Nagano is Japan’s most attractive tourist destination. There are many things to enjoy, such as nature, history, culture, art, and hot springs. This article summarizes 46 places and things you want to visit in Nagano Prefecture. Please refer to it as it has been compiled for each with whom of travel, way of transportation, and genre!
Enjoy Walking and Trecking in Nagano!
1, Togakushi Shrine｜Nagano City
Togakushi(戸隠) is visited about 1.5 million tourists every year, so popular destination in Nagano. There is 5 shrines are called Togakushi Shine (Togakushi jinja/戸隠神社). These shrines were constructed for 2000 years ago. This place is famous as a power spot. If you can all shrines, probably you will get good things.
2, Nakasendo Trecking｜Many towns in Nagano prefecture
Tsumago-juku post town (妻籠宿) is located in Nagiso town in Nagano. During the Edo period, traveler, merchant, administrator used transport Edo (now Tokyo) with Kyoto. We can look at a state of remaining Japanese traditional townscape and feel a historical atmosphere.
3, Hakuba Happo One Mountain｜Hakuba village
Hakuba Happo One Mountain is popular trecking course in Nagano. Probably Hakuba’s image is “Winter Resort” in Nagano. But we want to recommend during the green season, summer and autumn. A summertime in Hakuba is a beautiful contrast among green, blue, white. You may feel confortable for trecking at Happo One Mountain.
Enjoy rental car travel in Nagano!
4, Lake Shirakoma｜Sakuho town
Shirakoma Lake (Shirakoma Pond) (白駒池) is located in the east area in Nagano prefecture. Recently, Shirakoma lake is well known as a represent photogenic place in Nagano. Visitor can look a sea of clouds and daylight at morning from Takami Ishi where is 40 minutes by walk from Shirakoma lake.
5, Azumino｜Azumino city and around towns
Azumino city has the field of really beautiful water that is sprung out from the Northern Alps (Japanese Alps) . We recommend places where are Daio Wasabi Farm, Azumino Chihiro Museum, Ikeda town!
6, Lake Nojiri｜Shinano town
Lake Nojiri (野尻湖) is located in Shinano town, Northern area, Nagano prefecture. The second biggest lake in Nagano prefecture. Lake Nojiri is known well to discover the fossil of Nauman elephant.
Popular sightseeing places where is near Shinkansen station in Nagano
7, Zenkoji Temple｜Nagano City
Zenkoji temple (善光寺) is one of the most famous temples in Japan. The main shrine of Zenkoji which was built in 1707, has registered a national treasure. There are many hospices and eating establishments and souvenir shops aside from the main street to the main shrine.
8, Ueda Castle Ruin｜Ueda City
Ueda Castle Park is the most popular sightseeing place in Ueda city. The castle was built in the 16th century by Sanada Masayuki who is a very popular samurai “Sanada Yukimura”‘s father.
9, Karuizawa｜Karuizawa Town
Karuizawa (軽井沢) is one of the most popular resorts located only one hour from Tokyo. Karuizawa has been known as a somewhere cool to stay and relax since about 1886.
Kids friendly destinations in Nagano
10, Nawate Street｜Matsumoto City
Nawate street (繩手通り) is town street that are characteristic shops to form a line in Matsumoto city. Visitor can arrive about 10 minutes from Matsumoto station, 5 minutes from Matsumoto-jo castle. Nawate has a symbol character that is “Frog”. If you like a frog, you must visit this street. Every year, the frog festival is carried out.
11, Shirakaba Resort Ikenotaira FamilyLand
There is a big theme park “Shirakaba Resort Ikenotaira FamilyLand (白樺リゾート池の平ファミリーランド)” near Lake Shirakaba. The amusement park all generations can enjoy. Children playing in the amusement park. Grandparents enjoying taking a walk or viewing the landscape. If you visit with children or Grandchild, Why not stopping by?
