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Nagano

Mountain adventures at Japan's Alps

About Nagano

Things to do in Nagano

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Nagaoka Festival

Nagaoka Festival

What makes Japanese fireworks different from all the others around the world? For one, they reflect Japan’s culture. All have themes and the crowds really get into the mood. You see blue mats everywhere and special food tents wherever the peopl..

Areas

Hakuba

Hakuba

Hakuba is considered one of Japan's premier alpine resort getaways, located in the Japanese Alps in Nagano and gaining recognition worldwide as one of the featured venues in Nagano's 1998 Winter Olympics.

Kamikochi

Kamikochi

Kamikochi is a popular resort and often associated with some of the best natural beauty that the central Japanese Alps—and indeed Japan—have to offer. Go for a hike on one of the many trails or follow the river and its crystal-clear waters. Kamikochi is usually only open during the warme..

Matsumoto

Matsumoto

Many people think of Matsumoto in Nagano prefecture as an overnight spot before heading to the Japan Alps or Utsukushigahara Heights. If not for my wife having a good friend who is a resident, the city probably would not have been on my list of places to visit. Before our trip I had not seen much ad..

Dining

Bistro Kotsuna Seta in Matsumoto

Bistro Kotsuna Seta in Matsumoto

On a Golden Week visit to Matsumoto one time, I went to the castle in the morning then, rather than deal with the crowds, I decided to head away from the station instead of towards it, hoping to find a quiet place for lunch. This doesn't always w..

St. Cousair Winery

St. Cousair Winery

St. Cousair, an award-winning winery located in northern Nagano Prefecture’s town of Iizuna, is a delightful spot to relax, enjoy gourmet cuisine and fine wines, take a tour of the winery, and, from a cozy setting, view the breathtaking scenery..

Restaurant Avant Kyu-Karuizawa

Restaurant Avant Kyu-Karuizawa

When we stay at Hotel Harvest Club Kyu-Karuizawa, we usually have breakfast at restaurant Avant. Although there are some options within 10 minutes walk, the hotel breakfast buffet is already included into the room rate so why not relax with a beautif..

Places to stay

Hotel M Matsumoto

Hotel M Matsumoto

Being a popular destination for Japanese travelers, Matsumoto has the full range of accommodation options, from a backpackers' hostel up to high-end hotels. I'm not a high roller, and I quite enjoy capsule hotels, so when I was looking for a ..

Hoshino Resorts KAI Alps

Hoshino Resorts KAI Alps

Hoshino Resorts KAI Alps lies in the deep Omachi onsen territory of Nagano's Northern Alps mountain range, and promises an invigorating mix of rejuvenation for body and mind, with unparalleled dining, soothing hot springs and local Shinshu cultur..

Bessho Onsen's Ryokan Katsuraso

Bessho Onsen's Ryokan Katsuraso

With only seven rooms, Ryokan Katsuraso is a lovely family-run inn located in the heart of Bessho Onsen. It sits beside a temple and is only a one minute walk to Bessho Onsen's old main street. Although the building itself is older, the ryokan ha..

Latest

Postcards From Japan

Postcards From Japan

Street photography is something candid that can be captured in an instant and is much like a postcard in the sense that it speaks to us and offers a representation of what we have experienced and seen. Many of the types of photos that you have seen o..

The Solace of Unnojuku

The Solace of Unnojuku

Before I pitch a visit to this gem of architectural history, a word of caution: if you like throngs of sightseers, busy souvenir traps and long, clamorous lines outside noodle and ice cream shops, Unnojuku is not the day trip for you. This old post t..

Frog Street in Matsumoto

Frog Street in Matsumoto

If you’re travelling to Matsumoto, Nagano, chances are a visit to Matsumoto Castle is at the top of your list. Along the way you may pass by Nawate Street, where the journey might just be the destination. Located south of Matsumoto Castle, Nawa..

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About nagano

Okinawa Nagasaki Fukuoka Saga Kumamoto Kagoshima Miyazaki Oita Ehime Kochi Tokushima Kagawa Yamaguchi Hiroshima Okayama Tottori Shimane Hyogo Kyoto Osaka Wakayama Nara Shiga Mie Fukui Ishikawa Toyama Gifu Aichi Nagano Shizuoka Niigata Yamanashi Kanagawa Tokyo Saitama Gunma Tochigi Chiba Ibaraki Fukushima Miyagi Yamagata Iwate Akita Aomori Hokkaido
RegionChubu
IslandHonshu
CapitalNagano
Population2,152,449
Area13,561.56 sq. km

The mountainous prefecture of Nagano is the perfect summer resort to avoid the heat, with the town of Karuizawa being one of the most popular summer getaway spots in Japan.

Take advantage of the relatively cool weather to explore the famous Matsumoto Castle, one of Japan’s oldest shrines in Suwa Taisha, and Zenko-ji, a major pilgrimage site. Nagano’s many tall mountains serve as challenging but beautiful hiking trails, especially those of Kamikochi.

That being said, Nagano is also a great destination in the winter, and it was the host of the 1998 Winter Olympics. The prefecture’s mountains are some of the largest ski resorts in Japan, most notably Shika Kogen and Mount Hakuba. After being out in the cold, seek warmth in one of Nagano’s many famous hot springs.

Things to Do in Nagano
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