A must-do activity in autumn: Going stargazing in Achi village
Visiting the small village of Achi, a place I'd never heard of before, was one of the most precious experiences during my travel in Japan. Having explored Achi, I wished you could also be there at least once in life.
Last autumn when I was in Japan, one of my friends in Nagano suggested visiting a nature tourist attraction there - the Village of Aichi, that according to her, was super exciting.
Achi lies separately in "its own world". I could feel fresh air filling up my chest when I got there. It was near the end of September when the autumn had already started in Achi. The sky was clear and wide open for a stargazing experience.
Achi is easily accessible by car
The address of Achi Village: 3731-4 Chisato, Achi, Shimoina, Nagano 395-0304, Japan.
We reached Nagano from Tokyo by car. It was recommended as the most convenient means of transportation. If you take the Chuo Highway to Yamamoto Iida interchange and follow the signs to Achi, it takes you around 4 hours.
From the metropolis where skyscrapers and subway sounds were all over the place, the way to Achi was gradually revealed with hills and mountains alongside the road, and emerald trees stretched as far as the eyes can see. Things had never been so tranquil and picturesque. Down the valleys echoed the brooks murmuring through randomly scattered rocks.
When I looked up at the sky, it was covered in a magnificent shade of blue that ensured an amazing stargazing experience.
Admire a night sky full of stars in Achi
After we got to Achi, our sightseeing was scheduled to take place in Heavens Sonohara of Mount Fujimidai. You have to go to the top of the mountain by cable car.
I got there at around 6 p.m and spent 10 - 15 minutes taking cable car to the top.
You should be there before 7:30 p.m so as not to miss the last ride, as the stargazing show begins at 20h00.
We prepared light meal and drink and brought them along to save money.
This is a very popular stargazing show and favoured by many tourists. It takes place from 20:00 to 20:30. All buildings around the area will turn off their electricity to ensure a perfect experience.
Don't forget to bring along a canvas to sit on, and a thin blanket or coat to prevent catching a cold when going to a high altitude at night.
The area for stargazing was very spacious so we could choose to sit wherever we wanted to. They used laser ray to point out things in the sky and explained to us what we could see. It was an exciting experience!
The anonymous stars in the sky that we usually knew nothing about, actually had their own story. In 30 minutes, it felt as if you were indulging yourself into the vast universe as if you were immersing yourself into nature at the height of millions of meters.
But don't forget the unique experience of stargazing inside the forest of Namiai Park
In the wide park, there is a camping site, a small bakery and an observation deck. There is also an information booth to help you know more about those stargazing experiences in Achi.
As far as I know, this one is more of an educational tour. It is more suitable for groups of students and individuals who desire to explore and collect information by themselves.
Namiai is a recently opened park with a wide range of service and weekly festivals organized for stargazing tourists.
I think they are undoubtedly interesting and if I have a chance, I would definitely love to spend my time here. Choosing this tour will only cost us 1000¥ per pax.
Whichever you decide to try out, the top of the mountain or the huge park, I am sure that you will get wonderful memories.
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