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!

Read the rest of this entry »

Sunday, November 6th: Edo Period Parade in the Kiso Valley

October 25th, 2016

Click on the image for the full flyer and more detailed information.

Watch a recreation of the procession which carried the princess Kazunomiya from Kyoto to Edo during the Edo period. Participants wear the traditional outfits of the time, and there are a variety of Japanese cultural activities for visitors to partake in while they’re here. Enjoy the beautiful townscape of Narai and Yabuhara, dress in kimono, and taste the local fare.

The procession will happen on Sunday, November 6th, 2016, and passes through Yabuhara-juku from 11 am to 12 pm, and Narai-juku from 2 pm to 3 pm. Clink on the image above for the full PDF flyer.

Learn more about the Nakasendo on our Killer Contents page, or see this blog which covered the parade last year.

Explore Japan with the JBL Nationwide Bus Pass

September 21st, 2016

The Japan Bus Lines Group is once again offering their Nationwide Bus Pass for the 2016 Autumn Season. The pass gives you full access to their 92 highway bus lines across Japan. A 7-Day Pass is 20,000 yen and a 14-Day Pass is 28,000 yen.

These lines cover transportation between most major cities and give visitors a chance to enjoy Japan’s country scenery at a more relaxed pace. Choose a number of lines between Nagoya, Tokyo and Nagano prefecture’s many cities, as well as bus lines that head directly to Kamikochi, the gem of the Northern Alps.

You can reserve all of your bus tickets directly on their website, making travel around Japan even easier. See their available bus lines here.

Pass Name: JBL Pass
Sales Period: September 15th, 2016 to December 7th, 2016
Usage Period: September 26th, 2016 to December 15th, 2016
Price: 7-Day Pass/ 20,000 Yen, 14-Day Pass/ 28,000 Yen
Available Bus Lines: See here

Hakuba’s Daisekkei Trail Closed until Further Notice

September 2nd, 2016

Hakuba’s Daisekkei, the largest scale snow valley in Japan, was closed on September 1st, 2016, and will remain closed until further notice.

Due to last winter’s low snowfall, crevices have began appearing along the trail, which poses a major hazard for hikers.

The trail begins from the Sarukura-Sou Lodge and is a popular way to reach the summit of Mt. Shirouma. Hikers seeking to climb Mt. Shirouma can use one of the following detour routes:

  • From Tsugaike
    Take the Tsugaike Ropeway up to Tsugaike Hutte. From here, the hike to the summit of Mt. Shirouma takes 12 hours (7 hours up, 5 hours down).
  • From Sarukura
    Take the trail towards Hakuba Yari Onsen. The hike from Sarukura to the summit of Mt. Shirouma is approx. 18 hours and 45 minutes (10hrs 15mins up, 8hrs 30mins down).

Japanese speakers can read this article from the Shinshu Mainichi Newspaper Website:

Become an Extra in an Edo Period Parade!

August 23rd, 2016

Every year in early November, Shiojiri City holds a traditional parade in honor of the princess Kazunomiya who once journeyed from Kyoto to Edo along the Nakasendo. The parade is looking for participants to play a variety of parts. Sign up and become a part of the Edo period!

Sign-up Deadline: Monday, September 5th, 2016
Date: Sunday, November 6th, 2016*
Participation fee: Free!**
For More Details: PDF Flyer

*Participants are required to attend a rehearsal on the evening of Saturday, Nov. 5th.
**Costume, drinks and lunch will be provided

[Nagano Prefecture Mail Magazine] Delivering Information about Autumn!

August 12th, 2016

Nagano Prefectural Tourism Official Mail Magazine

August 12th, 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 day, Everyone!

We would like to thank all of you for taking the time to read the Summer Edition of our Nagano Prefecture Official Mail Magazine. Now we bring you our Autumn Edition, featuring beautiful seasonal colors and delicious local soba.

As the days grow shorter and the weather cools, the verdant splendor of summer gradually fades and gives way to brilliant shades of red, yellow and gold. Stalks of rice in the fields sway gently in the evening breeze under the light of the harvest moon.

Now is the perfect time to enjoy aromatic, fresh soba, one of autumn’s seasonal delights. Nagano, long from north to south, is home to a variety of soba culture, where each region has its own special ingredients and styles of eating. From place to place, you find that each style of soba is deeply influenced by local history and customs. One of the best ways to learn more about Nagano’s many regions is to eat them; the delicious soba you can only find in Nagano.

