A Togakushi Winter Photo Tour is steeped in rich, Japanese cultural tradition. The name of the shrine itself divulges some of the shrine’s history. The name means ‘hidden door’, and the origin of the story comes from the sun goddess hiding herself away after her mischievous brother had wrecked havoc on the world. To bring her light back to the world, a glorious performance was undertaken during which the door to the cave in which the sun goddess hid was flung away, all the way to Nagano from Kyushu. And a shrine so intimately tied to the origin of the nation of Japan, Togakushi carries all the significance of its origin.
The Togakushi shrine is divided into three shrines, lower, middle, and upper shrine, and each shrine and its surroundings are all supremely photogenic. During the winter, the tori gate at the base of the entrance to the lower shrine is frosted with glistening snow and marks your beginning of a winter photo adventure. A long flight of stairs await you, and your Japan Dreamscapes (JDS) photo workshop leader will direct your attention to the best photo spots along the path until you reach the prayer hall.
The middle shrine sits on top of small city and shares its holy ground with several shops and restaurants which will yield not only photo ops but also the perfect resting point to recharge with delicious Japanese cuisine before moving on. The architecture of middle shrine coupled with a small waterfall make for amazing photographs and reminders of the nature’s largesse.
The final charge to the upper shrine comes with the most breathtaking natural element that Togakushi offers, the 900 year old cedar trees lining the pathway that will be all be dusted with snow and ready to be photographed. The upper shrine is complimented by the mountain behind it as breathtaking main hall. Everywhere you turn, you will witness a photo worthy scene.