Spots in Nagano Area

  • National Treasure Matsumoto Castle
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    4.5
    3635 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Marunouchi 4-1
    "Matsumoto Castle is said to feature Japan's oldest surviving five-storied six-floor pagoda. It is one of the few castles designated as a National Treasure, and maintains the image of the past. The black and white contrast of the castle rising amid the Alps in the background is beautiful, and the castle has become a symbol of Matsumoto City. In addition to the castle facilities of the Sengoku period, such as the stone drops meant to rebuff invaders, or samurai windows or the gun slits, there are exhibits such as the ""Matsumoto Castle Gunhouse"" centered around matchlock guns, and artifacts unearthed during the ninomaru palace excavation performed from 1979-1984. In the precinct, you'd do well to see the black gate with eave roof tiles marked with the family crests of historical castle lords, or the taiko gate which was restored in 1999."

    In contrast to Himeji castle, Matsumoto castle is black, and is often called the Black Crow because of its colour. Good photos are taken from near the red bridge. It is also lit up at...

  • Jigokudani Yaen-koen
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    4.5
    2715 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Shimotakaigunyamanouchimachi Hirao 6845
    This is a park where you can watch bathing monkeys in a hot spring and it is also popular with foreign tourists as a place to see “snow monkeys”. All the monkeys in the park are wild and enter the hot spring in order to be able to endure the cold temperatures of the severe winters which can reach minus 10°C. The park is located in the valley of Yokoyu River which brims with rustic beauty, and is located 30 minutes by foot from the free parking lot at Kanbayashi hot spring.

    We had a great experience at the Snow Monkey Park! We took a taxi from the train station—which took about 15 minutes and cost around 2000 yen. We arrived right when it opened at 08:30 am and were...

  • Zenkoji Temple
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    4.5
    1970 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Naganoshi Naganomotoyoshichou 491-b
    "Located in Nagano City, this temple does not belong to any sect. Any sect is free to worship here, which has received veneration for having Japan's oldest Ikko Sanson Amida Nyorai as the main deity. During the Edo period, it was said that ""once in your life, visit Zenkoji Temple,"" The ""oasaji"" is performed every day during the sunrise. If you purchase a ticket for the inner sanctum, you can worship up close. The ""zenritsu honzon"" is performed once every seven years. About 15 minutes by bus from JR Nagano Station."

    This temple is absolutely beautiful and our favourite so far having visited many of the shrines and temples in Tokyo. There are much less tourists here which gives you the opportunity to savour and...

  • Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza
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    4.0
    1400 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Kitasakugunkaruizawamachi Karuizawa
    A gigantic shopping mall and virtual landmark in Karuizawa. With a total of seven parking areas, shoppers visiting by car are encouraged to look up which stores they are most interested in before choosing where to park. In addition to fashion brands, the mall also contains a shop selling Karuizawa sweets and jams, making it the perfect place to pick up a few souvenirs as well. Children can play to their hearts’ content in the spacious outdoor kids park.

    This outlet mall is situated just in front of shinkansen station and very accesible. The mall is very huge with many brand stores selling outlet items. The price is very reasonable for some brands...

  • Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort
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    4.5
    747 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Shimotakaigunnozawaonsenmura Toyosato 7653
    One of Japan’s foremost ski and snowboarding resorts offering elevation differences reaching 1085 meters. The resort is popular for its wide array of courses enjoyable from beginners to experts. The resort also has a wide and gentle slope for children as well as a kids’ park for young ones to play in the snow making it a great destination for families as well. Another attractive point is the resort’s moving walkway which extends from the hot spring district directly to the slopes.

    This ski resort is unique in that the town itself predates it by 800 or so years. You have the charm of the town with a resort that provides someting for every level of skier in enough quantity to...

