As you travel throughout Japan, you must visit the Eastern Nagano Area in Nagano prefecture. There are many attractive sightseeing places in this area. Today, we provide some places in Eastern Nagano Area should be near the top of your “must go” list while traveling throughout Japan.
About Eastern Nagano Area
There are various natural environment places in Eastern Nagano. For example, There are highlands, plateau such as Sugadaira Plateau, Nobeyama Plateau. By the way, there are clear and natural water in Eastern Nagano. Especially, Shiraito no Taki (Shiraito Waterfall), Kumoba-Ike (Kumoba Pond) is a popular sightseeing place.
About 400 years ago, there is some kaido (highway) in Eastern Nagano. Kido tends to remain ancient townscape in Japan. Therefore Eastern Nagano has many Japanese traditional town streets. Among many shukuba (post towns), Yanagi-machi town of Hokkoku Kaido and Unno-juku town street of Hokkoku Kaido is famous post town.
Diversity of Culture
Eastern Nagano has some famous Onsen (hot spring) such as Bessho Onsen (hot spring). We recommend a little bit unique hot spring. It is Ashiyu (Foot bath). Recently, there has been increasing the number of Ashiyu in Japan. Visitor can experience easier usual Onsen.
Mt, Asama is symbol mountain of Eastern Nagano Area. Mt, Asama is looked from Almost place in Eastern Nagano. Mt Asama is chosen as 100 famous mountains in Japan, 100 mountains of flower in Japan. Actually, Mt, Asama is still a volcano. But a visitor can climb.
NEAR UEDA STATION
Near Ueda Station (上田駅周辺) is a city center and a start point of sightseeing in Eastern Nagano. The highly important point, it takes about 1 hour 30 minutes from Tokyo Station to Ueda Station by Hokuriku Shinkansen. If you departure at 9:00 from Tokyo, you can fully enjoy an all day. In the near Ueda station, Ueda-jo Castle (上田城) and Yanagi-machi town (柳町) is a famous and popular sightseeing point.
・Ueda castle（上田城） is the most popular sightseeing place in Ueda city. The castle was built in the 16th century by Sanada Masayuki（真田昌幸） who is very popular samurai “Sanada Yukimura（真田幸村）”‘s father. Ueda castle has never been attacked, so it is said to be auspicious. Currently, there is a famous park with a thousand cherry blossom that blooms in April. U
・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…
・Zimanyaki (じまん焼) is famous and popular sweets in Ueda city. This is Japanese pancakes filled with filling such as red bean paste and sweet custard cream.
People in Ueda eat Zimanyaki when they were boy and girl. Zimanyaki makes feel yearnning for their old days. I am one of those people.
BESSHO ONSEN (hot spring)
Situated in Ueda city. A short train ride from Ueda Station is Bessho Onsen (別所温泉). This onsen is one of the oldest hot spring in Nagano. In addition, There are some historical important monument “Anraku-Ji Temple” “Kitamuki-Kannon” and much more…
・Kitamuki Kannon（北向観音） Temple was built in 825. It is rare that the main temple face to North in Japan. There is a Bessho Onsen area.Kitamuki Kannon set with Zenko-ji temple in Nagano city. If you can visit Zenkoji temple, you will get a fortunate opportunity.
・Anrakuji（安楽寺） Temple is famous temple in Nagano, and Japan. Anrakuji is one of the oldest temple in Zen Buddhism. The temple building is “Mokuzo Hakkaku Sanzyuu no To”. This mean is Wooden Octagonal three-story pagoda.
UNNO-JUKU POST TOWN
Unno-juku post town (海野宿) is located in Tomi city in 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.
There is the special guide service by residents who is well informed history, culture and architecture of Unno-juku. You need to aplly until 10 days ago when you visit this place. The guide fee is 2000 yen. The guide tour about 1 hour 30 minutes. If you are interested in this guide, please look below site.
Komoro City (小諸市) is located between Karuizawa and Ueda. Komoro flourished as a big post town of Hokkoku Kaido (Hokkoku Highway). Specialty goods of Komono are Mimakihara Potato, Komoro Soba Noodle, Apple and Highland Vegetable. Absolutely, Komoro’s number 1 sightseeing place is Kaiko-en. Visitor can feel a historical atmosphere and rich nature.
・Takamine Plateau (高峰高原) is in Komoro city in east area in Nagano prefecture. The area is altitude 2000 meter, so visitor can feel “Above the clouds”. Especially, “Unjou no rotenburo (An open air bath above the clouds)” is famous as a one of the most beautiful rotenburo in Japan. On the other hands, visitor can try a snow trekking.
・Kaiko-en (懐古園) is located in Komoro city in East Nagano area. There was the Komoro castle a long time ago. A visitor feels atmosphere 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. Inside the Kaiko-en, there are Kaiko shrine, Komoro animal park, Memorial Hall of Shimazaki Toson (who is Japanese famous author ). Visitor can look a cherry blossom in spring, Autumn leaves in autumn season.
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. In the present day, the new places, such as a Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza outlet mall, Hoshino resort, and the Church Street Karuizawa have come to be known.
・We recommend the Kumano Koudai Shrine (熊野皇大神社) that is known as a power spot in between Nagano and Gunma prefecture. This shrine is one of the best 3 Kumano in Japan.
NOBEYAMA KOGEN PLATEAU
NOBEYAMA KOGEN PLATEAU (野辺山高原) is located in Minamimaki-village. There are some attraction facilities. So a visitor can enjoy all season. Recently, Nobeyama Kogen has well known a beautiful star watching the place. Actually, there is Nobeyama Radio Observatory in Nobeyama Kogen. This facility is Mecca of astronomy in Japan. If you are interested in astronomy, you should go to Nobeyama Kogen Plateau.
THINGS TO DO IN EASTERN NAGANO
We’ve given you a recommended spot in Eastern Nagano area, but there are many more just waiting for you to discover. Add a little bit of creative flavor to your next travel in Japan by including destinations Eastern Nagano area in Nagano on your travel itinerary.