Mount Haruna [榛名山]
Mount Haruna is a caldera volcano.
It is located about 12 km west of Shibukawa city.
It is one of the Gunma's three major mountains, along with Mount Akagi and Myogi.
In Japanese, it is called "Harunasan".
It is estimated that the last eruption was in the early 6th century.
Since that, this volcano has been calm.
In the center of the caldera, there is conical Mount Haruna-fuji (榛名富士).
It is 1,390 meters high, and is similar to Mount Fuji.
There is Lake Haruna (榛名湖) which is a caldera lake on the west of the mountain.
It is located at the level of 1,084 meters.
And the outer crater with many peaks surround them.
The highest peak is 1,449 meters high.
Ikaho hot spring resort is located about 4 km northeast of this caldera.
Lake Haruna is one of the popular summer resorts, so a camping area is opened in summer, and there are also some hotels and ryokans.
And, horse drawn carriages are operated in the resort town.
But tall waterweeds grow thickly in the whole lake.
So it is said that you never come back alive if you have drowned in this lake while walking around the lake.
This lake freezes up in winter, so we can enjoy skating on the ice.
Harunasan Ropeway is operated from the resort to the top of Haruna-fuji.
Haruna shrine (榛名神社)
Haruna shrine ("Haruna-jinja" in Japanese) is on the southwestern slope of Mount Haruna.
It is located about 3 km southwest of Lake Haruna.
It is said that the shrine was founded in 586, and has been the central shrine of ancient mountain worship around this area.
Most of the buildings in this shrine were rebuilt between the late 18th century and the early 19th century, and they are designated as nationally important cultural properties.
From the entrance gate "Zuishinmon", the visitors walk on an approach.
The approach is along a mountain stream in a valley, and the distance to the main shrine is about 600 meters.
Some huge rocks and a few waterfalls are along the approach.
On the way, there is a big cedar tree "Yatate-sugi" designated as a nation's natural monument.
It is about 55 meters tall and it is said that the tree is over 1,000 years old.
In front of the main shrine, there is "Sôryûmon".
The main shrine is constructed adjoining a huge rock.
It is said that the object of worship is enshrined in the rock.
How to get here
By route bus, about 25 minutes from Ikaho hot spring resort to Lake Haruna.
And, about 10 minutes from Lake Haruna To Haruna Shrine.