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Japan Nagano Snow Monkey

Chubu, Central Japan

Nagano

Karuizawa . Matsumoto

Completely landlocked. Situated at the heart of Japan's largest island, Honshu island is Japan's fourth largest prefecture. 

Recommended Seasons

Spring, Autumn, Winter

Recommended Length of Stay

5 days, 4 nights

Located north west of Tokyo, Nagano can be reached within 2 hours via Shinkansen from Tokyo. Global coverage of the 1998 Olympic Winter Games held in Nagano helped the prefecture gain popularity amongst travellers. While most commonly known as a hub for winter festivities, Nagano's highlands and deep forests make the region a stunning autumn destination. The prefecture is one of Japan's only eight landlocked prefecture featuring mountainous terrains, hot springs and historic castles. It is also conveniently located near such premier sightseeing spots as Mt. Fuji, Hida-Takayama, Shirakawa-go, Kanazawa, and the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route.

Nagano's is the birthplace of shinsu soba (buckwheat noodles). The region's mountainous terrain makes it difficult to grow rice. Instead, buckwheat is the staple of Nagano. The drastic day and night temperature differences and volcanic ash soil creates the perfect environment to cultivate buckwheat. Nagano's is also associated with producing high quality miso thanks to its pure water and highland air quality.

Sample Itinerary

 5-Day, 4-Night Activity Highlights

Recommended Food

The food scene is Nagano is bursting with restaurants, cafes and izakayas (Japanese bars) highlighting the region's local food specialties. Shinsu soba is perhaps the prefecture's most famous local specialty, a dish that can be enjoyed cold in the spring and summer months, and warm in autumn and winter. There is no shortage of izakayas around Nagano with a cosy atmosphere to enjoy Japanese beef and basashi (horse meat) perfectly paired with sake. 

Amongst the best Kaiseki (traditional multi-course meal) restaurants in Nagano is Hikariya Higashi, highly rated by locals and tourists. Located in a refurbished historical building, the dining establishment serves excellent Japanese food highlighting Nagano's specialties including Shinshu soba, Sanzoku yaki (fried chicken) and seasonal Kaiseki course meals. 

Japan food
Japanese beef
Japanese soba noodles
Japanese sake
Photos by: TableCheck, Snow Monkey Resorts, Go Nagano, Savour Japan, 

Recommended Activities

Kindly note the activities vary depending on the season and your travel dates.

Contact us to find out more and start planning your escape.

Japan Narai-juku town
Japan Shrine

Shiojiri

Narai-juku

A historic post town located between Kiso Fukushima and Matsumoto. The town marked the halfway point along the Nakasendo road that between Kyoto and Tokyo. Much of the town has been preserved and is lined with guesthouses, restaurants and shops.

Photo by: Go Nagano

Togakushi

Togakushi Shrine

The hidden mountain shrine. Togakushi shrine consists of five shrines connected by roads and hiking trails. The path to the upper shrine passes through the thatched-roof Zuishinmon Gate and lined with tall cryptomeria trees.

Japanese wasabi
Kumoba pond in Japan Mie
Photo by: Andy Kho

Azumino

Daio Wasabi Farm

Located nearby Matsumoto city is one of Japan's largest wasabi farms. The farm has increasingly gained attraction amongst travellers. The farm resembles a park complete with a restaurant and shops offering a wide variety of wasabi-related products. From fresh wasabi and wasabi paste to flavoured crackers and soft serve ice cream.

Photo by: Tatler Asia

Karuizawa

Kumoba Pond

Nestled in Kitasaku district of Nagano, is a pond known as Swan Lake famous for its surrounding summer and autumn foliage. The colours of the leaves are reflected in the glassy water. 

Special Activities with Tobira Group

Discover unique experiences in Nagano specially crafted by Michi & Co. in collaboration with the Tobira group. Download the PDF brochure for more information on the activities.     

Matsumoto

Ishii Miso Factory 

A miso brewer will explain how to make naturally brewed miso in front of a wooden cedar that is more than two metres high. A set meal including miso and grilled ginger pork is served for lunch. Enjoy rice ball with different miso dipping sauce. Freeze-dried miso soup will be included as a souvenir. 

Barrels of Miso in Japanese factory

Matsumoto

Hanami Picnic

Matsumoto has various popular spots for cherry blossom (hanami) viewing during spring. Celebrate the hanami season with a picnic under a canopy of blooming blossoms - an activity often enjoyed by Japanese people.

