Top things to do in Nagano Region

Top Choice Buddhist Temple in Nagano

Zenkō-ji

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 (AD 552). Not even 37 generations of emperors have seen the im…
Top Choice Shinto Shrine in Togakushi

Togakushi-jinja

Comprising three sub-shrines – Togakushi-Hōkōsha, Togakushi-Chūsha and Togakushi-Okusha – each a few kilometres apart, Togakushi-jinja honours the 1911m-high Togakushi-san. According to legend, the mountain is where…
Top Choice Gallery in Obuse

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 theatre, and his '36 Views of Fuji' plus other works are exhibite…
Top Choice Japanese in Nagano

Banikuman

This is the place to come to try a Nagano speciality: horse meat. Try it raw as basashi for ¥1480, in a shabu-shabu (hotpot) course for ¥3000 or grilled for ¥2200. Don't be confused if you hear the words sakura-niku…
Top Choice Fusion in Nagano

Fujiya Gohonjin

Gohonjin means 'a residence for the lords', and in the Edo period Fujiya Gohonjin played host to the feudal lords of the Maeda family. The present 1925 building was Nagano's Hotel Fujiya but has since been transform…
Top Choice Diner in Karuizawa

Kastanie Karuizawa Roast Chicken

For something a little uncommon in Japan, pop into this original place for succulent and tender roast-chicken dinners, pizzas, pastas and sausage platters, all presented with Japanese attention to detail. This place…
Top Choice Bar in Nagano

James' Nagano Beer Market

This extremely popular beer hall–type place is upstairs only a couple of minutes' walk from Nagano Station. Plenty of beer and wine from around the globe are on offer, but tops are the Shiga Kōgen Highland Ales from…
Top Choice Craft Beer in Nozawa Onsen

Libushi

Smack in the middle of the village, Libushi is Nozawa Onsen's very own artisan brewery. With a taproom up front, a brewery out the back and a very innovative attitude, this outfit is coming up with some intriguing o…
Top Choice Pub in Nagano

Shinshū Nagaya Sakaba

This lively izakaya (pub-restaurant) isn't far from the station and should be on your to-do list. You'll spot it by all the sake barrels plastered around the corner building – bring your sake-tasting gear because yo…
Top Choice Soba in Nozawa Onsen

Sobadokoro Daimon

This superb soba shop, just of the main street in the middle of the village, offers a relaxed atmosphere, jazz music and a chance to try the superb soba that Nagano Prefecture is legendary for. Make sure to get a si…