NPO | The Shin-etsu Trail Club, Nagano, Shinshu, Niigata, Echigo

The Shin-etsu Trail Club establishes and advocates the following rules:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
Compliance with these rules sets a good example for others.

■How to Walk: Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Where can I start trekking the Shin-etsu Trail?
A. You may start at the any one of the many ridge tops where the trail meets with a motor-accessible road. Please consult the course guide along with official maps, which are available for purchase at the Shin-etsu Trail Club Office. Plan ahead and allow enough time for breaks and lunch.
Q.  How can I return to the starting point after my walk?
A. The Shin-etsu Trail is not a circuit trail, so you may wish to drive in two cars, leaving one car at one end and starting the walk from the other if you are trekking with friends.  There is also a company that provides a car pick-up service for a fee.  If you stay with any of the 60-some Shin-etsu Trail Club affiliated accommodations, they may be able to give you rides to and from the nearest trail entrance.  You can also catch a taxi.
Q. How many days does it take to complete the whole trail?
A. For most people, the entire trail takes 6 days and 5 nights with accommodations, 5days and 4 nights with tent. We recommend you enjoy the trail leisurely and safely, staying at local accommodations along the trail. There are 6 camping sites along the trail.

    【Recommended trekking plan with accommodations】
    Moving Day: From Tokyo or Kanazawa and so on to Iiyama
    ※You can take a bus from Iiyama Station to Madarao Kogen(Mt.Madarao Trailhead).
    Day 1 : Mt.Madarao Trailhead ~ Mt.Madarao ~ Akaike Pond
    Day 2 : Akaike Pond ~ Wakui
    Day 3 : Wakui ~ Hotokegamine Trailhead
    Day 4 : Hotokegamine Trail Head ~ Sekida Gap
    Day 5 : Sekida Gap ~ Busuno Gap
    Day 6 : Busuno Gap ~ Mt.Amamizu ~ Matsunoyama Trailhead
    ※You can take a taxi from Matsunoyama Trailhead to Morimiyanohara Station(JR Iiyama Line) or Matsudai Station(Hokuhoku Line).

    【Recommended trekking plan with a tent】
    Moving Day: From Tokyo or Kanazawa and so on to Iiyama
    ※You can take a bus from Iiyama Station to Madarao Kogen(Mt.Madarao Trailhead).
    Day 1 : Mt.Madarao Trailhead ~ Mt.Madarao ~ Akaike Pond Camping Site
    Day 2 : Akaike Pond Camping Site ~ Katsuraike Pond Camoing Site
    Day 3 : Katsuraike Pond ~ Sekida Gap ~ Green Pal Kougenso Camping Park
    Day 4 : Green Pal Kougenso Camping Park ~ Nonomi Kogen Camping Site
    Day 5 : Nonomi Kogen Camping Site ~ Mt.Amamizu ~ Matsunoyama Trailhead
    ※You can take a taxi from Matsunoyama Trailhead to Morimiyanohara Station(JR Iiyama Line) or Matsudai Station(Hokuhoku Line).

    ※HyperDia is a service which offers the route and the timetable of the railway and the aviation of Japan.
    Please fill the blank "from Tokyo or Kanazawa" and "to Iiyama, Morimiyanohara or Matsudai Station".

  • Akaike Pond Camping Site: 3 min. from Akaike Pond
    Fee: Free ※We ask for contribution of ¥1,000 per person for maintenance.
    Reservation: E-mail
  • Katsuraike Pond Camping Site
    Fee: ¥1,000 per person
    Reservation: E-mail
  • Tondaira Camping Site: 15 min. from Hotokegamine Trailhead
    Fee: ¥1,000 per person
    Reservation: E-mail
  • Green Pal Kougensou Camping Park: 15 min. from Sekida Gap
    Fee: ¥1,000 per person
    Reservation: Tel 080-8858-9776 (0255-78-2141 for the winter season)
  • Nonomi Kogen Camping Park: 10 min. from Misaka Gap
    Fee: ¥1,000 per person
    Reservation: E-mail
  • Daigonji Kougen Camping Park: 15 min. from Matsunoyama Trailhead
    Fee: Basic Usage Fee: ¥200 With your own tent: ¥600 Tent Site Usage Fee: ¥1,000
    Reservation Tel 025-596-2994
Q. Can a beginner walk the trail?
A. If you are active and exercise regularly, you should be able to walk most of the trail without any trouble. There are however quick, repetitive inclines and declines of about 100m in altitude changes, as well as steep slopes. Allow plenty of time when planning walks. For first timers on the trail, we suggest walking with a guide or a trekking tour group.
Q. What type of equipment is appropriate?
A. Although the trail is well maintained and relatively easy to walk, you should prepare yourself with the basic equipment and awareness needed for venturing into any mountains.
Q. Are there bathrooms on the Trail?
A. The official map shows the location of the bathrooms, normally near trail entrances. Always go to the bathroom before starting your walk and do not urinate near water or swamps. We recommend carrying a portable eco-toilette. Bring back all rubbish, including toilet paper and sanitary items. There are no collection boxes for these items at this time.
■Ensuring a Safe Trek

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.
Tips for Safe Trekking

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.

Nabekura Kogen Mori-no-Ie. 1571-15, Teruoka, Iiyama, Iiyama-city, Nagano, 389-2601.
TEL:0269-69-2888 FAX:0269-69-2288 E-mail:
エコツーリズム特別賞 森林管理所と協定・森林技術交流発表会 観光交流推進協議会