Announcement About the Eruption of Mt. Ontake, Nagano, Japan

October 2nd, 2014



Nagano Prefecture’s Official Tourism Email Newsletter 【Extra Edition

October 2, 2014

Issued by: International Tourism Promotion Office,

Nagano Prefecture




You received this email newsletter because we exchanged our business cards with you.



As you may have already heard on the news, Mt. Ontake, located on the border of Nagano and Gifu Prefectures, erupted on September 27. 

Right now, entry to the mountain is restricted in an area up to 4km around the crater.

The main transportation in the area, including JR Chuo Line West, Chuo Expressway, Rt. 19, is operating normally.

The tourist sites in the Kiso Valley, including Tsumago and Narai Post Towns, are not affected by the eruption, and you can enjoy visiting them. Also, none of the other popular sites in Nagano, including Kamikochi, Matsumoto, Hakuba, Suwa, Karuizawa, Nagano and Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park are affected by the eruption. 

Please visit “GO! Nagano” for updates as new information becomes available.

We have been receiving many inquiries about falling volcanic ash.  The areas which are affected by volcanic ash are limited. Please visit the Japan Meteorological Agency website for the information:

Unfortunately, this information is not in English right now. Please click the top link from the list of 10 recent updates about volcanic ash (御嶽山に関する降灰予報). The red areas on the maps are predicted to have falling volcanic ash at the designated times. 





    Nagano Prefecture’s Official Tourism Guide “GO! Nagano”

      ・・・We provide tourism information for you in English, Korean,

Simplified Chinese, Thai and Traditional Chinese!


         Visit the site for various information including model courses

for travelers.






    Nagano Prefecture’s Official Tourism Email Newsletter (Published quarterly)

      Edited by: International Tourism Promotion Office, Nagano Prefecture

      TEL+81-26-235-7252  FAX+81-26-235-7257



JR Hokuriku Shinkansen Bullet Train Service Begins between Nagano and Kanazawa on Saturday, March 14, 2015!

September 8th, 2014

Japan Railways announced that they will start the Hokuriku Shinkansen services between Nagano and Kanazawa on Saturday, March 14, 2015.

After the service begins, a trip to Kanazawa, Toyama and Myoko will be much easier from Nagano.

In Nagano, there will be a new Shinkansen station in Iiyama, to the north of Nagano Station. The access from Tokyo to Iiyama City, Madarao Highlands and Nozawa Onsen Village will be much more convenient.

 ◇Opening Date: Saturday, March 14, 2015

 ◇Number of Train Services

   ・Kagayaki (Tokyo-Kanazawa, with the fewest stops) 10 round trips

   ・Hakutaka (Tokyo-Kanazawa, with more stops) 14 round trips

   ・Hakutaka (Nagano-Kanazawa, with more stops) 1 round trip

   ・Tsurugi (Toyoma-Kanazawa, all-station shuttle services) 18 round trips

   ・Asama (Tokyo-Nagano, same as current Nagano Shinkansen) 16 round trips

 ◇Train Models

   E7 series and W7 series (12 passenger cars)

     ※Some of the Asama trains will be E2 series with 8 passenger cars

 ◇Travel Times

    ・Tokyo-Kanazawa: 2 hours 28 minutes with the fewest stops

    ・Tokyo-Toyama: 2 hours 8 minutes with the fewest stops

Hakuba – a Must Visit Place – All Year Round

September 1st, 2014

Yamano Hotel

Hakuba is the best place for outdoor sports lovers, for romantic getaways in nature and for families with kids little explorers. In summer and autumn Hakuba will challenge you with its extensive busy outdoor activities like mountain biking and cycling which has seen it popularity increased, canyoning and shower climbing, rafting, tandem paragliding, hiking, forest adventure or trail running, one of the fast growing activities in Hakuba.

In winter, Hakuba is a Mecca for every ski&snowboarder enthusiast offering 11 ski resorts with 137 km of piste and more than 200 courses. After enjoying Hakuba’s highlights please come and relax at our hotel, Yamano Hotel, soak in our onsen and eat delicious Western or Japanese meals. Just being here will give you an exhilarating sense of freedom and adventure.

by Monica Muto

Happo Pond

Enjoying kimono

【Nagano Prefecture’s Official Tourism Email Newsletter】Enjoy Autumn in Nagano!

August 12th, 2014



Nagano Prefecture’s Official Tourism Email Newsletter Vol. 1 

August 12, 2014

Issued by: International Tourism Promotion Office,

Nagano Prefecture




You received this email newsletter because we exchanged our business cards with you. 




