[Nagano Prefecture Mail Magazine] Sharing the Joys of Spring!

February 6th, 2017

Nagano Prefectural Tourism Official Mail Magazine

February 6th, 2017
Published by Nagano Prefecture Tourism Department Tourism Promotions Division
International Tourism Promotions Office

We send this mail magazine to those who have exchanged business cards with members of our office.



Good Afternoon, Everyone!

Thank you very much for reading the winter edition of our official mail magazine. Now, we bring you our spring edition, from March to May, which is full of our recommended sightseeing information.

While Nagano is currently in the midst of ski season, as March passes the snow begins to melt, the trees begin to bud, and little by little seasonal flowers make their debut. Breaking through the snow, the heads of pheasant’s eyes and buttercups signal the long-awaited arrival of spring. By mid-April, the rays of the sun grow stronger day by day and cherry blossoms begin blooming in the southern regions of Nagano, quickly covering the prefecture in a cloud of pink.
Backed by gleaming white mountain tops, the scenery of passing clouds, blue skies, flowery fields and rustling greenery is the true charm of Nagano in spring. Despite the warmth of the season, ski resorts are still open as well, and it is possible to enjoy the colorful flowers and snowy mountains at the same time.

May this issue’s mail magazine be your guide to Nagano in spring, and allow you to enjoy to the fullest the season and all it has to offer. A wonderful trip awaits you in Nagano!


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Hakuba to Nagano Day Tour: Nagano Tomyo Festival and Castle Town of Matsushiro

February 2nd, 2017

Experience traditional Japanese martial arts in the former castle town of Matsushiro.

On Saturday, Feb. 11th; Sunday, Feb. 12th; and Sat., Feb. 18th during the Nagano Tomyo Festival, Hakuba Sanroku Tours is offering day trips from Hakuba to the Nagano area. Take a break from skiing and snowboarding and get in touch with another side of Japan! Visit the former castle town of Matsushiro and participate in traditional martial arts workshops, learn about Japanese games and crafts, and enjoy the Nagano Tomyo Festival and local Nagano foods before returning to Hakuba.

Lanterns cover the street leading to Zenkoji, decorated with paper silhouettes crafted by local people of all ages.

The tour embarks from the Happo Bus Terminal at 13:15 and returns at 21:00. It is 5000 yen per person and includes transportation between Hakuba, Nagano City and Matsushiro, as well as activity and guide fees. See the attached pamphlet for pricing and schedule details. Contact Hakuba Sanroku Tours directly with inquiries or reservations.

Click on the image for the full-sized pamphlet.

Nagano Tomyo Festival (Sat., Feb. 11th to Sun. the 19th)

January 31st, 2017

Lanterns cover the street leading to Zenkoji, decorated with paper silhouettes crafted by local people of all ages.

The Nagano Tomyo Festival is a winter illumination event held in memory of the 1998 Winter Olympic Games. The “Tomyo” are lanterns and lights which are offered to the gods, representing locals’ prayers for world peace. Lanterns cover the road to Zenkoji, covered in designs from local schools and craftsmen, and the temple itself is lit up in a spectacular display of color. Let the bright lights (and hot sake) warm you up during one of the coldest times of the year.

Zenkoji temple is lit with the colors of the Olympic Games.

Nagano Tomyo Festival Light Up

Saturday, February 11th to Sunday, February 19th, 2017
18:00 to 21:00

Details are available on the event’s official webpage (only in Japanese).

Nagano Tomyo Festival Opening Ceremony (Torch Run)

Saturday, Februay 11th
From 16:30

What better way to begin the lantern festival than with a torch relay a la the Winter Olympic Games? The torch bearers will begin at the front of Nagano Station’s Zenkoji exit and make their way up towards Zenkoji with over 100 students in tow carrying lanterns. From 17:00 to 18:00, a special light-up performance will be held at Zenkoji’s Sanmon gate. Don’t miss it!

Nagano Food and Sake Tasting Event

Saturday, February 11th; Sunday the 12th; Saturday the 18th
18:00 to 21:00

Try a variety of Nagano foods and drinks for free! Local Nagano sweets, sake, and wine will be offered for you to try. If you find something you like, volunteer staff can point you in the right direction to purchase it! See details here.

Feel Japan! Nagano Expo at Nagano Station (Sunday, Feb. 5th)

January 30th, 2017

Local students perform a calligraphy show during last year’s event.

On, Sunday, February 5th, The Feel Japan! Nagano Expo 2017 offers visitors a chance to interact with traditional Japanese culture as soon as they arrive at Nagano station. Visitors can try their hands at a variety of activities like making origami, creating traditional Japanese greeting cards, or trying on kimono or samurai armor.

A stage inside the station will host a Ninja show, dances, and traditional martial arts dispays. If you’re just arriving in Nagano, or hanging out in the city for a day, please stop on by and Feel Japan!

Performance Schedule

Sunday, February 5th, 2017
12:00 to 15:00

12:00 Event Opening
12:05~12:50 Ninja Performance*
13:00~13:30 “Daimon Odori” Dancing Performance*
13:40~13:50 “Kacchu-gun” Armored Guard Performance
14:00~14:45 Martial Arts Display*
15:00 Closing

*The latter half of these performances are workshops where volunteers can try these activities for themselves.

Kiso Valley Ice Lantern Festival Begins this Weekend! (Jan. 28th to Feb. 11th)

January 26th, 2017

The Ice Lantern festival accompanied by fireworks as seen from the post town of Narai.