12, Chihiro Art Museum｜Matsukawa village
Chihiro Art Museum Azumino (安曇野ちひろ美術館) was built in 1997, in Matsukawa village, Nagano. “Chihiro” is one painter’s first name, the full name is “Iwasaki Chihiro”. Her drawing has a nice feeling, characteristic power, and kindness.
Romantic destinations for Couple in Nagano
13, Atera Gorge｜Kiso town
Atera Gorge (阿寺渓谷) is located in Kiso area in Nagano prefecture. The gorge is constructed for strangely shaped rocks and crystal clear rivers. Of course, visitors can put body in the river! Visitors can enjoy the collaboration between autumn leaves and rivers in autumn as well as summer.
14, Iiyama Kamakura Village｜Iiyama city
Iiyama Snow Festival (飯山雪まつり) is a big event in Iiyama city. Every year this festival is held two days in February. There are many snow houses, snow sculptures, Lanterns in the festival place. At night, all snow houses are lighted-up from inside. Its landscape is so wondrous.
15, Experience Making Tombo-dama (Glass Beads)
Tombo-Dama (とんぼ玉) is a hole opens glass beads. There are many tombo-dama workshop studio in Nagano. Visitor can have making experience tombo-dama in almost Japanese workshop studio. A visitor gets the original tombo-dama in the world. Below is our recommended workshop studio. Let’s try!
Things to do and Sightseeing places in spring season in Nagano
16, Takato Castle Park Cherry Blossom Festival｜Ina city
Cherry Blossom Festival is held in Takato Castle Park every spring. This Park’s cherry blossom is chosen as the best 3 beautiful cherry blossoms in Japan! Visitors can experience to look at a lot of cherry blossoms and many historical monuments.
17, Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route｜Omachi city
The featured attractions are unique and spectacular routes along the Northern Japan Alps. Visitors can enjoy varying vistas during different seasons of the year. You can traverser by some hands of transportations such as a ropeway and trolleybuses. Especially, in 2020, the entire route is opening from 15th April to 30th November.
18, Nanohana blossoms｜Omachi city
In spring, the plateau is covered with yellow Nanohana blossoms. The areas of Nagano famous for Nanohana are Iiyama city(Nanohana Park) and Omachi city(Nakayama plateau).
19, Obasute terraced rice-fields｜Nagano city
Rice fields filled with water are traditional Japanese spring landscape. The area around Obasute station in Chikuma city is also famous for its night scene and beautiful moon. The history goes back to about 1,200 years ago, and many historical great people compose a tanka.
Things to do and Sightseeing places in summer season in Nagano
20, Togakushi Shrine｜Nagano city
In Togakushi, There is 5 shrines are called Togakushi jinja (戸隠神社). These shrines were constructed for 2000 years ago. This place is famous as a power spot. If you can all shrines, probably you will get good things.
21, Kumoba Pond｜Karuizawa Town
Kumoba-Pond (雲場池) is one of the 3 major attractive spots in Karuizawa. It is a beautiful spot that reflection of the forests in the water of the lake. Kumoba Pond is called Swan Lake. Since visitors can look at many kinds of birds.
22, Hakuba Iwatake Mountain Resort｜Hakuba village
Iwatake mountain is well known as a winter season resort. Today, we will report Hakuba Iwatake Mountain Resort that is opened while spring to autumn. Visitors can look at a panorama view by only one gondola.
23, Senjojiki Curl｜Komagane city
Senjojiki Cirque(千畳敷カール) is a popular alpine landscape in Komagane city. There are many kinds of alpine wildflowers, alpine animal. In the summer season, there is a field of a flower as far as the eye can see. Kenga-ike Pond is a popular photo spot. Let’s try to take a photo that mountain is reflected in the pond.