With this mail magazine as your guide, enjoy the best of Nagano’s autumn foods and scenery.

Table of Contents

Special Feature: A tour of Nagano’s Autumn Colors and Local Soba

There’s nothing quite like taking a walk through colorful forests on a brisk, autumn day.
Nagano’s natural sightseeing spots have plentiful walking paths and trekking courses, so people at all levels of fitness can enjoy basking in the great outdoors.

Learn more about local flora and fauna with tour programs featuring nature guides.

  • Tsugaike Kogen Autumn Leaves Festival

    One of the earliest places to see autumn colors, Tsugaike Kogen welcomes the fall season in mid-September. From October, birchs leaves turn a glittering gold, and the combination with red rowans and green firs looks like something out of an impressionist oil painting.
    See the information sheet for more details.

  • Enjoying Kaikoen’s Autumn Leaves by Rickshaw

    Komoro Castle Ruins Park, one of Japan’s 100 famous castles, is renowned for both its cherry blossoms and autumn colors, which contrast brilliantly with the worn, mossy stone walls of the historical fortress. Enjoy the view from the comfortable seat of a traditional rickshaw.
    See the information sheet for more details.

  • Nabekura Kogen’s Forest of Yellow Leaves

    The birch forest which spreads over the whole of Mt. Nabekura is proud to be ranked No. 1 among the prefecture’s selection of 100 natural spots.
    See the information sheet for more details.

  • Shigakogen Guide Trekking

    Enjoy a revitalizing tour among the pure mountain air and fiery autumn colors of Shigakogen.
    See the information sheet for more details.

  • Okushigakogen Autumn Leaf Festival

    Shigakogen’s range of 2000m-high mountains is home to a variety of deciduous trees which come alive with color in autumn. Surrounded by red and golden leaves, the festival will feature plenty of events, food stalls and specialty products.
    See the information sheet for more details.

  • Yudanaka Marugotera Bus Tours

    In Yudanaka Shibu Onsen, October brings a chorus of warm color to the 2000m-high mountains that surround the quaint hot spring town. One of the most special autumnal views is from a 1300-year-old hot spring bath, loved by great figures such as the poet Issa Kobayashi, artist Katsushika Hokusai, and writer Fumiko Hayashi. The nearby Jigokudani Snow Monkey park is another great scenic spot this season, and you can enjoy the view while watching wild monkeys bath in onsen baths.
    See the information sheet for more details.

One with the Autumn Wind

Become one with the refreshing winds that blow through Nagano while on a roadside cycling tour.

  • Welcome to Furusato Cycling (Iiyama City)

    Starting from Hokuriku Shinkansen Iiyama Station, cycle through Iiyama’s temple town and idyllic fields, shaped by the snow country lifestyle of Northern Nagano.
    See the information sheet for more details.

  • Kayanodaira Autumn Leaf MTB Tour (Nozawa Onsen Village)

    Beginning in late September and reaching peak season in early October, Kayanodaira’s autumn leaves are especially beautiful due to the cool, high altitude climate.
    See the information sheet for more details.

Moon-watching in Autumn

Crisp clear autumn nights are perfect for viewing the Harvest Moon.

  • Nozawa Sunset Tour

    Famous composer Tatsuyuki Takano, who wrote many heartwarming songs about Japan’s countryside, spent his last years in Nozawa Onsen. While looking out over the towns and rice fields, you can imagine that this is what he himself saw as he wrote “Furusato (Hometown)” and “Oborotsuki Yoru (Moonlit Night).”
    Selected as one of the 100 best sunset viewing spots, the scenery from Nozawa’s Sunset Point is stunning.
    See the information sheet for more details.

  • Visit Komoro’s Sunset Point by Electric Bicycle

    Distant mountain ranges float hazily in a crimson sky as the sun sets beneath them. Their flat, rolling shapes look just like a suibokuga ink painting. Feelings of awe for nature well up within you as you enjoy this unforgettable view.
    See the information sheet for more details.

An Explosion of Autumn Harvest Soba

Autumn is time for harvest, and now is the perfect time to enjoy aromatic, fresh soba. Nagano, long from north to south, is home to a variety of soba culture, where each region has its own special ingredients and styles of eating. From place to place, you find that each style of soba is deeply influenced by local history and customs. One of the best ways to learn more about Nagano’s many regions is to eat them; the delicious soba you can only find in Nagano.

  • Sugakawa Soba Flower Festival (Yamanouchi Town)

    See the information sheet for more details.

