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Forest Bathing With Elephants At Lake Nojiri’s ‘Zo No Komichi’

With lake views, secluded canopies and a whole lot of ‘forest bathing’, you’ll be able to leave the real world behind and give in to the therapeutic benefits of the healing forest.

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One of the best nature escapes on Japan’s main island of Honshu has got to be Lake Nojiri. Located high in the northern Nagano mountains, this ancient glacial lake is part of the Myoko Togakushi Renzan National Park.

The local attractions all revolve around enjoying the pristine natural surroundings: snow sports in winter; kayaking, fishing and boating in the warmer months.

For those partial to hiking and walking, the zo no komichi [elephant’s path] offers more than just exercise. This easy 2.5km trail winds through the forest along Lake Nojiri’s southern shoreline. With lake views, secluded canopies and a whole lot of ‘forest bathing’, you’ll be able to leave the real world behind and give in to the therapeutic benefits of the healing forest. 

Soak in the therapeutic benefits of forest bathing along Lake Nojiri's zo no komichi elephant trail.

The Elephant Path is so-called because of the Naumann Elephant fossils and artefacts excavated from the lake over the past seventy years. Many of these are on display in town at the Nojiriko Naumann Elephant Museum which is a great place to start your walk. From the museum, follow signs for the Nojiri Loop Track and after about 30 minutes (2.4km), you’ll come across the entrance to the Zo No Komichi on your left.

The zo no komichi map

Before you enter, take note of the painted map, as the path isn’t visible on Google Maps. For another reference, check out our map of key points

(You can read the rest of the article at this link. This article was first published by Team JJ on December 1, 2021. Check here for deeper and unique insights into visiting Japan, including wellness, travel, cuisine and more. Find Team JJ on Instagram and on Facebook.)