24, Sora terrace｜Yamanouchi town
Sora Terrace (空テラス)is located in Ryuoo Ski Park, Yamanouchi-town. In the summer season, visitor can enjoy a sea of clouds, sunset, a sky full of stars. Especially, Sora terrace is famous as the sea of clouds spot. If you want to see, you should go to the evening (June to August: 5 p,m~/September to November: 4 p,m~).
Things to do and Sightseeing places in autumn season in Nagano
25, Akiyama-go Valley｜Sakae village
Twelve villages aside the 405 national roads are called Akiyama-go valley(秋山郷). There are holy forests, traditional culture, and beautiful autumn leaves. Visitors can look at the original scenery of Japan.
26, Yonago-dai-bakufu Fall｜Suzaka city
Yonago-dai-bakuhu Fall (米子大瀑布) is located in Suzaka city. This fall is selected a 100 selections of waterfalls in Japan. The set of Fudo-taki-waterfall (不動滝, 85 meters) and Gongen-taki-waterfall (権現滝, 80 meters) are called Yonago-dai bakuhu.
27, Okususobana Valley｜Nagano city
Okususobana Valley(奥裾花渓谷) is famous as a majestic valley. in Kinasa-area, Nagano city. The landscape of the valley is made by strangely shaped rocks and great rock cliff aside Susobana River rises in which wetlands (Okususobana Nature Park) is famous as skunk cabbage.
28, Around Lake Suwa｜Suwa city
Around Lake Suwa(諏訪湖) is the biggest lake in Nagano prefecture. visitor can ride a boat, a sightseeing boat, an amphibian motor car. We recommend Takashima-jo Castle. Around the castle is one of the best autumn leaves spot.
29, Eating Soba in Nagano
Autumn season is the best Soba season. Because visitors can eat New-Soba (Shin-soba/新そば) in this season. Soba restaurant changes a resource of buckwheat flour each year because flour loses its freshness. Therefore the restaurant changes a new buckwheat flour in autumn. Visitor can eat the freshest soba all year round/
Things to do and Sightseeing places in winter season in Nagano
30, Jigokudani Yaen Monkey Park
Jikokudani Monkey Park (地獄谷野猿公苑) is only one spot in the world that we can look at monkeys who take an Onsen (hot spring). There is the park in Yamanouchi town in the north area in Nagano prefecture. Recently, the park is a well known most popular destination for foreign tourists in the winter season’s Nagano. A lot of monkeys in the onsen may wait that you come!
31, Hakuba Snow Resort
10 ski resort in Hakuba(白馬) is collectively called Hakuba Valley. There is a Hakuba valley in the foot of the Northern Alps in the North area of Nagano. Hakuba Valley is an international mountain resort After this area was used as a place of Nagano Winter Olympic in 1998.
32, Shiga Kogen Ski Resort
Shiga Highlands(志賀高原) is a magnificent ski resort in winter. Ski areas are connected by a useful shuttle bus service. It is famous for the skier that Shiga-Kogen’s snow quality is great! By the way, Shiga-Kogen Plateau was entered as a Biosphere Conservation Area (UNESCO Eco Park) by UNESCO.
33, Illumination at Alps Azumino Park｜Azumino city
Alps Azumino Park (アルプスあづみの公園) is in Matsumoto city. You can go to there in 12 minutes by taxi from Matsumoto station. In this park, you can see a beautiful location, mountain, flower at noon and you can see different scenery at night. There are beautiful illuminations named” TWIN ILLUMINATION” in January.
Historical places and Old townscape in Nagano
34, Matsumoto Castle｜Matsumoto City
Matsumoto-jo Castle（松本城） is a Japanese-style castle built about 400 years ago. It is registered as a national treasure. We recommend the scenic view from the top floor. And visitors can take beautiful pictures of Matsumoto-jo Castle with cherry blossoms and the Northern Alps.
35, Narai Juku Post Town｜Siojiri City
Narai-Juku (奈良井宿) is a Japanese traditional townscape. We can look at a state of remaining Japanese traditional townscape and feel a historical atmosphere.