  • Nonstop Three-Spice Soba (Ina City)

    See the information sheet for more details.

  • Tomikura Soba (Iiyama City)

    The fibers of the Oyamabokuchi plant are used to strengthen this soba, giving it an al dente bite and smooth, aromatic flavor.
    Shinshu Iiyama Tourism Bureau:

  • Togakushi Soba (Nagano City)

    Togakushi Soba is served in a special style called “Bocchi-mori,” where small bundles of soba are arranged in horseshoe shapes on a bamboo slotted plate.
    Togakushi Information Center:

  • Toji Soba (Matsumoto City & Kiso Town)

    Small servings of soba are dipped into a communal broth filled with mushrooms and seasonal vegetables. This warm dish is perfect for cool autumn and winter nights.
    Nagawa Tourism Association:
    Kiso Town Tourism Association:
    http://www.kankou-kiso.com/gourmet/index.html (English, Simplified & Traditional Chinese, Korean)

  • Oshibori Soba

    Miso and spring onion are mixed into a spicy broth of grated daikon radish. While quite spicy, the unique flavor of daikon radish brings out the natural flavor of the soba.
    Chikuma Tourism Association:
    http://chikuma-kanko.com/ (English, Simplified & Traditional Chinese, Korean)

  • Shinano Kiriyama Dattan Soba

    Dattan Soba (Tartary Buckwheat) contains much higher concentrations of the polyphenol Rutin than normal soba. This health food is said to help prevent high blood pressure and other lifestyle-related illnesses.

  • Make Your Own Soba

    While Nagano is renowned for its delicious soba, none may be more delicious than the soba you make yourself. Even complete beginners can enjoy soba-making at one of the workshop centers below.

Useful Information

Today’s Tweet

One day during July, I visited the peak of Mt. Kurumayama in Kirigamine Kogen. Using two ski lifts, I leisurely headed to the top while gently swaying in the cool breeze. From the mountain peak was a 360º panoramic view of the Northern Alps, Yatsugatake and Mt. Fuji.

Excited by the splendid scenery, I walked the remainder of the downhill course at a brisk pace. Since I don’t normally do much exercise, the next day my calves were killing me! But, I was so glad that I was able to see the view of the distant mountains, rolling clouds and gently-swaying grasses in the wind. It was just like a postcard. Even though I’m not a fan of exercise, I have since sworn to myself that I’ll get out more regularly and climb mountains!

Since the ski lifts also run during the summer, there are a number of ways to enjoy trekking in Kirigamine. You can take the ski lifts up to the top and down as well if you’d like. Those looking for more of a challenge can climb their way to the peak and continue on several hours of other walking courses through fields and highland marshes.

Nagano’s mountainous landscape offers magnificent sights and experiences in all seasons.
Stay tuned next time for our Winter Edition! (November to March)


We regularly update our page with seasonal sightseeing spots and information. Please take a look and give us a like!

Nagano Prefecture International Tourism Website Go! Nagano

Bringing you Nagano’s sightseeing info in
English, Simplified & Traditional Chinese, Thai Language, Korean, and Indonesian.
New model courses are also available. Please take a look!

Nagano Prefecture Mail Magazine (Published Quaterly)
Editing: Nagano Prefecture Tourism Department
Tourism Promotions Division International Tourism Office
Tel: 026-235-7252 Fax: 026-235-7257
E-mail: go-nagano@pref.nagano.lg.jp
URL: http://www.go-nagano.net/

*If you would like to be taken off our mailing list, please email us at gonagano2@gmail.com and let us know.

Hakuba Valley Introduces All-in-One Ticket System for 2016-17 Ski Season

June 15th, 2016

The Hakuba Valley has announced a new all-in-one ticket and gate system for their 11 ski resorts*. This will allow skiers and snowboarders to move freely between resorts on the same ticket, and with more shuttle buses operating throughout the valley, guests can visit several on the same day with little to no hassle. Tickets can also be recharged via an online web shop, so powder hounds can bypass ticket lines and get on the slopes earlier than ever!

See the Hakuba Valley’s Press Release for more information.

*During the 2016-17 season, Hakuba Goryu, Hakuba 47, Happo-one, Hakuba Iwatake, Tsugaike Kogen, and Hakuba Norikura will use the all-in-one ticketing system. Cortina, Hakuba Sanosaka, Jiigatake, Yanaba and Kashimayari are scheduled to implement the system after the 2017-18 season.