If you want to fully enjoy Nagano trip, you should not upset the good timing. When is the good timing? Winter season is maybe best season to enjoy Nagano. You will enjoy Ski, Snowboard, Onsen (hot spring) and much more… We provide 9 things to do in Nagano in the winter season.
1, JIGOKUDANI MONKEY PARK-Looking to lovely Snow Monkey!-
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!
2, HAKUBA VALLEY
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.
3, SHIGA HIGHLANDS
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. There are an original ecosystem and society and beautiful landscape. We can enjoy Shiga-Kogen Plateau all years.
4, SHIBU ONSEN
Shibu Onsen (渋温泉) is in Yamanouchi town. There are many resources of hot spring around the town. So, visitor can experience various kinds of an effect of hot spring to body and mind. One careful point, Shibu Onsen is a little bit high-temperature of the bathtub, you need to be careful when entering a bathtub. You must shower before entering the bathtub.
5, BESSHO ONSEN
Bessho Onsen (別所温泉) is in Ueda city. There are two famous temples in Bessho Onsen.
1, Kitamuki-Kannon (Tenmple)
Kitamuki Kannon 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 Zenkoji temple in Nagano city. If you can visit Zenkoji temple, you will get a fortunate opportunity.
2, Anraku-Ji (Temple)
Anrakuji is a 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. When you visit this pagoda, I recommend that you wear comfortable shoes. Because there is the pagoda on the small mountainside.
6, NOZAWA ONSEN
Nozawa Onsen (野沢温泉) is a famous ski and snowboard resort and Onsen (hot spring) place. There are thirteen public baths (Sotoyu 外湯) that is managed by the local Onsen community. Visitors can enter all Sotoyu. We recommend around thirteen Sotoyu. In addition, Onsen egg is well known as a local product in Nozawa Onsen. Let’s try eating Onsen egg! Access is from Tokyo station to Iiyama station by the Hokuriku Shinkansen. There is many hotel and guesthouse, we recommend Ryokan Sakaya.
7, TENRYU-RIVER RIVER CRUISE
Tenryu river cruise (天竜川川下り) is really exciting tour! Tour company offer a 6km boat ride from Benten Harbor to Tokimata Habor in 35 minutes. This tour usually that you need to reserve a seat. But actually, except the winter season, individual visitors can take part in the tour without reservation if there are seats available. It is an interesting adventure that a visitor can experience a river adventure in the winter season! In addition, passenger take a Japanese Kotatsu in a boat.
8, TAKAMINE PLATEAU ONSEN（HOT SPRING）
Takamine Plateau (高峰高原) is in Komoro city in east area in Nagano prefecture. The area is altitude 2000 meter, so visitors can feel “Above the clouds”. Especially, “Unjou no Rotenburo (An open-air bath above the clouds)” is famous as one of the most beautiful Rotenburo in Japan. On the other hand, visitors can try snow trekking.
9, IIYAMA SNOW FESTIVAL
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 dorms, snow sculptures, Lanterns in the festival place. On the other hand, visitors can take part in the “snow sculpture walk rally”. Let’s look at the art of snow in Iiyama city!
10, KARUIZAWA PRINCE SHOPPING PLAZA
Karuizawa(軽井沢) is known as a holiday home area located in the west area of Nagano. You can enjoy skiing, walking around a calm road.
Recently many foreign tourists have visited Karuizawa for vacation. Karuizawa Prince shopping plaza is one of the biggest shopping malls in Nagano. This is located in front of the Karuizawa station. There are so many shops, restaurants, and events.
The most important information is about a sale. You can buy many Japanese goods for a happy new year sale in January.
THE BEST 10 SIGHTSEEING PLACES IN NAGANO IN WINTER
We’ve given you a some winter season’s best places in Nagano, 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 Nagano’s winter season places on your travel itinerary.