Nagano Inbound Summit’s September Small Meeting took place the other day. Myself and several other of your Nagano Inb0und Ambassadors were graciously hosted by Arai-san of Minami Shinshu Kanko Kousha, in Iida City, the leading city of southern Nagano. Highlights are as follows:
*Lunch at Rakuchinbo, a working farm minshuku. The proprietress, Hara-san, provides guests an opportunity to help out in the fields and even prepare dinner using the farm’s produce, a system called “Minpaku”. Thanks to Hara-san and the other 140+ Minpaku farms, southern Nagano went from a “There’s nothing there” mentality to having a waiting list for middle schools wanting to take study trips to the area.
*Tour of Sanwa Kanko Noen, a blueberry and apple orchard set up to provide busloads of tourists a chance to pick fresh fruit while enjoying Nagano’s nature with the Southern Alps as a backdrop. The Sanwa farm is one of the reasons Southern Nagano has become known as a Fruits Kingdom, especially popular with East Asia.
*Overview of the Tenryu River boat tours. The Tenryu Line Kudari is especially convenient, with easy access by train, and features a liesurely boatride down the picturesque Tenryu River Gorge. In a few weeks, the gorge will be at its prime with the fall colors.
Nagano Prefecture stretches over 180 kilometers from north to south. As I am based in the north, it was refreshing to get to see the beauty and attractiveness of Southern Nagano.