Spots in Obuse / Nozawa / Shiga Highlands 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.
  • Shibu Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamanouchi cho, Shimokitai-gun, Nagano Prefecture
    The Shibu Pass, spanning between Nagano and Gunma Prefectures boasts a stone marker indicating the highest peak over which a national highway travels; National Route 292 running between Mt. Yokote and Mt. Shirane. The view from the peak can take your breath away. It overlooks the extensive Yoshigadaira Marshlands in which the luscious green of the trees and the wetlands intermingle. At dawn, the sea of clouds, softly glowing from the rays of the sun is a glorious sight to see.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Shiga-Kusatsu Road (Shiga-Kusatsu Kogen Route)
    Travel / Tourism
    Yamanouchi cho, Shimokitai gun, Nagano Prefecture
    A mountain sightseeing road located in Yamanouchi Town, Shimotakai County, Nagano Prefecture. The 41-kilometer road connects the Yudanaka Shibu Onsen hot spring district in Nagano Prefecture with the Kusatsu Onsen hot spring district in Gunma Prefecture. Along the road, visitors can see spectacular views of the Hida Mountains (Northern Alps), the mountains of Gifu Prefecture, and Mt. Fuji, and the beauty of the scenery makes it a popular route to cruise. The road is closed to traffic from early November to late April.
  • Lake Nojiri
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Kamiminochigunshinanomachi Nojiri
    This is a lake dammed by the lava flow of Mt. Madarao, and because the shape of the lake is similar to a cotton rose flower it is sometimes called Lake Fuyo. From the lake shore one can look out over Mt. Madarao and Mt. Kurohime. Between mid-April and mid-November there are excursion boats along Lake Nojiri, and it is particularly popular among visitors during the autumn when the leaves are changing.
  • Kenashi Pass
    Travel / Tourism
    Takayama village in Kamikitai-gun, Nagano Prefecture
    "A pass situated along Prefectural Route 112 in Takayama Village, Kamitakai County. The pass is also the starting points of routes leading up Mt. Hafu and Mt. Omeshi. ""Kenashi"" literally means ""no hair,"" and as its name implies, no tall trees grow in the area; however, lingonberries, black crowberries, and other short evergreen shrubs do grow in abundance here, adding large splashes of green color to the scenery."
  • Yokoteyama Drive-In
    Transportation
    Nagano Shimotakai-gun Yamanouchimachi Hirao 7149
    "At an altitude of 2,100 meters, this drive-in is on National Route 292, the highest in Japan. The two-story building has a souvenir shop on the first floor and a lookout restaurant on the second floor. A nearby lift will bring you to the summit of Mt. Yokote and there's also a moving walkway known as the ""Skylater."" It's open from April until early November."
  • Shiga Kogen Yokoteyama - Shibu-toge Ski Area
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Shimotakai-gun Yamanouchimachi Shigakogen Yokote
    A ski resort situated along the Asama-Shirane-Shiga Sawayaka Highway in Hirao, Yamanouchi Town, Shimotakai County, Nagano Prefecture. Situated 2,307 meters above sea level, the ski resort is Japan's highest outfitted with chair lifts, and here visitors can enjoy skiing on slopes boasting 360 degree panoramic views and high quality snow until May. There's also a cafe at the resort's mountaintop observatory.
  • SORA terrace
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Shimotakaigunyamanouchimachi Yomase 11700
    Located in Yamanouchi Town, Shimotakai County, Nagano Prefecture, the world's largest aerial tram with a capacity of 166 passengers will bring you to this terrace. The scenery from an altitude of 1,770 meters is amazing, and when the weather is right, a sea of clouds spreads below, like a scene from a fairy tale. The fresh green of spring and splendid autumn leaves are visible according to the season with the panoramic view.
  • Naena Falls
    Travel / Tourism
    Nigata Pref. Myoukoushi Suginosawa
    The Naena Falls, chosen as one of Japan’s Top 100 Falls, is a waterfall with a 55m drop along Sekigawa River and the borders of Nagao prefecture. The two most recommended seasons are spring, just when the snow starts to melt, and mid-October, with autumnal leaves. It is also referred to as “Earthquake Falls” since the earth rumbles as the amount of water increases in spring. You can reach the falls in about 15 minutes by following the promenade.
