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Nagano

Trip Planner Asia  /  Japan  /  Chubu  /  Nagano Prefecture  /  Nagano
(3.8/5 based on 2,600+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: religious sites, historic sites, museums
Near the confluence of the Chikuma and Sai rivers, Nagano combines historic sites with nearby forested alps dotted with shrines. Once a temple city centered around an ancient Buddhist temple, Nagano evolved into a modern prefectural capital with all the facilities one would expect from a major hub. Sightseeing in Nagano usually includes the central temple, which houses the first ever Buddhist statue brought to Japan in the sixth century, as well as a sake brewery and a prime arts museum. You can also see the site of a famous 16th-century battle between two clans, which has been turned into park featuring a museum, or tour the Olympic facilities that once housed 1998 winter games. The city, which turns into a well-loved ski spot during winter, is famous for its soba noodles. When using our Japan itinerary planner, you're building your holiday based on your own interests, visitor reviews, and the informed opinions of our well-traveled writers.
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Where to stay

A popular resort city, Nagano offers a wide variety of places to stay, ranging from luxurious, elegant heritage inns to backpackers' hostels in former temples. Five-star establishments can be found outside the city, while hostels tend to cluster around the railway station. Business-style, mid-range, and budget hotels abound in the downtown area and slightly to the north, underneath Zenko-ji Temple. A number of affordable "ryokan" (guesthouses) and other temple lodgings can be found in the same area.
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