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
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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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.
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.
Review TSA's latest airline regulations and air travel rules, and be prepared the next time you fly.
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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They aren't as famous as their big city brethren but these places are worth the trip.
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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