Nagano

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

Onbashira

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...