NaganoJapan

Enjoy vegetarian food and go skiing in this scenic mountain region, explore the ancient wooden Zenkoji Temple and historic castle, and hear legends of ninja warriors.

Nagano, on Japan’s main island Honshu, is the capital city of the prefecture of the same name. The city is most famous as being the home of the Zenkoji Temple, a national treasure. Visit this important site of pilgrimage, but also be sure to make the most of the region’s other attractions. At the nearby mountains, go skiing or see macaque monkeys bathe in hot springs. Learn about the culture of the samurai warriors and view 300-year-old chestnut and beech trees in Oku Susobana Natural Park.

Visit the grand complex of the Zenkoji Temple to see one of the largest wooden temples in Japan. The main temple dates back to the seventh century and is said to house a very early Buddha statue.

Take the train to the castle town in the suburb of Matsushiro to see the legacy of a 17th-century warlord. Discover the samurai way of life at the Sanada and Yokota Residences and the Sanada Treasure Museum. Explore a bunker which hid the Emperor and government during World War II.

At the Togakure Ninpo Museum, try your hand at shuriken throwing like a ninja. Navigate mazes and secret doors and learn about Nishina Daisuke, a samurai who created his own style of ninjutsu.

Head to the nearby Joshinetsu Kogen National park and marvel at the snow monkeys in the hot springs of the Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park in Yamanouchi. At the onsen (traditional Japanese resorts) in the area you can enjoy the thermal pools for yourself. In winter, choose from over 20 ski resorts to carve up the snow on the nearby Shiga plateau.

Nagano is about a 2-hour train journey from Tokyo. Its central transport hub provides good connections to the major attractions in and around the city. Hire a car to explore the countryside. Join mushroom and fruit-picking expeditions or visit a local miso manufacturer. Nagano has a long history of catering for Zenkoji Temple’s Buddhist monks, so vegetarians will want to linger in this scenic area.

Top hotels in Nagano

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Hotel Metropolitan Nagano
Hotel Metropolitan Nagano
3.5 out of 5
1346 Minami-ishido-cho, Nagano, Nagano-ken
The price is AU$148 per night

Located in the heart of Nagano, this hotel is 1.3 mi (2.1 km) from Zenko-ji Temple and 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from Nagano Prefectural Shinano Art Museum. M-Wave Olympic ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (996 reviews)

"Location was most convenient right next to Nagano station that has a mall, supermarket and cafes. Room is clean and beds are comfy. Room size is ok but could have been better if they have a better layout to cater for bigger luggage."…"

Reviewed on 8 Mar. 2020

Hotel Metropolitan Nagano
Courtyard by Marriott Hakuba
Courtyard by Marriott Hakuba
3 out of 5
2937 Hokujo, Kitaazumi-gun, Hakuba, Nagano
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is AU$422 per night

Situated in Hakuba, this hotel is steps away from Hakuba Art Museum and Hakuba Valley Ski Area. Hakuba Goryu Ski Resort and Happo-one Adam Gondola are also within ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (131 reviews)

"Check in is very slow. Receptionist not property trained. Room is clean and modern with hot spring tube."…"

Reviewed on 3 Feb. 2020

Courtyard by Marriott Hakuba
Hotel JAL City Nagano
Hotel JAL City Nagano
3 out of 5
1221, Toigosho-machi, Nagano, Nagano-ken
The price is AU$96 per night

Located in the heart of Nagano, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Zenko-ji Temple and Nagano Prefectural Shinano Art Museum. M-Wave Olympic Memorial Arena ...

4/5Very Good! (415 reviews)

"We stayed here for 2 nights. Room was clean and basic. Bed comfortable. Front desk need a lot of improvement. Not really helpful when we enquire on carpark. For some odd reason the internal carpark is not available for guest. We have to find outside carpark to park our car which is very inconvenient. ..."…"

Reviewed on 1 Oct. 2019

Hotel JAL City Nagano

Popular places to visit in Nagano

Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort
Image for Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort

Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort

5/5(5 reviews)

Explore the stunning tree-lined ridges and open slopes of this ski resort. Soak tired muscles in healing hot springs in the nearby traditional village.

Top activities in Nagano

Snow Monkeys, Shiga Kogen Roman Museum with Lunch Buffet!
Image for Snow Monkeys, Shiga Kogen Roman Museum with Lunch Buffet!

Snow Monkeys, Shiga Kogen Roman Museum with Lunch Buffet!

AU$198
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend
Full-Day Jigokudani Monkey Park, Zenko-ji & Sake Brewery Tour in Nagano
Image for Full-Day Jigokudani Monkey Park, Zenko-ji & Sake Brewery Tour in Nagano

Full-Day Jigokudani Monkey Park, Zenko-ji & Sake Brewery Tour in Nagano

AU$208
Per adult
90% of travellers recommend
13-hour Snow Monkey Park to/from Tokyo with Private Car
Image for 13-hour Snow Monkey Park to/from Tokyo with Private Car

13-hour Snow Monkey Park to/from Tokyo with Private Car

AU$1,676
Per adult

Reviews of Nagano

4.6

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
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5 - Excellent 55.55555555555556%
4 - Good
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4 - Good 44.44444444444444%
3 - Okay
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3 - Okay 0%
2 - Disappointing
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1 - Terrible
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4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

1 Dec. 2019

Nice little peace to visit for a short while. A bit quiet but friendly people and stuff to see in the surrounding areas

4/5 - Good

Angel

24 Nov. 2019

Monkey park but fireworks was cancelled. So sad

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

3 Jul. 2019

Nice town, beautiful temple and clean and easy. check the season for snow monkeys . Train, bus and long walk and if they're not there tough luck tho I insisted on my entry fee returned.

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