Photo of Sakura flowers by: Snow Monkey Resorts
People under cherry blossom tree in Japan
cherry blossoms
Restaurant in Matsumoto
Valley in Kamikochi Japan Mountain alps

Matsumoto

Kamikochi Tour

Enjoy a scenic stroll through Kamikochi highland in Japan. The walk includes a walk across the Kappa Bridge, a symbol of the area. From the bridge, one can enjoy breathtaking views of Hotaka mountain range and Mt. Yake. After the walk, dine at a nearby restaurant with scenic views of the surrounding nature. 

Matsumoto

Kinoko Harvesting

A Farm-to-Table concept. Mushrooms (kinoko), are an autumn special in Japan as they are best during that season. The autumn harvest bring exceptionally fragrant mushrooms thanks to the weather conditions. Go on a mushroom-picking adventure  and have a taste of the "King of Autumn Food".

Japanese Matsumoto mushroom cooking
Japanese dining

Matsumoto

Guided Tours

Matsumoto castle: a national treasure. Learn about the samurai culture in the castle.

Spring water & Nawate Street: With nineteen spring water spots around Matsumoto castle, the city is rich with nature. Enjoy a stroll along a row of small shops and restaurants. 

Japan Matsumoto Castle
Small street in Japan Matsumoto
Fresh tomatoes on vine in farm
Japanese farmer harvesting tomatoes

Matsumoto

Organic Farming

Enjoy a farm to table experience. Pick fresh seasonal fresh vegetables from the farm to bring back to Hikariya restaurant where chefs prepare a gourmet dining experience for you. 

Matsumoto

Hikariya Higashi

Amongst the best Kaiseki (traditional multi-course meal) restaurants in Nagano is Hikariya Higashi. Located in a refurbished historical building from the Meiji era, the dining establishment serves excellent Japanese food highlighting Nagano's specialties. The dishes feature the fresh produce including kinoko and other vegetables you picked at the farms. 

Japanese kaiseki meal
Restaurant in Matsumoto Japan

Matsumoto

Sake Brewery

Enjoy chilled or Japanese sake and a guided tour by sake sommelier from Myojinkan or Hikariya. 

Japanese sake
Pouring Japanese sake
Grilled vegetables and meat
Outdoor bonfire

Matsumoto

Bonfire Barbecue

Enjoy barbecued meat and fresh vegetables in an outdoor kitchen connected to the forest of a national monument. 

Exclusive Services

 Guests also have the option to hire a private driver and a private guide. Kindly note that photos are a reference only.

Images by Toyota Global. 

Toyota car
Toyota alphard interior

Recommended Accommodations

Tobira Onsen Myojinkan

A luxury 4-star boutique hotel in Matsumoto. Located in the "Japanese Alps" at more than 1050 meters altitude, Tobira Onsen Myojinkan offers its guests a place to recuperate and unwind. 

Photos by: Tobira Myojinkan

Amenities

Room amenities vary depending on type of room selected. 

  • Japanese & Modern Rooms or Suites available

  • Room occupancy ranging from 1-4 adult guests 

  • Suites come with private onsen bath

  • Mountain view 

  • Restaurant, Cafe/Lounge

  • Wi Fi

  • Non-smoking property

  • Span & Wellness services

Satoyama Villa DEN & Honjin

Villa Den is a renovated traditional house in Matsumoto overlooking rice paddy fields. Villa Honjin features a refurbished building where the loard of the Matsumoto clan would rest when he was on his way to Edo on his sankin shift. Both villas offers catering services by inviting chefs from the Tobira group that manage Myojinkan and Hikariya restaurants.

Photo by: Satoyama Villa DEN & Honjin

Amenities

  • Private in-house dining experience

  • Japanese-style & western-style rooms 

  • Entire villa for rental

  • Non-smoking rooms

  • Kitchen

  • Wi Fi

  • Washing machine 

  • Air conditioning and heating

Matsumoto Marunouchi Hotel 

Located in the Sannomaru district. The closest hotel to the Matsumoto castle. The retro-looking building was built in 1937 as the Nippon Kangyo Bank building. Thanks to the preservation efforts of nearby residents, the building was saved from demolition and has been converted into a hotel. 

Photo by: Marunouchi Hotel

Amenities

  • Hand and bath towels 

  • Hairdryer 

  • Shampoo, conditioner and body soap

  • Hojicha, Sencha, Black tea and Coffee

  • Toothbrush/toothpaste 

  • Pyjamas

  • Duvet

  • Air conditioning and heating

10 different room types available. All rooms equipped w​ith the following:

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Reach out to us for more information about our services and start planning your adventure.

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