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NaganoJapan

Enjoy vegetarian food and go skiing in this scenic mountain region, explore the ancient wooden Zenkoji Temple and historic castle, and hear legends of ninja warriors.

Nagano, on Japan’s main island Honshu, is the capital city of the prefecture of the same name. The city is most famous as being the home of the Zenkoji Temple, a national treasure. Visit this important site of pilgrimage, but also be sure to make the most of the region’s other attractions. At the nearby mountains, go skiing or see macaque monkeys bathe in hot springs. Learn about the culture of the samurai warriors and view 300-year-old chestnut and beech trees in Oku Susobana Natural Park.

Visit the grand complex of the Zenkoji Temple to see one of the largest wooden temples in Japan. The main temple dates back to the seventh century and is said to house a very early Buddha statue.

Take the train to the castle town in the suburb of Matsushiro to see the legacy of a 17th-century warlord. Discover the samurai way of life at the Sanada and Yokota Residences and the Sanada Treasure Museum. Explore a bunker which hid the Emperor and government during World War II.

At the Togakure Ninpo Museum, try your hand at shuriken throwing like a ninja. Navigate mazes and secret doors and learn about Nishina Daisuke, a samurai who created his own style of ninjutsu.

Head to the nearby Joshinetsu Kogen National park and marvel at the snow monkeys in the hot springs of the Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park in Yamanouchi. At the onsen (traditional Japanese resorts) in the area you can enjoy the thermal pools for yourself. In winter, choose from over 20 ski resorts to carve up the snow on the nearby Shiga plateau.

Nagano is about a 2-hour train journey from Tokyo. Its central transport hub provides good connections to the major attractions in and around the city. Hire a car to explore the countryside. Join mushroom and fruit-picking expeditions or visit a local miso manufacturer. Nagano has a long history of catering for Zenkoji Temple’s Buddhist monks, so vegetarians will want to linger in this scenic area.

Where to stay in Nagano

The very pretty Sun Valley. Part of the massive Shiga Kogen, Sun Valley is quiet, has great skiing and attracts locals who come back year after year.

Shiga Highlands

4.5/5Wonderful!(2 area reviews)

Shiga Highlands is noteworthy for its skiing, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Shiga Kogen Ski Area and Hasuike Ski Area.

Shiga Highlands
Madarao Mountain Resort, Japan

Madarao Mountain Resort

4/5Very Good!(5 area reviews)

You'll enjoy the museums and ski areas in Madarao Mountain Resort. You might want to make time for a stop at Madarao Kogen Ski Resort or Madarao Kogen Picture Book Art Museum.

Madarao Mountain Resort
Kurita, Nagano, Japan

Kurita

5/5Exceptional!(1 area review)

Be sure to check out the restaurants and shopping while you're strolling through Kurita, and hop on the metro at Nagano Station to see more of the surrounding area.

Kurita
奥社へと続く杉並木。 #Nature

Togakushi

5/5Exceptional!(1 area review)

You'll enjoy the museums and monuments in Togakushi. You might want to make time for a stop at Togakushi Shrine or Chibikko Ninja Village.

Togakushi
Takai, Takayama, Japan

Takai

If you're spending some time in Takai, Japanese Weeping Cherry Tree and Edo Higan Cherry Tree of Kurobe are top sights worth seeing.

Takai
Skiing in January. We had lessons at the Evergreen ski school. #Japan #snow #skiing

Echo Land

5/5Exceptional!(3 area reviews)

Echo Land might not have many top sights, but Hakuba 47 Winter Sports Park and Happo-one Adam Gondola are two attractions nearby that you can check out.

Echo Land

Top Hotels in Nagano

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hotel Metropolitan Nagano
Hotel Metropolitan Nagano
3.5 out of 5
1346 Minami-ishido-cho, Nagano, Nagano-ken
¥9,339
per night
Apr 6 - Apr 7

Located in the heart of Nagano, this hotel is 0.3 mi (0.5 km) from Saiko-ji Temple and 1.3 mi (2.1 km) from Zenko-ji Temple. Saisho-in Temple and Junen-ji Temple ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,606 reviews)

"Location was most convenient right next to Nagano station that has a mall, supermarket and cafes. Room is clean and beds are comfy. Room size is ok but could have been better if they have a better layout to cater for bigger luggage."…"

Reviewed on Mar 8, 2020

Hotel Metropolitan Nagano
Courtyard by Marriott Hakuba
Courtyard by Marriott Hakuba
3 out of 5
2937 Hokujo, Kitaazumi-gun, Hakuba, Nagano
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
¥10,501
per night
Apr 28 - Apr 29

Situated in Hakuba, this hotel is steps from Hakuba Art Museum and Hakuba Valley Ski Area. Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort is 3 mi (4.8 km) away.

