Planning a Trip to Japan? Share your travel photos with us by hashtagging your images with visitjapanjp My Favorites Ski Nagano Follow in the tracks of Olympians at the home of the Winter Olympics, Nagano, and nearby Niigata, as you carve down spectacular ski slopes and kick back in comforting resorts, just a train and bus ride away from Tokyo. Nagano and Niigata are the twin sister-cities of snowy fun on Honshu island, both very close to Tokyo. Nagano has been known around the world as a must-ski, must-snowboard destination since it hosted the Winter Olympics. From the rolling slopes perfect for families to the challenging runs ideal for snow-venturers, Nagano is well equipped to provide world-class holidays for any visitor. Of course, an essential element of any snow holiday is the relaxing after an athletic day on the slopes.
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Bicycles are available to rent in both towns so you can have a fun-packed day. Rental bicycles, a great way to get around, can be found at a shop near the station. Cycling while viewing the far-off snowy landscape of the Northern Alps is a spectacular experience. You can take a tour of the facility where glass is blown at the Azumino Glass Studio, only 20 minutes away by bicycle. Ride another 10 minutes to reach Daio Wasabi Farm.
Admission is free. The farm has a truly Japanese farmland landscape with wasabi fields and a mill. The noodles are made with Nagano buckwheat flour and pure well water from Azumino. For dessert we recommend the soft serve wasabi ice cream that has subtle wasabi scent. You can buy some at the take-out corner. During the Edo period — , historical Matsumoto prospered as a castle town.
Western-style buildings were constructed here during the Taisho period — that still stand today. First, take a walk up to Matsumoto Castle. The keep in the middle of its grounds, which was built over years ago, is designated as a national treasure.
Enter the keep where you can enjoy a sweeping view of Matsumoto to make you feel what it was like to be a castle lord. The Omotenashi Guards come between 2 and 3 pm to let visitors inside the castle try on armor and take commemorative photos. You can also request a guide by a volunteer tour guide who speaks English or another language by making a reservation in advance.
Winter is the perfect season to visit Matsumoto The candy market in January features candy stalls and a fair. The Hyocho Festival features ice sculpture displays. There are also free rickshaws you can rent near the castle. Get on one and head for the Matsumoto City Museum of Art. After getting your fill of art, head back towards Matsumoto Castle and a street called Nawate-dori, which is lined with pubs and restaurants in a romantic setting reminiscent of a samurai residence.
After a nice walk, how about a refreshing bath at the Shioi-no-yu public baths, which were built during the Taisho period? The number of old-style public baths with an atmosphere like this is dwindling in Japan, so it will be a precious experience.
In addition, the water here is fresh from a mineral spring and is safe to drink. Related Information.
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Chubu Almost in the center of the Japanese archipelago, about a three-hour drive from Tokyo, lies Nagano Prefecture. The clean air and clear water from its massive mountain chains help create the perfect conditions for brewing sake. We asked him what was so fascinating about sake and why it had permanently captured his heart. We also asked him to give us some tips on how best to truly enjoy this distinctive Japanese beverage.
Snow Paradise NAGANO
Bicycles are available to rent in both towns so you can have a fun-packed day. Rental bicycles, a great way to get around, can be found at a shop near the station. Cycling while viewing the far-off snowy landscape of the Northern Alps is a spectacular experience. You can take a tour of the facility where glass is blown at the Azumino Glass Studio, only 20 minutes away by bicycle. Ride another 10 minutes to reach Daio Wasabi Farm. Admission is free.