Nagano ①Kita-Shinano・Higashi-Shinsyu -長野:北信濃・東信州

Background of Nagano trip

Located to the west of Tokyo, the prefecture stretches from north to south and borders eight surrounding prefectures, making it the fourth largest prefecture in Japan. it is known for Zenkoji Temple, built in the 7th century, and the Japanese Alps, with its hot springs and ski resorts. Nozawa Onsen, Hakuba, and the vast Shiga Kogen Plateau in this area were the site of the 1998 Winter Olympics. There are also many hills and mountains, and many highland and mountain resorts, notably Karuizawa and Kamikochi, have a long history of being the center of leisure activities for Westerners.

Access to Nagano

Shinkansen is recommended for access to Kita-Shinano and Higashi-Shinshu areas.
If you have a JR Pass, why not consider it for your travel destination?
From Shinjuku Station to Nagano
 Shinjuku (JR Saikyo Line/Shonan Shinjuku Line) → Omiya (JR Hokuriku Shinkansen) → Nagano Approx. 2 hours 15 minutes, 7,300 yen
From Tokyo Station to Nagano
 Tokyo (JR Hokuriku Shinkansen) → Nagano: about 1 hour and 30 minutes, 8,400 yen

Purchase tickets at the Midori-no-Madoguchi(JR Ticket office) or Travel Service Center located at the nearest JR station.
*The ticket counter is located outside the ticket gate, so please ask without buying a ticket. Tickets can also be purchased from the nearest station.
※If you are familiar with buying ticket, you can even buy them from a vending machine!
Please check this out!
・These tickets are also very affordable! ⇨ Hokuriku Arch Pass

Sightseeing Spots in Nagano

Zenkoji Temple
Zenkoji Temple is a single, non-denominational Buddhist temple located in Motoyoshi-cho, Nagano City, Nagano Prefecture. The temple is headed by the Daikanjin Kansu and the Daihongan Shonin. The principal image of the temple is said to be the oldest in Japan, the Ikko-Sanzon Amida Nyorai, which is an absolutely secret Buddha (the opening of the temple is done with the main image in front of the temple).
The main hall, rebuilt in 1707, is a masterpiece of mid-Edo Buddhist architecture, one of the largest in eastern Japan, and was designated a National Treasure in March 1953. The temple gate and sutra storehouse are designated as National Important Cultural Properties.The once-every-seven-years shrine will be open to the public until June 29, 2022,after being postponed due to the new Corona virus.

Monzen area a: Visitors can enjoy souvenirs, restaurants, and other stores. The alleyway leads to cafes, bars, and sundry stores renovated from old private homes.
  Soba : Soba noodle shops in front of the gate developed from teahouses where visitors to Zenkoji Temple could take a break.
    *Please be careful if you are allergic to buckwheat noodles.
   Fujikian : A long-established buckwheat noodle restaurant with a history of more than 190 years, eight generations of which have been dedicated to buckwheat noodles. You can enjoy handmade buckwheat noodles. It is a popular restaurant with a long line of customers. Close on Tue.
Juwari-soba Daizen : Freshly milled, freshly pounded, and freshly boiled buckwheat noodles made from locally produced buckwheat flour with no added binders.
Oyaki : A local Nagano delicacy made with wheat or buckwheat flour and baked with red bean paste, kiriboshi-daikon (dried radish), nozawana (field mustard), or other fillings.
      :Oyaki is a great snack, a great way to eat, and a great souvenir.
  Oyakimura Nagano Branch Daimon Branch(Ogawa-no Sho Daimon Branch) Close on Wed. *Midori Nagano Branch : Directly connected to Nagano Station, go out the ticket gate to the souvenir street.
Nishizawa Mochiya : 5-minute walk from JR “Nagano Station” Zenkoji Exit, irregular holidays.
Chili pepper : Yawataya Isogoro
There are seven kinds of chili peppers: chili peppers for spiciness, sansho and ginger for both spiciness and aroma, and hemp seeds, sesame seeds, chenbin peels, and shiso for flavor and aroma. The unique taste is a harmony of spiciness and aroma. It is considered one of the “three generations of shichimi” along with “Yagenbori” in Asakusa, Tokyo, and “Shichimiya Honpo” in Kiyomizu, Kyoto. How about buying some as a souvenir?
Renovation buildings :
KANEMATSU : Shared Office
  ・C.H.P COFFEE Cafe : 20 min. walk from Nagano Station.
  ・YUREKI SHOBO : Used book store, closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
1166 Backpackers (Guest house): 5-minute walk from Zenkoji Temple, this guesthouse was renovated from a 90-plus year old former cleaning store. The surrounding area is a new area with renovated old stores founded in the Edo period, architecture over 100 years old and old private houses.
[Access]1048 Nishimachi, Nagano city, Nagano, Japan 2 minutes walk from Zenkoji Daimon bus stop (Alpico Kotsu bus)

