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Travel / Tourism Spots in Nagano / Togakushi / Ueda / Bessho Area

  • 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.
  • 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...

  • Michinoeki Utsukushi-ga-Hara Open-Air
    Travel / Tourism
    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.
  • Anzu no Sato Agri Park
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    4.0
    23 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Chikumashi Yashiro 515-1
    This tourist farm is located in Chikuma City, Nagano Prefecture. You can enjoy all-you-can-eat strawberry picking from December to June and mikan orange picking from October without a time limit. In the food park, you can eat ramen, udon noodles and sweets, as well as freshly-baked bread from the popular Ichigo Bakery. In addition, with an available children's room, the park attracts many families mainly on weekends.

    正月からいちご狩りが開始されます。値段は忘れましたが安くなく絶対に元はとれません。わかっていても行ってしまう楽しさがありますq

  • Anrakuji Temple
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    4.0
    164 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Uedashi Besshonsen 2361
    This Soto school Buddhist temple is located in Bessho Onsen in Ueda City. The oldest temple in Nagano Prefecture, it is also famous for its octagonal three-storied pagoda, a National Treasure. The pagoda is said to have been built in the Kamakura period and is the only original octagonal pagoda still standing in Japan. An entrance fee is required to view the pagoda interior. A 14-minute walk from Bessho-Onsen Station.

    Anrakuji, with its impressive wooden octagonal pagoda built in the Chinese Sung architectural style during the Kamakura Period (1192-1333). The pagoda is the only example of its kind left in Japan...

  • 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.
  • Ichijozan Daiho-ji Temple
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    4.5
    13 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Chisagatagunaokimura Tougou 2052
    "Located around 25 minutes' drive from the Ueda-Sugadaira Interchange on the Joshin-Etsu Expressway, Ichijozan Daiho-ji Temple is a Buddhist temple belonging to the Tendai sect that was built in the Nara period (710-794), and which is one of the oldest temples in the Shinshu region. The temple's three-story pagoda, which was constructed in 1333, came to be known as the ""Looking Back Pagoda,"" because it is so beautiful that people leaving the temple after a visit can't help turning around to have a last look at the pagoda. There are many designated Important Cultural Properties in the temple, including the Zushi (miniature shrine), which is decorated with what are believed to be Japan's oldest Shachihoko (mythical animals with the head of a tiger and body of a carp, used as ornamentation on roofs). The temple's appearance changes with the seasons, with visitors being able to see plum blossom and cherry blossom in spring, azaleas in early summer, and autumn foliage in autumn. In summer, it is sometimes also possible to see Great Purple Emperor, which is the national butterfly of Japan. "

    国宝指定されているのは、三重塔。やや離れた位置から高台に見えた時、拝観料を払って本堂越しに仰ぎ見た時、近くに寄ってみた時、距離と高さの変化で観賞が楽しめます。帰りは来た道をそのまま戻るだけなのですが、徐々に遠く、徐々に高い位置に離れていく様を振り返り振り返り見ながら帰ることになります。「見返りの塔」と呼ばれているのも納得がいきます。 車なら上田の別所温泉の国宝安楽寺八角三重塔も近くです。 関西以外...

