The host of the 1998 Winter Olympics, Nagano city is surrounded by world-class ski slopes and breathtaking summer hiking.

Nagano city grew up around the Zenkoji temple. Founded in the seventh century, this ancient place of worship holds a statue of Buddha which is said to be the first such effigy brought to Japan. Every seven years a replica of the hidden statue is put on public display – the next viewing is scheduled for 2017.

The temple also offers “the key to paradise” attached to a wall in an underground tunnel. Any visitor able to locate and touch the key in the pitch black tunnel is reputedly granted enlightenment.

Experiences in Nagano

Yamabushi hiking

Hiking with a Yamabushi Monk

Discover Immerse yourself in the mystic world of Japanese mountain monks or yamabushi in this unique activity - hiking a pilgrimage trail through the lush forests in the mountains of Nagano. Deeply tied with religion, Iiyama’s Mt. Kosuge is one...

Suwa – Onbashira Festival

Onbashira is a festival held only once every six years in the Lake Suwa area of Nagano, Japan. The purpose of the festival is to symbolically renew the Suwa Taisha or Suwa Grand Shrine. "Onbashira" can be literally translated as...

Skiing & Snowboarding in Honshu

Not far from Tokyo and Kyoto on Japan's main island of Honshu, the steep slopes of the Japan Alps are blessed with heavy snow falls due to the wet air moving off the Sea of Japan. Although Hokkaido's ski slopes...

Accommodation in Nagano

The Minka

Tonari no Ie

Tonari no Ie is a delightfully bucolic property, close to The Kura. Downstream of the fresh alpine waters and locked in the gaze of the immense Iiyama mountains, this lovingly renovated minka gives you the sense of what life could...
The Kura, Togari Onsen

The Kura, Togari Onsen

Following a visit to Togari Onsen in northern Nagano, David Lee discovered the ancient and long empty storehouse that would become The Kura. The property was purchased for Into Japan Specialist Tours and a lengthy but loving restoration project began....