Summer

Climbing the Highest Peak of Mt. Norikura (3,026m) in Just 3 Hours

Climbing a 3,000m level mountain can be easier than you think, even for those who never hit the gym! Here is our guide to climb the peak of Mt. Norikura as a daytrip.

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!

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!

Take a Trip Back in Time to the Age of Samurai in Matsushiro

Samurai – Japanese warriors who were skilled in military strategy and swordsmanship. They were known for their mastery of the sword, their fearlessness in battle and their code of honor called “bushido” which dictated their way of life. Although everyone in the world has probably heard of them, many may not be able to imagine what a samurai’s house is like.

Matsumoto’s New National Treasure! The Former Kaichi School

Matsumoto is arguably most famous for its castle of the same name, which has been designated as a National Treasure of Japan over 80 years ago. For a long time, this was the only National Treasure in Matsumoto, but all of that changed in September of 2019 with the designation of another National Treasure: The Former Kaichi School.

Kaiseki – The Ultimate Japanese Dining Experience

Do you love Japanese food? Sushi, sashimi, wagyu beef, tempura – there are so many delicious dishes to choose from. If you are as crazy about Japanese food as we are, then you cannot miss out on having a real kaiseki meal!

Discover the World’s Largest Collection of Ukiyo-e – Pictures of the Floating World

Everyone is probably familiar with the image of a giant wave with two boats in the foreground and a small Mt. Fuji in the background. This famous artwork is called “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” and was made by Katsushika Hokusai, arguably Japan’s best-known artist from the Edo period (or in general). What he produced wasn’t really a painting though, but a print created from carved woodblocks. This traditionally Japanese art genre is called “ukiyo-e” and literally translates to “pictures (e) of the floating world (ukiyo)”.

Five local foods of Matsumoto that you must try!

If there’s one thing we love doing when visiting a new place, it’s trying out the local food. It’s often said that the best way to experience a culture is through its food and we wholeheartedly agree. By seeing what the locals are eating and trying it for yourself, you can get a sense of how the history and location of a place has influenced these eating habits and dishes.

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.