Kiso’s Ice Candle Festival Lights up the Nakasendo from Late January to February

January 18th, 2018

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 27th, 2018

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

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

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

Saturday, February 3rd, 2018

  • Shiojiri City: Narai (Narai post town) from 18:30
  • 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

Saturday, February 10th, 2018

  • 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

Snow Resort Pass Available from Dec. 2, 2017 to Mar. 31, 2018

November 30th, 2017

Nagano Snow Resort Pass 2017-19 Flyer

The Nagano Snow Resort Pass will be available again this year from December 2, 2017 to March 31, 2018. Enjoy unlimited access between Nagano City, the Hakuba Valley, Togakushi, Matsushiro, and the Snow Monkey Park for two consecutive days. A perfect option for travelers who want a taste of Nagano’s winter charms but with limited time to savor them.

See the Snow Resort Pass page for more information, or click the above picture to see the full flyer.

Snow Monkey Park’s Kanbayashi Route Reopened

October 31st, 2017

Due to the damage of Typhoon No. 21, the Kanbayashi Route to the Snow Monkey Park was closed on October 23. Today, repairs on the route have been completed and it has been opened again to the public. Areas of the route may be wet or muddy, so please be careful as you journey to the park.

Snow Monkey Park Closed Until Further Notice

October 23rd, 2017

Due to the typhoon that hit Japan this weekend, the walkway to the Snow Monkey Park has been damaged. The Snow Monkey Park will be closed for the next two to three days until the walkway is repaired. Check the Go! Nagano website or Facebook page for updates.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

[Nagano Prefecture Mail Magazine] Introducing Nagano’s Autumn Wonders!

October 6th, 2017

Nagano Prefectural Tourism Official Mail Magazine

October 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 day everyone,

Thank you very much for reading our 2017 summer edition of the Nagano prefecture official mail magazine. Now, we bring you the tidings of autumn along with new ways to enjoy this magical season.

The forested landscape is gradually turning shades of red and gold as autumn begins. The once-green rice fields grow more yellow, the evenings come sooner, and the winds blow more briskly by the day.

Let this edition of the Nagano prefecture mail magazine be your guide to autumn!

Read the rest of this entry »

Nagano Multilingual Call Center For Traveler Support

June 29th, 2017

To all international visitors to Nagano Prefecture:

The “NAGANO Multilingual Call Center For Traveler Support” is available from July 1, 2017 to March 30, 2018 with the purpose of providing international travelers with a comfortable and enjoyable trip.

Feel free to call us! We look forward to helping you!

Domestic Calls (toll free): 0120-691-792
International Calls: +81-92-687-5289 (international telephone charges may apply)

You can download a detailed flyer about the Call Center by clicking on the image below or here.

Click on the image to download the full PDF

Nagano Prefecture Seeking Ideas for Regulatory Reform

June 29th, 2017

In order to enhance the local economy and maintain, or even improve, our well-being in daily life, Nagano Prefecture has placed a Suggestion Box for Regulatory Reform to welcome ideas from residents about regulatory reform.

Is there a regulation that interferes with your ambition to start a new business? Or are you concerned about a regulation because it needs to be reformed?

We welcome diverse ideas regarding Nagano Prefecture’s current regulations. Ideas may be submitted through Thursday, August 31st, 2017.

Please see this page on the Nagano Prefecture homepage for details.

Welcome to a World-Class Resort! Introducing the Charms of Mountainous Nagano!

June 28th, 2017

The Great Outdoors will Change Your Life

Nagano prefecture is Japan’s No. 1 mountain resort with 15 mountains at heights of over 3,000m, five national parks and 3 quasi-national parks. Highlands expand under the bright blue sky, sunlight shines through the deep forests, mountains float above the clouds, and limitless stars paint the night sky.

This July to September, Nagano prefecture will be the target of one of the nation’s largest tourism campaigns. During this “Destination Campaign,” we would like to suggest four ways of enjoying a trip to Nagano that may change your life.

We hope that foreign visitors of Japan will also take note of Nagano, which has also received a lot of attention as a tourism destination domestically. The peoples and regions of Nagano Prefecture have come together to share Omotenashi (Japanese hospitality) with all of our guests.


We’re now providing the convenient Nagano Navi application which puts Nagano’s sightseeing and transportation information at your fingertips. Please use it during your trip to Nagano!

