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Culture / Tour Spots in Nagano Area

  • Jigokudani Yaen-koen
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    4.5
    2603 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.

    Took a long long hike to reach the smallish man made pool. Take your time to observe the monkeys while their antics amuses you. The only regret is that the snow came in late this year.

  • Utsukushi-ga-Hara Open-Air Museum
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    4.0
    100 Reviews
    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.

    We came here after hiking the Utsukushigara Highlands (the hike starts from behind the Museum, with a lovely boardwalk toward the highlands). Entry to the Art Museum is JPY1000. We made a mistake...

  • Matsumoto City Museum of Art
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    4.5
    400 Reviews
    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.

    We really felt our time here was well spent. We went primarily for the Yayoi Kasuma installation but spent time in all the exhibits. The YK experience far outshines the new YK Museum in Tokyo by...

  • Matsumoto Timepiece Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Chuou 1-21-15
    This museum displays a wide range of timepieces centering on a collection donated by antique timepiece researcher Chikazo Honda. The museum has a policy of displaying each timepiece in its collection (which contains more than 1,000 items) in working condition whenever possible. The museum also exhibits a number of phonographs, which have a deep connection to the history of timepieces. The museum is notable for the massive pendulum clock, one of Japan's largest, which is built into the front of the building. The museum is a 10-minute walk from JR Matsumoto Station.
  • Rokuzan Art Museum
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    4.0
    81 Reviews
    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.

    I fell upon this as I killed time waiting for the next train (it’s a seven minute easy walk from the train station.) I missed the train, so taken was I by the small but powerful work of Moriye...

  • Japanese Light Museum
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    3.5
    21 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Kamitakaigunobusemachi Obuse 973
    This museum, focusing on Japanese lights and lighting, is located in the center of Obuse Town. Centering around the Kitashinano and Surrounding Area Lamp—Masami Kanebako Lamp Collection, a nationally designated Important Cultural Property, the museum displays a variety of works and crafts connected with lamps, lights, and lighting. The museum also offers a candle-making workshop (advance reservation required).

    あかりの歴史を、当時の機材を可能な限り収集して展示しているので、企画自体はとても地味ですが、一見の価値は間違いなくあると思います。長らく触れていなかった田舎の昔を思い出すような趣がありました。

  • The Museum of Contemporary Art, Karuizawa
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    4.0
    15 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Kitasakugunkaruizawamachi Nagakura 2052-2
    This art museum collects and exhibits works with a theme of ''artists who crossed the oceans.'' Its primary collection features works by artists including Yayoi Kusama, Yoshitomo Nara, Shusaku Arakawa, Atsuko Tanaka, and Ayako Rokkaku. The museum also features a gallery where visitors can purchase artwork. Admission includes a complementary cup of tea and a snack, allowing visitors to soak up impressions of the artwork at a relaxed pace. The museum closes over the winter from late November to mid-April. It is a five-minute drive from JR Karuizawa Station.

    if you like Japanese contemporary art, visit this place. unlike the famous Saison Art Museum, this place is small but contains several important artists work, such as Yoshitomo Nara, Yayoi Kusama...

  • Shinshu Shinmachi Art Museum
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    4.0
    4 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Naganoshi Shinshushinmachikamijou 88-3
    The Shinshu Shinmachi Museum is a one-minute walk from the Bijutsukan Mae bus stop or a 40-minute drive from the Nagano Interchange. It is next to the Shinshu Shinmachi Fossil Museum and the Arishima Ikuma Museum. Visitors can buy a single ticket that admits them to all three museums. The more than 2600 works in the collection were all received from the artists or as gifts from donors. Among the most prominent works in the museum are watercolors of local scenery by Shin Kurihara and 200 woodblock prints by Kishio Koizumi, some of whose works are also in the Louvre. The exhibits are changed every few months.

    今回、私が訪れた時には丁度地域の画家が描いた水彩画展が行われており、信州の田舎風景を舞台にのどかで繊細な水彩画が飾られていました。遠近法も美しく、手前にあるものは瓦屋根やクレーム車の細部までしっかりと描かれていて素晴らしい出来栄えでした。また、1階には油絵や版画もあり、それぞれの画法に合わせた力強いタッチの風景が見られ、絵画のざまざまな可能性も感じられました。特に、大きな油絵で描かれたススキの絵は...

  • Kiyoshi Yamashita/Horo Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Chinoshi Chino 2764-3
    "Located a five-minute drive from the Suwa Interchange and eight minutes from Chino Station, the Horo Museum is the first museum in Japan to have a permanent display of the works of Kiyoshi Yamashita, the vagabond artist who was affectionately known as ""the Naked General."" Most of his works were collages, but he also painted designs on ceramics, created pointillist paintings, sketches, and more. The opportunity to see so many kinds of his works is the main attraction of this museum. The texture of his collage is distinctive when viewed up close. Some of his works, like ""Niagara Fireworks and Spectators"", which has a fireworks display over Lake Suwa as its subject, or ""Suwa Shrine: Akimiya"", have deep local connections. The museum shop sells relevant books and folk crafts."
  • Harmo Museum
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    4.5
    18 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Suwa-gun Shimosuwamachi 10616-540
    15-minutes from the Chuo Expressway. This art museum, standing amidst the lush natural beauty on the bank of Lake Suwa, was opened on April 26, 1990 by industrial robot manufacturer Harmo’s founder Tomio Hama and director Takako Seki. The museum’s standing exhibition consists of works of Naïve art which express a free sensitivity from a pure perspective, including nine rare pieces by Henri Rousseau. The museum has gained worldwide recognition for its distinctive concept. The museum also has a cafe where you can take a relaxing break and, on clear days, see all the way to Mt. Fuji.

    静かな諏訪湖湖畔に立つきれいな美術館です ダリやアンリルソーを一人でじっくり鑑賞することができます 晴れていれば 諏訪湖の眺めが良いと思います 残念ながら雨でした

  • Obsidian Experience Museum
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    4.0
    2 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Chiisagata-gun Nagawa Machi Daimon 3670-3
    This activity-oriented museum is located in the Hoshikuso Pass, a National Historic Site located on the northeastern tip of the Kirigamine Highlands in Nagano Prefecture. The obsidian found in the Hoshikuso Pass was formed in a volcanic eruption some 870 thousand years ago; easy to shape, its edges when broken or napped are extremely sharp, and there are several large Stone Age and Jomon period archeological sites in the area. The museum is located at the foot of a historic obsidian mine. Via actual stone tools, animated videos, and models, visitors can learn about life in the Stone Age. The museum also opens up actual obsidian mining sites in the area for visitors to view. In addition, visitors can choose from a variety of activities such as making stone tools and traditional magatama stone comma-shaped jewels.

    黒曜石の博物館であるが、体験コーナーで矢じりやキーホルダーを黒曜石でつくることができます。黒曜石は、産地ごとに成分が異なり、さまざまな色があります。

  • 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.
  • Oshika Median Tectonic Line Museum
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    4.5
    16 Reviews
    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.

    中央構造線の真上に位置する地質の博物館、学芸員さんの説明が非常にわかりやすいです。 個人的には●●石の説明よりも、長野県全体の構図が把握できるのが面白いです。 長野県というのはとても広い県で、全体像を把握するのは難しく、 博物館に展示してある大きな地図をずっと見ていました。 なお、学芸員さんは不在の時があるため事前にHPで確認しておくことをお勧めします。 大鹿村はお世辞にも交通の便が良いとは言えま...

  • Shiga Kogen Roman Museum
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    3.5
    13 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Shimotakai-gun Yamanouchimachi Hirao 1465
    "An art museum built to commemorate the Nagano Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. It features bottles and vases made in the ancient Roman Empire from iridescent glass. You can spot the adjacent conical restaurant from far away, making it a good landmark. They serve meals and tea. The elliptical museum, which has a theme of ""Coexisting with Nature,"" was designed by world-renowned architect Kurokawa Kisho. Exhibitions include works by Kodama Katei , who was Yamanouchi-machi native and a Nanga painter, and Yoshimoto Yumiko, a contemporary glass artist."

    Found this museum by accident whilst waiting for the bus to leave after visiting the snow monkey park. I found the architecture of the building to be quite beautiful, the exterior concrete walls...

  • Togariishi Museum of Jomon Archaeology
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    4.5
    58 Reviews
    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.

    I went there after seeing the English website and being super excited about getting to do some hands-on craft. After extensive web research, I managed to get there on a day they were open and...

  • Saku Municipal Museum of Modern Art
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    4.0
    10 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Saku-shi Sarukubo 35-5 Komaba Park Uchi
    "An art museum located in Komaba Park near central Saku City. Their permanent exhibition features one of Japan's most famous painters, Hirayama Ikuo, and his masterpiece called ""Bukkyo Denrai."" Planned exhibits are also sometimes held. Since opening in 1983 the museum has received many donations from collectors and artists. This includes a collection from the late Yui Ichiji of Nihonga, oil paintings, and crafts. Their current collection contains over 3,000 pieces."

    各地から集められた「松尾敏男」の総数43点にのぼる作品は4つのテーマに沿って展示されていた。「牡丹」で名をはせた画家だが彼の花鳥画は好みでは無い。が今回何点か好みにかなった作品があった。加山又造風な「廃船」、小野具定を思わせた「火口湖」、そして故郷長崎を描いた一連の絵。また黒白のきわだった「玄皎想」や絶筆となった「牡丹」等々。さらには彼が下絵を描いた横綱「白鴎」などの化粧回しや歌舞伎座や演舞場の緞...

  • Matsumoto City Shiga Fossil Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Matsumoto-shi Nanaarashi 85-1
    "When local elementary school students discovered part of a whale fossil in 1986, a large excavation was conducted. They uncovered the ""Shiga Sperm Whale,"" now the museum's main exhibit. Located in northern Matsumoto City, this region is known as a prefectural treasure trove of marine mammal fossils (whales and pinnipeds). It was only the second complete fossil sperm whale skeleton ever excavated along the Pacific Rim, as well as the world's oldest. Fossils of shellfish, fish, and plants are also on display."
  • Shimosuwa Konjakukan Oideya, Watch and Clock Museum Gishodo
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Suwa-gun Shimosuwamachi 3289
    A 10-minute walk from Shimosuwa Station on the JR Chuo Main Line. Shimosuwa is known as the birthplace of the modern clock in Japan, and “Shimosuwa Konjakukan Oideya” is a museum where you can learn about how clocks work. The courtyard has the world's first fully restored and operational water-powered astronomical clock tower. They also have an experiential program where you can assemble a mechanical watch under the guidance of a nationally qualified technician. You can take the completed watch home with you the same day. You can also learn about the local culture and obsidian during the Jomon period at the adjacent “Hoshigato Museum Yanoneya”.
  • Suwa City Museum
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    4.5
    4 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Suwa-shi Nakasu Jinguji 171-2
    A museum with the theme of “Time, Nature, and Faith” in the Suwa area, known for the septennial Onbashira Festival and Lake Suwa's Omiwatari phenomenon. It showcases the background and distinguishing features of Suwa's special beilef through video and displays of cultural properties. The special exhibition room displays about 2,000 specimens of butterflies from around the globe. There is also an illustrated encyclopedia published by a British zoologist on birdwing butterflies. There are few like it in the world. The red installation in front of the museum represents the shrine's torii gate and the pillars of the Onbashira Festival. They face the sacred mountain nearby.

    諏訪市の文化を感じることができる博物館です。 諏訪湖の「御神渡り」に代表されるような歴史を 感じられましたよ!!

  • ASAMA JOMON MUSEUM
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    4.5
    8 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Kitasaku-gun Miyotamachi Maseguchi 1901-1
    "This museum is part of the Ecole Miyota cultural complex. Its themes cover the Jomon period between 15,000 and 2,500 years ago, as well as Mt. Asama, a symbol of Nagano. There are 13 sub-themes and displays include pit dwellings and hunting tools. More than 100 of the items are National Important Cultural Properties. There are plentiful workshops that take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour making Jomon pottery, building fires, and making comma-shaped magatama beads and ""Jomon coasters."""

    Found this little museum on Jomon culture (Prehistoric) at the foothills of Mt Asama with a focus on the archaeological site of Kawarada - and has a number of original artefacts. Upstairs there is...

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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