Oykot Train

The Oykot train is a special scenic train which starts from Nagano station and follows the Iiyama line all the way to Tokamachi station. The Iiyama line follows the Chikuma-gawa river which features truly beautiful rustic scenery featuring rice paddies and small villages that are representative of the beautiful Japanese countryside.

The purpose of the Oykot train is to allow its passengers to enjoy this scenery while having a relaxing time onboard the train. To this end, the train interior is designed to mimic the old rural Japanese home and the trip also includes a serving of locally-made Japanese pickled vegetables. Guests can also bring their favorite food and beverages onboard. This philosophy of the Japanese countryside is reflected in the train’s name, Oykot, which is the reverse of Tokyo, the most populous metropolis of Japan. It is possible for the passengers to explore further the Japanese countryside by stopping at stations along the Iiyama line and taking another Oykot train, or a regular train, for the return trip to Nagano.

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Address
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Country: Japan
Area : Chubu area
Prefecture : Nagano-ken
City : Nagano-shi
District : Minaminagano
Getting around
Directions to "Oykot Train" in Google Map
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Japan > Chubu area > Nagano-ken > Nagano-shi > Minaminagano

Zenkoji Shopping Street

To reach Zenko-ji temple from Nagano station, one can walk on Chuo Dori (literally meaning central street) all the way north until in front of the temple. On that same street just north of the first gate of Zenko-ji temple are located many small stores. It is a great place to buy Omiyage (gifts) to family or friends.

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Address
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Country: Japan
Area : Chubu area
Prefecture : Nagano-ken
City : Nagano-shi
District : Nagano
Getting around
Directions to "Zenkoji Shopping Street" in Google Map
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Japan > Chubu area > Nagano-ken > Nagano-shi > Nagano

Nagano Zoo

This small zoo is located not far from Zenko-ji temple. It is operated by the city of Nagano and is free to access. Many species of birds, reptiles and mammals are on display. A small monorail and a go-kart track will please kids and the young at heart. 

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Address
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Country: Japan
Area : Chubu area
Prefecture : Nagano-ken
City : Nagano-shi
District : Uematsu
Getting around
Directions to "Nagano Zoo" in Google Map
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Japan > Chubu area > Nagano-ken > Nagano-shi > Uematsu

Nagano Prefectural Shinano Art Museum

The Nagano Prefectural Shinano Art Museum, located nearby Zenko-ji temple, stages art exhibit from artists of Nagano prefecture. An annex of the museum, the Higashiyama Kaii Gallery, features artworks from Higashiyama Kaii depicting the beautiful scenery of Nagano prefecture (some examples here). Taking photos of the artwork is prohibited, but there was no issues with taking photos of the museum’s modern architecture.

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Address
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Country: Japan
Area : Chubu area
Prefecture : Nagano-ken
City : Nagano-shi
District : Hakoshimizu
Getting around
Directions to "Nagano Prefectural Shinano Art Museum" in Google Map
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Japan > Chubu area > Nagano-ken > Nagano-shi > Hakoshimizu

Hozoji Temple and Isesha Shrine in Nagano

Japan boasts many famous shrines and temples that most first time visitors will learn about while planning their trip. But japan may have hundreds or thousands of thousand of such historical sites if not more. Each neighborhood generally has its own, where locals will celebrate many traditional rituals throughout the year. The Hozonji Temple and Isesha Shrine located in Nagano, located side-by-side, are beautiful examples.

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Address
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Country: Japan
Area : Chubu area
Prefecture : Nagano-ken
City : Nagano-shi
District : Kawanakajimamachi Mikuriya
Getting around
Directions to "Hozoji Temple and Isesha Shrine in Nagano" in Google Map
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Japan > Chubu area > Nagano-ken > Nagano-shi > Kawanakajimamachi Mikuriya

Beauty of Nagano’s countryside

Away from the popular touristic attractions, one may find great beauty in the common Japanese lifestyle. This beauty will be seen by the one who ventures away from the beaten path. I will collect over time in this post photos that feature the beautiful Japanese countryside I had the chance to witness by walking in rural areas of Nagano city.

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Address
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Country: Japan
Area : Chubu area
Prefecture : Nagano-ken
City : Nagano-shi
District : Kawanakajimamachi Imai
Getting around
Directions to "Beauty of Nagano’s countryside" in Google Map
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Japan > Chubu area > Nagano-ken > Nagano-shi > Kawanakajimamachi Imai

Togakushi shrine: upper shrine (Oku-sha)

The Togakushi shrine is an important Shinto shrine in Nagano prefecture. The shrine is divided in three locations, of which the Oku-sha or upper shrine, has the highest elevation. Access to the upper shrine requires a gentle uphill walk of about one hour. The path to the shrine is lined with giant Sugi trees and the surrounding ancient forest might very well be the home of many spirits.

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Address
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Country: Japan
Area : Chubu area
Prefecture : Nagano-ken
City : Nagano-shi
District : Togakushi
Getting around
Directions to "Togakushi shrine: upper shrine (Oku-sha)" in Google Map
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Japan > Chubu area > Nagano-ken > Nagano-shi > Togakushi