Every year from late January through early February, the Kiso Valley hosts their ice lantern festival along the ancient Nakasendo trail. Beautifully-preserved Edo period buildings glow with warm candlelight and locals set up stalls with festival foods and free hot sake and soup. Interact with local kiso people, try some of its delicious sake, and enjoy the romantic atmosphere of these post towns forgotten by time.

For those unfamiliar with the Kiso Valley, highlights include the Narai, Kisofukushima, and Tsumago post towns, as well as Magome to the south. Many visitors walk the hiking trail which follows the Nakasendo between Tsumago and Magome post towns, or walk along the kilometer-long street of Narai. Kisofukushima is home to two of Kiso’s sake breweries, Nanawarai and Nakanorisan, and has several hot spring hotels and a foot bath to warm up during the cold winter months.

See the schedule below.

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

  • Okuwa Village (around Okuwa Station) from 17:30
  • Kiso Village (around Yabuhara) from 18:00
  • Agematsu Town (Hinokinosato Cultural Center area) from 17:30
  • Kiso Town: Hiyoshi (Yoshinaka Museum and Harano Station area) from 16:00

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

Saturday, February 4th, 2017

  • Kiso Town: Fukushima (Kiso Fukushima Yasawa, Uemachi and Uenodan areas) from 18:00
  • Kiso Town: Kaida Kogen (Nishino Shimokurio farm area) from 10:00-15:00, 17:00 and onward
  • Otaki Village (Outaki Sightseeing Office area) from 18:00

Sunday, February 5th, 2017

  • Shiojiri City: Niekawa (Niekawa post town) from 18:00

Saturday, February 11th, 2017

  • Kiso Town: Kurokawa (Furusato Taikenkan Kisofukushima area) from 18:00
  • Nagiso Town (Tsumago area) from 17:30
  • Nakatsugawa City: Magome (Magome post town & Toson Memorial Museum area) from 18:00

Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park Closed Due to Snow (Jan. 17th & 18th, 2017)

January 17th, 2017

Due to continuing heavy snowfall across Nagano prefecture, the Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park has been forced to close for several days until it clears up. The park was closed today, Monday, January 17th, and will remain closed tomorrow. See Go! Nagano’s facebook page for updates.

Relive the Film “Your Name” in Nagano

January 6th, 2017

Now playing in theaters across Japan and around the world, animated film Your Name has already left a large mark on filmmaking history. It is now the second highest-grossing anime film of all time, netting over $288,800,000 (USD) worldwide. (No. 1 is Spirited Away with over $289,090,000 USD.)

One of Your Name’s major backdrops is Itomori-machi, countryside home of main character Miyamizu Mitsuha. Encircling a large lake and surrounded by distant mountains, Itomori-machi is uncannily similar to Nagano prefecture’s Suwa region. And already people have taken notice and visited in droves to bathe in the landscapes that inspired the movie’s scenery.

(See the Suwa area’s English tourism site here.)

Evening View of Lake Suwa as seen from Tateishi Park

Shinkai Makoto, director of Your Name, also notes that his first inspiration for Lake Itomori was Lake Matsubara in his hometown of Koumi-machi, another area of Nagano.

(See Koumi’s Japanese tourism site here.)

If you too have fallen in love with this anime hit, why not visit the beautiful landscapes that inspired it?

NEW! Direct Bus between Haneda International Airport and Hakuba Ski Resorts

December 13th, 2016

Click on the image to see the full PDF flyer.

For the 2016-17 ski season, the Alpico Kotsu and Keikyu Bus companies are offering a special direct bus service between Haneda International Airport and the Hakuba Valley. Now it’s easier and more comfortable than ever to reach your winter holiday destination.

Stow your cumbersome baggage in the bus’s luggage compartment and relax on one of its spacious sofa seats. Electrical outlets are provided so you can charge your devices, and wi-fi is also available during the ride (requires registration with Wi2 300). Toilets, blankets, and other amenities are also provided.

Two round trip buses run daily. The Haneda to Hakuba line begins running on December 17th, 2016 and ends on March 4th, 2017. The Hakuba to Haneda line begins on December 18th, 2016 and runs until March 5th, 2017. A one-way ticket is 9,000 yen for adults, 7,000 yen for children, and free for infants. See the press release for more details and check Alpico’s page here to reserve your seat!

[Nagano Prefecture Mail Magazine] Bringing You the Charms of Winter!

November 2nd, 2016

Nagano Prefectural Tourism Official Mail Magazine

November 2nd, 2016
Published by Nagano Prefecture Tourism Department Tourism Promotions Division
International Tourism Promotions Office

We send this mail magazine to those who have exchanged business cards with members of our office.




Good Afternoon, Everyone!

Thank you very much for reading the autumn edition of our official mail magazine. Now, we bring you our winter edition, from December to February, which is full of our recommended sightseeing information.

Nagano is 212km long from north to south, so the weather differs greatly from area to area. On the same day, Nagano city may be covered in fresh snow, Matsumoto may be cloudy, and the southern Ina valley may be sunny with blue skies. Each area of Nagano shows a different face of winter with its own scenery and activities. With majestic mountain views, white carpets of snow, and plenty of things to do outdoors, winter is certainly Nagano’s most charming season. With this mail magazine as your guide, enjoy the winter wonderland of Nagano!


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