  • Roadside Station Kitashinshu Yamanouchi
    Transportation
    Nagano Pref. Shimotakaigunyamanouchimachi Sano 393-2
    "A roadside station standing along National Route 292 in Sano, Yamanochi Town, Shimotakai County. The station sells original products like sabatake, a local dish consisting of bamboo shoots and mackerel stewed with miso; and ""Kakure Soba,"" a soba shochu made with select local ingredients. You can also buy local specialty products and farm-fresh produce here. In addition, the station's restaurant serves homemade soba noodles crafted with local buckwheat flour, ramen, and curry."
  • Roadside Station Oasis Obuse
    Transportation
    Nagano Pref. Kamitakaigunobusemachi Ojima 601
    A roadside station situated long Prefectural Route 343 in Ojima, Obuse Town, Kamitakai County. The station sells Nagano specialty products like local liquors as well as sweets and kuri okowa chestnut rice made with renowned Obuse chestnuts. The station's restaurant serves kuri okowa and other dishes made with local ingredients. You can also enjoy soft serve ice cream and chestnut sweets. The station adjoins Obuse Park and a farmer's market.
  • Obusedo Honten Restaurant
    Shopping
    Nagano Pref. Kamitakaigunobusemachi Obuse 808
    A long-established chestnut confectionery store located in Obuse Town, Kamitakai County, Nagano Prefecture. The classy cake shop sells all sorts of treats made with chestnuts such as Kuri Kanoko and Kuri Mushi packed with chestnut jam made only with whole chestnuts and sugar. The moist Kuri Kanoko cake is also popular. At the back of the shop is a restaurant where, as well as sweets such as raw chestnut cake, you can taste Japanese-style meals using local traditional vegetables and seasonal ingredients.
  • Roadside Station Shinano
    Transportation
    Nagano Pref. Kamiminochigunshinanomachi Kashiwabara 1260-4
    A roadside station standing along Prefectural Route 119 in Kashiwabara, Shinano Town, Kamiminochi County. The station sells fresh dairy products from the adjoining Kurohime Kogen Farm dairy plant as well as local products. There's also a farm-fresh shop selling seasonal produce. In the station's restaurant, Tenbo, you can enjoy soba noodles made fresh that morning while taking in a spectacular view of Mt. Myoko and Mt. Kurohime.
  • Roadside Station Hana-no-Eki Chikumagawa
    Transportation
    Nagano Pref. Iyamashi Tokiwa 7425
    A roadside station standing on National Route 117 in Tokiwa, Iiyama City. The station sells north Shinshu mushrooms and other seasonal farm produce as well as specialty products. In the adjoining cafe, you can enjoy original dishes made with local Iiyama ingredients as well as Japanese and Western sweets from 17 city confectionary shops.
  • Roadside Station Shinetsu-Sakae
    Transportation
    Nagano Pref. Shimominochigunsakaemura Hokushin 3746-1
    "This roadside station is on National Route 117 in Hokushin, Sakae Village, Shimominochi County. They sell vegetables and other produce, as well as sweet anbo dumplings, a local specialty. A shop called ""Matatabi"" sells things like handicrafts, and their eatery has handmade soba noodles, set meals, local cuisine, and more. There's also a soft serve ice cream stand called ""Sakae."""
  • Roadside Station Furusato Toyota
    Transportation
    Nagano Pref. Nakanoshi Nagae 2136
    "This roadside station is on National Route 117 in Nagae, Nakano City. Their farm stand sells seasonal produce from northern Nagano including wild and cultivated vegetables, mushrooms, and fruit. They also have a local specialty corner with confectionery, tsukemono pickles, freshly squeezed juice, finished goods, handicrafts, and more. The eatery serves rice bowls and set meals such as their ""ekicho-meshi"" set that features a soup and three sides of vegetables with seasonal ingredients."
  • Hokusai-kan
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Kamitakaigunobusemachi Obuse 485
    This museum was built to commemorate famed artist Katsushika Hokusai, who stayed in Obuse several times from the age of 83 and left several works behind there. The museum displays hanging scrolls and hand-painted pictures by Hokusai as well as videos which present the history of the artist. The main exhibition room contains two festival floats whose ceilings were painted with Hokusai's Surging Waves and Dragon and Chinese Phoenix. A 12-minute walk from Obuse Station.

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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