Akasawa Natural Recreational Forest


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Recommended activities and seasons

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Enjoy Natural Scenery:Relaxing / Railway
Get Some Exercise:Hiking


Spring / Summer / Autumn

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Forest bathing in one of the three most beautiful forests in Japan.

A vast forest of conifers, one of the three most beautiful forests in Japan, envelops the town of Agematsu in the Kiso region. The gorgeous trees cover a large area here in the “home of cypress,” ranging in elevation from 1,080 to 1,558 meters.
The Akasawa Natural Recreational Forest is home to natural Kiso cypress of 300 years or more, but is not an old-growth forest. It was planted in the early Edo period, and protected by the wardens of the Owari domain. Today, it is open from spring through autumn to throngs of visitors who come to enjoy nature.
Akasawa is where “forest bathing,” or shinrin-yoku, began. The first event ever was held here in 1982. By 2006 the relaxation effect had been recognized, and it was being held in ten locations around the nation. It is said that the environment can have beneficial effects on human health, due to the phytoncide that plants release, as well as natural green colors and clear air. In the spring the azaleas bloom, and in the summer young hinoki cypress leaves release their fragrance. The entire forest catches fire in the autumn, with red, orange, and yellow leaves: ideal for combining forest bathing with hiking. Six unique courses have been prepared.

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Conquer these unique forest hiking courses!

There are six hiking courses: the Fureai (Friendship) Path, Komadori (Robin) Course, the Mukaiyama Course, the Nakadachi Course, the Tsumetazawa Course, and the Kami-Akasawa Course. The Fureai Path (2.8 km round-trip) is a fully paved course with wooden bridges, and a number of resting spots and huts. The Komadori Course (2.7 km round-trip) is the main course, meandering through Akasawa forest scenery, with giant hinoki cypress and sawara cypress, and intersections with other courses. The Mukaiyama Course (2.0 km round-trip) allows views of distant Mount Norikura and Mount Kisokoma in clear weather, while the Tsumetazawa Course takes you into the depths of the cypress woods to be one with nature. An inn is located inside the forest so you can spend even more time relaxing.
The forest rail in the Kiso region was an important mode of transport for timber, and served the local populace as daily transportation as well. It was reborn as the Akasawa Forest Railway in 1987, delighting riders with its views of beautiful, natural cypress as they ride through the forest.

Akasawa Natural Recreational Forest


National Forest, Ogawa, Agematsu-machi, Kiso-gun, Nagano Prefecture


9:00 am to 4:00 pm


Winter closing: Early Nov. – Late Apr.


Akasawa Forest Railway Ride Experience Adult, 800 yen; Child (age 4 to elementary school student), 500 yen


Agematsu-machi Sightseeing Information Center 0264-52-1133


By Akasawa-sen Bus from JR Chuo Main Line Agematsu Sta. to Akasawa Shizen Kyuyorin, about 30 min, then a short walk

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The Four Shoryudo Routes

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Dragon Course Great Nature Course Nostalgic Course Ukiyo-e Course
  • Dragon Course
  • Great Nature Course
  • Nostalgic Course
  • Ukiyo-e Course

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