Culture / Tour 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.
  • Utsukushi-ga-Hara Open-Air Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Uedashi Takeshikamihoniri 2085-70
    An outdoor sculpture museum located on the Utsukushigahara Highlands in Ueda City, Nagano Prefecture which displays some 350 modern art sculptures on a meadow 2,000 meters above sea level. Dotted with pieces by such famed domestic and international artists as César Baldaccini, Alexander Liberman, Izumi Ando, and Masuo Ikeda, the museum’s meadow is truly a stunning sight. The museum is also surrounded by magnificent mountains, and lovely mountain plants bloom from spring to fall. The museum is open from late April to mid-November.
  • 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.
  • Chihiro Art Museum Azumino
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Kitadumigunmatsukawamura Nishihara 3358-24
    This art museum located inside of the Azumino Chihiro Park in the Matsukawa Village district of Kita-Azumi County, Nagano Prefecture collects and displays works by picture book artists from around the world including Chihiro Iwasaki. In addition to displays about Chihiro’s representative works, related items, and career, the museum also introduces the history of picture books and a collection of original pictures from picture books around the world. The museum is complete with facilities sure to delight children such as a reading room where they can read their choice from approximately 3,000 picture books as well as a play area for small children. There is also a picture book café where visitors can relax while gazing out at Japan’s Northern Alps (Hida Mountains).
  • Nagano Chausuyama Zoo
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Naganoshi Shinonoiutabi 570-1
    A zoo located on Mt. Chausu in Shinonoiutabi, Nagano City. The zoo is home to many animals and is divided into various areas such as a children's zoo where kids can play with rabbits and other small animals; a red panda forest; and an African plains area where visitors can be giraffes, zebras, and other large herbivores. The zoo also has a picnic area with an excellent view of the surrounding highlands.
  • 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.
  • Togariishi Museum of Jomon Archaeology
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Chino-shi Toyohira 4734-132
    This museum is located inside the Togaishi Ruins, a historic site and park which is considered one of the best examples of Jomon culture sites found at the foot of the Yatsugatake Mountains. The museum displays around 2,000 artefacts created by the Jomon people, who flourished here 5,000 years ago. The area at the foot of the Yatsugatake Mountains is the location of one of the largest caches of obsidian, a material used to make stone tools, in Japan, and it is believed the Jomon people flourished here due to the forests which grew here and provided broadleaf tree seeds as well as ample deer, wild boar, and river fish hunting. The museum's Jomon Venus, a deformed depiction of a pregnant woman; and Masked Goddess statue are valuable cultural properties which have been designated National Treasures.
  • Suzaka Zoo
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Suzakashi Garyu 2-4-8
    A zoo located in Garyu Park in Garyu, Suzaka City. The park cares for 230 animals spanning some 50 species like capybara and Bengal tigers. The museum also displays stuffed examples of its animals that have passed away and a working D51 steam locomotive. The zoo holds a variety of events throughout the year like a nighttime zoo adventure, common animal exhibitions, and a ceremony celebrating the annual handoff from one animal in the Chinese zodiac to another.
  • Nagano City Art Center
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Naganoshi Tsurugamidorichou 1613
    This complex is located in the Tsuruga Midori-cho area of Nagano City. A building complex with a building of the Nagano City Office, it is a distinctive cultural exchange complex. It is a multi-purpose facility including a main hall where concerts and events are held, theater practice rooms, an atelier and band practice rooms.
  • 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.
  • Oshika Median Tectonic Line Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Shimoina-gun Oshikamura Okawara 988
    This museum has exhibits on the Median Tectonic Line. It's the largest fault line in Japan running along the western half of the Japanese archipelago from Kanto to Kyushu. It's almost directly below Mt. Akaishi and the main peaks of the southern Alps near Shizuoka's prefectural border. Though it runs overland for 1,000 kilometers, this is one of the rare portions where you can observe a fault outcrop and other unique geological features. The curator will take the time to explain in detail everything from the creation of the Japanese islands to the geology of earthquakes.
