Leisure / Hobbies 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hakuba Happo-one Winter Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Hakkan Village Hakuba-mura, Kitaazumi-gun, Nagano Prefecture
    A ski and snowboard resort located in Hakuba Village in the Kitaazumi District Hakuba Happo-one boasts one of the largest standalone ski/snowboard areas in the country. Particular points of interest include the beautiful scenery of the surrounding Japanese Northern Alps and the highly diverse courses stretching across over 1000 meters in elevation. The panoramic view from the 1830 meter high summit is truly a sight to behold. The resort also served as the venue for alpine skiing during the Nagano Olympics.
  • 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.
  • Komoro Castle Otemon Gate
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Komoroshi Ote 1-150
    Famous as an example of large gate architecture representative of eastern Japan, this castle gate is inside Otemon Park located in Komoro City, Nagano Prefecture. Inside the turret, there are limited time special exhibitions that are free to view. In addition, it has been selected as a nationally-designated Important Cultural Property, making it visited by many tourists.
  • 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.
  • Postal Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Kisogunnagisomachi Aduma 2197-5
    This historical museum is located in Nagiso Town, Kiso County, Nagano Prefecture, and adjoins the Tsumago Post Office, which is still in use today. Tsumago Post Office was featured in Toson Shimazaki’s “Before the Dawn,” and was restored under the guidance of the current Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications in fiscal year 1978. It has Japan’s only black mail box modeled after that in use when the post office first opened. Inside you can find Japan’s first stamp, the actual marks used before the current postal mark, correspondence from Toson Shimazaki’s older brother and niece, and other items for a total of approximately 270 articles being stored and exhibited.
  • Tateishi Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Suwashi Kamisuwa
    Tateishi Park offers great views of the urban landscape, Lake Suwa, Okaya, Shimosuwa Town, and even the Northern Alps (Hida Mountains) during fair weather. The panoramic sunset view has earned widespread acclaim, and it is ranked among the 100 best sunset spots in Shinshu, the “New Japan Top Three Night Views,” and the “Top 100 Night Views.” It is also known as a natural habitat of Japan’s national butterfly, the giant purple butterfly. It is about 30 minutes by car from the Suwa Interchange on the Chuo Expressway.
  • Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park
    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.
  • Hakuba Cortina Ski Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Kitadumigunotarimura Chikuniotsu 12860-1
    Located in Chikuniotsu Otari Village this ski resort features 100% natural soft snow and is very popular among overseas tourists. There are 16 courses in total to choose from featuring everything from beginner courses to an advanced course with an altitude of 1400 meters that offer an amazing view. There is also a play area for children as well as a daycare center and ski lessons to provide for all your needs. As there is a hotel right in front of the slopes you can relax in the hot springs after your ski adventure.
  • Matsumoto City Museum of Art
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Chuou 4-2-22
    This is a private art museum in the center of Matsumoto City. The museum houses a collection of pieces by artists connected to Matsumoto City such as world-famous avant-garde artist Yayoi Kusama, calligrapher Shinzan Kamijo, and lifelong Shinshu (Nagano) natural vista painter Kazuo Tamura. Special exhibitions and exhibitions of works submitted by the general public are held at the museum several times each year. A 12-minute walk from JR Matsumoto Station.
  • Hakuba Goryu Snow Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Kitadumigunhakubamura Kamishiro 22184-10
    With an elevation of 1515 meters at its highest part called Alps-daira Hakuba Goryu Snow Resort has some true alpine slopes. With an elevation as high as this powder snow and quality snow is all but guaranteed. The magnificent Northern Alps (Hida Mountains) can be experienced up close and the city of Hakuba sprawls out down below. In early spring you can see the shape of the Takeda family crest on the mountain side from the observatory on the roof of the gondola summit station. Even people who don’t ski or snowboard come here to relax enjoy a meal and take in the stunning scenery.
  • Hiroshi Senju Museum Karuizawa
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Kitasakugunkaruizawamachi Nagakura 815
    Located in Karuizawa Town, Kitasaku County, Nagano Prefecture, this private art museum exhibits the works it owns created by artist Hiroshi Senju, a modern Japanese painter who is active around the world. The building was designed by architect Ryue Nishizawa and has large glass windows that give it a bright and spacious atmosphere. It also has a beautiful garden with various trees and plants, and is a creative space that achieves harmony with nature. The museum holds exhibitions that introduce Senju’s works as well as special exhibitions according to different themes. There are also a bakery café and shop, and guests can relax and enjoy art and nature.
  • Japan Ukiyo-e Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Shimadachi New cut 2206-1
    The Sakai collection, as it is called, started with the woodblock prints of sixth-generation Yoshiaki Heisuke Sakai. It was the10th-generation Fujiyoshi Sakai who took the works spanning a period of 200 years and established the Japan Ukiyo-e Museum in 1982 in order to share the precious collection, which includes handwritten works and woodblock-printed books, with the rest of the world. It is the largest collection of 19th-century woodblock prints in the world. It’s a minute by car from the Matsumoto Interchange on the Nagano Expressway.
  • Tsugaike Kogen Ski Resort
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Otari village Kitaazumi-gun Nagano prefecture Tsugaike plateau
    Tsugaike Kogen Ski Resort is popular among beginners and families for its safe terrain. The Kane-no-naru-oka course slopes gently down the hill and has a generous width of over 1200 meters. Skiers can also enjoy the fantastic atmosphere when the slopes are lit up during night skiing. The uma-no-se (horseback) course for advanced skiers is set on a narrow ridge with large humps continuing down the steep slope. On fine days Mt. Fuji can be seen from the highest point at an elevation of 1700 meters. For the adventurous why not try out the special Heli-ski and Snowboard activity.
  • Chubusangaku National Park
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Toyama prefecture, Nagano prefecture, Gifu prefecture, Niigata prefecture
    It is a national park that was established as one of Japan’s earliest and consists of mountains of the Northern Alps such as the Ushiro-Tateyama Mountain Range, Tateyama Mountain Range and Hotaka Mountain Range. It is home to various organisms that are renowned in Kamikochi such as the Japanese black pine butterfly and the Japanese rock ptarmigan. There are many scenic spots such as Tsugaike Nature Park and Kamikochi and is gaining popularity mainly by climbers. In the area there are many visitor centers, information centers, and museums, making it a base for sight-seeing and climbing. At Sawatari National Park Gate, multilingual brochures are available.
  • Usui Pass Observatory
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Kitasakugunkaruizawamachi Tougemachi
    An observatory park located in Toge-machi, Karuizawa Town. Situated 1,200 meters above sea level on the border between Nagano Prefecture and Gunma Prefecture, visitors can enjoy a view of the surrounding scenery, including Mt. Asama, Yatsugatake, and the Myogi Mountain Range. The park also has a walking path which can be used as a hiking course.
  • Lala Matsumoto
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Shimauchi 7412
    A sports facility located in Shimauchi, Matsumoto City. The facility has an indoor wave pool, flowing pool, and waterslides. There are also tennis courts and other indoor sports courts, a baseball diamond and other outdoor sports fields, bathing rooms, and a rest area. The facility makes use of the heat and electricity generated by the adjoining Matsumoto Clean Center garbage incineration plant.

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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