Whilst the Alps do, as one would expect, give rise to a huge amount of winter sports tourism, they also have the added benefit of limiting the number of inhabitable areas within the prefecture. However, the cities of Matsumoto, and the prefectural capital, also called Nagano, offer plenty of sites for an avid tourist to see.
Narai-juku is a quaint post town that is located in present-day Shiojiri City, a mountainous region in southern Nagano. This nationally designated architectural preservation site is part of the Nakasendo Trail which used to be a 534-kilometer-long route connecting Kyoto and Tokyo in Edo Period.
As healthy lifestyles are picking up in popularity, more and more people are finding themselves opting for healthier food choices. Whether you are vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, or just someone looking for a delicious, but all the while, nutritious meal in Japan, Healthy Penguin Café in the Matsumoto City of Nagano is an amazing find!
I spent years eating sushi and burning my nose before realizing I didn’t know much about this spicy little devil. Then I visited the Daio Wasabi Farm in central Nagano. Just a quick trip from the popular castle town of Matsumoto, Daio is a sprawling display of meticulous farming methods and pristine natural resources.
The ramen here at Matsumoto City’s Zunpachi just happens to be a local favorite! Every day, no matter what the time, you can see a line going out the door of people waiting to eat the ramen at Zunpachi.
Located just a 7-minute walk away from Yudanaka station, the bar is located just beside the river connecting Yudanaka and Shibu Onsen where you can enjoy the flowing sound of nature while indulging in your warm Japanese rice wine.
We made a plan to go for skiing for the first time in our lives. There are many ski resorts in Nagano prefecture and the one we choose to go was the famous Ina Ski Resorts.
Yudanaka Onsen town is great all year round; however, going in winter would be a bonus to your travel plan as you can see the snow monkeys covered in snow soaking themselves in the onsen, go skiing or snowboarding, and most importantly, enjoy the outdoor natural hot spring under the snow (one of the best life experiences ever).
The following is a brief guide which outlines the main highlights of the Alpine Route, and its extensive yet impressive transportation system, starting from Shinano-Omachi Station. The trip will end in Toyama.
Karuizawa is a beautiful, unique town that feels markedly different from many of Japan’s other famous cities. With its easy access from Tokyo, there is no reason to miss out.