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Hotaka-jinja Shrine in Azumino

In the countryside of Azumino, near Matsumoto in central Japan's Nagano prefecture, Hotaka-jinja is a spacious Shinto shrine with some interesting features for visitors to enjoy.

Zenkyu-In Temple in Matsumoto

In the centre of Matsumoto in Japan's Nagano prefecture, Zenkyu-In is a charming Buddhist temple, home to a range of statues, from large guardian demons to small carved saints and devotees.

Iiyama's Ajisai-dera

One of the great things about getting out of Japanese cities is that you will ultimately find some wonderful and little known gems all over the countryside. One such treasure is Iiyama's so-called "Ajisai-dera", a small, mountainside Buddhist temple boasting hundreds of hydrangea flowers.