[Scenic Touring] [Nagano Prefecture] Bike trip to Mishaka Pond! A solo Harley trip through seasonal scenery and picturesque places

Hello, this is _hiroyuki.ta.
This time, I took a motorcycle tour from central Tokyo to Mishakaike Pond in Nagano Prefecture.
Mishaka Pond is a beautiful mirror pond that was the motif of Japanese painter Kaii Higashiyama’s masterpiece “Green Echo”.
The scenery of each season is reflected on the water surface, making it look like a painting.
This time, I would like to introduce the charm of Mishaka Pond, as well as information on access and motorcycle parking.


What is Mishaka Pond?

Mishaka Pond is a reservoir located in Toyohira, Chino City, Nagano Prefecture, with an area of approximately 0.1 ha and a water depth of approximately 7 m.
The surrounding area is designated as Yatsugatake Chushin Kogen Quasi-National Park, and in 2010 it was selected as one of the 100 best reservoirs by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
The Yokoya Valley where the pond is located is an area that has suffered from cold damage caused by the effects of acidic cold mineral springs and the 1,100m high altitude, such as Oku-Tateshina Onsenkyo, and Mishaka Pond was completed as a reservoir in 1933. .
By retaining and warming the cold flowing water, it can now be used for agricultural purposes.
Because it is highly acidic, fish cannot live there.

The origin of the name Mishaka Pond is said to be from the Mishayama Mikari Shinto ritual, which is a ritual of shooting deer to offer to the gods at Suwa Taisha Shrine.
It is said that this land was sacred and was called “Kanno” because it was the place where Suwa Daimyojin went hunting.
That mysterious atmosphere still remains.

Route to Mishaka Pond

This time, I took the Chuo Expressway from central Tokyo via the Koshu Kaido, got off at the Suwa Minami IC, and took the Yatsugatake Echo Line to Mishaka Pond.
The distance is approximately 250km and the journey time is approximately 4 and a half hours.
There were breaks and refueling stops along the way, but there were no traffic jams or accidents.

The Koshu Kaido is a historic road, and during the Edo period it was an important transportation route connecting Edo with Kai Province (Yamanashi Prefecture) and Shinano Province (Nagano Prefecture).
Currently, it is maintained as National Route 20 and is convenient when heading west from the city center.
There are old buildings and temples dotted along the Koshu Kaido, where you can feel the history.
You can also enjoy seasonal features such as cherry blossoms and autumn leaves.

The Chuo Expressway is an expressway that connects Tokyo and Nagano Prefecture, and offers beautiful views of the Japanese Alps and Mt. Fuji.
There are many service areas and parking areas along the Chuo Expressway, making it convenient for you to take a break or eat.
In particular, Yatsugatake Kogen SA is a popular spot where you can eat and shop while looking out at the Yatsugatake mountain range.
Yatsugatake Kogen SA has a wide selection of local specialties and souvenirs.

From Suwa Minami IC, enter Yatsugatake Echo Line via Prefectural Route 425 and Yatsugatake Zoom Line.
Yatsugatake Echo Line is a road surrounded by nature that runs at the foot of Mt. Yatsugatake, with an elevation difference of about 800m.
Along the road, there are coniferous forests such as larch and spruce, and broad-leaved forests such as sycamore and beech.
Depending on the season, the colors of fresh greenery and autumn leaves look beautiful.
You may also encounter wild animals.

Highlights of Mishaka Pond

When you arrive at Mishaka Pond, the first thing that catches your eye is the scenery of the mountains reflected in the water.
The larch forest and Yatsugatake mountain range in the background are reflected upside down on the calm surface of the water, making it look like a mirror.
Its appearance arouses inspiration in many people, and it even became a motif in the famous work “Green Echoes” by Kaii Higashiyama, one of Japan’s leading painters.
I’ve seen that picture before, but seeing it in person is overwhelming.

Mishaka Pond changes its appearance with the seasons.
In spring, fresh greenery is reflected on the water surface.
In summer, deep greenery covers the water surface.
In autumn, the golden yellow leaves of the larch forest are reflected on the water surface.
In winter, it is covered with pure white snow and ice.
I went in autumn, and it was so beautiful to see the autumn leaves of the larch forest and the blue sky reflected in the water.

You can enjoy walking and taking photos around Mishaka Pond.
You can walk around the pond for about 500 meters, but entering the embankment is prohibited and you cannot get close to the pond.
This is an agricultural facility that is used with care by the local community, so please help us maintain the environment.
You can fully enjoy the beauty of the water surface even from a distance from the pond.
I walked slowly around the pond and took photos from various angles.
The view from the observation deck on the south side of the pond is especially spectacular.
From the observation deck, you can see the entire pond and Mt. Yatsugatake in the background.
The reflection of the mountains on the water was just like a painting.

Motorcycle parking lot at Mishaka Pond

It is relatively easy to access Mishaka Pond by motorbike.
Free parking is available near the pond.
Motorcycle parking is located in front of Mishaka Shrine on the north side of the pond.
From the motorcycle parking lot, you can walk to the pond in about 5 minutes.
The motorcycle parking lot is not large, but there are often spaces available on weekdays and early mornings.
I went on a Saturday morning and was able to park easily.


This time, I took a motorcycle tour from central Tokyo to Mishaka Pond in Nagano Prefecture.
Mishaka Pond is a pond with a beautiful view of the mountains reflected in the water, and was the motif of Japanese painter Kaii Higashiyama’s masterpiece “Green Sounds”.
Mishaka Pond, whose appearance changes with the seasons, is a spot where you can enjoy walking and taking photos.
There are also spots nearby where you can experience history and culture.
If you are traveling by bike, there is free bike parking available.

I really enjoyed touring to Mishaka Pond.
It felt great running along the Yatsugatake Echo Line, which is rich in nature, and I will never forget the sight of the water mirror at Mishaka Pond.
If you read this article, please come and visit us.