Asama-Yatsugatake Panorama Trail

Chikuma River Course
This course offers both dynamic scenery and a village atmosphere, with cliffs created by erosion of the Chikuma River, a panoramic view of Mount Asama, old houses and rice paddies.You can enjoy both the dynamic scenery and the atmosphere of the village.
【Time】about 4.5 hours
【Distance】 15km
【Elevation】 230m
 Ando Momofuku Center→ Tokikubo Biotope(鴇久保) → Cafe Dokusho no Mori → Kaimanashi Pond(干間無池) → Iwane Cliff (岩根) → Ookuibashi Bridge(大杭橋)→ Komoro Bridge(小諸橋)→ Kubo Village(久保) → Komoro Power Plant and Nishiura Dam (小諸発電所・西浦ダム) → Komoro Castle Site Kaikoen(小諸城址 懐古園) → Keizo Koyama Museum → Okubobashi Bridge(大久保橋) → Fukedaira(ふけ平)→ Ice Wind Cave → Aguri no Yu Komoro
【Map】*Japanese only
【Access】*The Ando Momofuku Center is used as the start and finish line.
   ・JR Tokyo Station → Sakudaira Station (Hokuriku/Nagano Shinkansen) → Komoro Station on JR Koumi Line(JR小海線)
   ・JR Tokyo Station → Karuizawa Station (Hokuriku/Nagano Shinkansen) → Komoro Station on the Shinano Railway(信濃鉄道)

Jigokudani Yaen-koen Hot Springs with Japanese Monkeys

Jigokudani Yaen-koen is located in the northern part of Nagano Prefecture, in the valley of the Yokoyu River, which originates in the Shiga Kogen Plateau of the Joshinetsu Kogen National Park.At an altitude of 850 meters above sea level, it is a harsh environment covered with snow for almost a third of the year. This is a paradise for monkeys. Since ancient times, groups of Japanese macaques have lived here in their natural habitat. They are widely loved by people around the world as monkeys that bathe in hot springs.

*Because the monkeys live in their natural habitat, they move around in search of food, so they are not always in the public park, and they do not always bathe in the hot springs. They do not always go to the hot springs. Please check SNS before making a reservation.

【Admission】 800 yen for those 18 years and older, open all year round.
From Tokyo
 Tokyo (JR Hokuriku Shinkansen) → Nagano (Nagano Electric Railway Express) → Yudanaka (bus) → Snow Monkey Park → 35 min. walk (2 hr. 50 min.)
 Tokyo (JR Hokuriku Shinkansen) → Nagano (express bus to Shiga Kogen) → Snow Monkey Park → 35-minute walk (2 hours 40 minutes)
 *Please check the express buses with Nagaden Bus in advance. 

*Either route has unpaved roads, stairs, hills, and steps due to its location. Wheelchairs, carts, etc. are not allowed.


Karuizawa is one of the leading highland resort cities in Japan. It is considered one of the oldest and most famous summer and vacation resort areas in Japan.
Karuizawa is not only a summer resort and sports destination, but also a tourist destination, attracting visitors for various sightseeing events, as well as for literary strolls associated with famous writers, poets, and painters. The annual number of visitors reaches 8 million.

Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza : A large shopping mall located a short walk from Karuizawa Station. There are a variety of restaurants and stores, including some that serve Shinshu specialties.
Harunire Terrace : 16 restaurants, cafes, and bakeries are located in the Karuizawa Hoshino Area, where you can enjoy an elegant time on the terrace in fine weather while admiring the greenery. (20min bus from Karuizawa St. north exit, getting off at “Hoshino Onsen Tonbo-no-yu” : Seibu Kanko bus)
Old Karuizawa Ginza Dori : A must-see spot in Karuizawa, lined with traditional stores and innovative and fashionable stores. It is a 30-minute walk from JR Karuizawa Station.
  ・Church Street Karuizawa : A popular mall that is a symbol of the old Karuizawa Ginza street. (15min. walk / 4min bus from Karuizawa St.)
  ・Karuizawa New Art Museum : This museum specializes in contemporary art, with a collection of Japanese art works from the postwar period to the present. Works by Japanese and foreign artists active at the forefront of the world are selected and exhibited with an innovative approach. (8min walk from Karuizawa St.)
Kumoba Pond : Known as one of the best places in Karuizawa with its abundance of nature to view the autumn leaves, there is a walking path around the pond where you can walk around the pond and feel the trees reflected on the lake surface and a pleasant breeze. (15min walk from Karuizawa St.)

【背景】東京の西にある南北に広く、周囲8県に隣接する日本で4番目に広い県です。7 世紀に建立された善光寺で知られ、温泉やスキー場がある日本アルプスが広がっています。丘陵や山脈が多く、軽井沢や上高地を筆頭とした高原・山岳リゾートが多く、余暇活動の拠点となってきた歴史があります。
 新宿(JR 埼京線/ 湘南新宿ライン)→ 大宮(JR北陸新幹線)→長野  約2時間15分、7,300円
・東京駅から長野まで : 東京(JR北陸新幹線)→ 長野 約1時間30分、8,400円
みどりの窓口や、販売機で購入できます!Hokuriku Arch Passもお得!
善光寺:長野県長野市元善町にある無宗派の単立仏教寺院。 住職は「大勧進貫主」と「大本願上人」の両名が務める。 本尊は日本最古と伝わる一光三尊阿弥陀如来で、絶対秘仏である(開帳は前立本尊で行う)。新型コロナの影響で延期されていた7年に1度のご開帳も、2022年6月29日まで行われています。
 ・おやき村 長野分村大門店(小川の庄  大門店)(水曜定休)
・唐辛子:八幡屋礒五郎 日本3大七味のうちの1軒
・C.H.P COFFEE:カフェ 長野駅から約徒歩20分(KANEMATSU内)
・遊歴書房:月曜・火曜定休 (KANEMATSU内)
・ 1166バックパッカーズ(ゲストハウス):善光寺から徒歩5分、築90余年の元クリーニング店を改装したゲストハウス。築100年を超える建築と古民家をリノベーションし新たなエリア。
[コース]安藤百福センター → 鴇久保ビオトープ →茶房土器書の森 → 干間無池 → 岩根の断崖 → 大杭橋 → 小諸大橋 → 久保集落 → 小諸発電所・西浦ダム → 小諸城址 懐古園 → 小山敬三美術館 → 大久保橋 →ふけ平 → 氷の風穴 → あぐりの湯こもろ
   JR東京駅 → 佐久平駅(北陸/ 長野新幹線) → JR小海線 小諸駅下車
   JR東京駅 → 軽井沢駅(北陸/ 長野新幹線)→ しなの鉄道 小諸駅下車
・地獄谷野猿公苑 日本猿のいる温泉
[アクセス]・東京(JR北陸新幹線)→ 長野(長野電鉄特急)→湯田中(バス)→スノーモンキーパーク → 徒歩35分 (2時間50分)
・東京(JR北陸新幹線)→ 長野(志賀高原行き急行バス)→スノーモンキーパーク → 徒歩35分(2時間40分) *急行バスは長電バスで事前にご確認ください 
・軽井沢プリンスショッピングプラザ :軽井沢駅から歩いてすぐのところにある大型ショッピングモール。信州名物を味わえるお店も含めいろいろな飲食店があります。
・軽井沢星野エリア ハルニレテラス:16のレストランやカフェ、ベーカリーなどがあり、天気のいい日にはテラス席で緑を眺めながら優雅な時間を過ごせます。