Discover Iiyama

Shin-etsu Trail

The Shin-etsu Trail runs over the edge of the Sekida Mountains, forming the boundary between Nagano and Niigata Prefectures. Located around 1000m above sea level, it is one of the few long trails of Japan. Historically, there were 16 passages connecting Nagano with Niigata (traditionally called Shinano and Echigo, respectively) through the mountains, used for carrying salt and sea products from Niigata, and Uchiyama paper and mustard seed oil from Nagano. The famous warlord Kenshin Uesugi is said to have led tens of thousands of his men through these passages to fight the Battle of Kawanakajima. Today, this area is blessed with a rich eco-system, including magnificent Japanese beech tree forests. It takes six days and five nights to hike all sections of the trail with overnight accommodations. For those who prefer tent camping, the entire trail can be completed in 5 nights and 4 days.

The Trail

Mt Madarao – Akaike Pond

Highest elevation1,382m
Lowest elevation910m
Difference in elevation471m

Akaike Pond – Wakui

Highest elevation1,022m
Lowest elevation563m
Difference in elevation459m

Wakui – Hotokegamine

Highest elevation938m
Lowest elevation563m
Difference in elevation375m

Hotokegamine – Sekida Gap

Highest elevation1,288m
Lowest elevation830m
Difference in elevation458m

Sekida Gap – Busuno Gap

Highest elevation1,140m
Lowest elevation970m
Difference in elevation170m

Busuno Gap – Mt Amamizu

Highest Elevation: 1,151m
Lowest Elevation: 1,015m
Difference in elevation: 136m
Highest elevation1,151m
Lowest elevation1,015m
Difference in elevation136m


The Shin-etsu Trail Club, formed on January 16th, 2004, is a nonprofit organization accredited by Nagano Prefecture. Our mission is to manage and maintain the 80km trail that stretches over the Sekida Mountains, as well as introduce its beauty to a wider audience. Additionally, we try to educate people on the importance of the trail’s natural surroundings, most notably the magnificent Japanese beech-tree forests, along with local history and culture.

The trail’s accessibility depends on snowfall conditions. Generally, Sections 1&2 are open from the end of May and Sections 5&6 from the middle of June.


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