  • Prince & Skyline Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Okayashi Uchiyama 4769-14 In Toriihee Yamabiko Park
    This Nissan Skyline museum is in Toriidaira Yamabiko Park in Okaya City, Nagano Prefecture. It has exhibits on the automobile maker's Skyline model, including various parts. Events like talk shows are held several times a year, and lots of car fans visit since the museum's considered sacred ground for the Skyline. It is open from mid-April to mid-November and closes for the winter.
  • Rokuzan Art Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Aduminoshi Hotaka 5095-1
    This facility was opened in 1958 with the goal of preserving the works of Rokuzan Ogiwara, nicknamed the “Rodin of the East.” In addition to his masterpiece carvings such as “Woman” and “Despair,” the museum also displays the works of Kotaro Takamura, who was deeply connected to Rokuzan. The impressive building, covered in ivy and church-like in appearance, is beloved as a symbol of the Azumino region. A 10-minute walk from JR Hotaka Station.
  • Omachi Alpine Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Omachishi Omachi 8056-1
    The Omachi Alpine Museum, located in Omachi, Omachi City, Nagano Prefecture, opened in 1951 as Japan’s first museum dedicated to mountains. In addition to introducing the wildlife and history of the Hida Mountains, the museum also holds exhibitions on the symbiosis between mountain-top ecosystems and people. At the attached zoo facility, Hida Mountain wildlife like Japanese serows and owls are kept; an exhibit featuring ptarmigans, a designated National Special Monument, reopened in 2016. The facility is a popular place to view rare mountain animals.
  • Tateshina Amusement Aquarium
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Chinoshi Kitayama 4035-2409
    An aquarium located close to Pilatus Tateshina Snow Resort in Kitayama, Chino City. Situated 1,750 meters above sea level, it is the highest aquarium in Japan. Specializing in freshwater fish, visitors can view lake and river fish from around the world, including pirarucu, the largest freshwater fish in the world. The aquarium also allows pets and has a dog park.
  • Taizi Harada Art Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Suwashi Shibusaki 1792-375
    A private art museum opened in 1998 in Suwa City, Nagano Prefecture. The museum primarily displays works by painter and graphic designer Taiji Harada. Dedicated to be an art museum for people, the facility employs universal design and also provides braille versions of its picture books and three-dimensional copies of its artwork.
  • Ina City Takatomachi History Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Ina-shi Takatomachi Higashitakatoo 457
    A museum in Higashi Takato, Takato-machi, Ina City. In addition to Takato Castle and its castle town, the museum exhibits items on the history, culture, and folklore of the region from primitive times to the present day. In addition to precious items designated as municipal Cultural Assets and a model replica of Takato Castle, there's also a replica of the Ejima Kakomi-yashiki residence where during the reign of the 6th Tokugawa Shogun Ienobu, a high-ranking woman known as Ejima, lived out her days due to the Ejima-Ikuushima Affair.
  • 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.
  • Trick Art Museum Karuizawa
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Kitasaku-gun Karuizawamachi Kyukaruizawa 809
    "A museum situated along the Old Karuizawa Ginza Street in Karuizawa, Karuizawa Town, Kitasaku County, Nagano Prefecture. The museum displays around 100 pieces of ""trick art"" such as images which appear to jump out at the viewer depending on the viewing angle, and works of art which make use of forced perspective. Visitors can also use some of the works on display to take amazing photos. Pets are allowed in the museum and can even be brought into the adjoining cafe."
  • Mayumi Takahashi Museum of Doll Art
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Iyamashi Iyama 2941-1
    This art museum which opened in 2010 displays 100 works of Iiyama City resident doll maker Mayumi Takahashi. It is a popular spot where visitors can enjoy recalling their hometowns, the expressions of the grandma and grandpa dolls—looking like they are about to chatter—bringing back nostalgic memories. On weekends and holidays there is often a queue to get inside. The dolls on display are changed around twice a year. The nearest station is Kita-Iiyama Station.

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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