Four Great Ways to Enjoy Nagano

1. Healing

No. 1 in Japan for forest therapy courses and day-use hot spring facilities, Nagano is full of places that promote relaxation and healing. In moments of relief, your tired mind can re-energize and focus on what’s truly important.

Places of Healing in Nagano:

  • Akasawa Natural Recreation Park
    The Akasawa Natural Recreation Park is the origin of forest therapy in Japan. Enjoy trails along clear streams and through the beautiful woods of the Kiso Valley.
  • The Wooded Shrines of Togakushi
    Togakushi is located on a plateau above Nagano City and is home to five shrines that dot the wooded landscape. One of the most popular, the Okusha shrine, is a 30 minute hike from the main road and features a lane of 400-year-old cryptomeria trees.
  • Go! Nagano’s Hot Springs Page
    Soak away your worries in some of Nagano’s 100% natural mineral hot springs and enjoy the traditional atmosphere of an onsen town.
  • Go! Nagano’s Guide to Using Onsen Hot Springs
    Never been to a hot spring in Japan? Brush up on your onsen knowledge and find beginner-friendly hot spring facilities.
  • Kamikochi
    Kamikochi is the undisputed jewel of the Northern Japanese Alps. Enjoy virgin forests, clear streams, and majestic mountain views from its gentle walking trails.
  • Nabekura Kogen Beech Tree Forest Therapy
    The beech tree forest of Nabekura Kogen is a certified forest therapy area and offers well-maintained, flat walking paths for people of all ages to enjoy.

2. The Outdoors

Nagano is an outdoor paradise where you can enjoy a range of activities in mountains, lakes, and rivers. Push your limits in the wilds and discover the power of survival in yourself. Experiencing the outdoors helps children find this power too!

Outdoor Activities in Nagano:

3. History and Culture

From the Jomon Period, “Shinshu” (a former name of Nagano) was said to be the center of Japan. It was also here were many military commanders and clans fought for survival during turbulent times, such as the Sanada clan. By learning about Shinshu’s past—or rather, from its past—you may find some hints for the future.

Historical/Cultural Sites in Nagano:

  • The Nakasendo Trail
    Established during the Edo Period, the Nakasendo trail connects Kyoto and modern-day Tokyo. 69 post towns were developed to accommodate travelers, and several of them remain in the Kiso Valley. The townscapes look much as they did 200 years ago and offer a glimpse into Japan’s past.
  • Matsumoto Castle
    Matsumoto Castle is one of Japan’s five national treasure castles. Built over 400 years ago, it still stands proudly in front of the Japanese Alps.
  • Zenko-ji Temple
    Zenko-ji Temple has over 1400 years of history and is the center of Buddhist faith in Eastern Japan.
  • Suwa Taisha Shrine
    The four shrines of the Suwa area form the Suwa Taisha Shrine, and it is renowned for the Onbashira Festival which is celebrated once every six years.
  • Obuse Chestnut Path
    Obuse is a beautiful, small town surrounded by farms and chestnut orchards. It was loved by Katsushika Hokusai, arguably Japan’s most famous artists, and he spent many years there in his old age. You can see a beautiful original painting of Hokusai’s at Gansho-in Temple, as well as a collection of his works at the Hokusai-kan museum.

4. Food

The people of Nagano Prefecture have the longest average lifespan in all of Japan, and food plays an important part in that. Using plentiful Nagano-grown ingredients, Nagano aims to introduce health-conscious cuisine, named “Shinshu Yama-Gohan” (Shinshu mountain food), to wider audiences. You can enjoy Shinshu yama-gohan at accommodations and restaurants throughout Nagano. Adopt aspects of Nagano’s traditional food culture in your own life and live healthily!

All about Nagano’s Food:

For more information, please see the official Shinshu Destination Campaign website here (Japanese only).

The Japan Alps Arts Festival in Omachi

June 7th, 2017

The first Japan Alps Arts Festival will be held from June 4th to July 30th, 2017 in Omachi!

Artists from around the world share their works around Omachi’s varied landscape of woodlands, lakes, and the majestic Japanese Alps. Enjoy beautiful indoor and outdoor artworks while taking in the mountain air and scenery.

Learn more about the event on the official event homepage: