Travel / Tourism Spots in Nagano Area

  • 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."
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Venus Line
    Travel / Tourism
    Chino, Nagano Prefecture - Matsumoto-shi
    This is a sightseeing road and popular free driving course connecting Nagano Prefecture’s Chino City and Ueda City Utsukushigahara Highlands. The road is dotted with Shinshu highland resorts including Tateshina Highland, Yatsugatake Sanroku, Lake Shirakaba and Mt. Kirigamine, and the interweaving mountains and greenery stretch endlessly into the distance. Along the way is Yashimagahara Shitsugen (marsh land), designated a National Natural Monument and home to 400 varieties of sub-highland plant. If the weather is good one can see all the way from final stop of Utskushigahara Highland to Mt. Fuji.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Suwa Grand Shrine Kamisha Maemiya
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Chinoshi Miyagawa 2030
    One of the shrine buildings on the grounds of Suwa Grand Shrine standing along National Route 152 in Miyagawa, Chino City. Suwa Grand Shrine is the head shrine of all Suwa Shrines in the country. The area where this shrine building is located is believed to be the location where the god worshipped by these shrines, Suwa Daimyojin, first took up residence, and as such can be considered the origin point of the Suwa faith.
  • 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.
  • Suwa Grand Shrine Shimosha Akimiya
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Suwagunshimosuwamachi 5828
    A Shinto shrine located in Shimosuwa Town, Suwa County, Nagano Prefecture. The Akimiya is one of six shrines which comprise Suwa Grand Shrine, the head shrine of some 25 thousand Suwa shrines located across the country. Worshipped for providing abundant harvests and granting bravery since ancient times, in recent times the shrine has also come to be worshipped for protecting life and livelihood. The Kagura-den hall, with an eye-catching giant rope hanging in front, and the two-storied Heihai-den (worship and offering hall) are designated Important Cultural Properties. Other shrine highlights include the Neiri no Sugi, an 800-year old Japanese cedar tree. The shrine is famous for the Ombashira Festival held every seven years, as well as the Boat Festival (Ofune Matsuri) held on August 1.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Lake Shirakaba
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Chinoshi Kitayama Shirakabako
    Lake Shirakaba, with a circumference of four kilometers, was originally a pond created as a reservoir for farm use. You’ll find an amusement park, golf course, ski resort, hotels, and other facilities around this area, making it one of Shinshu’s top resort spots. Throngs of people visit every year.
  • Kita Yatsugatake Ropeway
    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.
  • Suwa Taisha (Suwa Grand Shrine) Shimosha Harumiya
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Suwagunshimosuwamachi 193
    Suwa Taisha, one of the highest-ranked Ichinomiya shrines of the old Shinano Province, is said to be one of the oldest shrines in Japan and is the main shrine of the various Suwa shrines throughout the country. The granite torii gates at the entrance are said to have been built in 1659, evidence of its long history. The lower shrine holds various ceremonies, including “Senzasai” ceremonies which are said to have an influence on the Years of the Tiger and Monkey as well as biannual “Harumiya” and “Akimiya” ceremonies. It’s about 15 minutes from the Okaya Interchange on the Nagano Expressway.
  • Shiga Highlands
    Travel / Tourism
    Shiga Kogen in Shimokitai-gun Nagano-machi, Nagano Prefecture
    Located at an altitude of over 1,000 meters, the Shiga Highlands occupy the bulk of the central area of Joshin’etsu-kogen National Park. This resort area features lakes, marshes, and bogs of all sizes, and you can enjoy physical activities such as trekking in summer and skiing in winter. The rich natural scenery is intimately intertwined with people’s lives, and in fact, this area has been designated a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
  • Togakushi Shrine Okusha (Main Shrine)
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Naganoshi Togakushi Okusha
    Togakushi Shrine is the general name given to five shrines scattered around the foot of the sacred Mt. Togakushi in Nagano City, Nagano Prefecture: Okusha, Chusha, Hokosha, Kuzuryusha, and Hinomikosha. The Okusha is in a spot located around a two-kilometer walk along a 2.5-kilometer roadway from Chusha. The enshrined deity is Amanotajikarao-no-Mikoto. Passing under the Zuishinmon gate along the shrine road, one will come upon a line of Japanese cedar trees 400 years old which makes for a mystical backdrop as you proceed down the road. It is the main shrine of Togakushi Shrine, and a spot where a great many people come to pray for better fortune, fulfillment of their heart’s desires, good harvests and sports victories.
  • Takabocchi Highlands
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Shiojirishi Kataoka
    A highland situated along the Takabocchi Skyline road in Kataoka, Shiojiri City. Sprawling at the foot of 1,665-meter-tall Mt. Takabocchi, the highland is a renowned picturesque destination and offers a 360 panoramic view of the area, including Lake Suwa, Yatsugatake, Mt. Fuji, and the Akaishi Mountains.

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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