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Nagano

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Nagano (??) is the capital of Nagano prefecture, in the Chubu district of Japan.

Zenk?ji TempleZenk?ji Temple
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Zenk?ji Temple

nagano Travel Guide :

Nagano

Understand

Nagano hosted the 1998 Winter Olympic Games.

Nagano

Get in

Nagano

By train

The Hokuriku Shinkansen, also known as the Nagano Shinkansen, or by the name Asama (???), was completed in time for the 1998 Winter Olympics. There are approximately 2-3 departures per hour from Tokyo Station, taking approximately 1 1/2 - 2 hours to make the journey at a cost of ¥7970 each way. You can breathe easy, as smoking was banned on all Asama trains as of December, 2005.

The Wide View Shinano limited express train runs hourly from Nagoya to Nagano. Taking about three hours, and at a cost of ¥7130 each way, this is the best method of reaching Nagano by train from Kyoto, Osaka, and elsewhere in western Japan; simply take the Shinkansen and change to the "Shinano" in Nagoya.

Nagano

By bus

Highway buses from Tokyo depart from the terminal in Shinjuku, and from the Sunshine City Prince Hotel in Ikebukuro. The trip takes around three and a half hours, and the fare is ¥4000 one-way. The ¥7200 round trip fare is about half the cost of the Shinkansen.

Hankyu and Nankai buses also make a few daytime and nighttime runs from Osaka and Kyoto to Nagano. The day runs take about seven hours, and the night runs, nine hours. Expect to pay in the range of ¥6200 one-way, ¥10000 round trip from Osaka, and ¥5300 one-way, ¥9500 round-trip from Kyoto.

Nagano

Get around

Nagano

See

  • Zenk?ji(???) temple, first built in the 7th century, is a major pilgrimage site. Its major draw is the hibutsu (??), or hidden buddha, a statue that is displayed to the public only every seven years (the next time will be in 2010). The grand inner gate is currently under renovation and is scheduled to be unveiled in 2007.
  • Nishi-no-Mon, southwest of Zenkoji main gate. A sake brewery with attached restaurant and shops, all housed in traditional buildings. The brewery has a small free museum, though it consists of little more than some historic photographs and a view of the stainless-steel brewing equipment.
  • Nagano Prefectural Shinano Art Museum 1 (http://www.npsam.com/english/index.htm), just east of Zenkoji. The prefecture's premier art museum. The museum's Higashiyama Kaii Gallery showcases the tranquil landscapes (depicting Northern Europe as well as Japan) of one of the masters of nihon-ga (traditional "Japanese-style painting").
Nagano

Do

  • Binnzuru, the big summer festival, it has 35 years history. Every year, more than 200 groups take part in this festival. They walk and dance through Chuo-dori with Shamoji.
Nagano

Buy

  • Yawataya Isogoro, Daimonm-cho 83, just south of Zenkoji main gate. A 280-year-old store specializing in shichimi ("seven flavors"), a condiment consisting of ground chili peppers, sesame, citrus, and other spices, commonly sprinkled on soba noodle soup. Yawataya's distinctive tin containers are a fixture in soba shops throughout Japan.
Nagano

Eat

The best soba (buckwheat noodles) in Japan is made in the area around Nagano (in particular, TogakushiTogakushi just to the north).

  • Sakura, in the Nishi-no-Mon brewery (above). Most of the items on the menu feature miso (fermented bean-paste) which is made with sake by-products. (For an exotic dessert, try miso ice cream.)
  • Apple is one of special products in Nagano. The taste of Nagano apples are sweet and juicy. The yield of apples in Nagano is second in Japan.
Nagano

Drink

Nagano

Sleep

Nagano

Splurge

  • Go-Honjin Fujiya (?????) 2 (http://www.avis.ne.jp/~fuziya/annai/kannai/fuziya2e.htm), Daimon-cho 80, just south of Zenkoji main gate. An elegant old traditional inn, founded in 1661 as a stage along the Northern Country road. Its current form was built in 1923 and is a superb example of Taisho-era Western-style architecture.
Nagano

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