Spots in Eastern Shinshu Area

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Michinoeki Utsukushi-ga-Hara Open-Air
    Transportation
    Nagano Pref. Uedashi Takeshikamihoniri Mikahara Plateau
    With an elevation of 2,000 meters it is said to be the highest roadside station in Japan. From here you can see the Northern Alps (Hida Mountains), Mt. Asama and Sakudaira. In the popular Observatory Terrace, you can enjoy coffee and soft ice-cream while looking out over superb views. There is also a restaurant and a shopping area. The place has become well-known among tourists as a roadside station where visitors can take a relaxing break. The Utsukushi-Gahara Open-Air Museum next door (entrance fee 1,000 yen) has up to 350 outstanding sculptures on display outside covering a wide area. It is well worth a visit especially in summer when the alpine flowers are at their best.
  • Kyukaru Ginza (Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza Street)
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Kitasakugunkaruizawamachi Karuizawa
    This is the main shopping district of Karuizawa located along the old Kyu Nakasendo. It has over 400 years of history, and the area boasts a row of long-established shops such as a bakery, boutiques of imported fashion, and various new and established shops. The area is bustling with many tourists in the summer months.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Kumoba Pond
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Kitasakugunkaruizawamachi Karuizawa
    This pond located in close proximity to Roppon-tsuji serves as the water source for gozen-sui. The quiet, beautiful pond is also called Swan Lake since swans used to migrate here in the past. A promenade has been built around the circumference of the pond upon which visitors can enjoy a slow stroll. Visits during the autumn season with its changing leaves are particularly recommended. The sight of the trees steeped in red and yellow reflected in the water is well worth seeing.
  • Karuizawa Kogen Church
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Prefecture Kitasaku-gun Karuizawa Town Hoshino
    This church full of history and located in Karuizawa Town, Kitasaku County Nagano Prefecture began in 1921 as a small wooden building, and was the origin of the Free Education of Art Salon  movement that attracted cultured people such as Hakushu Kitahara and Toson Shimazaki. The building, which is enveloped in the nature of Karuizawa, is characteristic for its pointy triangular roof. As a church that is open to all people, it holds gospel worship every Sunday and events in accordance with the season. It is also popular as a place for resort weddings.
  • Komoro Castle Remains Kaikoen
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Komoroshi Tei 311
    This park on the site of Komoro Castle in Komoro City, Nagano Prefecture has been selected as one of Japan’s 100 famous castles and 100 famous cherry blossom spots. Komoro Castle is an unusual structure built below the elevation of the castle town, and has also been called Anashiro Castle (“hole castle”). The park is dotted with facilities including the Important Cultural Property San-no-Mon gate, the Toson Memorial Hall, the Koyama Keizo Art Museum, a zoo and a children’s play area. It is appreciated by both tourists and locals looking for a place to refresh and relax. In spring there are 400 cherry blossom trees in bloom, and in autumn it is famous as a great place to see the changing leaves.
  • Kitamuki-kannon Temple
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Uedashi Besshonsen 1656
    This Buddhist temple was established in 825 by Ennin, the head priest of the Enryaku-ji Temple. The temple was frequently witness to fires and the current temple was rebuilt in 1721. Unusually for a temple in Japan, the main hall was built facing to the north, and it said that by worshipping here and at the south-facing Zenkoji Temple, one can achieve happiness both in this life and after one’s passing. The grounds contain a sacred katsura tree (Aizen Katsura) that is 1,200 years old and which is revered for the luck which brings in finding marriage. A 12-minute walk from Bessho-Onsen Station.
  • Utsukushigahara Highlands
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Matsumotoshi Iriyamabe
    Utsukushi-ga-Hara Highlands which is a part of the largest quasi-national park in Nagano Prefecture is the largest plateau in Japan sitting at an elevation of close to 2,000 meters above sea level. The superb 360 degree panorama rewards visitors with views overlooking the Northern and Southern Alps, and Mt. Fuji. The mountain top Utsukushi-ga-Hara Highlands has trails and hiking paths so you can fully enjoy the magnificent nature and fresh air.