Hi, how are you? 


We decided to send out email newsletters to you to let you know Nagano’s exciting



This is our very first newsletter, and we are very happy to present you our autumn

issue (September – November)! 


When you visit Nagano in autumn (September – November), you cannot miss our

spectacular fall foliage and delicious apples. 

In Nagano, there are over 50 famous spots to view fall foliage!  We chose some special

vista points as our recommendations.


Some apple farmers in Nagano speak some foreign languages!  Please come visit

these orchards to pick delicious, juicy apples right from the trees!  They are grown

by friendly local apple farmers with great care. 


We have collected many beautiful photos of the areas.  Please visit our website and

enjoy beautiful landscapes!





■ Table of Contents ■


 ★1★ Tourism App “Unique Nagano”・・・Experience authentic activities in



 ☆2☆ New Outlet Stores& the Prince Villa in Karuizawa



 ★3★ Fall Foliage・・・・・・・Nagano is hot and cool!  The climate creates

brilliant fall colors.


 ☆4☆ Apple Picking・・・・・・Apple farmers who speak foreign languages





           1 Tourism App “Unique Nagano”



 ■Use this tourism application, and find out 101 authentic activities including

buckwheat noodle making, white water boating, sake brewery visits, etc. 

  You can search various stores and facilities by Map, Category, Photo and Area. 

  Please visit the site below for more details: (English)





           2 New Outlet Stores in Karuizawa



 ♪♪Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza Scale-Up Bargain♪♪

    ・・・・Tory Burch, Star Jewelry, Michael Kors, iittala… 33 new stores will

   join the shopping mall, and there will be a total of 240 stores by the fall!

   (English, Japanese and Simplified Chinese)



 ♪♪Grand Opening of The Prince Villa Karuizawa♪♪

    ・・・・New accommodations opened in Karuizawa where you can enjoy both the

privacy of a villa and the convenience of a hotel.

This is a perfect place for a long stay with spacious and comfortable beds, cooking

appliances and a large refrigerator.

They also offer a catering service which sends a chef to your villa to cook. 

You have a choice of villas with a hot spring bath too. (English, Japanese, Korean,

Simplified and Traditional Chinese)





            3 Fall Foliage



 ◆◇Senjojiki Cirque in the Central Alps◆◇◆  From mid-September to late October

    ・・・・Take the ropeways and directly ascend to the highlands 2,600m high, while

                             admiring fall colors from the sky. 

             After you have enjoyed the fall foliage, satisfy your stomach with Komagane’s

            famous Sauce Katsu-don (breaded, deep fried pork cutlet rice bowl with

            sauce). (Japanese) (English)



 ◆◇◆Tri-Colored Autumn Landscape in Hakuba◆◇◆  Late October

    ・・・・Hakuba is a famous tourist site with its scenic beauty in each season. 

        A galette made with Shinshu Salmon, Hakuba Pork and Hakuba buckwheat

                            are out of the world!

  Click for more info on Tri-Colored Autumn Landscapes in Hakuba

  Click for more info on Hakuba Galettes



 ◆◇◆Kiso (Mt. Ontake, Kiso Koma Highlands, Karasawa Falls, Kaida Highlands”◆◇◆

    ・・・・Mt. Ontake: From late September to early October

        Other locations in Kiso: Best from mid-to late October

  Click for more info



 ◆◇◆Fall Foliage Festival at Kaikoen Garden◆◇◆  From mid-October to mid-                                                                                                                                 November

    ・・・・One of Japan’s Top 100 Castles

    The fall foliage looks especially beautiful against the stone walls of the castle,

              attracting all of the visitors. (English)



 ◆◇◆Tatami Daira in Norikura Highlands◆◇◆  From late September to late October

    ・・・・There is a “Sunrise Bus” service till the end of September.

        There are three celebrated waterfalls nearby, and you can

                            also visit Matsumoto Castle (National Treasure) in urban Matsumoto. 

  Click for more info

  Please visit the following websites for information about Matsumoto Castle: (English)



 ◆◇◆Yonago Great Falls◆◇◆  Mid-October

    ・・・・See a spectacular view of two water falls side by side!

        In October, take the shuttle bus to the falls from nearby one-day hot spring

                            resort Yukkuland.

  Click for more info on Yonago Great Falls

  Click for more info on Yukkuland





            4 Apple Picking



 ●○●Crown Farm●○●  From early October to early December

    ・・・・They speak English and German!  Absolutely no chemical fertilizers added!

                             Only a 5-minute drive from Togura Kamiyamada Hot Spring.  You can also

                             pick grapes from early September to late October.   

