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Joshin'etsu Kogen National Park in Nagano, Gunma, Niigata

Joshin'etsu kogen National Park is the second largest national park in Japan and consists of mountains and highlands that extend across Gunma, Nagano, and Niigata prefectures. This park is the site of Mt. Tanigawa-dake and numerous other steep mountains that rise 2,000 meters above sea level or higher as well as a number of well-known volcanoes, such as Mt. Asama and Mt. Myoko. Shigakogen, Myokokogen, Sugadaira, and other spacious highland areas are scattered throughout the park.

◆Mt. Asama
Mt. Asama (2,568 meters) is a triple-fold volcano bordering on Nagano and Gunma prefectures. It erupted constantly from the geological age until 1281 when the current form of the mountain emerged after a large eruption. It has been growing at a faster rate since a massive eruption occurred in 1782. The absence of more imposing peaks in the surrounding area permits the entire mountain to be seen unencumbered while discharged smoke rises from the summit to be carried off into the clear sky. The north side of the base of the volcano features the Onioshidashi Lava Flow, considered one of the world's three finest spots of [volcanic] scenic beauty and is home to the Asama Ranch, where an extensive grassland area is located.

◆Mt. Shirane
Mt. Shirane (2,138 meters above sea level) is situated east of the famed Kusatsu Onsen resort town. Measuring 300 meters in diameter and 30 meters deep, Yugama Crater Lake is the world's finest acid lake and is notable for its emerald green color. The contrast struck between the color of this lake and the utter barrenness of the nearby rocks, where no trees or grass can be seen growing, is unearthly. Mt. Shirane is surrounded by Mt. Moto-Shirane, a natural habitat of the Dicentra peregrina plant. Yumi-ike Pond, which was created as a result of an eruption, lies in the saddle between Mt. Shirane and Mt. Moto-Shirane.

Situated east of Mt. Tanigawa-dake, Ichinokurasawa is a rocky tract that sits at less than 2,000 meters above sea level but is a place with steep cliffs, a complex topography, and fierce variations in the weather. The cliffs of Ichinokurasawa are among the three most notable rocky formations in Japan and attract rock climbers and gorge-climbing enthusiasts from across the country.

◆Shibu Pass
The Shiga-Kusatsu Route is a pass situated 2,172 meters above sea level on the prefectural border between Kuni Village in Gunma Prefecture and Yamanouchi Town in Nagano Prefecture and is famous as the highest national highway in Japan. As the former Kusatsu-Kaido Highway, it was once a busy thoroughfare used by travelers and itinerant merchants. On the Nagano side of the border extends Shiga Kogen, known for the beauty of a cluster of lakes and marshes and as the site of a ski resort. On the Gunma side of the border lies a desolate expanse of land encircling Mt. Shirane. In the season of autumnal foliage, forests of mountain ash trees become tinged with crimson to further accentuate the beauty of the landscape.

Hokushingogaku is the collective name given to a group of individual mountains located in the northern part of Nagano Prefecture and the southern part of Niigata Prefecture as seen from the Nagano side of the border. These mountains are: Mt. Iizuna (1,917 meters), Mt. Togakushi (1,904 meters), Mt. Kurohime (2,053 meters), Mt. Myoko (2,454 meters, and Mt. Madarao (1,382 meters). These mountains (with the exception of Mt. Madarao) constitute the dominant peaks of the Myoko-Togakushi area of Joshin'etsukogen National Park and draw countless visitors to an alpine environment where the landscape changes constantly with the seasons.

◆Lake Nojiri
Lake Nojiri was dammed up as a result of volcanic activity and the subsequent upheavals that occurred. A promontory that was thrust into this area by complex means helps to create a fantastic landscape as it blends well with the surrounding forests. A site with a large number of fossils of Palaeoloxodon naumanni was discovered at this location. All year round, visitors can engage in fishing and water sports, admire the surrounding landscape from sightseeing boats on the lake, take nature walks, or use the area as a summer resort.

Includes one of one hundred mountains in Japan : Mt. Tanigawa-dake(1,977m), Mt. Amakazari-yama(1,963m), Mt. Naeba(2,145m), Mt. Myoko(2,454m), Mt. Hiuchi(2,462m), Mt. Takatsuma-yama(2,353m), Mt. Kusatsushirane(2,171m), Mt. Azumaya(2,354m), Mt. Asama-yama(2,568m)

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High moor and mountain across Gunma, Niigata, and Nagano prefecture.


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