  • Karasawa Falls
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Uedashi Sugadairakougen 1223
    Located a five-minute walk away from the Haneo or Besso Iriguchi bus stops or a 25-minute drive from the Ueda Sugadaira Interchange, Karasawa Falls is at the entrance to the Sugadaira Highland, which stretches for 1300 square kilometers in the foothills of Mount Nekodake and Mount Azumaya. The falls are 15 meters high and 10 meters wide, and after a heavy rainfall or other times when the volume of water is high, the falls look like a white curtain. It is attractive for the varying beauty that it exhibits in all seasons: lush greenery in early summer, colorful leaves in the fall. Nearby is Iwakage Iseki, an archeological site from the prehistoric Jomon period.
  • Suzuka City Historic Building Park
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Suzakashi Nobe 1386-8 in Suzaka Art Park
    "Suzaka Historical Building Garden lies inside Suzaka Art Park in the city of Suzaka. A number of buildings of major historical value have been moved here or restored. At the Nagayamon entrance gate is part of the townhouse of the craftsman Koshi Jusaburo, popularly known as ""the king of yarn making,"" built in 1897, moved to the park, and restored. It has been designated a Suzaka City Tangible Cultural Property. In addition, visitors can see Machiya-style houses from the Edo period and a temple school from 1865. During the annual Hinamatsuri doll festival, 1,500 dolls representing ancient courtiers are displayed here."
  • Old Missionary House
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Uedashi Shimonogou 812-8
    The Old Missionary House is about a 25-minute drive from the Ueda-Sugadaira Interchange, next to Inishie no Oka Park. Built in 1904 and later moved to its present location, the building housed women who were Methodist missionaries from Canada, affiliated with Shinzancho Church. Originally it was next to the large Baika Kindergarten, and a training school for nannies was established there, so that it became a regional center for training daycare workers. Built in an early American colonial style, it is a highly valued building.
  • Sashikiri Gorge
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Higashichikumagunchikuhokumura Sakakita
    Located 15 minutes by bus from Chikuhoku Station or a 15-minute drive from the Omi Interchange, Sashikiri Ravine was created by the Omigawa River flowing through layers of conglomerate and sandstone. It was designated a Prefectural Nature Park in 1965. Easy access has been one of its attractions, due to the New Sashikiri Road. It has been chosen as one of Nagano Prefecture's 100 best attractions. Not only does it feature rock formations, caves, and waterfalls but it is also a recommended site for viewing autumn leaves from late October to early November. The Dragon King Festival, based on the legend of the eight-headed dragon Orochi, is held on the first Sunday in August.
  • Ueda Castle Ruins
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Uedashi Ninomaru 6263 y
    These castle ruins are located in Ninomaru, Ueda City. Built by Sanada Masayuki, the father of the samurai warrior Sanada Yukimura, the castle gained a reputation for being impregnable after it repelled Tokugawa forces twice during the Siege of Ueda. Today the castle's moat, earthen walls, and west tower still remain, as do remnants of structures related to legends about the Sanada clan such as Sanada Rock and Sanada Well. The castle's gates and towers have also been restored. The entire area has been developed into a park which hosts events such as the Ueda Castle 1000 Sakura Festival, Ueda Castle Autumn Leaves Festival Light-up, and more.
  • Aoyagi-juku Post Town
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Pref. Higashichikumagunchikuhokumura Sakakita
    "This former site of a post town is located in Aoyagi, Chikuhoku Village, Higashichikuma County. It was originally built during as a samurai town during Japan's feudal period by the Aoyagi Clan, which ruled the area at the time. It would later be developed as a post town on the Zenkoji Highway by Ishikawa Yasunaga, the lord of Matsumoto Castle. Even now, visitors can see the traces of the district's days as a post town in its stone walls, the aqueducts that run below them, and the hanging lanterns? that are lit at night. A reenactment of a ""Kitsune no Yomeiri"" (fox's wedding procession) parades through the district's streets once every seven years during the annual festival of Satoboinari Shrine."
  • Shinano Kokubunji Temple
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    4.0
    22 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Ueda-shi Kokubu 1049
    "A Buddhist temple located a five-minute walk from Shinano Railway Shinano-Kokubunji Station. The temple was originally founded in the Nara period and burned down during the strife of the Johei era, later being rebuilt at its current location in the Muromachi period. The grounds encompass a variety of buildings, including a main temple building enshrining a statue of Bhaisajyaguru. The temple's three tier pagoda, a designated National Important Cultural Property, is the oldest of the temple's pagodas. Also known as the Yokado, meaning ""eighth day temple,"" the temple's annual festival held on January 7 and 8 attracts large numbers of visitors. The temple's tower-shaped Somin Shorai talismans, said to grant familial peace, health, and prosperity, are a popular souvenir. The temple is additionally known as the ""Lotus Temple"" and the ""Lotus Field,"" and it holds a lotus festival in July."

    長野県上田市にあります。 奈良時代に聖武天皇の詔により日本各地に建立された国分寺のなかの信濃国の国分寺は建物は何も残ってなく、その跡地は国道141号沿いの上田市立信濃国分寺資料館の隣にあります。 中門、金堂、講堂、塔、回廊などの跡が良く整備されていて見応えありました。 現在の信濃国分寺はかつての国分寺跡からは200mちょっと離れた場所にあり、八日堂の別称がある天台宗の寺院です。 本堂(薬師堂...

