗ける。手すりの綱をつかみながら歩くのだが、揺れは大きく、スリルがあるようだ。僕は見るだけで結構。渡る度胸はない。天然素材で作られた橋は、周囲の紅葉する木々の景色に調和し、優しさが感じられた。撮影では木を画面両側に配置し、周囲の森の深さを表した。


30 minutes by car from Takefu train station. The bridge is closed from December to March due to heavy snow; also closed in bad weather.



Korankei is famous for its autumn colors. It is full of nature and a great place to relax in any

season, but autumn is tops. Thousands of momiji (Japanese maples) representing many

different varieties fill the entire valley with glorious color. There are many good autumn viewing spots in the valley: Taigetsu Bridge, Koshakuji Temple, Asuke Yashiki Village. When the sun is out, the color contrast is bright. When it rains, the fall colors look more subtle. At night,

spotlights give the leaves a shine. Alongside the river is a path crowned with burnished leaves on overhanging branches. A walk on this path feels like passing under a ceiling adorned with jeweled ornaments. A stunning mirror image of the brilliant momiji forest reflects in the water. A half-hour drive from Korankei in Obara is a well known garden of cherry blossoms that

rebloom in autumn. Catching the fall foliage and the cherry blossoms in one visit is like getting

two for one, so do try to visit both Korankei and Obara. To avoid the traffic, time your visits

early in the day.




 香嵐渓の近くには、待、香、足など、見どころが多い。また、香嵐渓から車で約 30分ほどのところにある小原地区では、1年に2 度、春と秋に咲く「四季桜」を楽しめる。四季桜の名所は、小原ふれあい公園など小原地区にいくつかある。


For Korankei: Meitetsu Bus Line runs from Toyota-shi train station on the Meitetsu Mikawa Line; 45 minutes to Korankei bus stop. For Obara: Take the Toyota Oiden Bus for an hour ride from Toyota-shi train station to Obara Okusa bus stop.

About Korankei → Tourism Toyota

Home  /  Shinrinyoku  /  Japan  /  About us  /  Contact