Nagano is the capital of Nagano Prefecture, located in the bustling busy Chubu region of Japan. Nagano has long been known for its sacred Zenko-ji temple, especially it more and more popular since its host city of the winter Olympic in 1998. Many parts of the city are well-redeveloped. Buildings and complex sports were built during this period for the Olympic, such as the M-Wave skating rink or the Aqua-Wing underwater playground, are still open to visitors today. If you are a sports enthusiast then Nagano will be an ideal tourist destination, besides you will also be fascinated by magnificent mountain scenery, onsen hot springs and many interesting things. Let’s exploring top 5 attractive and best places to visit in Nagano city below.
- Tokyo itinerary 3 days — How to spend 3 days in Tokyo & what to do in Tokyo in 3 days?
- Tokyo travel blog — The fullest Tokyo travel guide for first time visiting Tokyo
- Must buy in Japan — Top 23+ cheap things, famous souvenirs, cool gifts & best things to buy in Japan
- What I should do in Kyoto? — Top 9 cool & fun things to do in Kyoto, Japan
- Kyoto festival — Top 10 best events & most famous festivals in Kyoto you must see
Perhaps one of the most attractive tourist places in Nagano Prefecture is the Zenko-ji Temple, which is said to have been built in the seventh century. Zenko-ji Temple is famous for preserving a hide sacred Buddha statue. Every six years a new exhibition was made to the public, so that year a large number of Buddhists from all over Japan pilgrims to visit the temple.
Address: Motoyoshicho-491, Nagano, Nagano Prefecture 380-0851, Japan
Phone: +81 26-234-3591
Hours: From about one hour before sunrise to 4:30 pm (until 4:00 pm from December to February, until 4:15 pm in March and November); History Museum opens from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Closed: No closing days
Admission: 500 yen (inner chamber, underground passage and history museum)
House of Kaigai Onsen Ichi Youkan hot springs
Kaigai Onsen Ichiyoukan (Ichi Youkan) is a great suggestion for those who want to experience onsen hot springs bathing different than other places. Onsen water here is famous because it is brown, the bathtub is a narrow long rectangle. You can also go to the public onsen baths outside the hostel with the entrance fee of 300 yen.
Ichi Youkan (Nagano-ken)
Entrance fee: 300 yens
Bathing time from 08:00 to 20:00 (closes at 16:00 during Holiday days)
Adress: 〒381-1221 長野県長野市松代町東条 ５５
Nishi-no-Mon Sake Brewery
Nishi-no-Mon is a sake brewery, near Zenko-ji Temple. The famous sake of Japan is still distilled in a house from ancient times in traditional way of cooking for many generations. Next, is a small museum is open for free, that introduces how to make sake and displays photographs of the stages of the winery’s development.
Nishi-no-Mon Sake Brewery
Location: Nishinomoncho 941, Nagano
Opening hours: 9:00 – 17:30
Tel: 0120-237-522 / Fax: 0120-300-669
Nagano Prefectural Shinano Art Museum & Higashiyama Kaii Gallery
If you are an art lover you will not be able to ignore the largest museum in Nagano. At here, it has exhibited many of traditional Japanese arts, including some of the most famous artworks from the Higashiyama Kaii gallery. You will have the opportunity to enjoy paintings by Japanese traditional carvings (Nihonga) and many paintings by palm brush.
Nagano Prefectural Shinano Art Museum
Address: 1 Chome-4-4 Hakoshimizu, Nagano, Nagano Prefecture 380-0801, Japan
Hours: 9:00 – 17:00 (enter till 16:30)
Tel: 026-232-0052 / Fax: 026-232-0050
Date: Closed on every Wedenesday and during Dec 29 thru Jan 1. Temporary closures between exhibitions
Admissions: Adults : 500 yen / College Students : 300 yen / Under HS: Free
Access: Train: JR Nakano Station. At the bus stand 1, take Alpico bus #11, 16, 17 and get off at “Zenkoji-Kita” bus stop.
The M-Wave skating rink
The M-Wave skating rink was built to host speed skating competitions of the Winter Olympic in 1998. Today, the building is used as a museum displaying Olympic artifacts attracting many visitors come learn about the famous sports. Also if you like you can comfortably slip a few laps on the ice rink.
The M-Wave skating rink
Address: 195 Kitanagaike, Nagano, Nagano Prefecture 381-0025, Japan
Phone: +81 26-222-3300 / Fax.026-222-3222
Capacity: 18,000 (10,000 seats)
Hours: Varies daily. Check the event schedule before going (http://www.nagano-mwave.co.jp/m_wave/skating/) (Japanese language)
Closed: Early March to early October, and during competitions. Check schedule before going. (Purple denotes closed to free skating.)
Cost: 1540 yen for adults, 820 yen for middle school and younger. Weekday discount. Discount for groups of 20+. Skate rental 610 yen.
Reservations: not necessary
Participants: 1 or more
By bus: Take a local bus, Nagano Dentetsu, bound for Suzaka & Yashima, from the No.1 bus stop at the East Exit of the JR Nagano station, get off at the M-WAVE-mae bus stop; it takes approximately 15 minutes.
By car: Get off at the Suzaka/Nagano Higashi IC on the Joshin-etsu Expressway, and drive approximately 5 minutes towards Nagano city center.