36, Obuse Town｜Obuse Town
Obuse town is in the north part of Nagano. It is known for sightseeing spots having a nice cafe and sweets shops, historical temples and cultural museums. Especially Katsushika Hokusai, who is the famous Ukiyo-E Painter, Museum is got attention in the world.
37, Unno Juku Post Town｜Tomi City
Unno juku post town (海野宿) is located in Tomi city in the East Nagano area. This place was a post town of Hokkoku Kaido (Japanese Edo era’s public old road between Edo to Kanazawa). Even now, Unno-juku is constructed by about 100 buildings. In addition, this road is elected as a Top 100 Japanese Road. Visitors can timeslip to Edo-period!
38, Yanagimachi｜Ueda City
Yanagimachi（柳町） Street has a Japanese traditional townscape. The street was samurai castle street as a part of Hokkoku Kido（北国街道） Road. Recently, there has been increasing some trendy shops. You can experience traditional culture and trendy culture. There are Japanese Sake shop(I strongly recommend), Wine shop, Cafe, Soba restaurant and much more…
39, Suwa Taisha Grand Shrine｜Around Suwa Lake
Suwa-Taisha Shrine has a religious faith among the people of Japan. Suwa Taisha and around the area is renowned as a spiritual place in Japan. From a long time ago, some gods relate Suwa-Taisha Shrine, so recent tourists often feel mysterious power.
40, Kaikoen｜Komoro city
Kaiko-en (懐古園) is located in Komoro city in the East Nagano area. There was the Komoro castle a long time ago. Visitors feel the atmosphere in an old castle town around the Kaiko-en. The characteristic point is that the castle was called “Anasiro “. Usually, there is a castle above a castle town. But, the Komoro castle was under a castle town. This situation was called “Anashiro.
Onsen (Hot spring) in Nagano
41, Bessho Onsen｜Ueda city
Bessho Onsen Area is located in Ueda city. Bessho Onsen is called “One of the oldest hot spring areas in Nagano.”. There are some historical Onsen-Accommodation and famous temples. Especially Anrakuji Temple(this picture) was registered as a Japanese National Treasure for the first time in Nagano.
42, Nozawa Onsen｜Nozawa Onsen village
Nozawa Onsen(野沢温泉) is well renowned in Japan. Nozawa Onsen is located at the foot of Kenashi mountain which has a resource (gensen) at its center. Nozawa Onsen is popular hot spring health. There are 13 atmospheric public bathhouses called Soto-yu in the Onsen district.
43, Shibu Onsen｜Yamanouchi town
Shibu Onsen is a popular hot spring in Nagano. These days, many travelers come there because it is near to skiing parks and Snow Monkey Park.
44, Shirahone Onsen｜Matsumoto city
Shirahone Onsen (白骨温泉) is located in halfway up to a hill of Norikura Mountain that is a sacred mountain in Matsumoto city. Shirahone Onsen lies near the famous and popular alpine nature area such as Norikura plateau and Kamikochi. There is 12 ryokan in Shirahone area. These ryokan has characteristic onsen each other.
45, Hakuba Onsen｜Hakuba village
In Hakuba Onsen, there are many hot springs whose effects are good. After Skiing and Snowbording, you can feel confortable and heal fatigue.
46, Mixed Gender Bathing in nagano
Mixed-gender bathing (Konyoku, Onsen) is a kind of Onsen (hot spring). Usually, Onsen is separated between man and woman. On the other hand, Konyoku is not separated from gender. Before the Meiji era (before 1868), Japanese hot spring was usually Konyoku. However Japanese goverment studied Western Europe. As a result, Konyoku is stopped. Currently, we can not establish a new Konyoku. However, Konyoku facilities can continue the place that has remained since ancient times as a culture.
Best 46 Things To Do in Nagano in Japan
This article is definitely the one that summarizes the most tourist spots in Nagano on the Internet. But not everything was posted. Please read other articles!!