            500 yen for all-you-can-pick-and-eat in the orchard, plus one piece to take

                             home! (Japanese) (English)



 ●○●Azumino Tourist Farm●○●  From late July to late November

    ・・・・They speak Chinese!  They also have peaches and blueberries in the summer.

        They grow numerous kinds of fruit — over 30 varieties of apples and 15

                            varieties of peaches! (Japanese)



 ●○●Matsui Farm●○●  From mid-August to early December

    ・・・・They have 2,000 organic apple trees grown with only a small

                            amount of chemicals.

        You can also come empty-handed, and enjoy outdoor BBQ!

        Blueberry picking is also available from early July to early September. (Japanese)

  Click for more info




 ~One last thing


How did you like our first issue of Nagano Prefecture’s Official Tourism Email Newsletter? 

I hope you got to know wonderful features of Nagano in the fall.  Thank you for reading it

to the end! 


In our next issue, we will let you know about our winter attractions (DecemberMarch),

including ski resorts and winter events!  


I am ready to give it my best shot because I am a snowboarder myself.  I hope you will like it!






    ■Nagano Prefecture’s Official Tourism Guide “GO! Nagano”

      ・・・We provide tourism information for you in English, Korean,

Simplified Chinese, Thai and Traditional Chinese!


         Visit the site for various information including model courses

for travelers.


 ★                                   ★



    Nagano Prefecture’s Official Tourism Email Newsletter (Published quarterly)

      Edited by: International Tourism Promotion Office, Nagano Prefecture

      TEL+81-26-235-7252  FAX+81-26-235-7257


Hakuba Valley exclusively provides you an in-depth look into Japanese culture!

August 12th, 2014

Otari Taiko Performance & Taiko Trial 

Taiko drum is an indigenous part of Japanese culture dating back more than 1400 years. You not only have chance to experience the awe-inspiring sound of local taiko drum performed by local professional team, but also play the taiko drum together with the team. Let’s enjoy making music and receiving a good physical workout at the same time!

Yoga at Happo One Mountain 

Want to refresh your body & mind with a unique yoga? Look no further our yoga class which offers you an exclusive yoga experience with a breathtaking view of Japan Northern Alps. After stretching out your body and enjoy a tasty light lunch with views of the surrounding mountain peaks, you may hike on peaceful trails to the beautiful Happo-ike Pond. This is one of must-do things in summer.

Yukata Experience & Tea Ceremony 

It is a unique experience to wear Japanese traditional summer clothe, called Yukata. Local staffs are willing to teach you how to wear it. Tea Ceremony is one of the Japanese sophisticated cultures and not only to drink matcha (green tea) but also to learn about the Japanese spirit of hospitality. Share the colorful photos to your facebook and twitter and let your family or friends know this unique fun.

Zazen & Calligraphy Experience at a temple in Nagano 

Zazen (sitting meditation) has been being in the limelight in the world recently. Make yourself sit upright in a traditional temple in Nagano. Let your mind be spacious and your heart be kind and soft. The art of Zazen is simple but not always easy. It allows you a natural refreshing and purifying experience.【Calligraphy writing】Chanting and copying of Buddhist scriptures, called sutra, in a limited time. After you finished calligraphy writing, you can feel accomplishment with your smile!







By Nessa Pang

Experience the Real Japan at Hakuba Sanroku Tours!

Enjoy the cool and dry alpine summer around Lake Suwa!

August 7th, 2014

Sunrise over Lake Suwa with Mt. Fuji in the distance

My name is Keith Norum, and I’ve lived in the Lake Suwa highland basin for over twenty years. During that time, I’ve traveled to many other beautiful places around the world for business and personal reasons, but every time I come back to these mountains, I am reminded of why this has been my home for so long—and this is especially true during Japan’s notoriously hot and humid summer.

Yokoya waterfalls

The Lake Suwa basin is situated about 800 meters above sea level, surrounded by the 2000+ meter summits of the Japan Alps and the Yatsugatake “Eight Peaks” Range. The mountains act as a natural air conditioner, protecting Suwa from the coastal heat and humidity, and blessing it with relatively cool, dry, and sunny summer weather.  And because Suwa is just an easy two-hour express train ride from central Tokyo, it offers a perfect weekend escape from the city heat.