  • Ueda City Shinano Kokubunji Museum
    rating-image
    3.0
    1 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Ueda-shi Kokubu 1125
    A museum situated in a corner of Shinano Kokubunji Temple Historic Site Park. The museum was opened in 1980. The museum displays pottery and roof tiles discovered at the former site of the Shinano Kokubunji Temple dating to between the prehistoric period to the Heian period, and here visitors can come in contact with the ancient history of Ueda and Chiisagata County. The museum's collection also includes replicas of ancient Chinese roof tiles and somin shorai tower-shaped talismans gathered from across Japan. The temple is a renowned destination where visitors can experience the atmosphere of Japan's ancient temples. The museum also holds classes for local residents and history activities for elementary and junior high school students each year.

    信濃国分寺跡史跡公園内にあります。とても広い公園でりっぱな藤棚もありこどもを遊ばせるのによいところです。国分寺跡からのの出土したものが展示されていて丁寧な説明をしてくださるかたがいます。

  • Ozawa Wooden Sculpture Art Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Nagano Ueda-shi Kokubu 580-2
    An art museum which displays wood carvings by Chiharu Ozawa and his son Toshiharu, two renowned folk artists. The museum building is a tatch room structure which was built in the snowy region of Yanma in Niigata and later moved here and remodeled; the hipped roof building mixes both Japanese and Western elements. The spacious museum is filled with more than 1,500 examples of folk art, including decorative frames and basins, boxes of various sizes, partitioning screens, all manner of trays, confectionary boxes, bookends, and magazine racks. The museum's collection of 1,200 wooden sculptures gathered from around the world are also well worth a look. Here visitors can have fun learning about the traditions and history of folk art.
  • Monju-do
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Ueda-shi Kakeyu Onsen 1368
    "This Buddhist temple is counted as one of the three greatest in Japan dedicated to the bodhisattva Manjushri. According to legend, the temple was erected here in Kakeyu Onsen after Monjushri, disguised as a deer, led a hunter to this highly effective hot spring. The temple is built in the irimoya-zukuri style with a gabled, hipped roof covered with copper sheeting. The area around kohai overhanding roof and transom are decorated with carvings and vivid colorings, and the roof of the temple is painted with an image as well, reflecting the style of Buddhist architecture of the Genroku era. The temple is one of the best examples of Buddhist architecture in the prefecture and was designated a Prefectural Treasure in 1988. During the temple's Monjudo Spring Festival, a reading is conducted of a sutra praying to Monjushri, the Buddha of wisdom, and the temple also hands out ""wisdom dumplings."""
  • Shioda Castle Ruins
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Ueda-shi Maeyama
    The site of a ruined castle which once belonged to the Shioda clan, retainers of Murakami Yoshikiyo. Deeply connected to the Battles of Kawanakajima fought between Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin, the castle was used as a residence by Murakami Yoshikiyo after he was driven out of Katsurao Castle in an attack by Takeda. During the first Battle of Kawanakajima, the castle was also used as a headquarters by the Takeda forces. Today, all that remains of the castle are its earthen and stone base and its well. Stone monuments and informational signs mark the location of the castle, and a path with hydrangea growing along it has been built nearby. In the Shioda no Yakata museum on the outskirts of the site, visitors can view articles excavated from the ruins.
  • Shiono Shrine
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Ueda-shi Maeyama
    "A Shinto shrine situated at the foot of the northern peak of Mt. Tokko. The history of this shrine stretches back so far, it is even mentioned in the ""Nihon Sandai Jitsuroku,"" a history text compiled in 901. Although the shrine is believed to be dedicated to Susanoo-no-Mikoto, it has long been venerated as the site of a water god by local residents. It is also said that the might Takeda Shingen once shuinjo red seal license to the shrine to pray for his continued good fortunes in battle. The main shrine building is believed to have been built in the Edo period; extremely unusual for a Shinto shrine in the prefecture, the front shrine is a two story structure and a valuable architectural example. A sacred bridge on the shrine grounds is known as ""taiko bridge"" due to its elegant arch resembling a taiko drum."
  • Chuzenji Temple Yakushido
    Travel / Tourism
    Nagano Ueda-shi Maeyama 1721
    A Yakushido Buddhist temple located on the grounds of the Chuzenji Temple situated at the foot of Mt. Tokko on the Shioda Plain a 30-minute drive from the Ueda-Sugadaira Interchange. Believed to have been established in the early Kamakura period, the thatch roof temple building is constructed in a style known as hogo-zukuri. Known as the oldest wooden structure in Nagano, the temple's principal object of worship, a seated figure of Bhaisajyaguru; and its statues depicting the divine generals have been designated National Important Cultural Properties. The statue of Bhaisajyaguru can be viewed through a latticework door. Visitors are allowed on the temple grounds from 9:00 to 16:00.

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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