  • Daio Wasabi Farm
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    4.0
    766 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Aduminoshi Hotaka 3640
    This vast wasabi farm in Azumino spans a space equal to 11 Tokyo Domes. Entry is free and the farm is open every day year-round. In addition to wasabi fields and a processing plant, visitors can enjoy the tranquil waterside scenery, including a water mill used in a Kurosawa’s film. The farm’s shop sells unique products found nowhere else such as wasabi soft serve ice cream and wasabi-don rice bowls. If traveling by train, a 10-minute taxi ride from Hotaka Station on the JR Oito Line.

    There are a couple of wasabi farms in the area but this one seems more popular, perhaps as it is the closest to the train station. There are several walks there, as well as a wasabi statue. In the...

  • Suwa Taisha (Suwa Grand Shrine) Kamisha Honmiya
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    4.5
    462 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Suwashi Nakasu 1
    Suwa Taisha (Suwa Grand Shrine) Kamisha Honmiya, one of the oldest shrines in the country and the head shrine of over 10,000 Suwa shrines throughout Japan, has no main building, but only a “heihaiden” and a “katahaiden,” a unique style known as the Suwa style. Many precious buildings remain, and six of them are registered as Important Cultural Properties. In olden times, people worshiped at Suwa Myojin to pray to the guardian deities of wind, water, and the harvest, as well as brave men. Nowadays, it is believed to house the deity that guards life and livelihood. It’s about five minutes from the Suwa Interchange on the Chuo Expressway.

    Parts of the Suwa Taisha shrine complex date back to the 7th century and possibly earlier. The shrines honour the gods of agriculture, hunting, and fertility. There are many differing legends, myths...

  • Shiga Kogen 18 Ski Area
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    4.5
    438 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Shimotakai-gun Yamanouchimachi Shigakogen
    This ski resort is located in Shimotakai County, Nagano Prefecture. The facility name is actually the collective name for several ski slopes of varying sizes and is one of the largest ski resorts in Japan. The area is known for its abundant snowfalls, and during ski season the resort bustles with locals and tourists alike. Each slope has its own unique character and they are all connected via free lifts; there are also shuttle busses. There's something for skiers of all levels here - for example, the resort offers classes for children and beginners, and there's a highly difficult, 30 degree Olympic Course used during the Nagano Olympics. Some of the slopes have lights for nighttime skiing, ensuring that visitors can enjoy a full day of winter sports here.

    Highly recommended for both on & off-piste skiing, although many lifts are slow and none have footrests, so tired legs !

  • Narai-juku (post town)
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    4.5
    354 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Shiojirishi Narai
    Long ago, the Nakasendo was an important highway connecting Edo and Kyoto, and many travelers stopped at the post town of Narai-juku before or after crossing the Torii Pass following this route. The post town once prospered due to the many people moving along the highway, and the town was even described as “Narai Sen-ken” (1,000 buildings of Narai). Narai was quite large, and divided into three districts—uptown, midtown, and downtown, and today the townscape remains mostly unchanged from its heyday. In 1978, the post town was designated an Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings.

    It was great to get to Narai-juku early in the morning before all the shops opened & the arrival of bus loads of tourists. We parked our vehicle for 500 yen @ the train station. Convenient & clean...

  • Shibu Onsen
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    4.5
    262 Reviews
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Nagano Shimotakai-gun Yamanouchimachi Hirao
    A hot spring district with a long history which records state was discovered by the great priest Gyoki in the Nara period. The area boasts such a large number of source springs and such an abundance of hot spring water that you can dig practically anywhere into the ground and soon find piping hot water bubbling up from below. In addition to hot spring hotels, there are nine public bathhouses in the area, and visitors can go on the traditional Kyu-to Meguri pilgrimage and try all nine for free to compare and contrast (limited to persons staying overnight in the district). Each of the Kyu-to Meguri bathhouses makes use of a different source spring with differing water qualities, and pilgrims can get a special tenugui hand towel stamped at each bathhouse as proof of their visit. The pilgrimage ends with a visit to the Shibutaka Yakushi Temple, which offers a sweeping view of the district, to receive one final stamp that is said to grant one's wish as well as protection from misfortune, safe childbirth and child rearing, and youth and longevity.

