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Nagano and Environs, Japan

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Matsumoto Castle

Matsumoto Castle

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Jigokudani Monkey Park

Jigokudani Monkey Park

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Shibu Onsen

Shibu Onsen

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Nagano Prefecture is called the "Roof of Japan," home to the northern, central, and southern Japan Alps and six national parks that offer year-round recreational activities. Active volcanoes include Mt. Asama on the border between Nagano and Gunma prefectures and Mt. Ontake in Nagano Prefecture, which is a destination for religious pilgrims.

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Things You Can't Miss

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Go on a Holy Hike
Go on a Holy Hike

Trek a mile or so under a canopy of tall cedar trees to the tranquil mountainside Togakushi Okusha Shrine. Bird-watch in the adjoining forest reserve.

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Image Credit

Sappington Todd / Getty Images

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Bathe With an Eagle’s-Eye View
Bathe With an Eagle’s-Eye View

Locals and tourists visit the Maguse Onsen outdoor hot-spring bathing area, with vistas of the “Japanese Alps,” site of the 1998 Winter Olympic Games.

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Image Credit

Imamura Yutaka/Corbis

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Noodle Around
Noodle Around

The Nagano region is famed for production of spaghetti-size soba buckwheat noodles, eaten hot or cold. Seek out soba and strong, locally brewed sake.

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Image Credit

MIXA/Getty Images

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New Air Travel Rules

Review TSA's latest airline regulations and air travel rules, and be prepared the next time you fly.

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Mischief in the Mountains
Mischief in the Mountains

Take a bus or train from Nagano to watch what are popularly called snow monkeys frolic and bathe in hot springs at Jigokudani Monkey Park.

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Image Credit

VisualJapan / Alamy

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7 Museums You Will Want to See for the Fun of Them

They aren't as famous as their big city brethren but these places are worth the trip.

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Rest in a Ryokan
Rest in a Ryokan

Sleeping on a futon in a guesthouse is a rite in Japan. The Nagano area (along with Kyoto) is home to many top Japanese inns.

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Image Credit

J Marshall - Tribaleye Images / Alamy

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In a Vacation Rut?

Try one of these 9 life-changing summer adventures.

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