4.6/5Exceptional! (123 reviews)

"Wonderful convenient property. However must have more washing machine and commercial powerful dryer as this is ski hotel and EVERYONE wants to dry clothes/gloves/scarf/socks overnight ready for more ski in the morning so big fights over 3 dryers every night!"…"

Reviewed on Jan 20, 2020

Courtyard by Marriott Hakuba
Nagano Tokyu REI Hotel
Nagano Tokyu REI Hotel
3 out of 5
1-28-3 Minami-Chitose, Nagano, Nagano-ken
¥7,603
per night
Apr 6 - Apr 7

Located in the heart of Nagano, this hotel is 1.2 mi (2 km) from Zenko-ji Temple and 1.4 mi (2.2 km) from Nagano Prefectural Shinano Art Museum. M-Wave Olympic ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (362 reviews)

"Would highly recommend staying at this hotel! It was sparkling clean. Location was the best with multiple nearby places to eat and the JR Nagano Station right across the street."…"

Reviewed on Jan 12, 2020

Nagano Tokyu REI Hotel

Popular things to do in Nagano

Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort
Image for Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort

Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort

4.5/5(13 reviews)

Explore the stunning tree-lined ridges and open slopes of this ski resort. Soak tired muscles in healing hot springs in the nearby traditional village.

Hakuba Valley Ski Area
Image for Hakuba Valley Ski Area

Hakuba Valley Ski Area

4.5/5(35 reviews)

Hit the slopes at Hakuba Valley Ski Area, a top ski area in Otari. Discover the mountain views while you're in the area.

Shiga Kogen Ski Area
Image for Shiga Kogen Ski Area

Shiga Kogen Ski Area

5/5(12 reviews)

Hit the slopes at Shiga Kogen Ski Area, a top ski area in Yamanouchi. Discover the hot springs and mountain views in this relaxing area.

Hakuba Happo-One Ski Area
Image for Hakuba Happo-One Ski Area

Hakuba Happo-One Ski Area

4.5/5(28 reviews)

Hit the slopes at Hakuba Happo-One Ski Area, a top ski area in Hakuba. Discover the mountain views while you're in the area.

Jigokudani Monkey Park
Image for Jigokudani Monkey Park

Jigokudani Monkey Park

4.5/5(41 reviews)

Explore the great outdoors with a trip to Jigokudani Monkey Park, a popular green space in Yudanaka Shibu Onsen. Discover the hot springs and mountain views in this culturally-rich area.

Zenko-ji Temple
Image for Zenko-ji Temple

Zenko-ji Temple

4.5/5(26 reviews)

Learn about the history of Zenko-ji Temple, one of the top monuments in Nagano. Visit the temples and shops in this walkable area.

Top activities in Nagano

Snow Monkeys, Shiga Kogen Roman Museum with Lunch Buffet!
Image for Snow Monkeys, Shiga Kogen Roman Museum with Lunch Buffet!

Snow Monkeys, Shiga Kogen Roman Museum with Lunch Buffet!

100% of travellers recommend
¥15,000
Per adult
Full-Day Jigokudani Monkey Park, Zenko-ji & Sake Brewery Tour in Nagano
Image for Full-Day Jigokudani Monkey Park, Zenko-ji & Sake Brewery Tour in Nagano

Full-Day Jigokudani Monkey Park, Zenko-ji & Sake Brewery Tour in Nagano

90% of travellers recommend
¥15,500
Per adult
13-hour Snow Monkey Park to/from Tokyo with Private Car
Image for 13-hour Snow Monkey Park to/from Tokyo with Private Car

13-hour Snow Monkey Park to/from Tokyo with Private Car

¥125,000
Per adult

Reviews of Nagano

4.6

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
21
5 - Excellent 63.63636363636363%
4 - Good
11
4 - Good 33.333333333333336%
3 - Okay
1
3 - Okay 3.0303030303030303%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Mar 5, 2020

I really enjoyed the walk from the train station to the hotel and back the next day. Nice area for walking.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Feb 26, 2020

Not much to do other than Ski and Seeing the Snow Monkeys

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jan 29, 2020

Have previously never stopped in nagano. That was a mistake. It is a cool town. The temple is totally worth visiting and a day trip to Matsumoto castle totally worthwhile.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Nov 23, 2019

I would probably give a better review if we had rented a car and seen the sights surrounding the city. Shopping at the MI DO RI mall is excellent.

4/5 - Good

PersonA

Oct 27, 2019

Sake tour is worth it

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

May 19, 2019

I liked Nagano. Clean, not crowded, easily walk to many things. Nice people.

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