By Peter Sidell
Just 1 hour 45 minutes from Tokyo, Nagano makes a perfect way to escape the bustling metropolis that is Tokyo. The city is also the best gateway to the scenic mountainous views of the Japanese Alps and other cultural heritages. Strolling around the main street of Chuo-dori, the famous Zenko-ji temple, satisfying your shopping desire at Omote-sando and so much more. Find out more on your first arrival at JR East's Nagano Station.
Before I arrived in this city, I heard that Nagano is the biggest city in Nagano Prefecture. Besides being famous for the charming temple of Zenko-ji, the city also becomes a perfect gateway to several exotic places, like Jigokudani Monkey Park, Matsumoto, Kamikochi, Hakuba and other destination in the Japanese Alps region. I was not sure where to go at first and how to get these places but then I found my way thanks to JR Nagano Station.
The station is run by JR East and serves several lines that link several important destinations in Nagano Prefecture and around Japan, such as Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, and Aomori. From Tokyo, the easiest way to reach this station is by Asama Shinkansen, in less than 2 hours.
Upon arrival at JR Nagano Station, all you need to do is find the travel information near the Zenko-ji Exit. The officials are very helpful with good English. You can also ask for free maps and other guide information to several destinations around Nagano but, most of all, the officials will be very happy to help you find the best places in the city. When visiting, don't forget to sample the local snacks and souvenirs. Since Nagano is famous for its apple orchards, soba, mushroom and wasabi, don't miss out on these.
JR Nagano Station is also located by Chuo-dori street, a main street that leads you to the most famous place in the city, Zenko-ji. You can also find the bus terminal at the station's Zenko-ji exit. A business district is located by the shopping arcade and several kinds of hotels lie just ahead of the station, so don't worry if you need to find somewhere to stay.
Even if you're staying or not, Nagano City is a must-see destination in Japan. If you can't figure how to explore the city, JR Nagano Station will be very happy to help. Along with its range of facilities and very good service, JR Nagano Station is a wonderful place to start a wider journey to some great destinations.
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