Spots in Nagano Area

  • Jigokudani Yaen-koen
    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.
  • Kamikochi
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Adumi
    Kamikochi is an approximately 1,500 meter high gorge in the Chubu Sangaku National Park. Known as one of the top mountain scenic spots in the country it is designated as a special place of scenic beauty and natural monument. It is a gateway to the Northern Alps (Hida Mountains) and many tourists, mainly climbers and photographers visit each year. To help protect the environment the use of cars is restricted so it is recommended to use a shuttle bus service or taxi.
  • National Treasure Matsumoto Castle
    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."
  • Zenkoji Temple
    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."
  • Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza
    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.
  • Tsumago-juku
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Kisogunnagisomachi Aduma 2159-2
    One of the Nakasendo (old route from Tokyo to Kyoto) post towns which still retains the appearance of a post town from the Edo period. Tsumago-juku is known as the first post town in Japan to preserve its old town atmosphere and it has been designated as an important architectural preservation site and a regional conservation area. The town is full of places to see such as Koi-iwa (Carp rock), one of the three famous rocks, the Waki-Honjin Okuya (a National Important Cultural Property), Nagiso Museum of History with displays on the history of Nagiso Town and the Kisoji Road, and the preservation of Tsumago-juku.
  • Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort
    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.
  • Shiraito Falls
    Travel / Tourism
    Karuizawa-cho, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano Prefecture
    The result of underground water welling out of bare rock, Shiraito Falls has a thin stream of water almost like a strand of silk with beautiful lines of water and white spray falling down. The refreshing sight is one of Karuizawa’s representative sightseeing spots. In the winter, icicles are artificially created using water gushing forth from the waterfall, producing a fantastical atmosphere.
  • Lake Suwa
    Travel / Tourism
    Suwa City, Nagano Prefecture
    Lake Suwa, the largest lake in Shinshu, has a circumference of about 16 kilometers. Here you can enjoy lengthy walks and jogging as well as pleasure cruises and boat trips on the lake. From autumn through to winter keen anglers can fish for wakasagi (a variety of smelt). The Lake Suwa Fireworks Festival, one of Japan’s largest firework displays, is held at the lake in summer with an incredible 40,000 fireworks lighting up the night sky. The huge fireworks display unsurprisingly attracts huge numbers of people each year.
  • Togakushi-jinja Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Naganoshi Togakushi
    Togakushi-jinja Shrine is located at the foot of Mt. Togakushi, Nagano City and consists of five shrines each named Okusha, Chusha, Hokosha, Kuzuryusha and Hinomikosha. It is said that the temple’s origins lie in the Iwato legend of mythology, and has been worshiped by many people as a sacred place since ancient times. The avenue of 400-year-old cedar tree which cover the approach road to Okusha have a powerful lure and this area was also used as a shooting location by commercials. There are also points on the road between the shrines with steep drops, so it is recommended to wear clothes which are easy to walk in if you plan to walk around by foot.
  • Shibu Onsen
    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.
  • Ogizawa Station
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Omachishi Taira 2117
    A station on the Kanden Tunnel Trolleybus line run by Kansai Electric Power Company, it serves as the entrance to the Nagano Prefecture-side of the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route. Inside the three-story station building, there is a ticket office on the first floor, a restaurant on the second, and the platform and observation deck on the third. In 2019, it will cease being a station with the pending elimination of the trolleybus.
  • Narai-juku (post town)
    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.
  • Suwa Taisha (Suwa Grand Shrine) Kamisha Honmiya
    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.
  • Daio Wasabi Farm
    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.
  • Fujimi Panorama Resort (Ski resort)
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Suwagunfujimimachi Fujimi 6666-703
    This ski resort is in Fujimi Fujimi Town. Besides winter sports there are many activities that showcase Mt. Nyukasa’s natural seasonal scenery. You can enjoy trekking and mountainbike riding in spring and summer and in autumn you can go on one of the many gondola rides and see the scenery illuminated by the Mt. Yatsutagake sunrise; options include the “premium sea of clouds gondola” “fall foliage gondola” and “night gondola” rides. In addition because the ski slopes make a heart shape when viewed from the Yatsutagake observation platform onsite the area is known as a sacred lovers’ spot.
  • Kyukaru Ginza (Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza Street)
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Kitasakugunkaruizawamachi Karuizawa
    This is the main shopping district of Karuizawa located along the old Kyu Nakasendo. It has over 400 years of history, and the area boasts a row of long-established shops such as a bakery, boutiques of imported fashion, and various new and established shops. The area is bustling with many tourists in the summer months.
  • Ueda Castle Park
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Uedashi Ninomaru 6263 - a
    Ueda Castle was built by Sanada Yukimura’s father, Sanada Masayuki. By repelling the Tokugawa Army twice before, the castle became known as the impregnable castle. Today it is maintained as the Ueda Castle Park and it is famous as a cherry blossom viewing spot during the spring every year at the Ueda Castle Thousand Cherry Blossom Festival.
  • Harunire Terrace
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Kitasakugunkaruizawamachi Nagakura 2148
    Located in a commercial facility that serves as the entrance to the Hoshino Area in Karuizawa Town, Kitasaku County, Nagano Prefecture, the concept of this store is “everyday Karuizawa.” Taking on the role as the hot spring town for Hoshino Onsen Tombo-no-Yu, it features 15 stores that include restaurants and shops. Inside the facility which features a wood deck construction and nine buildings is a space full of abundant scenery that incorporates a grove of more than 100 Japanese elm trees which had been growing there naturally. There are also book cafes and unique miscellaneous good shops, and visitors can experience the vacation home life that is typical of Karuizawa.
  • Kumoba Pond
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Kitasakugunkaruizawamachi Karuizawa
    This pond located in close proximity to Roppon-tsuji serves as the water source for gozen-sui. The quiet, beautiful pond is also called Swan Lake since swans used to migrate here in the past. A promenade has been built around the circumference of the pond upon which visitors can enjoy a slow stroll. Visits during the autumn season with its changing leaves are particularly recommended. The sight of the trees steeped in red and yellow reflected in the water is well worth seeing.

Nagano Areas

around-area-map

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.

Nagano Photo Album

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