The region has long been famous for its many natural hot spring “onsen” baths and resorts, and is a mecca for outdoor recreation from hiking to bicycling to canoeing. Suwa’s natural treasures have attracted people to this area from the very dawn of Japanese history, so you can see several millennia of Japanese culture in one place, including a Jomon-era reconstructed village, the Suwa Taisha Shinto shrines (among the oldest in Japan), centuries-old architecture lining the Edo-era “koshu kaido” and “nakasendo” post roads, and several Japanese and western art museums collected around the shores of the lake.  

Ancient temples & shrines

The pristine environment also has made the Suwa region famous for the quality of its food and drink. The surrounding highland farms produce some of the very best vegetables, dairy, and meat products in Japan, and this area is well-known for its soba noodles, grilled unagi, miso, and delicious sake. Considering its relatively small population and rural location, Suwa has a surprising variety of restaurants serving Japanese, Italian, provincial French, and Asian cuisine at a quality level normally found only in big cities—but without the big city prices.

All of this has made Suwa a wonderful place to live, and I am sure you will find it an equally wonderful place to visit. Hope you can join us!

By Keith Norum 

Masumi Sake brewery shop

The Green Season at Hakuba Happo

August 5th, 2014


Hakuba is a quaint village located in Nagano.  As a visitor to Hakuba one of the first things you will notice are the surrounding mountains. Mountain peaks like Mt. Shakushi-Dake at 2812m Mt. Hakuba-Yari-ga-take at 2903m & Mt. Shirouma-dake soaring to 2932m. You will be engaged with the sight of sweeping rice fields & rich agricultural scenery. Farmers here work hard all season in their fields preparing healthy, sustainable and delicious food. When you stay in Hakuba, your experience begins!

Hakuba is located about 270km northwest of Tokyo. Our green season is summer & autumn; a time to refresh outdoors & connect with nature. Hiking, mountain biking, camping, kayaking, rafting & other adventures are just a few reasons why you should visit. The “Happo-one Nature Study Trail” is where some 330 kinds of blooming alpine flora greet you as you stroll along. The air is crisp in the fall & in early October the mountain slopes are attired in crimson foliage! 

Flowing directly below the Hakuba Range & with a high alkaline content is Hakuba Happo Onsens (hot spring). You shouldn’t miss relaxing in one of many traditional bath houses during your visit.

By  Nachan from Hakuba Valley




Welcome to Nagano Prefecture!

August 5th, 2014

Nagano Prefecture is one of the most beautiful regions in Japan and draws many visitors due to everything the area has to offer. It is surrounded by mountains and provides some of the world’s best ski conditions during the winter in addition to a variety of fantastic hiking trails with breathtaking views in the summer. Yamanouchi town in Nagano Prefecture is the perfect place for a summer getaway, whether you’re looking for relaxing nature walks or something a bit more challenging. Shiga Kogen Heights is made up of emerald green lakes and natural ponds full of aquatic life and well worth seeing. These are easily accessible due to a number of ropeways and cable cars that operate throughout the summer months. Nagano Prefecture not only offers visitors the opportunity to explore mountain marshlands through hiking and trekking but also boasts other outdoor sports and activities including horseback riding and fruit picking! Why not try out soba noodle making or bamboo crafting and get a real feel for the local culture and its hospitable people. Not to forget Jigokudani Monkey Park, the only place in the world that you will be able to see wild monkeys bathing in hot spring baths. Visit Nagano Prefecture and the incredible experiences will stay with you forever.

By Tori Aldred

Welcome to your base for the Japanese Alps and beyond ? Matsumoto!

August 5th, 2014

Matsumoto Castle

Matsumoto city is a bustling student city in central Nagano prefecture.

Less than three hours by train from Tokyo Shinjuku station or bus from Takayama it is well suited for those who’d like to escape the big city and enjoy some of Japan’s wonderful nature. With history, culture and outdoors combined you might be surprised by just how much you can see and do in Matsumoto.

Perhaps start with our famous castle, which has a four hundred year history and has rightly been designated a Japanese National Treasure. Matsumoto is only in recent years becoming well known internationally as the gateway to the mountains surrounding us. From the top floor of the castle (can you guess how many floors there are before entering?) you will be impressed by the panoramic views of numerous summits. The 3000m peaks of Kamikochi Natural Park are seen to the west and Utsukushigahara highland with its mountainside Sculpture Museum to the east. Matsumoto city is proud to boast that both of these mountain areas are within the city limits. They are just two of the pleasantly cool places in Matsumoto where you can refresh yourself this summer.

Brian at Matsumoto BackPackers

Matsumoto BackPackers ( is a centrally-located accommodations which welcomes international guests be they budding alpinists or curious travellers who wish to see more than just the major cities on their Japanese adventure.

Matsumoto BackPackers