  • Roadside Station Healthy Terrace Sakuminami
    Transportation
    Nagano Pref. Sakushi Tomono 7-1
    A roadside station located close to the entrance to the Saku-minami Interchange in Tomono, Saku City. The station sells prunes, a local specialty product, and other agricultural products and processed foods as well as local Saku liquors and souvenirs. The rice flour bread sold by the adjoining bakery is also popular. The station's restaurant serves dishes made with local ingredients as well as a lunchtime all-you-can-eat buffet which includes some 40 dishes. In addition, the station has a workshop used to hold soba noodle making and cooking classes.
  • Tsuruya Karuizawa Branch
    Shopping
    Nagano Pref. Kitasakugunkaruizawamachi Nagakura 2707
    This is the Karuizawa Branch of “Tsuruya,” a supermarket chain with roughly 30 locations throughout Nagano Prefecture. It is close to the “Toriihara Higashi” light along the Karuizawa Bypass. They have original Tsuruya-brand products and fresh food products like green vegetables obtained directly from contracted farms.
  • Roadside Station Raiden Kurumi no Sato
    Transportation
    Nagano Pref. Toumishi Shigeno Otsu 4524-1
    A roadside station standing along Prefectural Route 79 in Shigenootsu, Tomi City. The station sells confections and processed foods made with Nagano chestnuts, a local specialty product, as well as local agricultural products. The station's restaurant serves dishes made with local Hoe pork, while the cafe offers chestnut soft serve ice cream. The area was also the hometown of the famous Edo period sumo wrestler Raiden Tameemon, and a statue of the man stands on the station's grounds.
  • Takamine Onsen
    Accommodations / Hot Spring
    Nagano Komoro-shi Takamine Kogen
    A cloud top hot spring inn 2,000 meters above sea level with indoor baths, a lamp lit bath, and an outdoor bath commanding a view of the Japan Alps and overlooking Takamine Ravine. The outdoor bath is small, accommodating only a maximum of four people, but its highly medicinal waters, constantly replenished from a source spring kakenagashi style, will soothe away the fatigue of your journey. The inn's sulfur-containing calcium sodium magnesium hydrocarbonate spring is said to provide a variety of health benefits. Be sure to talk to the staff, who can tell you about the best way to bathe so as to improve the efficacy of the waters for your specific ailments. The inn also has an area where you can drink these waters, and doing so is said to treat diabetes, gout, liver disease, and constipation. Non-guests can only use the inn's bathhouse from 11:00 to 16:00; also note that bathhouse fees are different during winter (November 21 to April 20).
  • 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.
  • Shirakaba Resort Family Land Ikenotaira
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Pref. Kitasakuguntateshinamachi Ashitahatsukano 1596
    Shirakaba Resort Family Land Ikenotaira is near Lake Shirakaba and features many facilities besides the theme park attractions, such as an art museum and sports activities. You can bring food and drink onto the premises, and pets are allowed with leashes and cages. There’s an adjoining hotel as well with amenities for nursing children. There’s something for everyone at this nature-surrounded facility regardless of age. It’s about 35 minutes from the Suwa Minami Interchange or Suwa Interchange on the Chuo Expressway.
  • Komoro Castle Otemon Gate
    Travel / Tourism
    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.
  • Lake Megami
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Kitasakuguntateshinamachi Ashitahatsukano
    "A lake located in Ashidahakkano, Tateshina Town, Kitasaku County. Situated 1,500 meters above sea level, the lake is 1.8 kilometers in circumference. ""Megami"" means ""goddess"" in Japanese, and the lake gets its name from the picturesque sight of Mt. Tateshina, also known as ""Goddess Mountain,"" reflected off of its waters. During warmer months, visitors can enjoy canoeing and boating on the lake, while in the winter area activities include ice driving on its frozen waters, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing."

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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