Achi Village

The Most Beautiful Starry Sky in japan


Achi-mura, a small village located in southwestern Nagano Prefecture, is known for its breathtaking views of the starry sky. This serene mountain town, with a population of only 6,500 inhabitants, attracts approximately 1,300,000 tourists each year. The remote location of Achi ensures that the levels of air pollution and light pollution are significantly lower compared to urban areas, making it the perfect destination for stargazing enthusiasts. In addition to its celestial wonders, Achi offers a range of activities for nature lovers, including camping, hiking, and exploring its stunning seasonal displays of Japanese azaleas and Hanamomo (peach blossoms).

Stargazing in Achi

Achi Village has been recognized by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment as the best area in the country for stargazing. In 2006, it was named the No. 1 stargazing spot in Japan. The village is home to the main stargazing facility, located at the Heaven Sonohara ski resort on top of Fujimidai Heights. Visitors can enjoy stargazing while riding gondolas on a 2,500-meter-long ropeway to the 1,400-meter peak. At Star Village Achi, visitors will find a café and a wide-open plain equipped with telescopes for observing stars and constellations in a pitch-black environment.

To enhance the stargazing experience, Star Village Achi offers guided tours for visitors. Prospective visitors can check the schedule and book tickets on the Star Village Achi website or purchase them as part of a special accommodation package with local hotels and inns. Some accommodations even provide a shuttle service to the stargazing facility. Namiai Park, another facility in the mountains of Achi, also offers stargazing parties at an elevation of 1,200 meters.

It is important to note that higher altitudes can be chilly, even during the summer, so visitors should dress appropriately. Bringing a blanket to keep warm while stargazing is also recommended. Additionally, a small flashlight can be handy for lighting the ground area when searching for a spot to settle down for the stargazing session.

Daytime Activities in Achi

While stargazing is the highlight of the night, Achi Village and its surroundings offer plenty to do during the day. The Jibuzaka Highland is famous for its beautiful flora, with an abundance of flowers in full bloom from spring to fall. Visitors can enjoy the scent of Japanese azaleas in spring and witness the breathtaking display of approximately 10,000 peach blossoms along Hanamomo Kaido Road during the Hanamomo Festival in late April to early May. In the fall, the forest transforms into a vibrant palette of red and yellow as the broad-leaved trees change color.

For panoramic views of the southern Alps, visitors can take the Fujimidai Kogen Ropeway to Heavens Sonohara. The gondolas travel to an elevation of 1,400 meters, offering magnificent views of the surrounding landscape. The mountaintop station is easily accessible, with paved areas for leisurely strolls. In early summer, skunk cabbages bloom, creating a picturesque scene. In autumn, visitors can enjoy a sea of clouds during an early morning tour. The area also offers winter activities such as downhill skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and snowshoeing.

For additional sightseeing opportunities, the Central Alps Komagatake Ropeway provides breathtaking views of Senjojiki Cirque, an area shaped by glaciers approximately 20,000 years ago. The ropeway has the largest elevation gain in Japan at 950 meters, with the highest terminal station at 2,612 meters. On clear days, visitors can even catch a glimpse of Mount Fuji from Senjojiki Station at the peak.

Local Specialties and Onsen Resorts

No visit to Achi Village is complete without indulging in the local delicacies and experiencing the traditional onsen hot springs. The morning farmers’ market is a must-visit for those looking to taste locally grown products. From fruits and mushrooms to dried persimmons and homemade jam, the market offers an array of seasonal delicacies.

Soba, or buckwheat noodles, is one of Nagano Prefecture’s most famous dishes. Visitors can take a soba-making class and enjoy a delicious meal at a local restaurant. The hot springs in Achi-mura offer a perfect way to relax and rejuvenate after a day of sightseeing. The mineral-rich waters are believed to cleanse both the body and soul, soothing sore muscles and restoring energy.


Achi-mura in Nagano Prefecture is a hidden gem for stargazing enthusiasts and nature lovers. With its pristine mountain views, soothing hot springs, and breathtaking displays of Japanese azaleas and Hanamomo, the village offers a unique experience for travelers seeking tranquility and natural beauty. Whether it’s exploring the starry sky at night or embarking on daytime adventures, Achi has something special to offer every visitor. So, come and discover the most beautiful starry sky in Japan in the enchanting village of Achi-mura.

Address And Maps Location:

Achi-mura, Shimoina-gun, Nagano-ken

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