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  • Nozorikisuge-daylily of the Lakeside
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  • Nozori Lakeside Japanese azalea
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  • Sparkling surface of the Lake Nozori
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  • Lake Nozori
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  • Snow-covering Lake Nozori
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Nozori Recreation Forest


Elevation (overall) 1,500–1,600m (highest point) 1,970m

See the forest and flower garden reflected in the ethereal waters of Lake Nozori

See the forest and flower garden reflected in the ethereal waters of Lake Nozori

Newest information
Please visit official tourism websites for the latest updates and information.
Flower-viewing Autumn leaf viewing Birdwatching Picnics (lawn area/park) Mountain climbing (Includes surrounding area) Areas for paddling/fishing (pond/lake/river) Hot Spring(Outside the forest)
Geographical/topographical features
This Recreation Forest is located close to the point where the prefectural borders of Gunma, Nagano, and Niigata meet. At its heart is Lake Nozori (elevation: 1,513 m), surrounded by a natural landscape that blends mountains close to 2,000 m high with forest and meadows. The delicate blooms of alpine plants can be seen around the lake, whose surface reflects the clear blue sky and the blaze of autumn leaves on the trees.
Historical/cultural features
Lake Nozori and its surroundings are located in the Joshinetsu-kogen National Park. The footpath around the lake was selected for inclusion in the list of Japan's 100 Best Walking Routes, while the lake itself was chosen as one of the 100 Best Dam Lakes.
Lake Nozori is a man-made lake which was Japan's first rock-fill dam, built in 1956 for hydroelectric power generation.
Climate, flora and fauna
Located midway between Japan's Pacific Ocean and Sea of Japan climate zones, this area has a cool climate with high rainfall and snow coverage, so it is a treasure trove of alpine plants between spring and early autumn. Among the 300 varieties found here are shirane-aoi, Japanese wood poppy (Glaucidium palmatum); rengetsutsuji, Japanese azalea (Rhododendron molle subsp. japonicum); nozorikisuge (the local name for zenteika, daylily (Hemerocallis esculenta)); komakusa (Dicentra peregrina); and yanagiran, fireweed (Chamaenerion angustifolium). The trees growing in the subalpine forest include shirabe, Veitch's fir (Abies veitchii) and dakekanba, Erman's birch (Betula ermanii).
The forest provides a habitat for at least 10 species of mammal, most notably the nihon kamoshika, Japanese serow (Capricornis crispus), which is protected as a nationally designated special natural monument. Other mammals found here include ten, Japanese marten (Martes melampus) and kitsune, fox (Vulpes vulpes). Among the forest's bird species are otaka, northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis); haitaka, Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus); and kumataka, mountain hawk-eagle (Nisaetus nipalensis). Insect species living in the forest include benihikage (Erebia niphonica); kiageha, old world swallowtail (Papilio machaon); and kujakucho, peacock butterfly (Aglais io). The lake itself provides a habitat for nijimasu, rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and iwana, whitespotted char (Salvelinus leucomaenis), among others.
The area is readily accessible by car and the footpath around the lake is equipped with a refreshment area, observation platform, and visitor center, so people of all ages can enjoy a stroll while admiring the alpine plants.
Mountain trails offer visitors the chance to enjoy the great outdoors while trekking in the surrounding mountains.
Featuring a cabin area and a tent area, the Lake Nozori Campsite makes a convenient base for lovers of outdoor pursuits such as fishing and bird-watching.
This is an ideal destination for a day trip from one of the many hot springs nearby, such as Kusatsu Onsen.
The Kuni district, which is located in this Recreation Forest and was formerly a village in its own right, is a member of the Association of “The Most Beautiful Villages in Japan.”
Latest Information
Information on temporarily unavailable facilities
Route 405 between Wakohara and Lake Nozori is closed to traffic in winter (December – late April)
Visitors need to take general precautions regarding wild animals.
Visitors must not stray from the mountain trails, to protect the plants around Lake Nozori.
Usage Guide
Entrance fee
Opening seasons and hours
Lake Nozori Observation Platform and Visitor Center: Late April – mid-November 8am-5pm
Nozori Pass Refreshment Area: Late April – late-November 9am-5pm
Lake Nozori Campsite: Early May – mid-November (dates vary, depending on snow coverage)
Accommodation options
Visitors may camp at Lake Nozori Campsite (charges apply) in their own tent or a cabin
Toilets and drinking fountains Toilet (accessible) Walking trail Walking trail (accessible) Car park Observation platform Visitor center (staffed only)(Between May and November, but only if there are visitors staying at the campsite or in the cabins.) Vending machine Shop Restaurant Campsite and/or cabins (A fee will apply) Accommodation facilities (Hotels / Japanese inns)(Outside the forest)
Iriyama, Nakanojo-machi, Agatsuma-gun, Gunma Prefecture
(Distances and times are provided as a guide only)
By public transport
<Access from nearest railway station / bus stop>
  • ・JR Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi Station (local bus: 76 minutes) → Lake Nozori
<Access from major transport hubs to nearest railway station / bus stop>
  • ・Tokyo Station (Joetsu Shinkansen: 60 minutes) → Takasaki Station (Agatsuma Line: about 80 minutes) → Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi Station
  • ・Ueno Station (JR Kusatsu limited express: 140 minutes) → Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi Station
  • ・Basuta Shinjuku Expressway Bus Terminal (highway express bus: 220 minutes) → Naganohara-Kusatsuguchi Station
By car
  • ・Kanetsu Expressway Shibukawa-Ikaho IC → Route 17 → Route 353 → Route 145 → Naganohara-machi (45 km) → Route 292 → Route 405 → Lake Nozori (28 km)
    (Kanetsu Expressway Nerima IC → Shibukawa-Ikaho IC → Lake Nozori 180 minutes)
<Car parking capacity / parking charges>

Car parking capacity: Space for about 200 vehicles ・Parking charges: Free ・Spaces available for large buses

Nearby tourist facilities
  • ・Kusatsu Onsen (60 minutes by car) Chatsubomi Moss Park [nationally designated natural monument] (50 minutes by car)
Management office contact details
Agatsuma District Forest Office
Information on Other Local Tourist Attractions
Lake Nozori Campsite Limited Liability Business Partnership [External link]
Official Tourist Information
Nakanojo Tourism Association [External link]
Nakanojo Municipal Office [External link]
Recreation Forest Management Committee
Nozori Recreation Forest Protection and Management Committee Kuni BO, Nakanojo Municipal Office
FAX: 0279-95-3832

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