Today I’d like to introduce one-day hiking course in Nagatoro, Saitama prefecture. The total hiking time is around 3.5 hours which takes you to the top of Hodo mountain. You can also take a cable car on your way down to the station after hiking up to the top of the mountain so this hiking course is definitely good for beginners. Nagatoro is also known as a little toursit spot so after the hike, you can also expore the city.
The hiking course that I chose this time is called “Manpukuji course” which starts at the Nogami station, pass by the Manpukuji (Manpuku temple), climb up the Hodo mountain, and get to the Nagatoro station. It takes about 2 hours to get to the Nogami station from Ikebukuro station in Tokyo. Once you get to the Nogami station, you can check out the map of the area.
From the Nogami station to the entrace of the hiking course, you just walk through the residential area but once you enter the entrance, you have to walk up the steep trail surrounded by the nature. If you are lucky you may encounter wild life such as bears but normally, you would not see them. The trail is called “Nagatoro Alps.”
There is a sign every few miles so you have to make sure you follow the direction that says Hodo mountain.
Just 600 meters before the top of the mountain, you will have to climb up really steep hills and wooden steps. The trail is mostly well paved but it could be partly slippery and muddy after the rain. You also have to step over large locks and logs on the trail.
Even though it was pretty tough to climb all the way up after being at home for so long during lockdown, it was very nice and refreshing to be in the nature.
The view from the top of the mountain was great even though the top of the mountain was just less than 500 meters from the ground. A lot of people were enjoying a picnic there with some cooking camping meal or backpacking food recipe such as pasta. The food definitely tastes better in the beautiful scenery.
We decided to take the ropeway on our way back to the station as we wanted to stop by in Iwadatami Rocks which is another famous spot in Nagatoro. The ropeway runs every 15 minutes so it is very convenient for people who just want to enjoy the view from the mountain and not climbing up or down the mountain. Those people can even get dressed up and wear heels to the mountain!
After getting off the ropeway and walk 15 minutes or so, you can get to Iwadatami Rocks. Iwadatami Rocks are the scenic layered rocks that represent Nagatoro. The area is covered by a vast, natural rock formation that is 80 meters wide and 500 meters long. You can walk on the huge rock terrace along the Arakawa-river.
Rafting down the river is one of the main attractions in Nagatoro. The boats piloted by skilled boatmen glide smoothly through the river so you can enjoy the pleasant scenery and also provide a thrill down the river rapids. The picture below is not the scene of rafting but a boat cruise on the Arakawa river. As you can see in the picture below, it is a very peaceful boat ride.
The river was absolutely clear and clean so it makes you feel that you want to jump into the water.
Nagatoro is definitely a good place to visit during the summer vacation.