Norikura Observatory


Cosmic ray research in Mt.Norikura started with an experiment conducted by Osaka City University in Tatamidaira in 1949. In the next year, the four institutions, Osaka City University, Nagoya University, Kobe University, and Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, established a lodge for cosmic-ray experiments, called “Asahi Hut”, in Iwaitani based on the Asahi Academic Grant. In August 1953, the Cosmic Ray Observatory of the University of Tokyo was formally established as the first Japanese joint-use research institute for universities. In 1976, the observatory was reborn as the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research (ICRR), and the Norikura observatory became one of facilities of ICRR.

The observatory has been hosting cutting-edge cosmic ray researches, including the study of particle and nuclear interactions in ultra-high energy regions, cosmic ray modulations by magnetic fields and solar activities in the galaxy and the interplanetary space, observation of solar neutrons and study of cosmic-ray acceleration mechanism in thunderclouds. In addition, recent activities include researches related to the Earth environments. For examples, aerosols are observed in the unpolluted high mountain to study their transport mechanisms and their effect to air pollution and cloud generation, and the green-house effect and acid rain are studied by surveying alpine vegetation. Moreover, the observatory is used for prototype experiments to search for very-high-energy gamma-rays from the sky, and performance tests of cosmic-ray telescopes, utilizing its high altitude and night-sky darkness. Thus the Norikura observatory is working as a multi-purpose laboratory used by researchers in various fields with its unique features.


Address : Norikuradake, Nyukawa-cho, Takayama-shi,
Gifu Prefecture 506-2100 Japan
TEL : +81-90-7721-5674 +81-90-7408-6224
Altitude : 2,770 m (average atmospheric pressure: 720 hPa)


・Matsumoto Sta. of JR Chuo Line → Matsumoto Dentetsu
(30 min.) → Shinshimashima Sta. → Alpico Group Bus
(2 hrs) → Bus terminal at the summit of Mt.Norikura
→ Walk (25 min.) (Bus service: Jul. to early Oct.)
・Takayama Sta. of JR → Nohi Bus via Hirayu Onsen (2 hrs)
→ Bus terminal at the summit of Mt.Norikura
→ Walk (25 min.) (Bus service: Jul. to early Oct.)