Must see attractions in Nagano Region

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    Top Choice

    Founded in the 7th century, National Treasure Zenkō-ji is home to the revered statue Ikkō-Sanzon, said to be the first Buddhist image to arrive in Japan …

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    Top Choice

    Comprising three sub-shrines, Togakushi-Hōkōsha, Togakushi-Chūsha and Togakushi-Okusha, each a few kilometres apart, Togakushi-jinja honours the 1911m…

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    Top Choice
    Hokusai Museum

    Japan's most famous ukiyo-e (woodblock print) artist, Hokusai, spent his final years in Obuse. There's an audiovisual presentation on his life in the…

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    Asama-yama Magma Stone Park

    Here's your chance to get up close and personal with Asama-yama – so close, you could almost touch it. Formed in 1783 by Asama's last violent eruption,…

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    'Umi' Museum of Contemporary Art

    This light-filled gallery showcases an impressive collection of contemporary work by Japanese artists who have found fame abroad in genres such as oil…

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    Jigokudani Monkey Park

    Pleasant in winter when shrouded in snow but less appealing when seasonally bare, Jigokudani Monkey Park is wildly popular. Made famous by the 1992 film…

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    Usui Pass Lookout

    On the border of Gunma and Nagano Prefectures, about 4km east of Karuizawa on Rte 18, you'll find the Usui Pass, historically an important point on the…

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    From Okusha bus stop it's 2km (40 minutes' walk) to Okusha (meaning 'Upper Shrine') – the innermost of the three sub-shrines making up Togakushi-jinja –…

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    Togakushi Folk Museum & Ninja House

    Above the Okusha bus stop you'll find this museum housing artefacts from a time when local yamabushi (mountain monks) practised what became known as ninpo…

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    Kitamuki Kannon

    The grounds of this Tendai temple have some impressive ancient trees and sweeping valley views. The temple's name comes from the fact that this Kannon…

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    Although it's nestled among cedars apparently close to the village, Hōkōsha, the pretty lower sub-shrine of Togakushi-jinja, is reached via 274 ancient,…

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    Former Mikasa Hotel

    This property, one of the first Western hotels in Japan, welcomed guests from 1906 to 1970. An exceptional example of elaborate Meiji-era architecture, it…

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    One of the three sub-shrines of Togakushi-jinja, intimate Chūsha, meaning 'middle shrine', is the most accessible, located prominently in the centre of…

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    Of the Sōtō Zen sect, Anraku-ji is the oldest Zen temple in Nagano. Dating from AD 824–34, it's a National Treasure, renowned for its octagonal pagoda…

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    Takai Kōzan Kinenkan

    Takai Kōzan, woodblock artist Hokusai's friend and patron, was a businessman and an accomplished classical artist specialising in elegant Chinese-style…

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    Japanese Lamp & Lighting Museum

    Showcasing lighting through Japanese history, including oil lamps and lanterns, this neat museum will flip the switches of design aficionados.