Travelog

Explore the beauty of nature,
cultural heritage and interesting places in Nagano pref.

Featured Content

Regarding Measures Against COVID-19 for Our Taxi Service

ALPICO GROUP has adopted a range of necessary precautions against the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in order to maintain a safe, secured environment for our passengers and drivers. Please find out more about our prevention measures for our taxi services.

ALPICO Group’s Measures Against COVID-19 in our Hotels

During the past few months, several of our hotels and in-house restaurants were closed due to COVID-19. Currently, our Western-style hotels Hotel Buena Vista and Ace Inn Matsumoto as well as our Japanese-style hotels Shoho and Suhaku have resumed operation. Our other hotels, Kamikochi Lemeista Hotel and Alpico Plaza Hotel, will reopen in late July.

To ensure a safe and clean environment in our hotels and prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are taking the following measures:

Regarding Measures Against COVID-19 for Long-distance Express Buses (Updated July 3)

Thank you for using ALPICO Kotsu. While the emergency declaration has been lifted in all of Japan, we anticipate that COVID-19 (coronavirus) will be around for a longer time. Because we want to offer you transportation that you can use reassuringly, ALPICO Kotsu will gradually resume operation of long-distance express buses across the prefecture while being thorough with disinfection and sanitation management and taking the following measures in order to avoid the three C’s – closed spaces, crowded spaces and close-contact settings.

Nature & Hiking

Nakasendo Hiking Tour & Narai-juku Post Town Sightseeing Bus

This sightseeing bus will bring you to discover “Narai-juku”, Japan’s longest post town, which has a 1 km-long townscape that looks as if you’ve slipped back in time to the Edo period. There are inns, souvenir shops, restaurants and more that make you feel the good old days, as well as museums, temples and other historic sights. It is a perfect one-day trip from Matsumoto!

Top 5 Cherry Blossom Sightseeing Spots in Nagano Prefecture

Spring is here! The temperature is picking up, the birds are singing, and lots of flowers are blooming. That also goes for the sakura or cherry blossoms, a Japanese icon that’s loved by people all over the world. The blooming of the cherry blossoms is a special event that many people look forward to and is celebrated nationwide with a so-called hanami or cherry blossom viewing party and by indulging in some of the many cherry-blossom-flavored foods and drinks that are available during this period. The transient beauty of these pink flowers is certainly the biggest reason why the cherry blossom season is one of the most popular times to visit Japan.

A Must-Visit World Heritage Site! The Historical Village of Shirakawa-go

Hidden amid the mountains and forests of Nagano’s neighboring prefectures Gifu and Toyama, you will find a unique remnant of Japanese history: The Historical Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama. Designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, these villages should definitely be on your must-visit list when travelling through Japan!

Hotel & Transport Tips

Enjoy the Best Food, Drinks and Onsen – Après-Ski (After Ski) in Hakuba

A huge part of any winter vacation is the après-ski (literally “after ski”) part of the trip and we know that some find it even more exciting than the skiing itself. Compared to other popular winter destinations, Japan has a pretty unique après-ski culture. Rather than going to a bar, most Japanese prefer relaxing their bodies at an onsen (hot spring). While you’re here, we highly recommend you try it out yourself! But first, let’s introduce you to some places to eat and drink.

The Ultimate Bucket List Trip – A Visit to Nagano’s Snow Monkeys

Buried within the mountains of Nagano, there is a natural hot spring that has some very peculiar visitors. Instead of humans, you can find red-faced monkeys bathing and relaxing in the warm spring water. This behavior is what makes them so unique as it’s something that has never been seen with any other monkeys. Thanks to this, the Japanese macaques in this area have become world-famous and are commonly known as the snow monkeys of Nagano.

Cruising Lake Suwa and tasting local sakes during a daytrip to the Suwa area!

In the middle of Nagano Prefecture lies the quiet and peaceful Suwa area. The place is famous for its beautiful lake of the same name that’s also featured in the popular animated film “Your Name” (2016). During summertime, firework festivals light up the surface of Lake Suwa and during wintertime there is a chance that the lake completely freezes over. This phenomenon is called omiwatari.