The Shin-etsu Trail Club establishes and advocates the following rules:
- Keep within the Trail
Stepping outside the trail damages the plants. Taking a shortcut might cause an unexpected accident. It is best to walk within the trail, so that the surrounding environment can remain untouched and enjoyed peacefully. Keep the use of walking sticks to a minimum, using them only within the trail, with a cap around the tip if at all possible. This rule does not apply in the snow season.
- Do Not Harm the Plants and Animals
No matter what it might be, taking living things from the environment is unacceptable. You can observe and appreciate nature by just looking. Do not approach or feed wild animals, and refrain from bringing pets into the trail.
- Take Your Rubbish Home
Bring home all rubbish -- not only paper and plastic, but food scraps and liquids as well. Cases of animals dying after eating left over rubbish are not unheard of, and animals damaging fields or attacking hikers for want of more food is also a possibility. Smokers should carry portable ashtrays. Picking up rubbish left by others is highly appreciated.
- Use the Established Bathrooms
Shin-etsu Trail runs through precious forest water basins. Upsetting the water quality may affect the livelihood of local peoples, as well as the surrounding wild life and plants. The pleasant hiking environment would also be affected. Use only the pre-existing bathroom facilities if possible. Do not urinate near water or swamps, and dig waste holes that are at least 20 cm deep and 30m away from any stream or river for feces. Use of a portable toilet is strongly recommended. Bring back all rubbish, including toilet paper and other sanitary items.
- Observe the Indicated Rules
The Shin-etsu Trail spans across several different local authorities, each with its own rules for camping, mountain biking, and the taking of animals and plants. Please check the information boards found at trail entrances, as well as available guide maps and the Shin-etsu Trail Club website.
- Be Mindful of Others
So that every one can enjoy the trail, refrain from the use of loudspeakers or from making too much noise. Be careful not to block other hikers with tripods. Do not enter private property and do not park vehicles without permission. Generally, be mindful of other hikers and local residents.
- Gather Information and Plan Ahead
For your own safety, contact the Shin-etsu Trail Club Office before a hike, inform us of your plans and gather important information beforehand. If you find any abnormalities on the trail, please inform our office upon your return.
Your safety is your responsibility.
With appropriate planning, equipment and manners, you can make your trip safe and enjoyable! Your responsible actions do not only help yourself, but others as well.
- (1) Prepare yourself as you would when going into any mountains.
- Although only 1,000 m above sea level, the trail winds through steep hills and short switch-backs. Prepare as you would for any trekking trip to avoid falls or getting lost. You are responsible for your own safety.
Even for day trips and fair weather, basic equipment should include hiking boots, rainwear, clothing that can easily be adapted for the climate, a head light, food, snacks, water or other drinks (at least 1.5 to 2 liters in the summer), a Shin-etsu Trail Official Map, a compass, sun screen, medicine, a first aide kit, a mobile phone or transceiver, and spare batteries.
- (2) Use a trail map (sold at various locations) that contains detailed course information.
- The free brochure introducing the Shin-etsu Trail does not contain enough information to guide you through the trail. Obtain a trail map and other necessary information beforehand to plan a safe trip.
Trail maps are available in Japanese through the Shin-etsu Trail Club website, as well as at the various visitor centers and other tourist facilities and shops. Feel free to contact us inquire about where you can purchase a trail map.
- (3) Walk with a guide.
- We suggest you walk with a guide if it is your first time. You can enjoy a safe trip, as well as learn more about the local nature, culture and environment. The Shin-etsu Trail Club organizes various group tours. Contact us by e-mail for more information. Guides only speak Japanese.
Snow may remain in shady valleys and marshes up until June. Gather plenty of information beforehand and walk carefully. It can get very hot in the summer in places without tall trees, so make sure to bring a hat and plenty of water to avoid sunstroke. There are not many watering spots on the trail, and even available ones may be temporarily dried up. Keep an eye out for thunderclouds, especially near the trail between Togari Onsen Ski Resort and Sekida Gap. It is narrow and sharp, so clouds can accumulate very quickly. Avoid being struck by lightning by always checking the forecast beforehand and taking proper precautions. There are a limited number of bathrooms on the trail, so try to use the bathroom before you start your trek.