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林野庁

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  • Wood-Chip Footpath
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  • Gorge in early autumn
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  • Gorge of Akasawa
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  • Fresh Stream of Akasawa
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  • Kiso’s groves of 300-year-old Japanese cypresses
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Akasawa Recreation Forest

759.56ha

Elevation Lowest / Average / Overall / Highest Point 900m /900–1,200m / 1,388m

The birthplace of shinrin-yoku relaxation

― Kiso hinoki cypress forest: home to trees aged 300 years or more ―
Come and enjoy the peacefulness; leave feeling refreshed

The birthplace of shinrin-yoku relaxation

― Kiso hinoki cypress forest: home to trees aged 300 years or more ―
Come and enjoy the peacefulness; leave feeling refreshed

Newest information
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Area
Chubu
Activities
Autumn leaf viewing Picnics (lawn area/park) Areas for paddling/fishing (pond/lake/river) Guided tours (charge applies)(No foreign languages spoken) Hands-on experience of forestry and/or woodwork (charge applies, summer only)(No foreign languages spoken) Forest therapy (therapy center)(No foreign languages spoken) Forest railway rides
Overview
Geographical/topographical features
The Akasawa Recreation Forest is located in the southwest of Nagano Pref.
The terrain in this Recreation Forest is quite flat on the uplifted peneplain. The streamside is situated on an area of granite bedrock, while quartz porphyry is found on the hillside.
Historical/cultural features
The hinoki, Japanese cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa) trees native to the Kiso Valley have been renowned for centuries. Kiso's timber resources were highly prized by Toyotomi Hideyoshi himself, who made the Kiso Valley a fief under his direct control and used timber from its Japanese cypresses and other trees when constructing castles. As castle towns prospered during the Edo period, from the 17th century , a great many trees were cut down on Kiso's hillsides. Kiso's mountains were left so desolate as a result that, fearing for the few remaining trees, the rulers of the Owari Domain issued a harsh proclamation: “one tree, one head.” The threat of capital punishment meant that Kiso's trees began to be protected. As a result, the Kiso Valley once more boasts dense natural forests on its rejuvenated hillsides. From the latter part of the 19th century , the majority of Kiso's mountains were “Goryorin,” forests that were the property of the Imperial family. After the war, the area began to be managed as a National Forest. In 1970, this was designated as Japan's first Recreation Forest and is also famous as the birthplace of shinrin-yoku, or “relaxation.”
Climate, flora and fauna
The forest is filled with the “Kiso Goboku,” or “Five Trees of Kiso” (Japanese cypress; sawara, sawara cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera); asunaro (Thujopsis dolabrata); koyamaki, Japanese umbrella-pine (Sciadopitys verticillata); and nezuko, Japanese thuja (Thuja standishii)). Most notable among them are Kiso's groves of 300-year-old Japanese cypresses, which led Akasawa to be considered one of Japan's Three Most Beautiful Forests. Also found here are deciduous broad-leaved trees commonly found in cool temperate zones (such as mizunara, Japanese oak mizu-nara (Quercus crispula Blume) and honoki, Japanese bigleaf magnolia (Magnolia obovata)). In autumn, deciduous broad-leaved shrubs such as marubanoki, redbud hazel (Disanthus cercidifolius) and shiromoji (Lindera triloba Blume) adorn the forest with their vivid colors.
Attractions
The forest offers a choice of eight walking trails, including an accessible path suitable for wheelchairs, enabling everyone to enjoy nature to their heart’s content.
Puzzle stations have been installed at various points along the trails, so that visitors can have fun collecting all the pieces during their walk to make a complete picture. Summer offers the chance to enjoy the forest’s limpid streams, and autumn, its scarlet and gold leaves. Forest-Therapy, also known as shinrin-yoku with trained guide can be tried here.
Furthermore, the preserved Kiso Forest Railway (steam locomotive), which was in commercial use in Kiso area is displayed in this forest and visitors can also take a ride on the Akasawa Forest Railway of diesel model. It was subsequently refurbished for sightseers, enabling people to readily enjoy relaxation, savoring the invigorating forest views from the windows of the train.
Latest Information
Information on temporarily unavailable facilities
The Himemiya Course trail is currently closed
Events
Tom Sawyer Club Village Kiso & Agematsu (a nature experience event run by a private business during summer only. This offers families the chance to make the most of summer in Akasawa, with activities that include playing in the river, woodworking, and catching fish by hand.)
Usage Guide
Entrance fee
Free of charge (charges apply if using the Akasawa Forest Railway: ¥500–¥1,000)
Opening seasons and hours
April 29 – November 7
Accommodation options
Kyoraiso Guest House
Facility
Toilets and drinking fountains Toilet (accessible) Walking trail Walking trail (accessible) Parking lot Vending machine Shop Restaurant Specimen forest/Botanic garden/Museum (No foreign languages spoken) Accommodation facilities (Hotels / Japanese inns)
Map
pdf
Address
Akasawa Recreation Forest, Agematsu-machi, Kiso-gun, Nagano Prefecture
Access
(Distances and times are provided as a guide only)
By public transport
<Access from nearest railway station / bus stop>
  • ・30 minutes by bus from Agematsu Station
<Access from major transport hubs to nearest railway station / bus stop>
  • ・Shinjuku (JR Chuo Main Line: 2hours 40 minutes by limited express) → change at Shiojiri Station (JR Chuo Main Line: 40 minutes by limited express) → Agematsu Station
  • ・Shin-Osaka Station (shinkansen:50 minutes) → change at Nagoya Station (JR Chuo Main Line: 90 minutes by limited express) → Agematsu Station
By car
<Access>
  • ・Shiojiri IC → National Route 19 → Pref. Route 473 (67 km, 100 minutes)
  • ・Ina IC → National Route 19 → Pref. Route 473 (52 km, 80 minutes)
  • ・Nakatsugawa IC → National Route 19 → Pref. Route 473 (67 km, 90 minutes)
<Parking lot capacity / parking charges>
  • ・Car parking capacity: 223 standard-sized cars, 8 motor coaches
  • ・Parking Charges: Standard-sized cars: ¥600; minibuses: ¥1,000; large vehicles: ¥2,000; motorcycles and motor scooters: ¥150(as of 2017)
    Setting the Destination by Phone Number:0264-52-4830 Akasawa Forest Information Center
Nearby tourist facilities
  • ・50 minutes by car from Aratojo Castle Historical Park
  • ・110 minutes by car from Ontake Prefectural Natural Park
  • ・60 minutes by car from Kaida Kogen
  • ・70 minutes by car from Tsumago-juku
Management office contact details
Kiso District Forest Office
Kiso Forest Visitors Communication Center
Information on Other Local Tourist Attractions
Kiso Area Official Travel Guide [External link]
Official Tourist Information
Agematsu Town Tourism Association [External link]
TEL: 0264-52-1133
FAX: 0264-52-4180
Recreation Forest Management Committee
Protection & Stewardship Council for the Beautification of the Akasawa Valley Office: Agematsu-machi
Supporters
Other

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