3 days in Nagano - Things to Do and See

Published: 01st June 2009
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Japan is considered as one of the best destinations for winter sports activities. There are a number of cities within the country that offer a lot of winter sport facilities but few can equal what Nagano has to offer. Nagano is the capital city of the Nagano prefecture in Japan. Visitors who take the train from Tokyo can expect a short two-hour journey to this scenic and breathtaking city.

Nagano was picked as the host city for the 1998 Winter Olympic Games. In preparation for the prestigious sporting event, various winter sport facilities were erected in short order. The city also offers beautiful temples, great food, and a taste of traditional Japanese life. There are also a number of beautiful snow-capped mountains surrounding the city. These mountains are often called "the Japanese Alps."

Day 1 - On their first day in Nagano, tourists may want to visit the beautiful old Japanese buildings and serene temples that dot the area around the city. They can visit Zenkōji temple, a 7th century temple that draws thousands of pilgrims every year. They can also stay at the traditional inn named Go-Honjin Fujiya, erected in the early 1600s, Inn guests can admire this well-preserved example of Taisho-era Western style architecture.

Day 2 - On their second day, tourists may want to sample the city's excellent local cuisine. The city has a vast offering of restaurants both old and new. Nishi-no-Mon, a small grouping of sake bars, restaurants and shops, will offer guests a taste of traditional Japanese dining. All of the establishments in the area are housed in traditional looking buildings that add to the authenticity of the experience.
Visitors to the city will also want to pass by Nagano Prefectural Shinano Art Museum. This museum has a vast display of nihon-ga paintings. These paintings typically depict scenic and tranquil landscapes in a style that can only be found in Japan.

Day 3 - Before leaving this beautiful city, visitors will definitely want to try their hand at the various winter sports like Speedskating, Skiing and Snowboarding at the Nagano Olympic center. The locals in the area are very accommodating and tourist friendly as well.

Nagano offers tourists with unforgettable images of serenity and tranquillity. One of the best tourist destinations in Japan, Nagano is definitely a city worth visiting.

Orson Johnson writes for Holiday Velvet, a website providing Holiday rentals in Japan & Self Catering holidays.

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