Nagano City

Nagano (長野) is a nice stop-off point, before going off to Habuka or the Monkey Park in Yudanaka. Accommodation is quite cheap here, but there is not too much to do.

Budget travel tips

  • Pick up at some tourist maps at the Tourist Information Center in Nagano station.  They have free maps for the Nagano side trips of Yudanaka and Obuse.

Places of interest

Zenkoji Hondo Temple (FREE)

A stunning temple famous all over Japan.  There are lots of little temples, gardens and food stalls for you to enjoy. Great for New Years’s Eve.

Open: 5:00-16:30

Price: Free

Chuo Dori Street

The road leading up to Zenkoji Hondo Temple from Nagano station is a nice walk, with lots of traditional shop buildings and Ryokans (traditional Japanese hotels).

Gondo Dori Shopping Street

A cool shopping street full of nice cafes, restaurants and nice shops. Mostly rather reasonably priced as well!

How to get there

With the Japan Rail Pass

From Tokyo station, take the Shinkansen (JR bullet train) to Nagano station (87 mins).

From Kyoto or Osaka, you need to go to Tokyo station first.

From Matsumoto, take the Limited Express Wideview train (JR train) to Nagano station (48 minutes)

Without the Japan Rail Pass

From TokyoKyoto or Osaka, get a bus with Willer Express (click link at the top for English) or use the Japan Bus Pass.


Hostels and Cheap Hotels

Chuoukan Shimizuya Ryokan

Reasonably priced guesthouse, right between Zenkoji Hondo Temple and the station.  Check prices at

1166 Backpackers

Prices usually just 2600 yen, plus near Zenkoji Hondo Temple.  Check prices at

Moritomizu Backpackers

Right next to the station, but the rates are really cheap.  Check prices at

More at


Go! Nagano – Official Tourism Guide

Published by Matthew Baxter

Japan travel writer and onsen addict

2 thoughts on “Nagano City

    1. haha, yer it’s quiet, but Nagano isn’t exactly Ibiza! It still has some places for food and drink.


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