    I walk to Shibu Onsen in February when I visited Snow Monkey park. There are many Onsen and restaurants. Shibu Onsen is clam and beautiful/

  • Biyunoyado
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    4.5
    537 Reviews
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Nagano Prefecture Shimotakai gun Yamanouchi cho Yudanaka
    A hot spring hotel with a 100% natural hot spring large public bath and outdoor baths include a private outdoor bath reservable for an extra fee. The hotel has Japanese and Western-style rooms and a full array of amenities. Guests can also enjoy a Japanese taiko drumming show in the lobby and eat kaiseki course cuisine in the hotel restaurant.

    After touring around Japan, our last stop was yudanaka. We stayed at Biyunoyado for 3 nights and had the best time. We went on the snow monster tour which I highly recommend, especially if you are...

  • Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park
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    4.5
    340 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Kitadumigunhakubamura Kamishiro 24196-47
    This ski resort in the Hakuba area is known for a regular amount of snowfall of superb quality. Consisting of eight routes, half pipes, and a kids slope. It connects with Hakuba Goryu at the summit, and you can come and go between them with the same lift pass. The Route 3 course in front of the gondola station at the summit is an action-packed run where moguls have been left the entire way. Hakuba 47’s hallmark Route 1 run also comes highly recommended. It’s the first slope groomed in the morning, and you can enjoy great scenery while skiing down towards the village of Hakuba.

    Really enjoyed Hakuba47 as a ski resort to learn in. At the time we went in March there was more snow here than on the other resorts. Good lift access to quite a variety of runs. The Hakuba47 Ski...

  • Togakushi Shrine Chusha
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    4.0
    271 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Naganoshi Togakushi 3506
    The enshrined deity is Ame no Yagokoro Omoikane no Mikoto, the originator of Iwato Kagura (sacred dance). Kagura is a collective term given to the theatrical dances that are dedicated to the God of the shrine at festival time. In Japanese mythology there is a story about Ama-no-Iwato (literally “The cave of the sun goddess”) where Ame no Yagokoro Omoikane no Mikoto created the chance for Amaterasu (the Sun Goddess), who was hiding in the cave, to open the door and come out. The divine virtues of this shrine are good luck, warding off evil, prosperous business, peace and prosperity in the household and academic achievement. The dragon painting on the ceiling of the main shrine was painted by Kawanabe Kyosai of the Kano School and was restored in 2003. In the grounds of the shrine is a sacred tree over 700 years old.

    The old wooden torii gate here is impressive, and like other spots in Togakushi there are some very nice imposing cryptomeria (Japanese cedar) trees, including a three-trunked holy tree behind the...

  • Kurumayama-kogen Highland
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    4.5
    329 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Chinoshi Kitayama 3413
    This is a beautiful highland that spreads out around Mt. Kuruma, the highest peak in the Kirigamine Mountain Range, where around 600 types of alpine plants grow. The view from Mt. Kuruma’s summit is exquisite, overlooking the Southern Alps (Akaishi Mountains), Mt. Fuji, Mt. Yatsugatake and the Asama Mountain Range. In summer one can enjoy hiking or trekking, and in winter skiing.

    Easy to climbing to the top from the nearest parking. We can enjoy its view like Kirigamine Prairie and Lake Shilakaba.

  • Nakamachi Street
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    4.0
    418 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Chuou 3-2-14
    White wall and black namako (raised plaster) storehouses stand side-by-side along Nakamachi Street, making it fun to walk down and peruse the many individual general stores, souvenir shops, cafes, sweet shops and restaurants. The symbolic former brewery Nakamachi Kurassic-kan is a distinctive building with a teahouse looking onto a courtyard, a hand pump water well, and atrium beams. Visitors will enjoy the enjoyable, atmospheric townscape.

