Things to do in Zenkoji Temple in Nagano, Japan

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Zenko-ji Temple in Nagano

Zenkoji temple (善光寺) is one of the most famous temples in Japan. This temple’s Honzon (principal image of Buddha) is Amida Nyorai statue from China. However, this culture originally came from India. The main shrine of Zenko-ji that 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. It is exposed to the public once every 7 years. This event is called “Gokai-Cho (御開帳)”

ADDRESS491, Motoyoshi machi, Ooaza Nagano, Nagano City.
PARKINGThere are a lot of pay parking

There are many parkings around Zenkoji Temple. But there is not free-parking. And parking is a little bit expensive. I recommend walking from Nagano station to Zenkoji Temple.

Access to Zenkoji Temple from Tokyo

Zenkoji Temple from Nagano Sation

The nearest station is Nagano Station (長野駅). Approximately 20 minutes by walk. A road from Nagano station to Zenkoji is easy to understand. There are many characteristic shops in the front area of Zenkoji.

Access from Haneda Airport to Zenkoji Temple

1, Approximately 20 minutes, Haneda Airport International Terminal Station to Hamamatucho Station (490 yen/ Tokyo-Monorail Local)

2, Approximately 7 minutes, Hamamatucho Station to Tokyo Station (160 yen/ Keihintohoku Line Local)

3, Approximately 1 hour 30 minutes, Tokyo Station to Nagano Station (8,000 yen/ Hokuriku Shinkansen Hakutaka)

Access from Narita Airport to Zenkoji Temple

1, Approximately 1 hour, Narita Airport International Terminal 1 to Tokyo Station Yaesu Exit (1,000 yen/ Narita-Airport Limousine Bus Airport Shuttle Bus)

2, Approximately 1 hour 30 minutes, Tokyo Station to Nagano Station (8,000 yen/ Hokuriku Shinkansen Hakutaka)

→More Detail about access from Tokyo to Nagano

Viewing from Top of Sanmon

zenkoji monzen

If you come to the gate after passing the Niomon, please go up to the top of Sanmon. You can see the inside of the gate, and there is a corridor that goes around the gate. Look down on the scenery in front of Zenkoji Temple’s main road, or enjoy the Zenkoji Hondo from the side.

Inside od Zenkoji Temple Hondo

You may be surprised that the main hall is long in the back and the inside is unexpectedly large. It is so beautiful and Sacred atmosphere. There are Sotojin and Naijin, and insiders need admission fees. Inside ticket↓

Adult500 yen
high school students200 yen
elementary and junior high school students50 yen

Zenkoji Temple Tunnel (Underground passage)

There is a temple tunnel walking at Zenkoji. This tunnel is located under the principal object of worship at a temple. This tunnel walking is called “Okaidan Meguri” that some temples have. However, Zenkoji’s tunnel is the most famous tunnel in Japan.

A visitor has to walk about 45m in the darkroom that means a world after death. If a visitor can touch a key on the right wall, the visitor will catch a good fortune. Let’s try!

A visitor needs to get the ticket to do Okaidan Meguri.

Zenkoji Temple Morning Ceremony

Zenko-ji Temple in Nagano

If you go to Zenkoji in the morning, you have to take part in “Oasaji” that is the morning ceremony is done every morning. This ceremony is about 1 hour. A participant experience two sect events.

Adult ticket500 yen
High school200 yen
Elementary to Junior high school50 yen
Under 6 years oldFree

A visitor who wants to take part in Oasaji, needs to apply before Oasaji while 30 ~ 10 minutes. Be careful as a time to start Oasaji depending on the day at different time. Please check the official web site.

Enjoy Zenkoji Temple at night

Zenko-ji Temple in Nagano

Zenkoji holds the Tomyo Festival every winter. The scene where Zenkoji Temple and its surroundings are lite up is very beautiful. Usually, the festival got early February.

Eating Soba around Zenkozi Temple


Soba is famous in Nagano prefecture where Zenkoji is located! If you come to Zenkoji Temple, please eat soba. There are many famous restaurants. If you want to know more soba, please read these articles!


Buying the best souvenior “Yawataya isogoro”

The head office of the Shinshu brand Shichimi “Yawataya Isogoro” is located in front of Zenkoji. There are many places such as soba shops and curry shops, so please watch carefully. It is perfect for souvenirs, and it is a shichimi shop with many fans outside Japan.

Point to be careful fo Zenkoji Temple

Can we take a picture?

Usually, visitors can take a picture outside. But Inside of the Hondo is not admitted taking a picture.

Zenkoji temple Takayama? Zenkoji temple Tokyo?

Actually, there are some same name temple “Zenkoji” in Japan. The most famous Zenkoji is Nagano’s Zenkoji temple. But if you are interested in other temples, it may be fun to go around.

There are more things to do in Zenkoji Temple in Nagano, Japan


Zenkoji has other attractive points without the article! And there are many historical places in Nagano, Japan. If you want to know about historical places, please read the below article!

→11 Historical Places in Nagano You Need to Visit in Your Japan Travel

→The Best Things to do in Togakushi Shrine in Japan-


The characteristic points of Nagano prefecture are a fusion between affluent nature and Japanese traditional lifestyle. Nagano is constructed in many town and village, where have originality. These regions have a different history, different culture, different nature, we can feel a side of Nagano as a treasure box.

Northern Alps in Nagano


”NAGANO TRIP” is sightseeing contents site to offer tourist information about Nagano prefecture in Japan. People who are interested in Nagano can learn and know about sightseeing contents before visit Nagano. In addition, visitor can learn and enjoy while traveling and after the trip.

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