Matsumoto Castle: One of the best preserved castles

  You can’t leave Nagano without visiting Matsumoto Castle! This black and white, six-story castle is a magnificent site with the Japanese Alps in the background. Being one of the oldest castles in Japan–built in...

Marvellous Mingei : Matsumoto Hotel Kagetsu

Mingei, meaning the art of the people, is a style that is born from the local people's everyday lifestyle, making it a product of nature and tradition. Items made in the Mingei style of...

5 Outdoor Autumn Activities in Karuizawa

Karuizawa, a small resort town in Nagano Prefecture, is a popular destination thanks to its laid-back atmosphere and luxury resorts. At an elevation of 1,000 meters (3,281 ft) the cooler temperatures result in stunning...

Visit the Origin of Ninja (4) : Kids’ Ninja Village

Kids’ Ninja Village Togakushi is well-known as the origin of ninja, so we visited the Kids’ Ninja Village, where children and even adults can dress up like a real ninja! Ninja costume rental is available...

Visit the Origin of Ninja (3) : Ninja Soba

Togakushi Soba Yamaguchiya On the way back from the hill, we visited Yamaguchiya Soba restaurant. They specialize in making Togakushi Soba with a unique concept. The recommended menu is Ninja Soba (cold soba with shredded...

Traditional Meets Modernity at Hoshino Resorts

Founded as a silk business in Karuizawa, Nagano, in 1904, Hoshino opened its first hotel in 1914, taking the name Hoshino Onsen Ryokan. The simple idea was to create an experience that combined modern...

Visit the Origin of Ninja (2) : Museums and a Ninja Trick House

After accomplishing a tranquil mind like a ninja, we moved on to the ninja house! Just across the road from the entrance from Okusha, we arrived at the Togakushi Folk Museum, Togakushi Ninja Museum and...

Visit the Origin of Ninja (1) : Togakushi Shrine

Togakushi Shrine After taking an approx. 1,5 hour trip by Shinkansen from Tokyo, we arrived at Nagano Station. This time our destination is Togakushi which is located in the northern part of Nagano Prefecture. Togakushi...

Top 4 Vegan & Vegetarian Ryokan Accommodations in Japan

Though many people say that it's difficult to be a vegetarian in Japan, the truth is Japan has centuries worth of tradition processing plants in a plethora of delicious ways. Taking it one step...

Picturesque Matsumoto (8) – The Strange Ice Cream of Matsumoto –

During our visit to Matsumoto City in Nagano prefecture, Wattention staff found some very interesting ice cream flavors. Please enjoy these unique finds when you make a trip to Matsumoto and don't forget to...