    This is a better option if you are looking for some shopping, cafes and historical buildings. A good street to walk and explore with a lot to see. It gives a glimpse of life back then.

  • Manbei Hotel
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    4.0
    372 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Kitasaku-gun Karuizawamachi Karuizawa 925

    We went to this hotel for afternoon, and it was wonderful. Biking around the hotel was very relaxing and picturesque. The hotel has a lot of history, and John Lennon used to stay here. We ordered a...

  • shiromaiwadakeyurien & Montain view
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    4.0
    244 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Kita-azumi Hakubamura Hokujo 12056
    A mountain resort where you can enjoy activities as varied as winter sports, trekking, and mountain biking among magnificent scenery. In the winter, it's a white wonderland with skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and more. It has 26 runs with a diversity of natural terrain, the most in the Hakuba area. Its HAKUBA MOUNTAIN HARBOR opened in 2018 and has a superb view of the Shirouma Sanzan peaks. The outdoor terrace hosts THE CITY BAKERY, a veteran shop with branches around the country. It's open during the winter, too.

    Beautiful spot where you can enjoy great views. Activities And festivities happening during the four seasons. Cafeteria and café available Hiking course too with the Nezuko forest.

  • Kita Yatsugatake Ropeway
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    4.0
    251 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Chinoshi Kitayama 4035-2541
    This large ropeway, able to carry 100 people, is located at the northern tip of the Yatsugatake mountain range and connects Mt. Kita Yokodake and Mt. Shimagare. It takes about seven minutes to reach Yokodake-Tsuboniwa summit station with an altitude of 2237 meters from the station at the base of the mountain with an altitude of 1771 meters. The magnificent view of the mountains seen from the gondola window is spectacular, and is especially popular among mountaineers.

    My daughter enjoyed this a lot! It was a great hike for us. It’s worth a trip! The rope way runs like every 20 minutes. We came early so less people and not so crowded. This is good for a family...

  • Yohashira-jinja Shrine
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    4.0
    324 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Ote 3-3-20
    This shrine located in the Ote district of Nagano Prefecture’s Matsumoto City mainly enshrines four deities: Ame-no-Minakanushi-no-Kami, Takamimusubi-no-Kami, Kamimusubi-no-Kami, and Amaterasu Omikami. It attracts fervent believers as the deity who connects wishes and makes all requests come true and is also popular as a “power spot” (a location thought to be flowing with mystical energy). Among the locals it is affectionately called Shinto-san. The Shinto Festival is a procession that is held every year from October 1st–3rd, and is a representative festival of Matsumoto bustling with yatai food stalls, exhibitions of butai-hoei floats and an offering of fireworks.

    Yohashira is a lovely and peaceful spot and an active shrine. The grounds are small-ish but there are plantings and a few buildings. You can sit or wander. Local residents will come to make offerings...

  • National Treasure-designated Former Kaichi School
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    4.0
    349 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Matsumoto-shi Kaichi 2-4-12
    This elementary school opened in 1873 as the Dai-ni Daigaku-ku Dai-ichiban Shogaku Kaichi Gakko. The current structure was built in 1876, and approximately 70% of the construction expenses were funded by donations from the townspeople. It is a representative structure of Giyofu Kenchiku (imitation of Western-style architecture) and inside are displays of materials that give the visitor an impression of what it looked like back then.

    The Former Kaichi School was founded in 1873, Construction was completed in 1876 and it served as a functional school for 90-years until 1963. Having been designated an important cultural asset in...

Nagano Areas

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Nagano prefecture is an exciting mix of mountains, hot spring monkeys, and preserved Edo history. At the heart of the Japanese Alps, Nagano is one of the country’s most popular destinations, whether in winter for its snow sports and the much-loved Jigokudani Monkey Park or in the warmer months for discovering the undulating hills on foot. For fantastic Edo architecture, head to the Kiso Valley for a 60-kilometer stretch of quaint wooden buildings that marked the Nakasendo route 200 years ago.

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