Atera Valley, Nagano(阿寺渓谷、 長野)

Atera Keikoku or Atera valley is situated in the Ogawa village of Nagano prefecture. The valley is famous for a river with transparent emerald green or blue water. Atera valley is located in a forest region which is also a famous autumn foliage viewing locations in Nagano.

A trip to the valley is possible only using private transportation as the roads are very narrow all the way up to the mountain. The plain-glass-like clear water of the Atera river running through the forest is the best spot to enjoy swimming, and having a bath. In summer, it is the right place to spend a day. Rocks pampered by the waves, waves broken up by the big rocks! There are no words to explain the beauty of this place hiding in between the woods. The rocks of the riverbed could be seen clearly most of which are white in colour.

We saw some people diving into the river from huge rocks on the banks(Dangerous!). During rainy weather, it is very dangerous as the rocks become slippery and there is a chance for river overflow.

 

The thick forest area and the river flowing in between the woods
The emerald green water of Atera valley
The blue river flowing between the woods

The calm banks of the river is an apt location to do barbeque also. There are small shops selling foods including fresh fish and other items nearby.

Atera valley is not yet developed as a tourist destination. It is less touched by human interference and hence the natural beauty of the place can be enjoyed as it is. As the beauty of the place is brought to the society through TV programs and social medias, the valley and surrounding regions are visited by many people recently.

Fresh fish getting ready for grilling
Grilling the fish

 

There are many scenic spots around the Atera valley. Waterfalls, forest, some bridges etc. are situated near this place.

Caution: The river and surrounding areas are dangerous spots unless we pay good attention. Slippery rocks, deep parts of the river and narrow forest paths should be travelled with great care. Travelling to the valley with kids is very dangerous. Rainy days are not a good time to visit the area.

Access: On route 19, the place can be accessed by following the way to Atera valley entrance. There is a bridge called Atera bridge on the way. Visitors have to follow sign-boards with direction instructions.