Shin-etsu Trail

Our Team

Board Members

Kunitake Koyama

Chief Advisor

Kunitake Koyama

Former mayor of Iiyama City
Advisor of NPO Japan Long Trail Association

Hiroshi Kimura

Representative Director

Hiroshi Kimura

Director of NPO Japan Trekking Association
Chief Director of NPO Japan Long Trail Association
Professor at the Center For Advanced Tourism Studies of Hokkaido University

Kazunari Yanagi

Deputy Representative Director

Tsugio Ichimura

Director of NPO Japan Trekking Association
Chairman of NPO Nagano Urban Policy Research Institute
President of Obusedo Corp.

Shuzo Tsuchiya

Director

Shuzo Tsuchiya

Director of NPO Japan Trekking Association
Director of NPO Nagano Urban Policy Research Institute
Advisor of ABLE DESIGN, INC.

Kazunari Yanagi

Director

Kazunari Yanagi

Representative Director of Hina no Yado Chitose
Senior Representative of Manma Matsunoyama Onsen LLC
Chairman of Niigata Ryokan Hotel Living Hygiene Association
Vice President of Niigata Prefectural Tourist Association
Managing Director of Snow Country Tourism Zone
Managing Director of Niigata Skiing Association
Advisor of ABLE DESIGN, INC.

Toru Nagumo

Director

Toru Nagumo

Chairman of Madarao Kogen Trekking Trail Guide Committee

Akio Odagiri

Auditor

Akio Odagiri

Tokyu Resorts & Stays Co., Ltd.

Hiroshi Nakamura

Advisor

Hiroshi Nakamura

Emeritus Professor of Shinshu University
Chief Executive Officer Dr. Hiroshi Nakamura
General Foundation Hiroshi Nakamura International Institute for Ornithology

Takashi Hamada

Advisor

Takashi Hamada

Senior Researcher of Nagano Prefectural Institute for Environmental Conservation

Hideyuki Ida

Advisor

Hideyuki Ida

Professor of education at Shinshu University

Mistuo Konuma

Advisor

Mistuo Konuma

Former Secretary of Shinetsu Trekking Committee
President and Chief Executive Officer of ABLE DESIGN, INC.

Takashi Fukuzawa

Advisor

Takashi Fukuzawa

Representative of Togari Trail Club

Office Staff

Executive Director

Atsushi Onishi

Born: Okayama prefecture / Nickname: Ou-ni-cha-n

Me and the Shin-etsu Trail
I took a leave of absence from college and stayed in New Zealand for a year. I was impressed with the wonderful management system there, where there was an excellent balance between the conservation of and utilization of nature, and seeing how trails are used as tourism resources. Just before I turned 30 years old, I was given the opportunity to compile a research report on the Appalachian Trail, and to become involved in the Shin-etsu Trail, I thought that I just needed to put all my feelings from New Zealand into it, and I jumped right into it.

Trail recommendations
The diversity of nature, culture and history creates a perfect picture wherever you look.

Favorite saying
Nothing is wasted in life.

Interests outside of the mountains
Travel, skiing, fishing, photography

Last meal request
A big bowl of Sanuki udon noodles.

Staff member

Eiji Suzuki

Born: Shizuoka prefecture / Trail name: Turnip

Me and the Shin-etsu Trail
I hiked the Appalachian Trail in the US, and I saw that beyond Mt. Katahdin lay the Shin-etsu Trail.

Trail recommendations
Twisted beech trees—you can see lots of them in Section 5.

Favorite saying
The country is divided by mountains and rivers.

Interests outside of the mountains
Making spoons out of wood.

Last meal request
Umeboshi onigiri (rice balls with pickled plum) with saké.

Staff member

Miyuki Uchino

Born: Tokyo / Nickname: Oo-chee

Me and the Shin-etsu Trail
I moved to Nagano prefecture because I liked mountains, and there was the Shin-etsu Trail.

Trail recommendations
The beech forest at Mt. Amamizu, which is also close to Matsunoyama Onsen.

Favorite saying
You're making a fortune just by being alive.

Interests outside of the mountains
Just ask me about anything around onsen!

Last meal request
Unagi (eel) served at the Honda Restaurant in Iiyama.

Staff member, regional revitalization cooperation corps member

Yukiko Satoh

Born: Saitama prefecture / Trail name: Lost & Found

Me and the Shin-etsu Trail
I have been following in Noriyoshi Kato's footsteps. Hiking the Appalachian Trail, in the US was a dream for a long time, but first of all I hiked the Shin-etsu Trail—I didn’t have to quit my job. After that I had to go and did thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, but I kept on encountering scenery that reminded me of the Shin-etsu Trail, so now I’m back here!

Trail recommendations
There’s nothing here that’s anything like the traffic jams on major mountain trails all over Japan. This is a paradise for someone who wants to hike at their own pace.

Favorite saying
It is what it is.

Interests outside of the mountains
Arts and crafts, physical training.

Last meal request
Double cheeseburger.

Maintenance Staff

Ryoichi Tamura

Born: Niigata prefecture / Nickname: Captain

Me and the Shin-etsu Trail
I was interested in Noriyoshi Kato’s book. I have participated in volunteer maintenance activity from just before the opening of the completed Shin-etsu Trail (in 2008), and continue today.

Trail recommendations
It has to be the beauty of the beech forest.

Favorite saying
Sonae yo tsune ni—be prepared. It was imprinted on me as a child.

Interests outside of the mountains
Absolutely, delicious saké with some tasty snacks.

Last meal request
Anything would be fine. That’s not good enough, is it? OK, can I say delicious saké?

Maintenance Staff

Tokuaki Yamakawa

Born: Nagano prefecture / Nickname: Yama P

Me and the Shin-etsu Trail
It was before the Shin-etsu Trail was built though, I got exhausted from backcountry skiing Mt. Nabekura, and I came down to the village and found the Nabekura Mori no Ie. One of the staff members very kindly helped me out, and later that the Shin-etsu Trail was going to be built in the Sekida Mountains. I thought, “There are other people who like things like that.” So I walked the proposed course for the Trail and found that it was a lot more rewarding than I thought and thought it was an interesting project. After that I started doing maintenance work aimed at opening up the entire Trail, was later asked if I wanted to be a guide—and I’m still here!

Trail recommendations
The maintenance people represent all ages. Maintaining it together is fun—it’s really like playing.

Favorite saying
I won’t do today what I can do tomorrow.

Interests outside of the mountains
Backcountry skiing.

Last meal request
Uni ikura don (sea urchin and salmon roe on rice).

Maintenance Staff

Koji Kishita

Born: Niigata prefecture / Nickname: Ojisan (Uncle)

Me and the Shin-etsu Trail
It was by getting acquainted with Noriyoshi Kato’s work.

Trail recommendations
It’s all wonderful, but the descent to Mori-Miyanohara Station, especially past Mt. Amamizu, is the best. The autumn color season is beautiful.

Favorite saying
Winter always turns to spring

Interests outside of the mountains
I’d like to say that work is my hobby, but it’s really eating delicious food. My special skills are pruning, and logging to a degree.

Last meal request
I have never thought about my last meal…. If I have to choose, though, just the pizza at my regular coffee shop. With good coffee.