Surrounded on all four sides by 3000+ meter tall mountains, Nagano prefecture is called the “Roof of Japan.” The 1998 Winter Olympics and Paralympics were hosted in this world-class snow resort area. Hakuba, Shiga Kogen Heights, and Nozawa Onsen have continued to attract winter sports enthusiasts every year since. Approximately 20% of Nagano is Natural Park land. But Nagano is not only popular for skiing and winter sports, Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park is the only place in the world where you can see wild monkeys bathing in an onsen (hot spring) in the winter months. In summer, Karuizawa is one of Japan’s most popular resort towns. A trip to the Edo-era post town of Tsumago-juku gives you the feeling of having stepped back in time, and, of course, visiting the national treasure Matsumoto Castle is a must. The mix of history, inspiring nature, adventure, and relaxation make Nagano the perfect destination for creating lifelong memories.
Matsumoto Castle, a recognized National Treasure, is the oldest castle in Japan.